View Full Version : #1 safety device
01-01-2001, 07:14 PM
Hey all, with all the tools and gadgets we all use, I was wondering what your idea of the best piece of safety gear is. I thought we'd take a poll and see what everyone thought. It's not:
If you use a router do this. All I was thinking is what pops into your head first. If you think push sticks, then thats what you write down. Also, maybe a reason why this is most important. Just something I thought we could do to help the newbee's learn from our mistakes or intelligence. So, reply here and we'll see what we come up with. Please, one "vote" per person. Let's see what we can do!!!!
01-01-2001, 08:46 PM
With out a doubt, it is your head. If you are always thinking about what can go wrong and knowing where the cutting edge is at all times you won't get hurt in the shop. Sometimes I think that the other safty equipment lulls us into thinking that we are safe. When there is always something that could go wrong.
Like the vast majority of woodworkers my table saw blade guard is gone, long gone. I am more aware of the blade knowing that there is not guard than if it were there.
Now on my shapper I alsway find some way to keep the cutter covered except where it meets the wood being cut. Again I build jigs thinking about how keep my body parts away from the cutter.
That is my my $.02
01-01-2001, 11:55 PM
Paint / Magic Marker
Paint the fence and table with boundary marks where THOU SHALT NOT PUT FINGERS AND NEVER EVER PUSH THE EDGE OF THE STOCK IN THE BOUNDARY AREAS!
01-02-2001, 12:34 AM
Lou you took the words right out of my mouth!
Your *HEAD* (followed closely by your eyes) is the most important safety tool you have.
When that little bell starts going off in the back of your head *LISTEN TO IT*. It's telling you that you forgot something!
Accidents come thru rush and carelessness. Don't work if you're A) Tired, B) in a Hurry, C) Upset, D) Been Drinking.
Take your time. PAY ATTENTION AND REMAIN FOCUSSED!
Have heard story of 20yr experienced ww'er that cut hand in half while giving demo. Was talking and looking at folx instead of at blade!
Was *stupid* mistake. (BTW, ever hear of a "smart" mistake?)
Know where the cutter is at ALL TIMES. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE CUTTER.
Don't lunge. If a piece starts to get away, LET IT!
Like juggling knives, if you bobble, let it drop. You have everything to lose and nothing to gain by grabbing at it!
Your right on target. Yup, your head, more precisely your brain. Cuz if your using your brain you've protected your eyes and ears and minding your fingers and won't have to breath so heavily through your dust mask.
If a single specific safety device has to be named I'd opt for the saftey glasses.
This is a tough question, your asking us what body parts are more important to us than others. I understand what your looking for but I wish I could lump safety glasses, dust mask/resporator, ear protection into one, being proper attire.
Good idea !
My T.S. insert is alredy red, but I'm going to use your idea on my shaper.
01-02-2001, 10:09 AM
LAST EDITED ON Jan-02-01 AT 10:11AM (CDT)[p]While we're on the topic of safety. Follow this link and let me know what you think of the relative safety of this:
(read the thread that appears and then scroll down and look at the picture...)
01-02-2001, 11:30 AM
I don't understand some people. They appear to have a brain but don't use it for their own good. Lot of work and thought to come up with something that is designed to send you to the hospital.
01-02-2001, 11:36 AM
I must agree that common sence is number 1 on the list.... but i think what woodmannie is lookig for is something a little more material...... the first thing that pops in my mind is eye protection....... unlike a push stick, glasses should be used with all tools and actually most operations in the shop from crosscutting to spray painting......if you lose a finger you still have 9 more, if you lose an eye.....well.... i think you know the rest.....
01-02-2001, 11:37 AM
Was I too harsh?
01-02-2001, 12:00 PM
I don't think so. I had the same reaction to that post.
01-02-2001, 12:07 PM
Could have been worse I suppose. He could have hooked it up to "The Clapper" :)
01-02-2001, 02:20 PM
MadMark, I saw the lashing you took about this subject on another forum :(. Let me say I think you had every right to be vocal and even belligerent about such an idiotic concept. As for some of your other *harsh* posts (such as the one about the dream shop), doesn't anyone recognize sarcasm nowadays?
I appreciate you and Woody on these forums, partly for giving well-seasoned advice, partly for pointing out stupid and senseless things, and partly for making me feel not so crotchety, in comparison ;-).
01-02-2001, 02:27 PM
I apologized over the "dream shop". I didn't mean it to sound as harsh as it did. I just felt that it was a shop for someone who was more of a tool collector than an actual woodworker.
It scares me when someone posts a "Hey try this" with a really dangerous concept behind it. Someone could get *killed* by a remote controlled saw and I'd be comitting a sin of omission if I didn't raise a red flag.
01-02-2001, 04:55 PM
In the interest of beating this dead horse a little more, People come on a forum like this and ask for help in getting started. When I post a bit of my expeience I do so with a lot of concern that I lead the person down a good path.
Maybe they won't have to make all the mistakes I have in the past to get the point I am now in woodworking. I get hot when I see someone putting things that I know are wrong and in this case potentially very very dangerous.
Mark and I don''t always agree on techniques for this or that, There are lots of ways to skin a cat. We all have things we do for reasons that go far back to when we started woodworking. I for one don't use routers as much as most of you do. Why, my first router was a sears that was almost impossible to use and all the bits were sears and they burned the wood not cut it. I learned lost of ways of doing things to not use a router. Now I have a coupel of good PC and good bits and I use them but, It is not the first tool I reach for.
But, when you have soneone giving advice to the beginner that could cause them body damage, that goes too far.
Mark your response was correct, and maybe a little soft.
We have a responsibility if we answer questions on a board, we don't know the level of skill or education or even the IQ of those that read the responces. In woodworking SAFTY has to be first and some of us take that for granted. I have all my body parts and over 30 years of using powertools of all types.
All of you reading this need to understand how important that is. And how important that we not spread a dangerous pratice past the mentally deficent that developed the idea in the first place.
Well I will get off my soap box and let someone else have a lash or to at the horse.
01-02-2001, 05:17 PM
Wow!! The moron with a remote saw, DUH!!!! Yes, I was thinking about material things, but you guys went one farther. I agree if you think, you'll know what to wear, what guards to use, and how to use the tool properly.
Thanks for all the replies. Just thought we could exprese our 2 cents worth so the new WW's could see that even experienced WW's still do things safely.
The only remote control in my workshop is for the dust collector.
This character may have seen/witnessed a comercial/automated setup and tried to incorporate it. None-the-less there is a lack of foresight compounding the dangerous situation he's created.
Lou, MadMark are you the webhosts/masters or of a self-proclaimed status on the forum. Keep your hackles down I'm not challenging you or trying to minimize obvious good intentions and efforts nor your expertise. Just wondering about your roots here. I admittedly jumped into this forum with both feet. If you feel the need to thrash me do so at email@example.com.
As for not always agreeing. This should invoke thought, conversation and hopefully raise our levels of competence. Knowing more than one approach, having versatility to accomplish something is a cratsman's trait; an important tool not found in his/her tool box.
I suppose we need to consider who's common sense we're banking on. I don't believe following the safety instructions in the manuals was mentioned and should be reitterated (sp). hence my confession posting.
01-03-2001, 01:11 PM
I don't proclaim to be the be all on this subject, and have never thought that about myself. I have been cutting wood for a long time. Have learned a lot from others and am still learning from you an others here on this forum. I am not sure what caused you issue with me or Mark.
My Point about he and I not agreeing on everything was just the same one you were making.
When we talk about which saw to by, how to cut a dado, or what finish to use then I don't feel that anything we say here is important enough to worry about.
When people start to recomend something that could do body damage, then I think that we have a responsibility to take strong positions.
I would do the same if I saw someone trying to use a tool incorrectly.
01-04-2001, 01:13 AM
I just had a thought about a TS safety device that I would like your collective thoughts on.
I'm thinking of a peice of PVC pipe maybe an inch to two in diameter and about a foot long. Paint the pipe bright orange or something and then hang it from the ceiling so that the pipe is 2 inches above the saw table and just in front of the blade. The objective is, besides being a PITA, there would be no question as to where the blade is.
My concern is based upon my RAS is going to go away and be replaced with a TS. With the RAS you always KNOW where the blade / dado / molding head is and where it's going. Things are a bit less certain with the TS and I'm scared do-do'less!
01-04-2001, 04:37 AM
I am not sure you should be scared do do less, but you should always respect that tool. I have used both TS and RAS and find that I am a little more scared of the RAS for its unique issue.
In the next post you will find that most of us don't use the TS blade guard. I think we all tried to use it when we first started to use a TS, but it is a real issue for most of us. I know a guy that cut off 3 of his fingers on a TS and damage the 4th. It was not because of anything other than he was dumb. When you get your saw also buy some safty devices to help you keep your hands away from the blade. I have a pair of Board Buddies mounted to the top of my fence. One in front of the blade and one behind. They do a great job of keeping the piece of wood down on the table and against the fence. They also help with kickback, but if you set up the saw right and feed the work right that is not an issue.
Respect or a spinning blade is what has keep all my body parts on my body and not on the floor. I like being able to see where that blade is and I keep my eyes open and always assume that things will go wrong.
Not sure I'd want something in my face obstructing my view.
Consider adapting Rich's idea and using a straight edge and a permanet marker draw a red line in a cross hair fashion in front of the table saw. Better yet color your table insert. But frankly speaking, after about 3 cuts you'll hopefully be watching your cut and most likely wont even notice the safety zone.
No, no, no! I've no 'issue' with either of you. Just wondering if you two conceived this site, have a vested interest, who's "in charge" if you will. Heres why, Id like to suggest an area to list the forums top 3 - 5 choices and reasons for the most common tool questions. Such as the 'best' T.S. This can be updated as new items are brought to light or as quaility has changed etc. etc. May be a good starting reference for newbies. Though I have to admit it seems a new tip, point or idea seems to surface each time its asked.
No, guys, no issue here, I enjoy the forum - else I'd be gone.
01-04-2001, 01:07 PM
OK sorry for the missunderstanding.
Lee Gilchrist is the Web Master for this forum and he can be contacted from the contact us link on the top of the Forum page.
I think your Idea is a good one, Lee has started something like that on the top page there is a link to something called woodworking 101. He mentioned it in a post some time ago and I checked it out.
The issue is to find it you have to read the text on the home page something that lots of us don't do. Since we seem to get a lot of the same question over and over again the posters don't read the existing threads to see if their question has been answered already. Getting a lot of them to read a text instructions on the home page may be too much. Am I a sinic (sp)
01-04-2001, 01:20 PM
Actually this think would be more of a danger. The human eye is automatically attracted to motion within it's field. Something dangling would draw the eye to IT and *AWAY* from the blade.
When I'm cutting, my eyes are *LOCKED* on the leading edge of the blade. My full concentration is being applied and anything that would make my view move is a *hazard* and not a help.
The issue isn't knowing where the blade is generally (ie, in the RED zone or under than danglie thingie) but absolutely in relation to my hands/thumb.
One thing I try and do is tuck my thumb under my hand instead of keeping it splayed out. Another is to drape my little finger over the fence where it can keep the rest of the hand from sliding over.
You can "lose" an ear (hearing), a thumb or finger and still engage in woodworking but, "lose" you eyes and...?
01-07-2001, 03:36 PM
Being new to the woodworking.com forums, I have to report my very favorable impression of the quantity and quality of the discussion here. I like the fact that a healthy amount of conflict (spirit) is evident in the discussions. This is a good thing--if it doesn't go too far.
I'd like to vote for the personal respirator as the #1 Safety Device. I'll explain my rationale--and perhaps some have additional insights.
At one time, all major aerospace companies had substantial woodshops. New equipment designs (e.g. cockpits, entire aircraft, trainers, etc.) would often be prototyped in wood during the early stages of the project. I have, for example, seen prototypes of the flight deck on the B-2 bomber, the entire Space Shuttle (full scale), and the entire Space Station (full scale)--all done in wood.
However, there was a VERY high incidence of cancer--particularly lung cancer--among the (mostly) men who worked in these shops. (I faintly remember seeing a written report on this, some years ago.) The disability claims and long-term costs to the corporations finally brought the problem to light. As I understand, many of these shops were downsized or eliminated. This may have been as a result of changing technologies--but may also have been a result of the costs related to these health issues.
Those new to woodworking need to be informed about the importance of the personal respirator as the first line of defense for your long-term health. Other shop-wide measures (e.g. dust collection systems, etc.) are certainly needed but the personal discipline to use the respirator is the responsibility of each individual. My understanding is that the fine airborne dust (less than 5 microns) is area of real concern.
Also, I might mention that personal respirators come in various qualities and prices. Buy the best; it's cheap insurance.
01-07-2001, 09:33 PM
without a doubt, eye protection!!!! You only have one pair of eyes!
01-07-2001, 11:58 PM
Hooking your pinky over the fence is a really good idea! That will help to keep the other 4 away from the blade.
I'm also thinking of using 'Sidewalk Chalk' to mark where the cut is intended to go. Not as a guide line but rather just as an indicator of where the blade is going to be. I figure that once I get used to the TS I'll be able to dispense with the chalk.
01-08-2001, 08:36 AM
Conventional layout line w/pencil is usually sufficient. Chalk will get down into pores of wood and may show up later.
However saw doesn't move, stock does. Again if you're assuming that the line is the only danger spot and you're watching THAT instead of the leading edge of the blade then you're not CONCENTRATING on the cut sufficiently and you may erroneously assume that since you're not on the line you're safe. What if line is drawn wrong?
FOCUS ON THE BLADE!
WATCH THE BLADE!
LOCK YOUR EYES TO THE BLADE!
NOTHING ELSE MATTERS EXCEPT THE BLADE!
Plan your cut first. Know how you're going to behave around the blade. If you can't visualize how you're going to make the cut, don't do it.
Obviously your head is number one. In my experience, proper support for clumsy pieces and avoiding distractions while using the machinery are very high on the list.
One of the very few times I have ever had my body behind the work on a table saw, I reached to support a clumsy piece and the saw threw a piece of wood so hard, it broke the skin on my stomach.
01-15-2001, 04:14 AM
Thanks for mentioning woodworking 101. It's still a little obscure on the site. I need to find room for it and a couple of more tabs on the top navigation bar.
If you or anyone else has any ideas on how to make the 101 section better let me know.
01-15-2001, 08:28 PM
My best safety device is a long memory. Mr. Debenadeto, my teacher for wood shop in the 7th grade (many, many moons ago) had a show and tell story that he told on the first day of class. Yep, he was missing his thumb on his right hand. A table saw took it off very cleanly thank you. No better way to make an impression on a 12 year old kid that still sticks with me today.
01-21-2001, 12:28 AM
You people with good eyes don't think about people like me that have one GOOD eye and the other not VERY good. That's my vote, otherwise, watch your fingers!
Say what? I couldn't hear you, I only have one good ear.
I keep a pair of saftey glasses at each power tool station.
01-31-2001, 01:37 PM
>Was *stupid* mistake. (BTW, ever hear of a "smart" mistake?)
Sorry, as a micro-bio major I just couldn't resist that one. It was discovered by mistake.
05-20-2001, 05:28 PM
05-22-2001, 02:24 PM
Attention at all times and patience in its use.
05-22-2001, 08:53 PM
1. Eye protection
1a. Ear protection
1b. dust collection and/or dustmask
1c. common sense and awareness
10-31-2001, 07:05 PM
My #1 safty equipment and #1 shop rule. A clear head, free of fatigue, anger, confusion, stress. I don't even open the door unless I have this with me. The only time I hurt myself in the shop is when I am tired or just not myself
10-31-2001, 11:48 PM
potato chips too.
11-01-2001, 12:33 AM
I can't see how anyone could ignore that spinning mass of carbide teeth in front of you. If it was a dog bearing his teeth we would sure pay attention. I decided that I don't use my fingers for anything on the TS. Push blocks galore. I have had that TS for over a year and it still scares me just enough.
11-01-2001, 12:28 PM
Cant get that link to work.
11-01-2001, 02:33 PM
To paraphrase Norm;
And of course the most important safety rule is a pair of these,safety glasses.