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Yet another warning about gloves.

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  • #44206
    Justin Fournier
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 54

    So I’ve been using the WE for a few years now. During that time I was never cut by a knife on the clamp and have become very comfortable with the hand motions while using the system. Recently I changed my system and I think that contributed to my first bite.

    What happened was, I use my pointer finger as a reference point on the right arm, and look from the left side across the edge of the knife to where my finger is, and move the arm back and forth roughly representing the path of travel of the arm so I can quickly narrow down the sweet spot.

    Well, I guess just the new system showing my muscle memory to be misplaced, and being tired on Christmas, I let my ring finger dangle and this is the result:

    0D07F2E7-7BB9-4CB8-80ED-3A347E7CADCA

    Like many others, I’ll be using cut resistant gloves from now on.

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    #44213
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 2487

    I too lost the very tip of my ring finger, (left), to a sharp edge a couple years ago.   The irony for you is you were trying to find the best position to clamp a knife to be sharpened….obviously it was a very sharp knife to begin with.  I see you were lucky, too and only lost a lot of blood.  My finger healed well.  Looks like yours will do the same.  I too, tried the Ansell Hyflex no-cut gloves for a while.  I found the plasticized glove material to be sort of sticky on the stones and too bulky for my feel.  I was occasionally still bumping the knife edge.   While not getting cut, it sure was a reminder of what I was using them for.  I was constantly having to remove the gloves to feel for the progress of my sharpened edge.  I settled on using Plastic Safety Shields similar to those offered by Wicked Edge, and exercising a lot more care.   I’m particularly careful to always monitor where those dangling ring fingers are.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #44218
    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 17
    • Replies: 929

    I wish you a full and speedy recovery. Stay safe!

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    #44222
    Readheads
    Participant
    • Topics: 28
    • Replies: 304

    I find myself almost getting cut mostly when tweaking the position of the knife (too many variations to minimize deviations), when using the angle cube (too heavy and clunky) and when holding a flex knife stiff (lack of wide clamp). I think it is fair to ask WEPS if they are addressing these types of shortcomings.

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    #44258
    sksharp
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
    • Replies: 397

    Thank you for sharing your mishap Justin and I hope you heal quickly. I don’t like to see stuff like that but it is a great reminder that we are working with something that is inherently dangerous and care needs to be taken at all times when operating these machines. Whether you use shields, gloves, stops or what ever. I’ve told the story before, the first month I had my WE I had at least 2 bandaged fingers at all times. I’m a slow learner so it took that long to work out an arrangement so I NEVER reach across a clamped knife. Second I slowed down! I don’t go as fast now as I did 2 weeks after I started with this. Slowing down did at least 2 things for me…Made it MUCH safer but also made me better. I realized that the stones don’t  always stay flat when going faster and controlling the stones orientation and direction became much much better. Complacency is something I fight with on a daily basis when working with this or any other sharpening system. Sharpening has always been dangerous and I expect that it always will be.

    All the best Justin!

     

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    #44282
    Justin Fournier
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 54

    Thanks very much, it is healing up well.

    I also ordered a set of shields, but wanted to note gloves here as I was not actually sharpening the knife when I was cut, I guess because at that point I am generally more aware of what I am doing, so shields wouldn’t have helped. And the level of sharpness one can achieve with the WE, in particular with the lapping films and strops is so high, you don’t get a second chance.

    I remember years ago my EDC knives were dull enough you could bump your skin and not even get more than a scratch. These days, I barely felt a thing and I cut the side of the tip of my finger off.

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    #44284
    sksharp
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
    • Replies: 397

    Good point Justin,

    Anything that helps with safety is probably a good idea. You are so right about the edges with the WE compared to what we have experienced it the past. It is hard to “re-learn” how we handle these knives and I really can’t thank you enough for putting your mishap out there to maybe help remind us of the dangerous aspect to this endeavor.

    Thanks again Justin

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #44665
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 37

    Get well soon my friend! I definitely should use the WE with gloves on.

    #44668
    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 37
    • Replies: 2032

    I bought and tried some of the cut-resistant gloves on Amazon.  For sure they’re cut resistant, amazingly so, but they don’t have a lot of tactile control and I found them to be slippery and unhelpful at the WEPS.  I do use them for working certain knives on my buffing wheel rig, especially knives with large handles which are easy to grasp.

    The only time I ever cut myself during a sharpening was in the first few months and on a High Mountain 10″ jerky slicer.  I learned not to let my pinkies dangle and haven’t had a cut since, except for instances of reaching around or past the tips of knives held in the vise.  Especially filet knives, which stick you and then bend to follow you as you try to draw away.  I’ve rearranged my workstation so there are few reasons to reach across the table and I’ve had no accidents since.

    I’ve tried to preach this a number of times here on the forum, but there’s a number of newbies that might benefit from it.  “It” is to always grasp your stones by the bottom two finger grooves.  This will not only help to keep your digits below the red line of danger, but will serve to reduce the pressure applied at the contact point and keep your strokes more uniform.

    Part of my safe practices may also be a result of my working one side at a time, which I do because of a nerve deficit; my right hand is not nearly as coordinated as my left.  I tilt my head to the opposite side so I can carefully watch every stroke.

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    #44670
    Gazillion
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 24

    Justin,

    Thank you for taking the time to post this. I just ordered the appropriate gloves.

    Derek

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    #44686
    cjb80202
    Participant
    • Topics: 5
    • Replies: 33

    The biggest risk I’m trying to prevent, in wearing gloves, is that my fingertips seem to protrude as I’m gripping the stones. And so I’m mainly worried about them hanging over onto the blade. As for the gloves I wear, I don’t notice that they detract at all from my sharpening; but then again, I’ve worn them pretty much from the time I started sharpening, so I never got used to the bare hands experience.

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    #44687
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 64
    • Replies: 2487

    I experienced a similar situation when I tried to use gloves.  I did notice from time to time that my glove covered finger tips did still bump the knife edge.  After inspecting the glove finger tips I saw where the knife edge had sliced the protective rubber covering from the glove tips.  That made me realize every one of those cuts were an avoided finger tip cut.  Eventually I was going to get cut!  I was happy the gloves were working but I wanted to avoid contact all together with a sharp knife.

    That’s when I made myself these safety shields,

    Finger-Guard-front

    and shortly after that Clay posted that Wicked Edge had a similar safety shield product on the website available for ordering.

    I still every once in a while feel the plastic bump the knife edge but its harder and thicker then the glove finger tips.  Also I no longer have to keep removing the gloves to check my knife edge for sharpness.

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #44689
    Justin Fournier
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 54

    There are a million types of cut resistant gloves out there, I am currently going through 6 different variations of the Ansell HyFlex, which all fit next to skin so they are tight and have many models made for industrial applications such as sharp edged metal and glass.

    Here is a pic to give an idea of one that is next to try:

    HyFlex-Intercept-11-724-hero

     

     

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    #44697
    sksharp
    Participant
    • Topics: 9
    • Replies: 397

    Justin I hope you are healing up now for the most part and I’m glad you are looking at this to find what works for you. Even if someone is an experienced sharpener it’s a good idea to take every precaution that we can. I do think that guards/gloves if used/worn from the start should feel natural a lot faster than trying to incorporate them later. The longer one waits…the longer it will take to become comfortable with them.

    For the sake of safety I will say this. I don’t think a new user should use anything other than edge trailing strokes until they at least familiarize themselves. This doesn’t eliminate accidents but is much safer when you are starting at least. Edge leading and scrubbing are a much more dangerous technique in my mind. I do use all three at different times and for different reasons. I didn’t use anything but edge trailing strokes for the first 4 months or so and then I started developing the edge leading strokes for the first time.

    In my case “slowing down” and taking the time to develop good habits and technique has been the single biggest factor for my safety and results I think.

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    #44704
    Justin Fournier
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 54

    My finger is getting better, no more scab but still missing some flesh. In that pic there seems to be bumps on my finger and one person asked if that was a flap of skin from the cut. However, those bumps are actually drops of blood running down my finger, so you can see how much it was bleeding. Pic was taken about 30 minutes after the cut, after I stopped the initial bleed, finished the knife and then had to remove saturated gauze as I underestimated the severity of it. That is when I took the pic.

    Gloves will need to be removed to check sharpness, but this cut has taken weeks to heal and my finger might not be the same after. I have a baby to care for and a house to clean regularly, so this cut has been a massive inconvenience having to wear disposable gloves to change diapers, do dishes and prevent it getting wet. And this wasn’t even a really bad cut.  I also bought the WE Guards, but I haven’t used them yet.

    When I use my hands bare I am constantly washing them to remove metal debris, not sure how I will get that off the gloves in the mean time, but I suspect when I check sharpness I’ll clean my finger with 99% isopropyl and put the glove back on after. I will keep my ShopVac beside me on a few seconds longer and clean the gloves before I clean the vice/mount and surrounding working area which I already do now several times during a knife.

    So it might take me cumulatively 1-2 mins longer to do a knife, but the time is worth not having a cut like this again.

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