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Thread: wearing gloves when using machinery

  1. #1

    wearing gloves when using machinery

    I read on another thread criticism of the practice of wearing gloves while operating a table saw. I wear thin, tight-fitting nitrile gardening gloves most of the time when I am not doing hand tool work, especially if I am working with oak or hickory or something splintery. I can understand why it would be a problem to wear gloves that are thick or loose fitting, but is it bad practice to wear gloves at all?

  2. #2
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    Gloves are one more thing a machine can catch and pull into a moving blade, bit, etc. and if flesh is inside that glove....

  3. #3
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    My take is that high-friction gloves are good near tools like table saws and jointers. The gloves lessen the chance that your hands will slip on polished wood, and get into the blade.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Buxton View Post
    My take is that high-friction gloves are good near tools like table saws...
    Most certainly NOT! You want your fingers to be able to slide freely over the fence so you can wrap a few fingers around it while pushing material through. Also you really don't want your fingers to be any more bulky.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  5. #5
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    My main concern is that gloves mute my tactile sense, thus reducing my control of the workpiece and putting me at greater risk of accident. And a gloved hand caught on a sharp spinning cutter could cause the hand to be pulled into the cutter, greatly increasing the severity of the injury.

    While nitrile gloves wouldn't likely cause a hand to be pulled into a cutter, they do reduce tactile feel and might even increase the risk of a hand slipping on polished wood that Jamie mentions.
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  6. #6
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    I would not ever wear gloves near machinery, tight fitting or otherwise.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    I would not ever wear gloves near machinery, tight fitting or otherwise.
    I find there is an exception, at least for me.
    Handling rough lumber through the first few machines to break it down.
    Rather not get huge splinters feeding a SLR, gang rip, resaw, big 36" planer.

    After that, I am good.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie Buxton View Post
    My take is that high-friction gloves are good near tools like table saws and jointers. The gloves lessen the chance that your hands will slip on polished wood, and get into the blade.
    Same for me. I'm not using a lathe or drill press, and have power feeders for shapers. I appreciate the splinter protection in the initial machining steps, and the extra grip after S4S. I'm prone to carpal tunnel issues, and going without gloves would cripple me.
    JR

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Holcombe View Post
    I would not ever wear gloves near machinery, tight fitting or otherwise.
    2nd that. If I want a better feel / touch, I'll wet my fingertips. I have a splinter removal kit, but not a finger re-attachment kit.
    If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

  10. #10
    Guys, if that type of glove gets caught in a blade, he's going to get injured regardless!

    Use your machines properly, use push blocks there won't be an issue.

    The safety of added grip far outweighs the miniscule.

    They won't do much for splinters. The best way to avoid that is don't slide your hand along the board.

    I use glove quite frequently when planing rough lumber, how can I get hurt?

    But I never find a need when using a table saw.

  11. #11
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    I have a condition called hypoesthesia. I have little to no tactile feeling in my fingers; basically, it feels like my fingers have a thin film of oil on them. I started wearing MaxiFlex Endurance gloves a couple of years ago and feel they have greatly improved my safety, particularly when pushing wood through on the table saw.
    Prior to my condition I had a rule of never wearing gloves on the bandsaw. As a young machinist apprentice, I was wearing a pair of canvas/leather work gloves pushing a block of steel through the BS. I couldn’t see the scribed lines I had laid out and like an idiot I tried to brush away the chips. The blade caught my glove and cut almost a ¼”split into my finger tip. I didn’t want to risk getting fired so I washed up and soldiered on. But it really hurt!
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Carey View Post
    2nd that. If I want a better feel / touch, I'll wet my fingertips. I have a splinter removal kit, but not a finger re-attachment kit.
    My hands are callused enough that I don't get typical splinters, the ones I get are like wood daggers from handling a bunk of RS lumber.

  13. #13
    Interesting. I always wear tight fitting gloves (not nitrile - more like Ansell Hyflex) when machining, but I'm extremely careful to not have my hands anywhere near the cutters. Is that poor practice?

  14. #14
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    I use safety goggles and push sticks when running my table saw. I did cut by thumb on my table saw one time. I was by myself when it happened and had to drive my self to the emergency room with a towel around my hand. They saved my thumb.

    I also wear hearing protection.

  15. #15
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    Im also a glove guy from the lumber rack to the jointer and planer. I used to wear gloves almost 100% of the time i was in the shop, and ive gravitated away from that crutch. S2S stuff is fine to handle glove-less for me, but if im processing more than a few rough boards, i put the mechanic's gloves on for the jointer and planer. One, you cant tell me there is any increased risk from the planer with glove vs bare. On the jointer, I have a big homemade bridge guard that keeps my hands about 6" away from the cutterhead in either direction. I dont wear gloves around the lathe, table saw, bandsaw, router table, shaper, or drill press anymore. Not that i ever had questionable moments, just trying to stack best practices in my favor.

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