When it comes to woodworking, safety always comes first! This can be one of the most enjoyable activities you can get yourself into, but failing to comply with the safety rules can cause serious damage to you or to others. You should never forget that, in spite of the result, you are working with dangerous tools and hard materials, which can quickly become extremely risky for you and your friends and family.
A woodworking shop isn’t just a place to learn and create, but it can be a great opportunity to adopt safe working habits, which will in turn make woodworking a more pleasant hobby. That being said, here are some tips you should take into account when you’re in your workshop finishing some furniture, painting some wood, or sawing some boards.
1. Inspect The Work Area Before Beginning
Never forget to check for flammable or glass materials that can cause serious damage, before starting any project you might have laying around. Also, make sure to remember if you left materials or future projects to dry out, around the woodworking shop, as they can pose themselves as obstacles – I’m sure you don’t want to ruin them! Take a quick stroll around and inspect the place. You would be surprised by how many accidents can happen, without this simple safety measure.
Another big one is to constantly be aware of your surroundings. If there’s a garage door open, strong winds or even people could creep up on you; if there’s a dog or child roaming around the workshop, for example they, too, could catch you by surprise. You should minimize distractions.
Lastly, disconnect the power source before changing blades or parts on your power tools. It’s extra important that you avoid working on dismantling or assembling a power tool when it’s still plugged into an outlet, as well as making sure the switch is off and there is no electricity being powered to them. Using one heavy-duty extension cord for all your power tools will ensure that you switch off the power off every one, but be careful so you won’t cause a short circuit.
2. Work With Safety Equipment
This might seem like a common-sense kind of rule, but it’s never too often to talk about it. Always wear comfortable clothing that hasn’t got long dangling fabric that could catch on any machines, because if you’re wearing baggy or loose clothes, there’s a very high chance that a part of them might get caught in a cutting head or saw blade – extremely dangerous! Don’t forget to take off any piece of jewelry or metal such as chains or bracelets, before you start working. I also suggest you invest in proper safety glasses, gloves, boots, and a welding shield. They can really be helpful when it comes to doing handicraft projects. While using loud power tools like routers and surface planers, wearing ear protection is also a noted advantage.
Before you start sawing or cutting, always inspect your wood first! Make sure it doesn’t have any nails, screws, staples or other metal objects embedded in it. Furthermore, dust can be a really tricky thing. For that matter, dust collectors are one of the most essential machines in any woodworker’s shop! Dust is not only bad for your health, but it causes a serious mess when it comes to cleaning after you’re done. By attaching a vacuum hose to any of your tools, you can turn a messy and dusty shop into an impeccably clean one. To look at some professional reviews and find the right fit for you, you can take a look at this guide by SanderScore: https://www.sanderscore.com/best-dust-collector-reviews/
Cutting can be the main part of working with wood, so make sure you don’t use any blunt blades and bits. It’s pretty obvious to realize how dangerous a dull cutting tool can be, as they can offer a terrible and effortful result or even kickback at you. Sharp bits and blades will reach a cleaner, more precise, and safer cut. Don’t forget you should never reach over a running blade, but wait for the spinning to stop moving before removing waste or cut-offs, instead.
Before, during, and after the job is done don’t leave your equipment precariously around. If you don’t have a good angle, balance, or are being forced to contort yourself in order to work, stop what you’re doing and rearrange the environment. You must always be in control of the situation.
3. Clean Up Immediately
When you’re finished, don’t forget to clean up, because believe me, it will leave a mess and, let’s be honest, you’ll avoid a serious argument with your wife (or husband) later.You shouldn’t leave odd pieces of wood hanging around, so be sure to sweep up any debris you may have created, as it can easily injure curious children and dogs. Always tell the people you live with, what you’re doing, and the cautions they should have when you are on the job. Lastly, unplug any equipment you used and make sure it’s ready to go for the next person, even if that person is you.
Always make safety your number one priority while woodworking. The risks are simply far too serious to ever slack off. Hopefully, I’ve taught you something with this article so you can create beautiful pieces of art or renovate old furniture without ever losing a finger! There is only one thing left – belly up to the bar and get to work!