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Thread: What are your UNIQUE TO YOU safety rules in the shop?

  1. #1
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    What are your UNIQUE TO YOU safety rules in the shop?

    We all know the basics- wear a dust mask, don't wear long clothing around moving parts, never reach behind the saw blade... but that's not what this post is about. This post is about your own personal safety rules for your shop based on what your own past experience. I figure we can all gain from sharing this.

    For example, here's mine:
    • I never bring any drinks into the shop on epoxy or varnish day, thanks to a past experience where I didn't, but almost did, take a swig of varnish instead of my water.
    • I always unlock the door when I'm in the shop alone, just in case something happens where I need to yell for help.
    • Always have some vinegar handy when using epoxy- it is the only thing I've found that takes it off skin. (That one probably isn't unique to me, except for the always having it part- it's part of my pre-epoxy checklist.)
    • Not exactly a safety tip, but I always make a little back scratcher out of scrap wood whenever I'm using epoxy, varnish, or other stuff that contaminates my gloves. I will ALWAYS get an itch right at the moment I'm wearing epoxy covered gloves. I also wear 3 or 4 layers of gloves so I can strip one off and have a fresh glove underneath.



    Your turn.

  2. #2
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    I don't know that I have any unique practices relative to shop safety, but I'm very interested in hearing about others' ideas. I will say that although it's not "unique", keeping things clean is a good safety practice as is "not rushing".
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    My #1 rule is if I'm running a machine and you want to come into the shop, wait until I finish the operation.

    #2 rule is when I make a mistake and I am frustrated it is best to leave the shop and start over tomorrow.

    #3 rule is related to #2, never work when I am tired.

    #4 rule is if you borrow a tool either put it back where it belongs or if you don't know where it belongs put it where you found it.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 12-16-2018 at 6:08 PM.
    Lee Schierer
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  4. #4
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    When something you're about to do doesn't "feel" right, stop and think about why.

  5. #5
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    Pick up after yourself damit. A dirty shop is not only a nuisance and slows productivity but is also a hazard. Other than that I’m probably to comfortable at this point round machines and should think about coming up with a better list.

  6. #6
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    I don't allow myself to chew bubble gum in my shop. There's bound to be a moment in which I'd blow the perfect bubble while the table saw is running and hurting myself.

  7. #7
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    I am a home garage shop woodworker and my safety rules:

    When starting out in the morning, do some simple tasks to get into the swing of working. In the afternoon, clean up, and put tools away. It has been my experience that I will often make a mistake when I first start working or late in the day when fatigued.

    My power tools face the overheard garage door and access door so no one can approach unnoticed. Same when working at the assembly table or workbench.

    When changing a blade, always unplug the TS, band saw, etc. Then I throw the power switch as I once unplugged the jointer, not the table saw. Sorta surprised me when I hit the TS power switch. Same with a portable router or the router table.

    Before running a tool, I stop and think what are you going to do, where will your hand(s) be, are the guard(s) in place, rip fence locked down. Started doing this after I once failed to properly lock down the TS rip fence. Listen to the little voice in your head when it sez: "this aint right!".

    Rip on the TS: feather boards and/or the Jessem “clear cut stock guides.“

    Feather boards on the router table fence with the appropriate zero clearance insert.

    Pick up any scraps that fall from the saw or work or assembly bench.

    I live in an area that is prone to have power failures, magnetic starters on machines and a safety guard switch on the router table. Once has a brief power failure while running the router table and as I went to remove the work, the power came back on and fired up the ol' 3.5 HP router

    Brightly colored/clearly visible extension cords and air lines.

    Air nailer -- remove the air hose when adding nails or clearing a jam.

    Stop work when a visitor appears.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Biddle View Post
    When something you're about to do doesn't "feel" right, stop and think about why.
    Word............
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
    Thanks for the vinegar epoxy tip.

  10. #10
    If it's gonna be a long day, I like to do the trickiest things early on and do the more mindless things like sanding etc, for the later hours.

  11. #11
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    Sep 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks, Alaska
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    Like Ray, my shop is prone to power outages. It is also quite commonly very dark outside (winter in alaska) so I have a couple of emergency lights installed. This way I can still see while the tool(s) are spinning down. It is also much easier to exit without running into a fence rail
    Cheers
    Sean

  12. #12
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    I have the three strikes and I'm out rule. Three mistakes and I'm done for day. Doesn't matter how small. If I'm making simple mistakes, I'm getting ready to make an even bigger one.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  13. #13
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    - When feeding wood through the bandsaw or table saw, I always imagine where my hands will go if the wood suddenly disappeared. That makes me think about stance, balance, hand position, push sticks, force used, etc. It's not unique to be careful at a saw, but that's my personal mantra.

    - I lock the door when I'm working since I am easily startled, even though my family knows to knock and wait for a response before entering when they hear machinery running. (My shop is 250 ft down the hill from the house so no one but the llamas could hear anyway if I called out.)

  14. #14
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    Plan the work and work the plan. We used to say that at work (construction management) but it applies to the shop too. For example if Iím ripping long stock, have proper indeed and outfeed support so I donít get halfway through the cut and realize ďoh snapĒ, how is this going to go?!

    Malcome, you must use a lot of epoxy to have all those rules!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    Plan the work and work the plan. We used to say that at work (construction management) but it applies to the shop too. For example if I’m ripping long stock, have proper indeed and outfeed support so I don’t get halfway through the cut and realize “oh snap”, how is this going to go?!

    Malcome, you must use a lot of epoxy to have all those rules!
    Boats and surfboards!!! I usually have a few gallons on hand at all times.

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