So, even experienced and long time(of which I am) woodworkers sometimes question if they are doing the right thing by taking “safety” equipment off of their tools, for a god reason. Almost anyone I know has taken the table saw guard off at some point, or maybe never even put it on, when they got a new saw. I’m certainly NO exception at all. Does it make me smart? Does it make me stupid? Well, that’s something that much like everything else, is something that only the individual working on the tool(s) can answer.
Well, I’m here to say that all it takes is common sense, as most of you no doubt know by now. Tools are dangerous, and we sometimes take them and the safety required for granted. I’ll call it cockiness, because for me, I’ve been doing it for so long without any major accidents (30+ years), that I let myself feel like NOTHING was going to go wrong.
That is until yesterday morning, when I got distracted (just for a moment) while using my table saw (which doesn’t have the blade guard installed). Let me tell you that the pain is excruciating to say the least. Without too many gory details, let’s just say that 50+ stitches inside and outside, and a thumb nail now gone, aren’t worth it sometimes. You have to be alert AT ALL TIMES, people!!!
Sure we’ll all nick our hands or get a piece of wood kicked back at us, or something in our eyes, but these things can be prevented with some common sense, which I was convinced that I actually had, even if I don’t always use it.
Well, the bottom line of course is that you can’t be too careful. So don’t think that you are invincible, EVER, while using a power tool. RESPECT the tool, and maybe just maybe, you’ll get the job done safely.
I hope this made SOME sense, because of the pain meds, my thoughts are more jumbled than usual.
-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric