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Top 5 Woodworking Safety Rules Every Woodworker Should Know

Updated on April 21, 2014

No matter how experienced you are at WOODWORKING, safety should always come first. Most newbie and hobbyist woodworkers tend to overlook the importance of safety when carrying out a woodwork project, and often times they are made to bear the consequences. With that being said, let’s now delve into the safety woodworking precautions that every serious woodworker should practice.

  • Always Wear A Safety Equipment

The first and most important safety rule is that you should make sure you wear a safety equipment once you step into your workshop. For some very noisy tools such as Surface Planers and Routers, hearing protection is needed. You should wear Latex Gloves when applying varnish or special finishes and if you are working with chemicals, endeavor to wear a Respirator mask. The one piece of safety equipment you should never forget to wear when doing woodworking is a pair of safety glasses, there is no time in the workshop that you should be without your safety glasses.

  • Disconnect Electrical Power Before Blade Changes

It is important for you to disconnect the electricity to the power tool before changing a blade. Don’t just turn off the power switch and think you are safe because a switch can always be accidentally bumped or malfunctioned. Some woodworkers go as far as to strap the tools required for blade removal to the power cables, this way they would not forget to unplug the tool.

  • Always Check For Metals

You should check the wood stock you are about to cut and make sure that there is no metal in it. By metals I mean Staples, Nails, Screws and a lot more. If a rapidly spinning saw blade hits these metals, it can not only damage the blade and stock but can cause the stock to kick back and cause an injury. For you to be absolutely sure about the condition of the wood stock you are preparing to cut, use a metal detector.

  • Use Sharp Blades

If you work with a saw blade that is not as sharp as it should be, then you have to work much harder to complete the desired task and you increase the risk of an accident. Besides, a dull blade is a dangerous tool and is much more likely to bind up or kick back.

  • Never Reach Over a Moving Blade

Whether you are trying to remove waste, reach for a piece of wood that has been cut off or reaching for a power switch, never put your hands anywhere near the moving blade. You should wait until the saw blade has completely stopped moving, and then reach over it. Better still, use a piece of scrap wood or a stick to move the waste away from the blade. Do not forget that power switches can be inadvertently bumped and would turn the blade back on. Just because the blade is not moving, does not mean you should put your hands too close to it.

Efforts should be made to avoid distractions that might take away the attention you should be paying to your work. If you are under the influence of any intoxicants or you are using medication that makes you drowsy, then you should stay out of work.

I urge you to make safety your watchword.

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