Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Shop Safety: The Top 3 things I consider key

Safety is the name of the game when it comes to working with power tools and wood.  I can’t stress enough how important this part of woodworking is.  Things can go wrong way to fast.  In just the few years that I have been active in the woodworking hobby I have already know several people to have had accidents.  It seems the most common injury so far is has been a finger hitting a table saw blade.  This can lead to a very severe injury.  I will just leave it at that.  When you talk about shop safety you can go in many directions.  I am not going to talk about tool safety at this time.  I am going to focus on a few things that don’t always seem to get a lot of press. 

1) Eye protection

I don’t care what tool you are using ALWAYS wear some form of eye protection.  I use eye protection even when I am sanding.  You never know when something could come flying off and with power tools they are accelerated that much faster.  We want to keep your eyes in place. 

2) Hearing Protection

I will be the first to admit that I don’t always use hearing protection.  Some tools are louder than others.  Typically when using a router, planer and even a table saw I will wear ear protection.    Those tools in particular can be very very loud. 

3) A clean/organized shop is a safe shop

It is extremely easy to just leave a shop in shambles and I am as guilty as the next guy of leaving it a mess between projects.  However I find that when I take the time between projects to sweep up all the sawdust, it makes all the difference in the world.  Spend a little time putting up all your tools that you used for the current project all the way down to the screws and sandpaper.  Keep the floor around your tools free of obstructions.  It is very easy to trip over the smallest thing or even slip on a rogue screw.  Taking a little time to clean and organize the shop can make all the difference on how a project goes. 

Well these are the three big things that I try to take into consideration when I am planning a project.  Practicing these three rules will go a very long way in keep you safe and focused. 

Let me know what you think.  What safety items do you take into consideration when beginning a project? 


Stay tuned later this week I will be showing the use of a Kreg Pocket Hole Jig and what I am calling a stain story board.


Have a great day!



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