3 Essential safety gears for the hobby woodworker



Hobby woodworking with limited set of tools can make you believe you need to take lesser precautionary measures. However, it is  true when they say safety should be given prime importance irrespective of the size of any woodworking project. Working with fumes, dust and wood chips may be seemingly harmless, but they can have radical outcomes if necessary caution is not exercised. So, here’s a list of three safety gears that I feel are essential and important for a hobby woodworker:

Safety Eye gear / glass 

Using a power drill for drilling a hole in concrete walls or wooden planks can be potentially dangerous if the bit were to break off during the process. Protect your eyes unless you want a flying piece of bit piercing right through your eyes. Saw dust and wooden chips also need to be kept away from the eyes. I don’t work with flames, but then if you are the types that uses gas welds, you know what I am talking about. Wearing an eye gear may seem unnecessary and also obstructive to the task at hand, but goes a long way in ensuring your safety. Do save your eyes. You may want to give them to someone later.
Safety Glass / Eye gear

Safety gloves

Wood chips’ getting into my skin is a common issue that I used to face, especially while sanding plywood. Just one slip is all it takes for a chip to prick through your finger. The sore palm is another experience that I had to go through before I learnt wearing gloves is important. Not only does it prevent minor mishaps, it also provides for a firm grip while handling tools. The hammer falling on your feet is the last thing you would want. And unlike the eye gears, gloves are comfortable to use and really aid in handling tools better. Use of latex gloves (Available at Rs.3/- a pair at Nilgiris) while painting / staining / varnishing is also recommended.
Safety Gloves

Respirator

Stains exude invisible fumes, paints and primers smell bad, and saw dusts usually fly all over the place. When it comes to matters of the lungs, it is always and always critical to be safe. Just as smoking is, inhaling fumes and dust are health hazards too that you would want to stay clear of. Working in a highly ventilated area is probably the best tip you can get as far as using stains or varnishes. But like me, if you work in the confines of your home, BEWARE. Fumes have a wider reach and they can very quickly spread through the entire house. I sometimes have to insist that my wife wears a respirator too. Your safety and your family's, they go hand in hand. The least you can do - Cover your nose with a hanky at all times.
Respirator / Face Mask

There are other safety equipments and gears that one may need to use depending on how heavy duty their work is. But for a hobby woodworker that uses minimal power tools, I feel glasses, gloves and masks are mandatory. Here are few other safety tips that should follow:
  • Wear appropriate and tight clothing. You may not want a Power drill to accidentally get caught in your loose outfit. Just imagine a dupatta getting caught in a motorcycle wheel. It is kinda exaggerated, but am sure you get the point.
  • Wear shoes if you can. Hammers, wooden planks, Paint cans and other heavy tools – All of them have the potential to break your feet, crack a bone or at least to give you one painful moment.
Safety before all else. Always remember that and have fun with your creations !

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Have you ever had an "If-only-I-had" moment while working on a project ? It could be as simple as acrylic paint spilling on your dress or a hammer almost crushing your thumb... What is your take on safety while working on simple DIY projects. Share your thoughts. Leave a comment.

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34 comments:

  1. Hi,

    Boy, am I glad to come across this website.

    I am just a starting DIY enthusiast. I am mainly interested in painting and stenciling on wood (heat transfer etc). There is loads of stuff on the net, but almost without exception, the enthusiasts are all based abroad and have access to so much more.

    It is great to see that there are some Indian enthusiasts as well!! :)

    So far, I have restored a round wooden table to give it the popular `shabby, chic' appearance. It still needs the top coat of clear laquer. Once it is done, I shall send the photo.

    So far, much of my time has simply gone in combing the handful of hardware shops, jostling with plumbers, carpenters and electricians to buy a few items like sanding paper, primer etc.

    Thanks for your directions and tips. Look forward to see more of your stuff!

    Sucheta

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sucheta,

      Welcome to Woodooz. It is always great pleasure to discover new readers. That just means one more individual to learn from and share with. Thanks for your lovely comment.

      Restoration of a wooden table should be quite a challenge and am sure it would have been a tough ask on you. Would certainly love to know your ways. I have been wanting to restore a friend's 50 year old table, but the scare of the effort involved keeps me away.

      Going around hardware stores and talking to local professionals to get the stuff you need is so much fun right ? Especially here, sometimes I won't even know what a certain tool is called and have to really explain what I need to be better understood. It's fun nonetheless :)

      The feeling of seeing an Indian DIY enthusiast is mutual. When we started with Woodooz, the idea was not only to chronicle our experience, but also to meet liked minded folks with whom to exchange constructive ideas.

      Do keep coming back. And would certainly love to know more about your stenciling projects. What exactly do you do ? What tools do you use ?

      Do join us on Facebook just so you can visit us when there is a post :)

      Delete
  2. Are the safety tools available here in the hardware shops too ?
    pl name a shop .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Asha, these are accessories that I bought during my recent visit to the US. I havent really checked the hardware stores here for these.

      However you can buy these online. Check out these links for goggles and Respirators.

      Hope that helps.

      Delete
  3. Vis-a-vis safety equipment, are there any really good gloves available for working with power tools. The ones that are available here are not good and they are made out of raw leather, so they are not that flexible and more akin to welding gloves. Am trying to get a pair either from the US or Oz, but if they are available locally would be great.

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  5. Thank's for review and sharing useful tips. This is just awesome, Very well written ! Thanks for taking us there with your words !

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  6. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm a woodworker and I often use all of these safety gears when working.

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  8. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I found a lot of useful information here.

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  9. I often use safety glass and gloves when working. This is necessary because of safety themselves

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  13. Woodworking operations can be hazardous, particularly when machines are used improperly or without proper safeguards. These safety tips helped me enjoy woodworking without being afraid of injuring myself. Thank you!

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  14. Your ideas are very useful. Actually one of my friends is planning to work in this field, so I’ll definitely recommend your post to him. Many thanks to you.

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  17. I thought I can live without the respirator but I was wrong - especially when sawing lots of wood or spray painting! Learned it the hard way as they say!

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  21. There are many website which are currently selling the safety equipment. i have seen the shoes on the tolex at the that tolexo was selling the shoes at Rs just 250 max. Really price of the safety equipment was really low.

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  25. Hi there, a great site indeed. On the matter of tool safety, it never fails to make me squirm when you see those YouTube videos of users using a router in the wrong direction, wearing baggy and lose clothes and even working in their shops in flip flops! The big one that really gets me is seeing wood workers cutting MDF without face masks, the dust from MDF is extremely hazardous and harmful to ones lungs, and a good mask should always be used. Better still, if you must use MDF, cut it outside!!

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