There are many different types of woodworking machinery available on the market today for purchase and use by woodworkers. Many of these machines are power tools, and most injuries in woodworking occur when individuals are using these tools. In order to be safe and keep all your fingers, there are some important safety tips you should keep in mind when working with woodworking machinery.
The first safety rule is to wear the appropriate clothing and shoes. You should never wear clothing that is loose, baggy or hangs off your body at any point. It is very easy for this clothing to get caught in a machine and drag you or your extremities in with it. This is one of the most frequent ways people get hurt with power tools. You also need to wear appropriate shoes, usually closed toe, steel boots. These protect your feet from anything above that might fall on them, such as if you drop a tool while it’s running. They also protect the bottom of your foot in case you step on a nail or other sharp piece of debris that is on the shop floor.
In addition to dressing right, you also need to make sure that you are wearing the appropriate protective gear. This includes protective eye glasses and earplugs. The eye glasses or goggles are necessary to prevent pieces of wood and other debris from flying into your eye when you are cutting, drilling, or sanding, while earplugs prevent your ear from being damaged due to long exposure to loud noises. You may also want or need to wear a mask, especially if you have asthma or other respiratory problems, as the dust from wood can make breathing difficult.
Besides dressing appropriately, there are other things you should do to maintain a safe working environment inside your shop. One of these is to make sure you keep your shop clean. After you finish with one part of your project, you should take time to clean up your shop before moving on to the next task. For example, if you are cutting wood, you should stop and clean up any pieces you have cut off that may be lying on the floor before you move on to drilling, sanding or whatever you are going to do next. This ensures that debris and discarded materials won’t get in your way and potentially cause an accident.
You should also keep your work area clear of unused tools, hardware and other items. Try to have out only the tools and materials you are using at the present time. This too will eliminate things from getting in your way.
Finally, it is important you have the appropriate stands, grips, and vices to hold your wood when you are working on it. While you think you may be able to hold the wood just fine while you are drilling or cutting it with a power handsaw or drill, it can easily slip and cause you to cut or drill into your leg or arm. Having it properly secured in a stand or by grips and vices can prevent this from happening.
These are just some of the safety tips you should keep in mind when working with woodworking machinery. However, most importantly is to use common sense, as this will allow you to enjoy your woodworking hobby for many years to come.