We have seen much recent buzz about personal responsibility in the shop, including here on the blog. Heck, I even wrote three articles about resawing on the band saw safely, and also about new flesh-sensing technology to compete with SawStop. And we still learn frequently about someone, somewhere, doing something stupid and getting hurt while working in the shop.
As a reminder, please read the list of references and web sites I received from David Butler, who is developing the new flesh-sensing technology. It is archived here on the blog; it will open as a Microsoft Word document.
Today I want to emphasize the following: No matter the situation you face in the shop, always listen to that little voice that warns you when facing a new situation, or one with which you are not familiar and/or comfortable. Only YOU will know that you have never used a particular machine; using that machine without proper instruction, whether it is help from a friend or a video or book, may result in injury. As I read the woodworking forums, I also see that some people fear the spinning blade on a table saw, or the menacing blade on the band saw, or the fast-spinning bit on the router. These are real fears being expressed by real people; yet they work in their shops, making beautiful things for family, friends, and clients.
Did you know, for example, that:
- Using the band saw or the table saw to cross cut a round piece will likely result in the piece literally being pulled out of you hand?
- Pushing a work piece into the blade of a band saw results in sudden movement forward at the end of the cut?
- The splitter must be in place on the table saw as you prepare for a rip cut?
- A very small work piece must be held properly on the router table while using a pattern-cutting bit?
- A climb cut on the router table may not be safe?
- Using a hand-held router to cut a bevel on the corner of a table top may require special preparation?
- The work piece must be really secure on the workbench for certain tasks?
- Finishing a cut with the jig saw while preparing a piece of rough-cut lumber may require special care if people are around you?
These are only a few situations in which you need to prepare yourself for just about anything that might happen while you work in the shop. Rehearse an unfamiliar cut; think about what could go wrong.
None of this means you should give up working in the shop. It means only that you, and only YOU, must know your machines, your tools, and the process required to execute a procedure safely. → ONLY YOU ←
Recently I received a link to a video on YouTube that instantly gave me vertigo. Heights do that to me. I have acrophobia, or fear of heights. And yet I can climb a tall ladder and get on the roof of the house. I have also stepped on the edge of the Grand Canyon and felt helplessly dizzy from the height, and from the sheer beauty of the view before me. I have tackled walking trails in Yosemite with nothing but a precipice on my left, and sheer mountain on the right. But I walked the trails safely.
Others, however, wont even hesitate to tackle the following treacherous trail without preparation. Would you? Are you wearing proper shoes? Would you film the walk as you enjoy the experience? I would love to learn what YOU might do. Enjoy!
The following video has been seen well over 4 million times in the last three years. El Camino del Rey is a path used by workers of an old hydroelectric project near Málaga, Spain. Today it is not policed or maintained; it is said that several hikers have fallen to their death over the years.