Whether you are making custom sculptures, charcuterie boards, or hand-made furniture, creating a piece from scratch is an immensely rewarding activity. While woodworking is a gratifying hobby, it can be dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions to ensure that you stay safe and out of harm’s way. Below are some safety tips for beginner woodworkers.
Wear Safety Gear
Because woodworking involves the use of power tools and saws, it is crucial to wear safety gear while you’re working on a project to avoid injury. Wearing safety goggles will protect your eyes from sawdust and flying splinters. Always wear latex gloves when applying finishes or stains to your projects to protect your skin from chemical burns. Lastly, wear earplugs to avoid ear damage from noisy saws and power tools.
One of the simplest ways to stay safe while woodworking is to dress appropriately. Although this may seem like common sense, if you are working from a place that is particularly comfortable for you, like your home garage, it can be easy to forget what is appropriate. Long-sleeved t-shirts, denim, and closed-toed shoes work best as woodworking attire. The thick fabrics and extra coverage will protect your skin from being hit with debris or chunks of wood.
Do Not Reach Over Running Blades
Even more crucial than the clothing and gear that you wear is knowing what precautions to take when using tools and powering them on and off. When working with power saws, it is essential that you never reach over a running blade, ever. If you absolutely must reach over your blade, unplug it, and wait until it comes to a complete stop before proceeding. Being patient in this situation is quite literally a lifesaver.
Power Down Your Tools
Most woodworking tools have removable parts that need to be cleaned, replaced, or otherwise maintained. So, it’s important to always power down your tools before modifying them in any way. Even if the tool itself is only plugged into a power source and not actively running, it still needs to be powered down completely and switched off before you perform any maintenance. It’s also wise to double-check that no residual electricity runs through the tool, as switches can easily malfunction, and the remaining electricity might cause the tool to turn on unexpectedly.
Woodworking is one of the most rewarding hobbies out there. That said, it can be potentially hazardous, so it requires that you follow certain guidelines to keep yourself safe. With these safety tips for beginner woodworkers, you can enjoy your new hobby with a little more peace of mind.