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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have just returned from a trip over East (Sydney) and I was speaking to a Technical Teacher who is employed by the New South Wales education department and he informed me that all routers will be withdrawn from the school system or it may have only been the the 'Hand held Routers'. I am seriously thinking of writing to such an establishment and inform them that there are are safe methods of using the router and they should continue the use of routers in the schools.
What are the opinion of my fellow 'routologists'?
I would be interested to hear from you on this topic.
Tom
 

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Routers are safe machines if used as they are supposed to be. A ban on routers will
probably not be any more effective than the ban on guns they have in Australia.
Teach the students the proper way to use the machines, and teach them to respect
what the machine is capable of if improperly used. Woodnut65
 

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This sounds like teaching methods that need adjustment not removing the router from the class. I work with a college instructor that works at Teacher Education in the woodworking area and maybe instead of banning the router we need to update the curriculum to include the router more.

On this side of the pond we have teaching techniques that endorse the use of the most versitle power tool in the workshop...the Router.

If there is any way we can help, let me know. Dad has retired from the same Teacher College and I know it would be a mistake to take the router from the students of New South Wales.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thank you all for your support I do intend writing to the education department to express my views on the matter. I would have called in to see them and give a demonstration but they are 3,500km from here.

If you have any comments to support my request for them to re-consider their decision I would appreciate your help. I know I have my own ideas re using the router, where I consider it to be much safer with the use of the template guides but this requires the making of templates and jigs. So please anything you have let me know.
Tom
 

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When I was at school woodworking became a choice subject in the second year at the senior school (age 12) but we had to drop a favourite subject, art.
Two years later it became a choice between woodwork and biology so we could do art classes again.
We only had hand tools and were taught to use them safely.

Woodworking and metalwork were removed from the UK national school curriculum a couple of years ago so many schools are disposing of the fine machinery and tools they had to teach kids with.
In a country that led the industrial revolution with machinery the loss of metalworking is sinfull.
The huge increase in the DIY market will leave millions of kids with no teaching in the safe use of the tools they will later use to improve their homes.
With an engineering father and cabinetmaking grandfather I had a good grounding in tool use which was reinforced by the safety taught at school when we were shown how sharp chisels were and how to use them safely.
In 30 years as a toolmaker I only had a few minor cuts and a couple of bruises.
The only accidents at home were when a spanner slipped a few times when working on the car scraping my knuckles.
I can see the day when accident units are full of newly married men who only wanted to improve the home for their wives.
Already most power tool accidents happen at home because of lack of safety training while professional workshops have very few serious accidents because safety is drummed into the employees.
 

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It sounds like a "knee-jerk reaction" to an incident or accident. It would be interesting to know what happened and why. If someone as hurt as the result of a lack of safety training (or understanding), it should result in upgrading the safety training, not withdrawing the device from the curricula. I look at tecnical training as providing a means to teach the use of tools to those who will go on to use them, just as academics are taught to those who will go on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
JamesEMc said:
It sounds like a "knee-jerk reaction" to an incident or accident. It would be interesting to know what happened and why. If someone as hurt as the result of a lack of safety training (or understanding), it should result in upgrading the safety training, not withdrawing the device from the curricula. I look at tecnical training as providing a means to teach the use of tools to those who will go on to use them, just as academics are taught to those who will go on.
Thanks James
I will add all the responses in my letter As they are on Holiday until early Feb. this will give me time for any more suggestions or ideas from any one else who may wish to comment.
Here is a comment for all

'Do you think I should mention in my reply that I teach Blind people to use the router with Safety' (After producing the jigs and templates for them) I may have the opportunity to pay them a visit the Education Dept in March when I am accross for a meeting.

Attached are a few pics of a couple of my students and some of the work they produce

Keep the comments coming in please

Tom
 

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Tom,

Their work under your supervision is remarkable. This is a very touching post and I am proud to see you fill such a calling.

Safety is always the first concern in the work place and I believe you are a prime example of success in that department.

Merry Christmas.
 

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Not only do I think you should mention what you do, I think you should take pictures of your students and their work, possibly finished products, and if at all possible, your most gifted student. I'd omit photos showing students not using safety goggles (yeah, I know), dust masks and hearing protection.

Good luck
 

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I remember using a router in 9th grade, everyone had to use the router to round over the handle of their cutting boards. We had one router set up and the instructor supervised every student, no accidents ever occured. However, I once saw a little league mom hospitalize a boy while swinging a bat after a game. Whats next, do we ban baseball from schools. Bob
 

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cabinetsetc said:
I'm just wondering what would happen to that school district if anyone was ever stabbed with a pen or pencil or wacked with a ruler or book. Food for thought.
Careful -- they will find a way to ban those too.
I can't speak to situations overseas -- but in the US -- the issue is fourfold:
  • too many greedy lawyers
  • too many judges who don't have the spine to throw out ridiculous suits
  • too many people who have learned that the court system has better odds than Vegas
  • a generation that has been raised to believe nothing is their fault
Not too long ago a woman here was awarded a MAJOR settlement because no one warned her that if you spill hot coffee in your lap it might burn.
So - in a way - how can blame someone for rolling the dice any time they bump their knee - especially with lawyers working on spec - they have nothing to lose.

And given that -- who can really blame school districts for being gunshy.
Over here it goes far beyond shop tools --- school districts are banning dodge ball -- tag --- essentially almost any of the kinds of running and playing games kids have done ever since there have been kids -- and the kinds of things they NEED to do at that age to grow up healthy.
You want to talk about sad -- THAT -- is sad.

The excuse is that it is concern for the safety of the kids --
The reality is -- it is concern that little Jimmy will skin his knee and little Jimmy's mom will sue the school. Win or lose - the school is still out major money.

Just shooting in the dark here -- but I would be willing to bet -- someone in that school district got hurt using a router and threatened to sue -- OR -- someone heard about someone who did and the school is play CYA. Hard to fight that -- but I DO wish you luck --- I keep hoping something will happen over here to restore common sense and a sense of personal responsability.
 

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Woodnut65 said:
Routers are safe machines if used as they are supposed to be. . . .
AMEN -
Every router I have ever owned has come with a manual that details the ways you can get hurt with it - and the things you need to do NOT to.

Truth is --
Any tool that is decently made - (ie - doesn't fall apart when used or blow up or catch fire) - is safe when used as designed.
And by the same token -- ANYTHING can be harmful if used incorrectly.
I've mentioned elsewhere how I wound up at the dr after stabbing my hand on a toothpick. HECK -- you can choke on a glass of sodapop then cut your foot when you drop it and step on the glass.

99% of the time -- the issue is NOT the tool but the user.
I read frequently where an SUV plowed into a wall -- or crowd of people etc.
NO -- it didn't --- a DRIVER ran an SUV into the wall etc.

Like many of you I had the good fortune to be raised by men and women who knew and loved and respected tools and I was taught that from the time I could hold a hammer. But many kids today are NOT.

Sounds to me like -- if the school district is truly concerned for the safety of the kids --- they would encourage MORE instruction in proper procedure.
Not less.

Ok -- I'll hush now.

Sorry -- this business of blaming the tool -- or the school -- or the store -- or the government -- or whatever for our OWN ignorance or carelessness or laziness is a HOT button with me.
Thanks for listening-

And again GOOD luck to those who are trying to bring some sense to this situation.
 

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As a retired teacher let me add one small but important fact to the debate on safety. That is the skill (or lack of) of the teacher.
I taught woodturning for spell and had no problems. I used to put a piece of four by four redgum ( a very hard Oz wood) between centres and show the kids how safe it was to turn it properly, even though it was spinning at 1800 revs.
I was not a woodwork teacher and the woodwork dept decided to take over the elective subject because it was wood.
Upshot was a teacher knocked himself senseless (Had none to start with) turning a bowl because he let the gouge dig in and shattered the bowl.
Guess the rest?
I actually demonstrated to the principal how safe it was by turning a rough branch between centres until I cut straight through it and the two pieces fell onto the bed of the lathe.
His verdict .Wood work was OK with hand tools because it was in the hands of "professionals"

Jerry

Everyone is entitled to my opinion
 

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I was looking at the work Tom's students were doing. Obviously, it's not the router that is unsafe, it's how the router is used. I think we all agree on that.

I'm a raw novice when it comes to the router but you folks have taught me so much in the safe use of routers, so much so that when watching podcasts, I notice unsafe acts, such as not unplugging the router when handling or adjusting the bit depth, things like that.

It seems that common sense has gone the way of the dodo. In order for the next generation to grow up 'safe' they need to be in an environment that allows them to make small mistakes while getting good coaching on how to be safe while working with potentially dangerous machinery. To not educate is the greatest of sins for it is by education that mankind can move forward.

By removing routers from the curriculum, we are also removing education......and that is what is dangerous and sinful.

KarateEd......:)
 
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