Saturday, October 9, 2010

Love Pen Desk Set.

Here in my part of the world the weather is getting just right for spending time in the shop. Temperatures are in the low 50's at night and 80's during the day. Many woodworkers pack up the shop during the summer preferring to spend more time outdoors. As we get back into the shop it's a good time to think about safety. Spend a little time getting clutter out of the way and generally cleaning up the shop. A clean organized shop is safer and more enjoyable to work in.

Check that your tools are setup well and that the blades on table saws, band saws and other stationary tools are nice and sharp. Sharp tools are much safer than dull tools. Check electrical outlets and extension cords for signs of wear and replace if necessary. Check your safety glasses and dust masks are clean and available. If you can't find them you can't wear them.

Check your fire extinguisher for proper operation. If you don't have one consider getting one. Check that your first aid kit is complete. As Norm would say read and understand all the safety instructions that come with your tools.

According to a study in the Journal of Trauma there are over 31,000 home table saw injuries treated in the emergency rooms every year in the U.S. Roughly 10% of those injuries involved amputations of fingers. Most of those injuries were preventable. Nicknames can be fun but when you are a woodworker and they call you "Stumpy" that's bad.

The scroll saw is a relatively safe tool. Most injuries are minor. Personally I don't even want a minor injury so it's wise to show the proper respect to all power tools. It just gets you in the habit of thinking safe. I'm as guilty as anyone for getting in a hurry and neglecting some important safety habits. My plan is to try to do better. I hope your plan includes a safer and healthier shop.

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