Woodworking: Protection When Working With Wood - Ignoring
Could Potentially Harm Your Health Or Kill
Woodworking: Basic Safety Tips
Woodworking can be a dangerous undertaking if you are not
careful and choose to disregard safety guidelines. A circular
saw, router, or other piece of power equipment can disfigure and
even kill if not used properly. Even hand tools, which must be
extremely sharp to provide best results, can cause serious
injuries. In addition, the sawdust and fumes from wood can be
harmful to the lungs if inhaled on a regular basis, especially if
the wood was harvested from an orchard or tree farm where
pesticides were used to control insects.
Fortunately, the advances in equipment and safety products
have made it much more easy to have a safe working environment.
Many tools come with built-in safety features like blade guards
or emergency shut off switches. Other items such as feather
boards and bench dogs can be made or purchased very
inexpensively. And other parts of woodworking safety don't cost a
thing, but draw instead on practice and common sense.
There are several key aspects of safety when it comes to
woodworking, and they apply whether you have an advanced shop
with many different power tools or are working with basic hand
tools in your basement or den.
Protecting your body from accidents is a key aspect of
woodworking safety. Unfortunately, people get lazy or too
comfortable or they feel that the safety equipment gets in the
way. A vast majority of shop accidents and injuries occur because
people were not using their safety equipment.
One of the main concerns when working with wood is eye
protection. Wood chips can fly off when sawing, drilling,
hammering, or any other task that penetrates the material. It
usually happens far too quickly to be able to close your eyes or
look away. Safety glasses solve this problem. In addition, if
tools should break or a part comes loose, your eyes and forehead
will be protected. Too many accidents have happened to just brush
away this safety concern. It would be very difficult to pursue
any woodworking interests with only one eye.
A good pair or safety glasses should be on everyone's list of
safety equipment and should be used any time you will be cutting
or removing wood with force or power tools. A quality pair of
glasses will cost around $12 and could last you your entire life
if properly cared for and put away when not in use. Those who
need vision correction can even purchase safety classes with
bifocal inserts in different strengths for under $20.
Some power tools can be quite noisy and can damage hearing. Even
repetitive hammering produces loud sharp noises. Many of us know
a longtime woodworker who has difficulty hearing due to exposure
to equipment over the years. Protecting your ears from the loud
decibels is important, especially if you use noisy power
equipment such as saws, on a regular basis.
Earplugs work well, earmuffs work even better, and a
combination of the two is ideal when working with loud equipment
that produces sound in the high decibel range. Earplugs cost just
pennies, and a set of earmuffs runs about $15. You can get them
with a radio and antenna built in for around $50.
Over the past decade or two, extensive research has been done on
the hazards of inhaling wood dust and particles, and the results
show that it can cause respiratory diseases. Treated lumber or
wood that came from commercial orchards is especially volatile.
It is important to capture and remove these particles from the
air or protect yourself from breathing them.
A work area with good ventilation will help, but even if you
are working in an open area, you will be breathing in the dust if
you are standing over the machine while it cuts the wood. If you
plan to do a lot of cutting, drilling or sanding, it is best to
have a machine that keeps the particles away from your face and
prevents you from breathing them in.
There are several methods available, with the most basic being
a dust mask. These lightweight masks made of filtering materials
fit over your nose and mouth and are typically held in place by a
rubber band. Innovative designs improve breathing and deter
fogging of safety glasses. A box of 10 high quality dust masks
costs around $10. They do not filter out toxic materials with
You can also purchase a dust collection system or respirator
that you wear on your head or strap on your body. These systems
are battery powered and allow you to move around freely. Some
people feel that they are uncomfortable and impair vision, but
they can be a critical way to protect your long-term health if
you plan to spend a lot of time woodworking. Prices range from
$50 for a basic system to over $250 for a system that also has
head and eye protection.
Another option for dust collection is to use a localized unit
that mounts under your worktable, saw, or other equipment and
plugs into an outlet. They range from $50 to $250 depending on
size, power, filtration system and other factors. A complete shop
dust collection system, with a 1- horse motor and large dust
ports averages around $300.
Control Your Environment
It is also important to prepare your work environment before
starting a project. Be sure to put unneeded items away and pick
things up off the floor. The less clutter, the less likely that
something will get in the way or cause you to trip or be
In addition, good lighting will help you to see your work (and
your fingers) better. Positional lighting such as a shop lamp
will allow you to move around more and to direct the lighting
exactly where it is needed.
Try to find an area where people will not be coming in and
out. This is for your safety as for theirs, and is especially
important when children are present. Be sure to unplug your
equipment when you are done working and put away dangerous items
such as utility knives and saw blades.
Avoid clothing that hangs loose, including long sleeves or
apron strings. Long hair should be pulled back as well. Most
power tools have a rotary motion that can grab and wrench a loose
piece of fabric or strand of hair. Even if you are just making
one cut or a quick drill hole, all it takes is one second for
things to go bad. If you get in the habit of following these
steps every time, you will develop good safety skills.
As one woodworking expert described, "Safety is like using
your turn signal. If you do it every time you go to make a turn,
even if it's just going out of the driveway, then you will
remember to do it in every situation, especially when it counts
But don't get so comfortable with your work and surroundings
that you forget to think about what you are doing. Even though
you may have done the same technique many times before, it is
important to be conscious of the motions you are making and the
movement of the tools.
One other environmental factor mentioned by several of the
woodworkers was to have a phone nearby in case an accident does
occur and you need to call for help. If you use a portable phone,
be sure to put it in the same spot each time so you can go
directly to it if needed. It is also a good idea to keep a first
aid kit in your work area, just in case.
Take Your Time
As we all know, when we rush to finish something, mistakes tend
to happen. In woodworking, this could be disastrous. Take your
time, double check your clamps, footing, hand placement, power
cord location, and other variables before you start the
equipment. Even with hand tools, it is important to make sure you
aren't going to saw through something electrical or nail into
Don't force a saw cut. If a blade gets hung up, back it out
and start over. Also, wait for a tool to stop completely before
taking your eye off of it or moving it away from the wood. Most
drills, saws and other power tools take a few seconds to quit
spinning after the power is stopped.
If a task feels uncomfortable, don't do it. You might get a
tiny jitter in your belly the first time you start up the
circular saw or feel the screw tighten down as you drill, and
this is normal. But if you are overly apprehensive and can't hold
your materials firmly or concentrate on what you are doing, back
off and take a few breaths or find someone to help you with that
Another important aspect of woodworking safety is to know your
tools and use them appropriately and safely. To learn more please
refer to the newly published "Woodworking Beginner's Guide"
mentioned at the end of this article. It describes many tools
that beginners are likely to need and offers information about
how to use and care for them.
Copyright © 2005 by Ferhat Gul. All rights reserved. You
may redistribute this article in its unedited entirety, including
this resource box, with all hyperlinked URLs kept intact. Ferhat
Gul is the publisher of the brand-new "Woodworking Beginner's
Guide - Tips From Experienced Woodworkers to Help You Get
Started", made just for people who love woodworking. This
comprehensive, yet compact woodworking introduction for beginners
is easy to read and helps to save time, money and effort.
MORE RESOURCES updated Sat. January / 20 / 2018
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Hobbies and Crafts Night at MCPL AthensWSAWHobby and craft enthusiasts are welcome to join the Marathon County Public Library every month for a night of creating and socializing! MCPL will begin offering its Hobbies and Crafts Night on January 18 from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. at its Athens Branch ...
Big turnout at Hobby Lobby hiring eventCadillac NewsDebbie Walker, a Cadillac resident who applied Wednesday, said even if she doesn't get a job, she's excited to shop at Hobby Lobby. Walker has taken floral design classes, does other crafts, and has worked as a cashier before, she said. The store is ...
The Marketplace at Vogue Knitting LiveMyCentralJersey.comEvery year, thousands of knitters com to Vogue Knitting Live in New York. They come f rom the New York metropolitan area, of course, but they also come from other places. I met fellow knitters from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and ...
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Hobbies can make you money in retirementMinneapolis Star TribuneBut because of the proliferation of online marketplaces, you can now sell your creations worldwide. Etsy is the best-known marketplace for artisans, but there are plenty of smaller sites you can consider, like ArtFire and Zibbet. You can also use eBay ...
Neutrals are apparently the new blackMyCentralJersey.comA few years ago, I covered a Mansion in May that was filled with rooms decorated in neutral tones. Many of the designers said that after a decade filled with saturated color, they were shifting to neutral pallets because they are relaxing. Maybe that's ...
Your Style: Denise Brander FlynnPost-BulletinI also continued with my crafts and began doing a few shows. "Two years ago, I woke up and wanted more time at the cottage, with my husband and dog and my hobbies. That's when I started working for Ginny's Fine Fabric. It's part time (and) has opened a ...
Worth Observing Stocks: The Michaels Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:MIK), TrueCar, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRUE)The Oracle ExaminerThe Michaels Companies, Inc. is a specialty retailer of arts and crafts. The Company's stores offer stock-keeping units in arts, crafts, scrapbooking, floral, framing, home décor, seasonal offerings, and children's hobbies. It produces 11 exclusive ...and more »
Cash in on hobbies in retirementGoErie.comContinuing to work in retirement isn't uncommon. A 2017 report conducted by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that 53 percent of U.S. workers expect to retire after age 65 or don't plan to retire, while 56 percent intend to take on ...
Related Hobbies - Crafts articles:
Remember When You Were
Taught How To Make Things From Metal With Your Bare
How would you like the chance to use the skills you learnt
Handmade Quilts are Made
with Love and Make Great Family Heirlooms!
Today's handmade quilts are more like a work of art than a
bed cover. With all the wonderfully artistic quilt patterns
available to quilters today, we are beginning to see some
absolutely breathtaking quilts glowing with character and
Build Your Own Bar Stool
(In An Afternoon)
Bar stools are as important as the best wine in your bar.
It is said that if you don't get a good stool to sit on,
you won't enjoy the drink.
Tech-Savvy Crafters Can
The image of a crafter or artisan is often serene, even
pastoral. It's easy to imagine a potter spinning his wheel
in his barn-turned-studio and then selling his wares at the
little farmer's market down the road.
50 Ways to Use Your
Ribbon for Scrapbooking, Home Decor, Crafting and
Scrapbooking:Tie onto a tag, photo mat, border, or photo as
an accent. Use with a hole punch to make a booklet.
Scrapbooking on a
Memories are priceless, but the cost of preserving them can
be high. Here are nine tips for making the most of your
History of Kokeshi
Wooden Dolls from Japan
Little is known of the early history of Kokeshi Japanese
Wooden Dolls. One school of thought believes that Kokeshi
dolls have their origins in the practice of spiritualist
Faux Wax Seals, Tearing,
and Fraying in Your Scrapbooks
Would you like to add more creative appeal to your
scrapbooks? Here are three methods to add more depth and
creativity to your scrapbook creations.A good way to make
your own personal seals is with Crayola Model Magic.
Make Your Own Citronella
Need a cost effective way to get rid of mosquitoes? Try
making your own citronella candles and eliminate mosquitoes
while providing a romantic, outdoor setting. Making
citronella candles is easy and can cost as little as $0.
Getting Started Selling
Until recently crafts were usually sold locally or, at
best, regionally. Now you literally have the whole world at
your fingertips! Some of you may choose a gradual
progression from selling to friends, to selling at fairs
and shows, to retail selling ? and so on.
Create A Gift Basket For
A Dog Lover!
The choice of what gift to give your family and friends can
often be a difficult one. One of the best gifts that you
can give is a gift basket.
Sell Hobby Items by
You can, if you are ambitious, start a Mail Order Business
selling collectables to hobbyists by mail. To begin, you
must first find a hobby that appeals to YOU.
World Skills &
Learning About Old World Skills
There was once a time when almost everyone acquired, or
knew how to do a practical skill of some kind, they were
special skills, which most people used throughout life.
They just became second nature.
Decorative Metal Work
Techniques From The Early 1900s
Today's Metal Craft workers should truly appreciate the
artistic skills & techniques used exclusively by the
highly skilled metal artisans from almost one hundred years
ago. Decorative metalworking is undergoing a new renaissance
as more & more people become involved in hobby metal
Organize 1000's Of
The easiest way is to start right from the beginning, your
pregnancy. Chronological order is an easy way to organize
your photos, that's if you remembered to write all the
Many people don't know that you can actually improve the
quality of the flame you get from your candles. Some people
think that if a flame is too large or you are getting
excess soot that it is the makers fault.
Craft Fairs, Bazaars
& Flea Markets? Oh, My!
Many names are associated with events such as these. Craft
Fairs, Bazaars, Flea Markets and Swap Meets are a few names
you can find.
My daughter and I recently had the opportunity to spend a
week at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. We were totally
overwhelmed with all the things there were to do, and I had
no idea how we would ever be able to remember it all.
Sewing A Button On By
I have so many people come into my shop saying something
like - I can't even sew on a button. How sad it is that a
whole generation has lost out on learning how to do just
the basic skills of sewing.
Collectors of Depression Glass find not only its beautiful
colors fascinating, but its patterns, as well. With many
glass producers making this type of glass, as you can
imagine, many patterns resulted, creating a wide array of
pretty, practical, and inexpensive glassware affordable to
every American household in that lean era of history and
making Depression Glass one of the most collectible items