My woodworing ideas and tips #9: My mind set and woodworking

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Blog entry by Betsy posted 07-14-2008 01:20 AM 1486 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Hand planes and their many uses Part 9 of My woodworing ideas and tips series Part 10: A thought on the basics »

Some say my mind is set—- in other words – I’m stubborn. So say they.

I prefer to think I have a mind set. In other words – I think a certain way about certain things.

Safety is one of those things that I have a mind set about and my mind is set on. I’ve been thinking about this today as I sit here, yet another day on the couch, unable to go to the shop and do what I would prefer to do. I’ve been thinking that maybe if I just do this little something or other I can still work in the shop and make dust. Then that little voice comes out and tells me no no no no NO – you’ll get hurt! And that voice is right.

I try to think safety when I go into my shop and one of the first things I have always told myself is not to work tired or when I’m not feeling well. And while I could probably do a little something with hand tools, I know that I’m not supposed to be doing any pushing or pulling or vibrating moves. That kind of limits even hand tools.

Accidents happen, by definition, an accident is an unintended occurrence or unintended outcome. No one goes into the shop with the intent of hurting ourselves.

The one thing that not everyone thinks about is to intend to go into the shop and come out the same way you went in. In other words, you have to think about those fingers in order to keep them attached to those hands. You don’t intend to get hurt, but you have to intend to not get hurt.

We’ve all been working and wondered where that red paint came from. You get nicked or scraped without even feeling it. It happens. The goal though is to be sure that any injury can be handled with a little antiseptic and a band aide. Your greatest worry should be how to get that red paint out of that nice piece of wood not how to pay the medical bills from a trip to the hospital.

So while I sit here feeling sorry for myself because I can’t work in the shop, I take heart in knowing a little safety now will mean that I will have two hands, ten fingers, two ears and two eyes still attached and working when I’m ready to get back at it.

Guys—- try to think about what it would be like for you to not be able to do something you love to do because today you did not keep safety in mind and something went terribly wrong. Let me tell you you won’t like it. Not every injury is the result of negligence, but a safety mind set leads to less accidents and less second guessing about what went wrong.

Let’s be safe out there (or in my case sitting here on my old, cat hair-covered, uncomfortable couch feeling sorry for myself and lecturing you!). :-)

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

7 comments so far

View Sac's profile


268 posts in 3633 days

#1 posted 07-14-2008 01:40 AM

Well said. When I a, tired and want to go into the garage I think twice and then end up taking a nap then heading in. In the past months I have been gathering tool and setting them up. Building another work bench to assemble projects on. Building some jigs and so on. I always try to think about safety before I even enter the garage. Today like others I did all my walk through about what tools I would be using today. One tool I don’t give much thought to is this old as the hills Electric Drill. I love it. I didn’t do all my thinking about safety today until. Hehe, Ok Well some of you don’t have to think about it. I was driving some screws into the bench cabinet I started yesterday. To apply a little more preassure I got close to it but not a dangerous close until. yep Until I realized I didn’t tie the beard up as I usually do. The drill grabbed it and the beard choked the drill to a stop as it started to pull. Scared the living crap outta me I tell ya. My beard is near 14 inches long now. So I reverse the drill get my beard back and proceed to be even more stupid and get it caught again. This time I thought it was going to pull the roots out. I say an ouch or two and thought how stupid can I be.

Well I am just glad it is as long as it is our it could have been bad. I had two choice’s as the beard pulkled my face close to the drill. Pull away or not. Luckly I have a thick beard. My hair is always in a pony tail when I am in the garage or anywhere else this time of year.

Sorry to have such a long winded response Betsy. When I saw your post on safety which I try to always make my Number One Priority, the beard incident came to mind.

Happy Happy Sunday folks!

-- Jerry

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3713 days

#2 posted 07-14-2008 01:40 AM

so true betsy, i went out in the shop last week, a little bit tired and came out bleeding and needing stiches.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3939 days

#3 posted 07-14-2008 01:46 AM

Lecture away Betsy. There have been times when I’ve been somewhat, well, let’s just say, stupid. Fortunately, I’ve been lucky and still have all my parts. I know what’s safe, but I often lack patience. I, for one, need a lecture every now and then. So, bring it on.

-- Working at Woodworking

View lew's profile


12061 posts in 3755 days

#4 posted 07-14-2008 05:03 AM



We all have done it and in an instant it turns around and bite us.

Reminds me of a funny story of some Christmas decorations, a ladder and an afternoon in the emergency room.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Taigert's profile


593 posts in 3840 days

#5 posted 07-15-2008 08:10 AM

It only takes a second of not thinking to ruin your whole day or even change your whole life.

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3895 days

#6 posted 07-16-2008 02:41 AM

Seconds is exactly right and it’s not just in woodworking but life in general.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Allison's profile


819 posts in 3798 days

#7 posted 07-21-2008 07:37 PM

I have 3 big pieces of white paper that I used neon magic markers coloring the words
“Safety First Allison
Because there is not ANYONE here gonna come running to HELP or hear your SCREAMS!!!”
and I have them on the walls by the drill press, Sanders, and saws. It is my Sarcastic way of telling my self its all on me. I also have about 6 pairs of goggles, pony tail holders and hair clips right in the door.
I could not agree more with you and what Russell said it NEVER hurts to have us ALL be told this once in awhile.

-- Allison, Northeastern Ca. Remember, Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic!

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