Safety Tips to Consider While Woodworking

Woodworking is enjoyable and very safe hobby, so long as you adhere to a simple set of safety rules. Most of these rules are simply common sense, but it’s worth reminding yourself every now and then of the steps you need to take to stay safe.

Here are a few examples of some of those safety tips to keep in mind while working with lumber in Houston:

  • Always wear the proper safety equipment: You should get in the habit of always using safety glasses—this should be the first thing you do every time you enter your shop. If you’re going to be using loud power tools, you should also have ear protection on hand—exposure to these loud noises over time can result in hearing loss if you do not properly protect yourself. Finally, make sure to wear latex gloves while you’re applying finishes.
  • Wear the proper clothes: You should not wear any clothes that are loose or baggy, as this increases the chance that they’ll get caught in saw blades or cutting heads. The clothes you wear should be clothes you don’t care about getting dirty or stained, but also clothes that will offer you some protection. Remove any jewelry or chains before you begin with any work.
  • Disconnect power: When you’re changing saw blades or bits, always make sure that you disconnect the power source first. It’s not enough to just turn off the machine, as there’s a chance you could accidentally switch it back on, or that the switch could malfunction.
  • Limit your use of extension cords: It’s always better to not use extension cords at all if that’s a possibility, but the configuration of your shop might not make that feasible. Therefore, try to only use a single extension cord for all your power tools, which allows you to then switch off the power for every tool at once. The use of too many cords can quickly create a tripping hazard.
  • Work against the cutter: The majority of power tools are designed in a way that requires you to use a particular direction when moving the tool through the wood. Generally, this direction is going to be the opposite direction of the cutting head’s movement. This is especially important with router bits, but also with certain types of saw blades. Always make sure you’re cutting against the motion of the wood rather than with it to avoid an accident.
  • Do not reach over operating blades: You should always wait until a blade has stopped moving before you reach to remove waste or cut-offs. To be even safer, use a piece of scrap or a push stick to get items out of the way to avoid an inadvertent malfunction or accident.
  • Cut down distraction: Try to limit the number of possible distractions in your shop so you can focus on what you’re doing. While it’s perfectly fine to have music playing, you might want to avoid putting a television in your shop, or having other things that could take away your attention.

For more safety tips, contact Houston Hardwoods Inc. or pay us a visit to check out our selection of lumber in Houston!