The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Reclaimed Woodworking

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If you follow us on Instagram > http://instagram.com/ohiovalleyreclaimed - you may know that I recently dropped a hand hewn barn beam on my hand as I was organizing some of the wood storage. Below is the GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY of it all.

THE GOOD - I was lucky enough to have escaped what should have been a broken hand. I'm incredibly fortunate to have never broken a bone (I have plenty of wood around to knock on as I write this), and I'm really happy that I've managed to evade anything more than sprains and bumps and bruises despite plenty of catastrophes in my life.

THE BAD - Accidents are an inevitable part of your work when you're:

  • dismantling buildings
  • working with power tools and materials that can be hard, sharp, rough
  • hauling, lifting, and maneuvering heavy things
  • cutting, slicing, burning, carving, etc

Minimizing the severity of those accidents is REALLY important, though. I should have been more careful. I should BE more careful. I still have a decent amount of pain in my thumb today as I write this more than two months after the accident, and it reminds me everyday that this work, while incredibly rewarding, is not worth risking my health. While I still get more splinters in a day than I'd gotten in my entire life prior to starting this journey, I feel like I'm more careful now. I guess the fact that I've learned from my mistake is another GOOD thing.

THE UGLY - Did you see that picture of my thumb? I joked in the Instagram post that at least purple looks good on me, but my hand was a mess. It ended up swelling considerably more than it had already swollen in the picture I posted and ran the course that most bruises run (purple, blue, grey, green/yellowish, etc.) My left thumb looked like a science experiment gone bad for a few weeks and is still a bit more pudgy than its partner on my throwing hand.

Working with reclaimed wood, especially barn beams, isn't always pretty. But, at the end of the day, I'm so blessed to be able to do this work that makes even UGLY hands worth it. 

Stay safe out there, folks!


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