The 10 Safety Rules Every Woodworker Should Know
One of the best hobbies to have is woodworking. It can be one of the safest rewarding pastime activities that you can take up. But it is only safe if you practice a set of safety rules and regulations while you are in the workshop.
If you fail to comply, you might end up with a serious injury. Being careful will make your workshop the safest place to be. So here are the set of rules you have to follow.
1. Disconnecting power
Every time you need to operate the electrical equipment, you need to make sure that the power is cut off.
Carelessness in that regard would lead to electric shocks, fingers or hand being cut off, or even worse. You do not want to take that risk. Many workers encounter major accidents by forgetting that rule.
2. Appropriate outfits
It is extremely crucial to avoid wearing loose clothing or accessories while you are working in a workshop. The dangling clothes may get caught up in the machinery and result in injuries. Woodwork Nation states that most chainsaw accidents happen when the chains contact loose clothing or accessories causing the chainsaw to kickback. That’s why is important to always wear protective gloves when using a chainsaw as well as other essential gear as chainsaw chaps, protective headgear, and a cut-resistant jacket.
You are supposed to wear an outfit that is comfortable enough, but at the same time, suitable for the environment that you are working in.
They should also protect your body and the little pieces of wood that are coming your way. Before you begin, make sure that you remove the pieces of jewelry that are dangling from your body.
3. Metal on the wood
Quickly check the wood you are going to work with to see if it has any metal pieces on it. Generally, and mostly, metal and the saw blade do not go very well together.
Any screws and nails that are lying around will not only cause blade damage, but the stock can kick back as well, causing injuries.
It is better that you use a metal detector for this purpose. Before beginning the cut, one visual check (at least) is extremely important.
4. Make use of the safety equipment
This is the most important rule when you have to do the woodworking. It may sound basic, but don’t neglect the importance of safety equipment. You need to wear hearing protection for the noise that is produced during the process.
The latex gloves are to make sure that your skin stays away from danger. And most importantly, the respirators for woodworking will protect your breathing system, because the dirt entering nostrils is harmful. The safety goggles prevent that dirt from going into your eyes too.
5. Use one extension cord
Using one heavy-duty extension cord has many advantages. You would have to switch the cord from one tool to another before you proceed to use the tools.
This way, obviously, you will be plugging and unplugging the device before and after every use, and won’t have a hard time remembering the previous rule (cutting power before treating the equipment).
Recognizing the power cutting is critical to avoid accidents. This little adjustment will make you do that even when you are not paying attention.
6. Sharpen your blades
Never underestimate the dangers a dull blade can bring. If you have not sharpened your saw blade, then it will be a hassle for both woodworkers as well as the piece of equipment. Such a piece of equipment is more likely to bind or kickback.
So, it is generally better that you save yourself and the tool all the hard work. Also, the sharper the blade, the cleaner the cut, so keeping your blades sharp will have other advantages besides safety too.
7. Be mindful and present
It is never a good idea to enter the woodworking workshop while you are under the influence of drugs or any other intoxicants. It does look like it is harmless to crack one open while working on the weekend in the shop.
However, even things as little as that must be avoided at all costs. Avoid this temptation until you’re done with your woodworking project for the day.
You are a lot more likely to face an accident or any other issue while you are working under the influence of intoxicants.
8. Working against the cutter
The cutter is supposed to cut into the stock, not just with it. So the saw blade or the router bit must move against the motion. That is because the woodworking tools are designed so that the direction of the cutting head is against the direction in which the wood is moving through the tool. Doing so will make the cuts cleaner, and you will not have to put in a lot of effort while you are cutting in a straight line.
9. Don’t reach over a blade
Usually, you would reach out to a blade when you are to remove any cut-offs. However, whenever you are working with a blade, never go near it until it is completely stopped.
It is still better to use a stick or some scrap to remove the cut-offs, even after the blade has stopped working.
Remember one fact, switches can malfunction or get triggered unexpectedly, and the blade can start moving again. So never just relax and go too close to the saw blade, ever. Maintain a safe distance.
10. Try to say no to distractions
It is always easy to get distracted by day to day situations. While you are cutting, try to cut till a safe conclusion before attending to any distraction.
Whenever you are working with a power tool, your full focus should be towards what’s in your hands. If you get distracted while working, you will be signing up for a major disaster. So, try to set up a workshop in a distraction-free space.