So it occurred to me it saftey week, or was, or it will be… Shows how up on safety i am…
But you dont need to be up on safety to know woodworking is dangerous. I mean only thing more dangerous is relationships with women that have 3 kids from 5 different fathers. Now, im not onboard with the SawStop, mostly because one day i sensed my finger was getting too close to the blade and before the saw sucked me in to chop my fingers off i quickly grabbed the blade between both hands and stopped it dead. Being a strong, agile, stealthy, and ruggedly handsome hockey player, these skills come naturally!
Now here’s where this seems backwards: I dont use blade guards. I dont like them at all. I learned on my dads table saw, that things so old it doesnt even have a measured scale on the fence. So no safety anything really. Getting a saw with a blade guard was weird, really weird. I tried it at first and i didnt like it because i couldnt really see the blade, but i got overly comfortable thinking i was safe not matter what. But being a musician, needs my fingers to fing and eventually the lack of seeing the blade and thinking i was supersawman did result in a knick in a finger and i said to hell with it. Personal preference!
I in no way recommend safety guard removal AT ALL! I know the risks and make sure im super careful. So please dont lecture me or get all uppity because you had an injury, and then show it to me, my minds made up on the issue. And for the love of god no SawStop salesmaning, i dont like their saws even without the safety thing. I do admittedly own and use a shark guard, but mainly for dust collection on longer cuts, 75% of the time its off.
So here’s my safety tip: DON’T GET COCKY! Ever! ESPECIALLY AROUND NEW TOOLS! Or if YOURE new! The few times ive been hurt at work is because i was being careless and thinking i was in more control than the tool was. And ive had some good ones, i once skinned my knuckles on my belt sander thinking i could hold a small piece up against it with my thumb and booger-picking finger! Not fun! I even lost control of my hammer drill with a hole saw once thinking i was strong enough to not use the side handle, thought i broke my wrist.
And this is the other tip i have to offer, we all as men know that owners manuals and directions are great to start fires with, but honestly READ THEM. If i read my huge router safety book, i would have known not to plunge 1” into the wood and try to cut a groove and the router wouldnt have… well just imagine it.
But guys seriously, dont be idiots about safety. If you’re cool without the guards, good for you! But some of that stuff is huge, like the riving knife. I’ll never use a table saw without one! Makes me dislike dad’s old death saw.
And to close, i have my beer to tool ratio safety chart… Remember this one!
One beer… Dont use the table saw
Two to three… Stay away from the miter saw
Three to four… Might think twice about the band saw… Or dont think of it at all.
Four to five… Ya know what, i’d be careful with drills at this point
Five to six… Time to set those chisels down for the day
Six to seven… Don’t even touch sand paper!
(of course alcohol and tools = HUGE no no!)
Enough of me for one night!
-- John, NNY, www.facebook.com/JC4Woodworking