How to Stay Safe While Working With Wood

How to Stay Safe While Working With Wood

Woodworking is an age-old craft that can produce some of our most cherished furniture, decor, and even useful tools or kitchen implements. In the process of creating all these amazing pieces, though, you can hurt yourself. If you stay with it long enough, you probably will.

Because woodworking can involve power tools, sharp blades, adhesives, and other dangerous things, we’ve compiled this quick guide on how to stay safe. Even if you’ve been doing it for years, avoiding an accident and the potential downtime that comes with it is always the best option. Here’s what we recommend.

Eye Protection

Safety goggles should be worn any time you’re working around power tools, and sometimes even with hand tools. Wood splinters easily, and if a fragment winds up in your eye, you could be in for a long and arduous journey to wellness.

Aside from the wood shavings themselves, many power tools can do serious damage if something goes wrong. It’s best to always use hard safety goggles and not worry about the consequences of such an accident.

Gloves

Just as splinters and tools can damage your eyes, they can also harm your hands. That’s why it’s important to get yourself a good set of gloves. Make sure they’re not too baggy so you have good dexterity, but they will protect you from getting a fistful of splinters.

Wear the Right Clothing

Running a saw or power drill in your long baggy flannel might be cozy, but if something gets caught, it could pull you into a blade or bit, or even catch on fire. You’ll want to select clothes that offer you a good range of motion but are fairly well-fitted to avoid this sort of thing. An old T-shirt and jeans are usually all that’s required. Wear long sleeves or lightweight safety apparel for the best protection, and make sure things fit as they should.

Clear Head, Safe Work

Don’t mix substances with woodworking. Sure, it’s Friday night and a beer while you rip these last few boards for the siding project sounds like just the thing. Unfortunately, the impairment that alcohol or other substances represents can put you and potentially others at risk. Wait until after your project is done. It might go faster that way anyway.

Clean Your Shop

Introducing debris to your workspace can cause you to trip or interfere with your work. Each time you set up to do a job, you should make sure you’re starting with a good clean workspace so nothing surprises you in the middle of a project. Catching an extension cord on something and having your saw stop in the middle of an important cut is nothing you want to deal with, so know your surroundings and keep them clean.

These might all sound like simple things, but make sure they’re all addressed before you start your next project. We often overlook things because we assume everything’s covered. It’s better to take comfort in knowing you’re working safer having followed these easy guidelines.

Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington

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