A lot has been written about safety in the workshop. We all know there is no more important rule than to wear safety glasses. Breathing protection, hearing protection, blade guards, riving knives and many other things are mentioned repeatedly. But tonight I just happen to be in the mood to talk about MY number ONE safety rule: when to not go in to the shop.
As may be deduced from my username and avatar, my work often has me up at all hours of the day and night. So it should be no surprise that on the day when I (finally) get home, I am often not, shall we say, “well rested.” The problem is I often have a project that I have been thinking about or something that I’ve been working on that I want to get back to as soon as I get home. Today was one of those days.
The thing is, I am just smart enough to know that working with sharp and often rapidly spinning objects on less than half of a normal night’s sleep is just not a good idea. I know some are thinking that I could just do hand tool work on these days, but for me at least, not having a power cord doesn’t mean not dangerous. And once I am out there, the temptation to fire up the saw “just to make that one cut” could be too great, especially in a state of sleep-deprived poor judgement.
So, today was one of those days to catch up on some woodworking videos, clean up the picture frame clamp someone gave me (it was in the house, so no temptations) and just generally try to stay out of trouble. Sure, I could have taken a nap, but the problem with that is that I would not be able to sleep tonight (can you say “viscous circle?).
So, here I am, writing this nonsense because I’m too tired to know better, but hoping someone may learn that the most important safety device in the shop is a clear, well-rested brain.