An uncommon saw dust hazard

Everyone knows that fine saw dust can be bad for your lungs, but last weekend I learned about another saw dust danger the hard way. My shop dust collection isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough for now. I usually have some dust laying on the top of the table saw, Thus last weekend I thought nothing of it when I went to use my cross cut sled. It wouldn’t drop into the miter slot, so I bent down and looked down the slot. when it dropped in, I got a shot of large MDF dust particles in my right eye.

I got most of it out with the eye wash kit in the bathroom, but one or two chunks would not come out. By the time I was able to get to the doctor the next morning, I had a severely scratched cornea. For 2 or 3 days I could barely open my eye, but thanks the ointment the doctor gave me, I have since fully healed. While I’m fine now, the doctor warned me that I could have easily permanently damaged my eye. Thus next time you’re in the shop, make sure you keep in mind some of the other dangers related to sawdust.

Posted in: General


  • David Aberdeen
    March 2, 2014

    Reminds me of a time I was working with some paste wax. The weather had been warm, and the wax was separating, so I gave it a good stir, and then to get it back down into the jar, I tapped the jar on the table. Unfortunately it was warm enough for the wax to splash, and went straight in my eye! I think my contact lenses saved my eye, but it was extremely sore for half an our. You can ALWAYS benefit from wearing safety glasses in the shop, no matter what you are doing, even polishing and finishing.

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