Questions tagged [safety]

Questions dealing with safety issues in woodworking. Equipment usage, techniques etc. where the potential harm to self or others exists.

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44
votes
6answers
20k views

How do I prevent dangerous kickback on a table saw?

When cutting a board on the table saw the workpiece can sometimes be flung away from the saw at great (and dangerous) speeds. What techniques or equipment can reduce the chances of kickback?
29
votes
8answers
28k views

What is the recommended height of the blade on a table saw while operating?

I have been watching a lot of videos lately about table saws. In those videos I usually see cuts are being made with the blade just barely clearing the piece. For example: Image from HammerZone ...
27
votes
3answers
7k views

When, if ever, is it safe to use gloves with power tools?

I don't use gloves when operating my power tools, but I know a few people who do--for instance, when operating a router with two hands (not in a router table). Is this safe, and if so, what other ...
22
votes
3answers
13k views

Is it safe to resaw on a table saw?

I have been under the impression that if you want to resaw lumber, the tool of choice is a bandsaw. I don't have a bandsaw, but I do have a contractor-style table saw. However, I have read elsewhere ...
21
votes
1answer
24k views

Is working with MDF going to kill me?

MDF is pretty cool stuff. Been around for a fair amount of time now. Stuff is used lots now and days. Dimensionally stable and cost effective for a great deal of projects. Problem is that MDF is made ...
19
votes
4answers
54k views

Why and when should I wear a dust mask?

I'm a handy man with limited woodworking projects these days. I mostly use a circular saw, jig saw, and orbital sander to make crude storage. Sometimes I cut MDF, etc. I've seen it mentioned ...
17
votes
5answers
46k views

How can I determine the load capacity of a simple bench?

I'm new to woodworking and I'm in the planning phase of making a bench like the one pictured below. I'm planning on storing very heavy boxes on this and would also like to use it as a stool to reach ...
17
votes
4answers
20k views

What kind of wood dust is toxic/dangerous and requires usage of dust mask?

I have a dust mask but I wonder if it is worth wearing when working on pine wood. I do wear it when working a piece of oak or beech. Would you consider cutting some wood species without a mask safe? ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Is this table saw lathe jig safe?

I recently saw a video on how to build a jig for turning stock on a table saw. It seemed unsafe to me, as the motorized jig was advancing stock sideways into the rotating saw blade. This seems like a ...
17
votes
4answers
36k views

Is PVC pipe safe to use for a dust collection system?

I'm in the early stages of designing a dust collection system for my home shop. My existing system, a dustpan and broom, is vastly inefficient for my setup, which includes a tablesaw, router table, ...
16
votes
10answers
16k views

How can I safely move complete 4 ft x 8 ft sheets of plywood alone?

I saw this photo of a lounger made out of plywood, and I am pretty certain it would be easy to execute with a jigsaw, sandpaper and patience, but one thing I've never tried is to bring an entire sheet ...
15
votes
4answers
17k views

What kind/style of respirator is appropriate for someone with a beard?

In this answer, it is noted that a woodworker with a beard should consider a positive airflow respirator due to the beard preventing a good seal. I have also seen (on metalworking forums) the ...
14
votes
4answers
18k views

What is the minimum length I can thickness plane?

The thickness planers I've seen have a cutter head between two rollers. The rollers grab the stock and feed it past the cutter head, counteracting the force applied by the blades. If the rollers do ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

What kind of fire extinguisher should I have in the shop?

Apologies if this is off topic. I realize it's only tangentially-related to woodworking. In my 12' x 16' workshop, I have a lot of lumber, projects in mid-construction, tools, a computer and ...
14
votes
5answers
33k views

How do I properly dispose of a solvent like mineral turpentine?

I have been using some mineral turpentine to clean paintbrushes and it's gotten quite dirty (it also got all gel-like, I think there was something else in the container it reacted with). Since these ...
13
votes
6answers
18k views

Can I make a dado blade set out of multiple regular blades?

Lets say, for argument sake, that I have 2 or 3 10" blades for my table saw. That would give me just under 3/8 inches, when all mounted together, which I could use to make dadoes. With what I have ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What common woods produce the safest/most harmful dust?

I inherited a bunch of my tools from an woodworker who had developed a severe lung condition due in part to sawdust. I've had lung problems my whole life so have been mindful of this via dust ...
13
votes
1answer
10k views

What is the difference between a riving knife and a splitter on a table saw?

What is the difference and why is one better than the other? Also resources on how to make or get an after market riving knife would be appreciated.
12
votes
7answers
31k views

How to sharpen a circular saw or mitre saw blade

I got a mitre saw second hand and I am not sure how long it was in service for. I don't want to just buy a 12 inch blade as they can be expensive. Ultimately, I will have to purchase one at some point....
12
votes
2answers
17k views

How can I properly dispose of rags used with Boiled Linseed Oil

I have read several times now that, if not disposed of in a proper manner, rags covered in Boiled Linseed Oil (BLO) can combust. In that regard I have some related questions: Under what condition, ...
12
votes
4answers
19k views

How can I cut plywood in a straight line on a smaller table saw freehand?

I have, what I'm sure is, a job site table saw and am having difficulty cutting a straight line in plywood. Since my saw table is smaller than to wood I cannot use a fence to guide me. Currently I ...
12
votes
2answers
17k views

Are there any alternatives to a SawStop?

SawStop sells table saws with a safety feature which causes the blade to descend and stop if it makes contact with someone's skin. Are there other options, similar to a SawStop system, available on ...
12
votes
2answers
848 views

Respirator: do not use for hardwoods?

I've got 3M Power Tool Respirator (product page). It has a sander tool icon on the cover yet it reads "Do not use for hardwoods". From the wikipedia it seems as hardwood refers to all kinds of trees ...
12
votes
2answers
6k views

Can one safely mount an 8“ blade in a 10” saw if the arbor sizes are compatible?

I am looking to pick up a new cabinet saw. I have currently two table saws, a 10" and an 8". I use the 8" with a Freud SBOX8 box-joint blade and pretty much use that saw exclusively for box joints. ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What do I need to know when looking at pallets for wood?

I keep seeing projects being build from pallets and pallet wood. Can I just take any pallet or are there safety concerns? What do I need to know about pallets in order to use them?
12
votes
2answers
207 views

Eye protection for someone who does not wear glasses?

I can see well without glasses or contact lenses. What form(s) of eye-protection are convenient, provide good protection, and do not cause fogged vision? I assume that I need protection against both ...
12
votes
1answer
7k views

What is the hook angle on a saw blade?

One of the specs listed on saw blades is the hook angle. What does this mean, and when would you choose one over the other?
12
votes
1answer
845 views

How can I bring an old, disused table saw back into active and safe use?

I am about to purchase a Powermatic "contractor style" table saw for a very good price from a friend. The saw has not been used in years. It will also have to be disassembled to fit into my car, then ...
11
votes
11answers
4k views

Is a climbing cut on a table-saw ever justified?

Having seen the expression "climbing-cut" used in several questions on routers and once in comments about table-saws, it finally registered on me that I didn't know what the heck a climbing cut is. ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

How to soundproof the Wood Shop?

I hold a small (15qm) Wood Shop at the basement, where I have the classic power tools like: a miter saw, a bench saw and a wood drill press and some other hand power tools. There is a real issue ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

What do I need to know for basic lathe safety?

I am a complete beginner to turning, I have a set of tools arriving in a week or so, and want to make sure I'm not going to make a mistake and injure myself. What are basic safety precautions when ...
10
votes
5answers
10k views

Can you use painted wood in a planer without damaging the tool?

I am about to inherit some all-wood bookcases that are about an inch and a half thick. They have at least one ugly coat of paint on them. Stripping it would not be worth the effort and I would think a ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

When do I need to use a router table instead of a handheld router?

I was looking at the directions that came with my 1/2" shank 3/4" tongue and groove router bit, and noticed that it recommended it be mounted on a router table for improved safety. Which got me ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

What types of table saw cuts cannot be made with a riving knife installed?

Similar to When is it not possible or not practical to use a blade guard?, what types of cuts require the riving knife (and blade guard) to be removed?
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Is Frank Howarth's homemade table saw splitter safe?

Frank Howarth made a splitter by creating a zero clearance insert, and then extending the kerf all the way through the back of the insert, towards the back of the table saw. He then glued thin strips ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

How can you safely operate a router table without a fence?

I am now the proud owner of a used router and table. I am just getting ready to use it for the first time and was reading some emails and saw the following ad. Image from WoodPeck So almost all ...
9
votes
4answers
230 views

Recycling “pre-loved” lumber — techniques?

(This may be multiple related questions; assistance in breaking it up would be welcome if so.) Many woodworkers have learned that a surprising amount of lumber, including some surprisingly good/...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Body positioning while using a jointer

I just got a old Beaver 4" jointer that looks very similar to this one. I used it for the first time this weekend and it was awesome. I am wondering though if I was doing something inherently wrong ...
9
votes
1answer
268 views

When is it not possible or not practical to use a blade guard?

Many people don't use the blade guards on their saws. Sometimes the reasoning is not very good, such as, "it blocks my view." But there are many very legitimate reasons to remove the blade guard. What ...
9
votes
1answer
876 views

Would a thick riving knife be useful with a dado stack?

As I understand it, a riving knife prevents kickback by keeping the workpiece from pinching or being pushed into the back of the blade. Pinching the blade is unlikely to happen with non-through cuts, ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

What safety precautions should I take when using a jointer?

The topic came up in Body positioning while using a jointer of jointer safety. While I've never had any issues, an accident on a jointer could be very dangerous. What safety precautions should I take ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Building a safer blade guard on a table saw sled

I saw this photo on another table saw question and it's basically identical to the sled that I built. When I use the sled my hands push on the back fence to move it forward. The blade will cut the ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Table saw safety devices

I'm new to using a table saw and recently bought an inexpensive Craftsman saw since I'm a DIYer and don't use a saw often. It came with 3 devices to install over the blade for safety - splitter, etc. ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Optimum amount of hearing protection?

Wood-working tools can be very loud. Noise levels of 104 - 110 dB have been measured in real-world use. (Theoretically, the noise levels are supposed to be measured one meter away from the source of ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Safety when working Tasmanian Blackwood

I've heard that Tasmanian Blackwood has toxic sawdust. Just how toxic is this sawdust, and what precautions need to be taken when working with it?
8
votes
1answer
657 views

Is a shorter rip fence safer?

I've seen people online claim that table saw fences should not extend very far past the rear-most part of the blade. They say that kickback is largely due to the fence being too long. This doesn't ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Using a table saw in an apartment room

I've began woodworking as a hobby a few months ago and so far I've been using just a circular saw, and all the cuts were done in the balcony due to the insane amounts of sawdust that it produces. I'...
8
votes
2answers
260 views

How do you prevent a turned workpiece from exploding while you're working on it on the lathe?

I've seen some scary videos and "after" photos where someone was turning something on a lathe and the workpiece just exploded. How do I avoid this? For example, in one exploding bowl video the turner ...
8
votes
2answers
357 views

How did I bend this router bit? What safety or operating step did I miss?

I turned on my compact router with a tongue cutting bit installed. Immediately after I hit the on switch I heard grinding noises and felt the router try to wobble out of my grip. I turned off the ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How to determine if a router bit is safe to use?

I recently started using my router table and read both here and on the net about router safety. That covered using the tool itself. Now reading the question about exceeding bit RPM I realize I never ...