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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had a lengthy conversation with RTR today about his future router strategy and among the many thought we exchanged was the proper use of bits - specifically how much of the shank should be inside the collet, etc. It reminded me of how important KNOWING how to safely operate all this power equipment really is - from bit quality to feed rates.

The use of feather boards on a router table is another perfect storm for injury when they are not fully employed to contain a workpiece. I purchased a pair of miter bar feather boards to go into the table slot to complement the OEM fence feather boards to fully control the feed across the bit. Nothing less should be considered safe for small dimension pieces.

The Grrrrrip TS guide is another case in point. No one should run a TS without one! It facilitates almost any size workpiece from just trimming to ripping with full control.

Just hoping everyone is learning the best and correct ways to operate your tools, including the maintenance they need to operate properly. Takes more time than we normally consider until things start to bind or become inaccurate. That’s the first signal it’s time to give them some attention.

Peace, out...
 

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Theo
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I figure a huge percentage of power tool accidents happen because the operator became complacent, and had no fear of the machine he/she was using. Good way to get hurt. If you always maintain a bit of fear out of whatever power tool you are using you will be a LOT more cautious using it. I was 14 first time I was allowed to use a table saw (after a safety lesson). That would be 65 years ago, and the worst accident I have ever had using tools was cutting myself with a pocket knife once or twice. I still have fear of my power tools.
 

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Brian I think what disturbs me most is going into a shop and seeing things like the knife cover off a jointer, no riving knife on a table saw and total disarray in the shop. I often get poked for the clean shop I keep but it in itself is a major safety measure both for me and anyone who may also in the shop. Slipping on sawdust on a concrete floor and not enough room to work are major hazards. I bought the Sawstop table saw because of its safety features because of respect for the tool not fear. I use push blocks, push sticks, hold downs on both the table saw and router table, JessEm - Clear-Cut Precision Stock Guides on the router table and Clear-Cut TS™ Stock Guides on the table saw along with various feather boards. I don't think I've ever run a board laying down on the jointer without push blocks and God forbid without the safety cover. The cover has been off before for adjustment and cleaning/waxing purpose but that's it.

I don't fear my tools anymore that I do my guns but I have a very hefty respect knowing what they can do if used improperly. I don't remove warning signs or safety devices. If they are in my way or impeding me from doing something then I'm doing it wrong and I need to change my method. Poor judgement is just as bad. Being impaired by being tired, under the influence of alcohol/drugs even if prescription, or to physically impaired at the time are all conditions that should be avoided when in a shop.

Just saying read the manuals, don't gloss over the safety information, and respect the tool.
 

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Theo,

Fear is NOT a good thing in any work environment ! read my quote on all my posts, I don't fear my tools I respect them and understand them. If I am about to do a procedure on a power tool, if I don't feel comfortable with it, I stop and think, how else can I accomplish this that will be smarter and less dangerous.

Steve, well said, RESPECT is a good thing when dealing with any tool.

Brian I agree with everything you said.
Cheers,

Dan
 

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Theo
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Theo,

Fear is NOT a good thing in any work environment ! read my quote on all my posts, I don't fear my tools I respect them and understand them. If I am about to do a procedure on a power tool, if I don't feel comfortable with it, I stop and think, how else can I accomplish this that will be smarter and less dangerous.
I did say a "bit" of fear. I respect my tools, but still have a bit of fear also. I have seen a number of people who say they respect their table saw. And then stand right in line with the blade when sawing. Personally, I fear kickback, obviously they don't, instead they respect their machines. My saw has no saw guard, riving knife, all taken off when bought. Never had any kickback, because I work carefully, and still stand to the side of the blade. A bit of fear makes me work more carefully. On the table saw, I use saw sleds, push sticks, push blocks. My saw sleds are made so the blade does not show, all of them have a bridge over it, and to cut yourself on the blade you would have to lay your hand flat then slide it a couple of inches under the bridge to reach the blade. Any of you guys have a safety bridge on our saw sleds? With mine no way I am going to accidentally get my finger in the blade. There is also a stop on the front and back of the saw sleds, when that stops the sled the blade is always protected by wood, and never shows, so again, no chance of getting my hand in the blade.

All my router masters/templates are 1" thick, because much easier to hold on to, and can get a good grip. I would never use a thinner master, way too scary for me. And when my pieces get to about 6", I work a lot slower, and a lot more careful. An inch or so smaller, and I make some sort of a jig to hold the piece, rather than use my hands.

I'm not asking any of you to do any of this (except use push sticks, blocks, and stand out of line with the table saw blade). It works for me, quite possibly would not for any of you, I've got a different background, and experience you can never attain. And thru it all, I still have some fear of my tools, despite respecting them too. Oh yeah, I don't let people in my shop, mainly because I don't like people in my shop. Don't like them in my house either, for that matter. And if I get tired, I take a break, or quit for the day. Safety in the shop is always prime importance.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Theo,

Fear is NOT a good thing in any work environment ! read my quote on all my posts, I don't fear my tools I respect them and understand them. If I am about to do a procedure on a power tool, if I don't feel comfortable with it, I stop and think, how else can I accomplish this that will be smarter and less dangerous.

Steve, well said, RESPECT is a good thing when dealing with any tool.

Brian I agree with everything you said.
Cheers,

Dan
Good perspective Dan. And if you’re unsure how to proceed, determine if the tool is intended for that procedure or which tool is. If limited with choices, we can tend to think we can do ANYTHING on our favorite tool and push it beyond its purpose. I’m guilty of this and have paid for it. Education is critical so when Stick sends out the FAQs and other must-read links - go there! Not to mention read up on all manner of build processes others use to get the right POV at the outset.
 

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I think Theo pointed out one of the biggest risks using any of these machines. Fatigue as well as being at the end of the day and being in a rush to finish something. Every time I have been in a rush I have messed up what I was doing. Any time I feel time pressure now I walk away. It is too dangerous.

I also agree with Steve. There is so much safety equipment out there and we should use it. I know a Sawstop is on my list for the next tool I purchase.
 

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Little bit of fear = healthy respect . My entire day at work is focused on safety of my crew. Looking at reams of data, we rarely see injuries during the "big, scary, dangerous" jobs, but mostly in the routine activity. Our most dangerous activity by far is walking, followed second by ascending/descending stairs. Root cause of those incidents during investigation is mostly inattention to the task, improper pace, or hazard not recognized. On the unusual or dangerous jobs there is a much higher level of focus because of the respect/fear of what could go wrong.

Always listen to the little voice.

Know more than one way to do a cut or profile, not just your favorite or preferred. Pick the safer way.

Just because you've never gotten hurt doesn't mean you're working safely.

Don't rely on safety gear to keep you safe. Rely on proper technique and safety gear will help protect you if things go wrong. A Gripper is a great accessory, but it won't necessarily make up for dangerous practices.

Know when to call it a day.

Reduce distractions in the work area. Reassess the conditions if you return to a task after being distracted. (Trust me on this one)

Consider the advice of others if they have a concern over your approach to a cut or operations. They may not be right, but they cared enough to raise a concern. It's worth a few minutes of your time to think it over.
 

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Mike
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Never go into your shop when you are tired or have too many things on your mind. When you go in that door be ready to concentrate on the task at hand and don't worry about what you need to do later in the project. Always have things like push sticks in an easily accessible before turning on that tool.

Above all remember "Your BRAIN Is The Most Important Power Tool In Your Shop. Turn It On Before You Turn On Any Other Power Tool."
 

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Oh yeah, I don't let people in my shop, mainly because I don't like people in my shop. Don't like them in my house either
Oh well, I guess I'll have to cancel the road trip I had planned. Not very neighborly of you being next door neighbors!!!

:smile:

smitty
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh well, I guess I'll have to cancel the road trip I had planned. Not very neighborly of you being next door neighbors!!!

:smile:

smitty
I offended a friend when I told him he was not allowed to operate any of the power tools in my small garage shop - it is simply too small for more than one worker anyway. I don’t regret the decision...
 

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Theo
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Little bit of fear = healthy respect . My entire day at work is focused on safety of my crew. Looking at reams of data, we rarely see injuries during the "big, scary, dangerous" jobs, but mostly in the routine activity. Our most dangerous activity by far is walking, followed second by ascending/descending stairs. Root cause of those incidents during investigation is mostly inattention to the task, improper pace, or hazard not recognized. On the unusual or dangerous jobs there is a much higher level of focus because of the respect/fear of what could go wrong.accessory, but it won't necessarily make up for dangerous practices.
Exactly what I was meaning.
 
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Never go into your shop when you are tired or have too many things on your mind.
Actually, I do go into my shop like that, occasionaly. Don't work, just sit, relax, in peace and quiet, in a place I like. No obligation to do anything, no noisy machines, just birds outside, smell of sawdust inside. It's nice.
 
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Oh well, I guess I'll have to cancel the road trip I had planned. Not very neighborly of you being next door neighbors!!!

:smile:

smitty
Good thought. Never a great idea to come to my place without an invitation. Heck, I haven't even had any Jehovah's Witnesses show up here for years. Oh yeah, I don't talk to my neighbors either, unless we happen to meet in town. Have a nice day.

You ever seen the movie RED? Retired Extremely Dangerous.
No, that doesn't describe me. I'm RAC. Retired And Cranky.
 

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Great thread. As someone who is getting back into working with woodworking tools, my first step has been asking myself if what I'm doing is safe or crazy?
In my work life, patience and remaining calm is an asset that we get paid good money to possess. Many people don't have it. So, with each task I'm doing, slowing down is a constant thought. Beyond measure twice and cut once, taking my time on the saw, router and more. Not forcing anything.
As far as shops go, just like a chef in a kitchen, clean is always safer.
OP really gives us lots to keep in mind here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Great thread. As someone who is getting back into working with woodworking tools, my first step has been asking myself if what I'm doing is safe or crazy?
In my work life, patience and remaining calm is an asset that we get paid good money to possess. Many people don't have it. So, with each task I'm doing, slowing down is a constant thought. Beyond measure twice and cut once, taking my time on the saw, router and more. Not forcing anything.
As far as shops go, just like a chef in a kitchen, clean is always safer.
OP really gives us lots to keep in mind here.
Appreciate your approach to the subject. Being conscious of what could happen at any given time is the mindfulness we should aim for when we walk into our shop spaces.

I’ve had a few ‘experiences’ during my initiation that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. All due to a lack of knowledge and too much enthusiasm. Nothing permanent to live with but more than one wake up call to get it together before the worst comes along. You have the right idea - proceed with caution.

A list of safety device for the table saw and other more hazardous tools would be a great addition to the FAQs here. A Grrriper for the TS and and table/fence featherboards for all router operations is a good start. Homemade safety tools aren’t always as well designed so spend the money for what really works.
 

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Brian,

It's funny to hear some woodworkers say that a clean shop means you're not working in it !!! Some would call my shop spotless but I don't. As you stated, I call it safe, and organized. I don't have to think where a tool is, I already know where to look. I have however recently re-organized some areas of the shop since completing my router table and now I find myself going to the old cabinet location to remember that the stuff is now in the router table. LOL
Dan
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Brian,

It's funny to hear some woodworkers say that a clean shop means you're not working in it !!! Some would call my shop spotless but I don't. As you stated, I call it safe, and organized. I don't have to think where a tool is, I already know where to look. I have however recently re-organized some areas of the shop since completing my router table and now I find myself going to the old cabinet location to remember that the stuff is now in the router table. LOL
Dan
Dan,
I made a few nice boxes recently for router bits and fine hardware and am happy to reach for them now instead of the crude way of keeping up with them previously. Such is the price for progress - may be why many of us don't reorganize - the ease and speed of finding a tool is paramount to avoiding extreme displeasure with oneself! We usually run out of room first, not the desire to be better at putting things away. But, safety should dictate what is the better course, as was previous mentioned about being conscious of our methods and steps.

My shop is too cluttered to deserve any compliments - take any you get and wear it like a badge of honor!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Milescraft Extended Featherboards

Just received my Milescraft Extended Featherboards (~$30 from Home Depot) for fitment on the Bosch router table - ahhhh! I feel safer already with these to fully capture the workpiece as it moves through the fence and cutter head. Hope everyone is outfitting their tool stations with whatever safety apparatus is needed - you'll do your better work that way!
 

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