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About Safety

Enjoy your craft and do it safely!

Because woodworking entails the use of cutting tools, hand and power ones, it has the potential for accidents. While growing up I sliced my fingers while whitling with the pocketknife plenty of times, something usually fixed with a little Betadine and a bandage, but getting hurt on a saw whose blade spins at 5000 rpm or more, can be disastrous.

For that reason, using all the safety devices and all precautions is of the greatest importance. One thing I do just before actually using one of the saws, I run the entire operation in my mind, and that way I know ahead of time where my hands will be in relation to the spinning blade throughout the process.

I also make sure that the wood I’m cutting has a positive contact with the table and the fence without the possibility of rocking while being cut, which could result in kick-back. Small pieces that would bring my hand too close to the blade, I hot glue to a waste piece before attempting to cut them.

All the machines have the appropriate push sticks within easy reach, as well as goggles.

Wood dust

Wood dust is known to be a carcinogen when inhaled for extended periods of time and if the cost of a dust collection system is prohibitive for you, a dust mask is the simplest and cheapest alternative. I get the disposable ones with a valve from 3M (8511 N95) since they prevent fogging up my glasses.

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Nov 06, 2021

I agree with your advice on running the operation ahead in your mind to determine where your hands are. I read somewhere that we need to keep our hands away from the path of any cutting edge as well as its potential path. As a wood carver I've slipped up a few times and forgot where my hands were only to end up with nicks and slits that stopped my work for a while. Safety is worth the time we put into it.

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