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Seldonman 09-24-2015 08:53 PM

Safe or Not Safe
Thought I would share this Safety Message with you as it might help someone be a little more safe in the shop. This is basically a copy of the e-mail I sent my Father-in-Law, whom as you may recall gave me most of my wood working tools.

Well Monday was an overcast and cool (high 80's) day so I decided to go out into the shop and start her up for the season. As I started to do some work I stopped myself and said, "You know Jim, you have been meaning to upgrade your safety equipment and you have been putting it off." So off I went to Home depot and bought a new 3M half face mask industrial filter. I have been using your old one and it works fine but I can no longer buy new filters for it and the straps are getting old and worn. I also bought ear muff for hearing protection as I have been using ear plugs that you have to roll up. Then I bought a new pair of hard plastic eye protectors to replace your old soft plastic protector that was hard to see through along with a dust mask for sawing operations.

I know the eye protectors are a one hundred percent improvement because I went to put them on and could not find them; that's when I realized I was wearing them. Also, the ear muffs are quick and easy to put on and I really like them. So, after spending a good chunk of money was I safe? Unfortunately, the answer was no as I got what I think is my worst shop accident to-date, if you don't include the time I jammed the newly sharpened chisel into my thumb. You see, I was ripping and crossing cutting some wood on the table saw for about a half hour when all of sudden I was done and turned off the saw, cleaned up and put the saw back. Quick aside, I am getting very good at using the table saw and making precise cuts. Anyways, I put the saw away and cleaned up the shop when I decided to pull out my router table. No problem there, the table is on wheels and its unplugged. However, as I was pulling the table out into the middle of the garage I lightly brushed a 2 x 2 piece of 3/4 MDF leaning against the wall and it fell over. In the process of falling over a corner brushed my leg like a knife and left a 3 to 4 inch scrap; not a gash. But boy did that thing start to bleed so I went inside and cleaned it with rubbing alcohol and headed to the drug store for some spray on bandage. I had to go to two different store but finally found it and when I went home and applied it I nearly went through the ceiling! So I am fine but who would ever have thought I would get hurt moving the router table. I may have to start wearing long pants in the garage. And yes, I have moved that piece of MDF and other pieces of wood to a safer location! There is a good ending to the story in that I shared my story at a safety meeting at work and won two movie passes. However, I think I would have like not to have had this happen in the first place!

Mike 09-24-2015 09:31 PM

Jim, safety reminders are always a good thing. Thank you for sharing this.

Cherryville Chuck 09-24-2015 10:41 PM

It's always good when we get a lasting lesson without any major harm. I don't know if you have ever worked somewhere that they had a professional safety audit done. That can be a real eye opener. Chances are they would have seen that piece of mdf and said put it away or dispose of it. When you look at your shop the way one of them would you start to see a lot of things that could be improved on.

The Hobbyist 09-25-2015 08:33 AM

Yeah. My shop is a literal death trap right now.

old coasty 09-25-2015 11:42 AM

You can't never tell. I held a butt joint together with my thumb to keep it alligned and shot a 18 brad into the joint to hold it. Surprise, the nail wasn't square with the plywood, hit a cross layer and came out curving thru my thumb. Don't get body parts close to the joint anymore. That's what clamps are for.

Knothead47 09-25-2015 12:05 PM

Good advice. Also, don't fry bacon in the nude, according to a comedian I heard a while back.

DesertRatTom 09-25-2015 12:47 PM

Had an accident not long ago with a brad nailer, shot straight through my index finger, bounced of the edge of the bone and came out the other side. I'm with you on clamps now. I think I'm going to get started on that dust collection hood that hovers over the blade. Clear plastic for visibility and set up right will keep stray fingers away.

The second best safety device is the Gripper, the first is thinking through what you're going to do and how you're going to do it safely, before you turn on any tool. Jigs with hold down clamps when possible are another good safety device.

My biggest challenge is finding places to store large pieces of sheet goods. Just too darn many tools for such a small space. Time to rearrange again so there's a clear spot on the back wall for flat goods. Lets see, move the dust collection to a back corner, put the sander on a shelf and then find a spot for the 9 inch band saw and voila! accessible storage on the side wall and still room for ripping long pieces on the TS.

The other possibility is to enclose and roof in the space between two sheds. About 50 inches between. Just not sure how things will fare out there in the heat and cold. Anyone want to come and help?

Knothead47 09-25-2015 06:09 PM

Speaking of safety, I was getting ready to start my lathe and noticed that I still had the key in the Jacobs chuck on the headstock. I'm thinking of tying a red or orange ribbon on it so it will be more visible.

Stick486 09-25-2015 10:56 PM


Originally Posted by Knothead47 (Post 836186)
Speaking of safety, I was getting ready to start my lathe and noticed that I still had the key in the Jacobs chuck on the headstock. I'm thinking of tying a red or orange ribbon on it so it will be more visible.

put one of those retractable key chain holders on it...
let go of the hey and it gets retracted...

tomp913 09-27-2015 06:20 AM

There was a discussion a while back about the relative safety of fixed base versus plunge routers, I think that it was pretty much a draw. Yesterday, I was routing out the back of a door frame to drop in a plywood panel - this for a shop cabinet so nothing fancy, I cut the recess to the thickness of the plywood, round the corners of the panel to match the radius of the rabbeting cutter and glue and brad it in place. Out of habit, I grabbed my D-handle PC router to find that the hole in the base was too small for the cutter I was using. I pulled the motor out of the base and dropped it into the spare fixed base that belongs to the motor in my router lift. I set the router on it's side on the work surface and plugged the router into an extension - and it started right up. I had forgotten that the motor is always "ON" is this type router and operates by the trigger in the handle. Fortunately, the motor just burped as the plug made contact and I was able to pull it out right away - and the router barely moved position. The router normally has one of Pat Warner's offset bases with the smaller center hole for a guide bushing, and I take that off and replace it with the OEM plate with the larger center hole when using larger bits. But, I had just "found" the spare base while I was organizing, it was sitting right next to the router and it seemed to be the quick and easy way to go. One of those little things that I need to remember for the next time (or maybe it's telling me I need another router :wink:), luckily there was no damage or injury.

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