Now that it's over, I can finally stop worrying about when it was going to happen. A few weeks ago I told SWMBO, "Honey, it's just a matter of time. One of these days I'm gonna come to the door and yell, 'Hey, I need some help, RIGHT NOW!' and I won't be teasing." Guess yesterday the timing was right.
I should have known it was going to be a bad day when I spent the entire morning doing yard work. I hate yard work. I hire the grass mown, the weeds pulled, the leaves raked. But the yardman had been here on Friday and didn't satisfy SWMBO. Since she's hosting some sort of tea-party this Friday, it fell my lot to get the bushes trimmed, etc.
Finally got to the shop about 4 PM. I pinned a few ferrules and a reel seat, cleaned up the still "green" varnish on another rod, and generally tidied up.
It's been my standard practice for some time to drill the hole through all my reel seat fillers at either 5/16" or 3/8", then turn the reel seat area of the rod down to fit the seat itself. So I chucked the butt end of a rod in the lathe, and proceeded to turn it down. A fellow lister made me a couple of really neat little reel seat station cutters -- one 5/16 and the other 3/8. They really work quite nicely. I started with the 3/8" cutter, turned the station, and proceeded to try the fit. It was tighter than I liked, and I had to kinda force the seat into position. Well, you know what happens when you force something, don't you? It gets stuck. So in trying to remove the seat, I gave a pretty healthy pull, and nothing happened. My theory has always been "If at first you don't succeed, get a bigger hammer." So I pulled harder. When I did, the seat let go. My right hand went flying backwards into the stationary cutter which doesn't know the difference between bamboo and human flesh.
When I finish it, this will be the first rod I've ever delivered that actually has my blood, sweat, and tears in it. After a two hour wait in the ER and four little stitches, I'm ready to go again. My first stitches in 43 years, and I hope it's another 43. I'll just be brushing my teeth with my left hand for a few weeks.
And perhaps, just maybe, I will have learned my lesson about forcing things around sharp objects.
Tried to type this story last night, but there's no way to type when your fingers and thumb are numbed from anesthetic. (Harry Boyd)
I'll immediately start processing your official membership to the "Why did I do that?" club... Welcome aboard, buddy! LMAO... Sorry, couldn't help but laugh! Can't believe you pulled that one before I did! (Bob Nunley)
Geez, not sure that's a club I want to be a member of.... Gotta question for you and the other "pro's" on the list.... In a coupla weeks, can I just snip these stitches and yank 'em out rather than paying some MD to do it for me? (Harry Boyd)