I find model railroaders; most modelers in general really, are pretty big on safety. In my (occasionally) cavalier mindset, sometimes to a fault. Yes, don’t inhale toxic paint or glue fumes, don’t light fires around open chemicals, don’t sprinkle rail spikes on your morning cereal… got it. Kidding aside, I really am very careful around the tool bench as there are lots of potential little nasties sitting there that would have been the envy of a medieval inquisition.
I’m particularly careful, usually, around razors. I think this comes from me having worked in the food business years ago with very large and sharp knives. My personal rule #1, if a knife you’re handling slips… move your hands and feet back, quickly, and let if fall to the floor. Catching a falling blade generally won’t end well. My #2 rule is always cut away from yourself, this way when (not if, because it will happen) a blade slips, it will dig in to your cutting mat, maybe your model, but not your hand.
So this past weekend I got to remove the bandages and splint from my hand and am lucky I only have a 1½ “ scar on my thumb. I got just a bit complacent with a single edge razor.
Funny thing is, I wasn’t actually working on a model, I was just scraping off a pesky label on the bottom on a glass cup. I normally use a little Goo Gone for removing SKU labels but I was out of Goo Gone, so a quick razor swipe would do the trick. Yep, it sure did the trick, one little slip and there we had it. I’ll spare you the specifics but two weeks later, I have a working hand back.
While this accident didn’t happen during any actual model building or construction, it was a reminder just how careful we have to be when working with blades. The same goes for any other tools or chemicals that don’t play well with people if used improperly. So there’s my first modeling tip of the year… don’t ever take any tool for granted or handle it casually.