Saturday, May 17, 2014

Woodworking Safety Day 2014

To go along with the annual safety festivities I wanted to contribute two tips I use in my shop to keep a focus on safety. Both are dead simple and probably obvious but I haven't seen anyone else using them specifically so here they are:

Hang your PPE out to dry

Wearing personal protective equipment is an essential element of shop safety but how many times have you lost track of your glasses or ear protection and then thought I can just make this one cut? By stringing a simple string across something convienient in your shop you can easy store most PPE easily, retrieve it and when you come across a spare pair you can return it to its spot without much effort. Also for me having extra PPE options for shop visitors (and spares in case you leave a pair or 3 in the kitchen) goes a long way toward having PPE at the ready.

A Safer Sled

I am one of the few people with pre-riving knife table saws that keeps their guards on. Frankly despite growing up in a shop without guards a bare 10" saw blade is a scary thing. Using the guard normally puts me on heightened alert when it must be removed because it is a rare event. Also it's much cleaner and I believe a bit quieter too (citation required) The key to keeping the guard on is not having to remove it for normal operations. To allow using a crosscut sled, I created a simple plywood hoop that goes over the blade. Also I made a raised area in front that is a simple raised detent that will keep my thumbs free of the blade area.

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