Woodworking Essentials: A Better Way to Work – Practical Safety Devices

By Marc Adams
Pages: 43-44, 53-56

From the December 2007 issue #166
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I recently ran into an old woodworking friend of mine who had his hand all bandaged up, and the first thing he told me was: “I have new respect for my router table.”

He went on to say that he was doing something that he knew was dangerous, had done it before and was sure he could get away with it again. The workpiece was definitely too short and sure enough it caught and pulled his hand into the cutter. The first thing I asked him was, “Were you using a push stick and was the guard in place?”

His head sank while his eyes looked at the top of his shoes and he uttered an embarrassed “no.” He knew better and he was going to pay the price with a scar for the rest of his life. And even though his fingers were mauled and sore, he knew the accident could have been much, much worse. Throughout the years I have probably heard as many woodworking horror stories as anyone, and I have always found the explanations
of what happened to start off one of two ways. Either: “I was doing something stupid,” or “It was late and I had just one more cut.” But I have never, ever had someone tell me that their accident happened because of a properly working guard, or because of a properly functioning safety device or apparatus, or because of proper techniques. But sometimes accidents happen because the user simply chooses the wrong machine. For example, when trying to cut a 1″ x 1″ block of wood in half, the power miter box would be the wrong machine; a scrollsaw or a fine hand dovetail saw would be a much better and safer choice.

From the December 2007 issue #166
Buy this issue now