Woodworking Safety Should Be Your Top Priority

Many people think of woodworking as a relaxing hobby. However, some people become so relaxed in their work, they forget how dangerous it can be. Here are some woodworking safety tips.

The first thing to remember is to concentrate on the work at hand. You are working with power tools and other dangerous materials. Don’t let your mind wander back to your baseball collection or other subjects. Keep your mind on your task.

The second thing to remember is to use tools and materials as they were meant to be used. They are not toys. If you don’t know how to use some equipment, read the directions. Ask for help if you need it. Plan out your moves beforehand. If you think about what you are about to do, chances are you will see and be able to prevent potential hazards.

Next, while some people claim to work better when there is music or background noise, keep the television and the radio out of your workshop. It is far too easy to get distracted by the sound of the big game at a critical moment with a power tool. Having the television blaring in the background is a great way to loose a finger – or worse.

The next thing to remember is to wear protective gear. That includes goggles, ear plugs, face masks, gloves and clothes protectors. No, it is not “wimpy” to protect yourself. Also, don’t wear baggy clothes that could get caught in machinery. Tie back long hair and don’t wear dangly jewelry.

It’s great to get a woodworking project done, but don’t rush through the process. It’s too easy to forego a critical safety step in an effort to get more done. It’s not worth it. Let the saw blade stop spinning on its own before you go near it for any reason.

Woodworkers know that some wood is easier to work with than others. If you sense a piece of wood is too difficult to cut, do not force it. Take it out of the saw and check the rip fence and throat plate of the equipment, as well as all other parts. If you simply try to force the piece through, you could get injured in the process.

One last tip: Clean as you go. For one thing, it’s a lot easier to clean up little messes as they happen than wait until you have to clean the whole workshop. Wipe up spills immediately. Pick up clutter and put it away. Throw away garbage on a regular basis. Clean the saw blades after each use. Sweep the floors and mop them if you have to. You will be amazed at how much doing these little tasks as needed will make a difference in your shop’s appearance.