Yesterday I was talking my mom through how to cleft graft apple scions onto rootstock. I’m disabled and can’t move my arms or hands but my mom really enjoys helping me with gardening. On our first cleft graft her knife slipped cutting almost the whole pad from her thumb she had to go to the ER an get 7 stitches and a tetanus shot. She has cut proof gloves but didn’t have them on I feel horrible about it😟. But she said no biggie an wanted to finished grafting all 5 even with stitches in her thumb an did a great job.
If you’re new to grafting wear cut resistant gloves and put a cd over the rootstock!
Ugh, so sorry to see this. I’ve cut the heck out of myself in the past as well, and I’ve learned some hard lessons. I never cut myself bench grafting, only frame working when I’m at awkward angles. I now no longer cut away from me (I don’t feel I have proper control of these cuts), and I rock the blade into the splitting cut on whip and tongue.
If you aren’t new to grafting still wear the cut proof gloves and use a cd. It’s a pain to take off and keep putting the gloves back on. I learned the hard way to do it. Most of us aren’t professionals and don’t have a lot to graft. Take your time and use the safety equipment. I use utility razor blades and change them fairly frequently. I had to get stitches the first year, should have the second year.
It can be a very safe hobby with care and discipline. The last time I cut myself was frame working a callery pear on a ladder in the wind at an awkward angle. I could have repositioned myself to make a better cut, but I cut corners. Just before making a downward cut toward my supporting hand I recall thinking, “if this splits you’re going to cut the hell out of your thumb.” Then, I cut anyway. The branch split, and I cut my thumb quite deep. I studied the cut as I should have but then ignored my own conclusion.
Sorry to hear, hope your moms thumb heals quickly! I will admit watching videos of pros do it makes it look way too easy. I’m always astounded by how swiftly and confidently some of those people make cuts. I’m gonna try to do my first ever grafts this summer, the CD on the rootstock is a great tip, I appreciate it!
Sorry to hear about your Mom. It seems like she made the same mistake as I did a few months ago. It took 1 month for my wound to heal. Hopefully your Mom is not diabetic, tell her to stay away from sweets and carbs till it heals.
I tried out a new grafting knife today. Certainly sharper than the old one. I managed to cut myself twice with those ‘barely touched me’ papercut sorts of slips. It could have been much worse. I should be using the tips mentioned above.