DIY woodworking projects are certainly very rewarding, can save you big bucks and there’s nothing to beat the sense of accomplishment you get when you have the finished product in front of you.
Planning and Care for Woodworking Safety
While there’s no doubt that woodworking gives you immense joy, satisfaction, pride and confidence, it’s also something that you need to approach with a lot of planning and care. Whether you see woodworking as an occasional hobby or a life-long passion, you need to ask yourself what exactly you hope to achieve from this particular project – and is it worth your time and effort? You have to analyze whether you truly have the necessary skills, knowledge and equipment. Some projects can be wasteful in terms of time and money, while others could be downright dangerous and risky not just to yourself but to others in the vicinity.
So before you step into your woodworking den and plug in your power-tools, remember that safety is the Number One priority.
Safety Tips For Woodworking DIY Enthusiasts
- Know Your Tools: Before you start working, ensure that you are completely familiar with each and every aspect of the tools you need to use for this particular project. Assemble all of them and organize them in the order in which they may be required. Ensure that they’re in good order without any malfunctioning or defective parts. If they require minor repairs or maintenance, do that before you start your project. Familiarize yourself with all the settings for power-tools, make sure all the cables and cords are in good condition, plug-ends are tight, batteries are fully-charged, hand-tools are in good order without any loose handles etc. Check your tools for sharpness and accuracy. Otherwise you could have splintered wood, flying drill-bits, blunt blades etc.
- Dress Right: Don’t spend all your money on buying tools and equipment, setting up your workshop and purchasing raw materials. A large chunk of your investment should be in the right kind of safety attire. This means several pairs of goggles to protect your eyes, ear protection accessories, dust masks, gloves for various purposes and the right clothing. Never mind if your DIY hero wears skin-tight jeans and shows off his six-pack abs in a thin T-shirt. You need to tuck in your shirt, roll up your long sleeves and ensure that you keep your hair out of your eyes. Wear skid-proof shoes and ensure that you’re not wearing anything long or flowing that could get caught in cables or wires. The best plan would be to get a set of clothes that must be used just for your woodworking sessions.
- Stay Tidy: Contrary to what’s popularly portrayed in the media, your home woodworking space doesn’t need to be chock-full of stuff. If you’re an expert, you’d obviously have a lot of equipment and tools, but these need to be stowed away when not in use. Keeping your work area clear and uncluttered is a huge safety essential. Don’t leave tools lying around – take the time to keep them back in their places and coil up trailing wires immediately. Move any finished pieces or parts of a project away from the main work area so that they don’t get damaged. Cleaning as you go along is what experts do – so keep your brushes, brooms and mops handy.
- Never Work When You’re Tired, Ill or Intoxicated: It’s extremely hazardous to work when you’re not completely fit or in the right mental and physical form. Sometimes, we turn to our hobbies after a long day at the office – no doubt woodworking is a great stress-buster. But at such times, pick a task that’s easy, less hazardous and swifter to complete. Woodworking when you’re ill or intoxicated is an absolute no-no. It’s extremely hazardous to operate any kind of equipment when you’re intoxicated or not in good physical condition.
- Design Your Work-Area: Whether it’s a tiny part of your garage or garden shed or a full fledged work-space, make sure it’s well-planned and has the right amount of storage and space. Good lighting is crucial, with special lights for fine or close work. Avoid reflections or glare. Make sure you don’t use too many heavy-duty cables for different equipments – one common extension cord is sufficient.
These are not the only safety-tips available – as you go along, you’re sure to learn and practice more. Be smart about safety and make it a priority so that you can enjoy your craft in peace and security.
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