Getting Started in Woodworking
Woodworking for Beginners - Part 2
Tools & Safety

Getting started in woodworking calls for you to decide what tools you should use, including power tools or hand tools. You need to remember Woodworking Truth #8 - no one machine will do everything and Woodworking Truth #9 - Use both hand tools and power tools.

It is an undeniable truth that woodworking requires a broad variety of skills, methods and tools. That perfect wonder tool has not been invented that does everything flawlessly and easily. Woodworkers may try to use one machine, but they wind up working in awkward and slow ways. They end up wasting precious shop time.

When getting started in woodworking you must remember that you do not want to be a woodworker that uses the two extremes. The first extreme is woodworkers who only use machines. Others do the whole thing by hand. You cannot do everything by machine, but using just hand tools wastes time.
You can spend one afternoon taking 1" stock down to 3/4" or you can spend 20 minutes at the thickness planer to do the same thing. Which is more efficient?

In addition, you need to keep in mind that one approach is not necessarily cheaper than the other. You can spend loads of money on power tools, and you can also spend lots of cash on quality chisels, planes, scrapers, etc.

You should look at both power tools and hand tools on the Woodworking Best Place to Buy page for excellent price and selection of each kind. This getting started in woodworking tip will save you a tremendous amount of money!

Workshop Modifications

When you decide to modify your workshop, you should consult your county's building codes. It may be necessary to get required permits. In addition, you should check with your homeowner's association, if any, to be sure you are in compliance with their ordnances. You need to check any private covenants as well.

Getting Started in Woodworking - Safety

Woodworking accounts for nearly 720,000 injuries per year. The table saw produces 42-percent of those. Power tools can produce serious injury if misused or lack of focus on the job at hand. Many hand tools cause serious cuts. Various woodworking operations create breathing risk from dust and fumes. Several wood species cause allergic reactions in some people, just from the dust. Wood dust, solvent fumes, and oily rags offer a fire danger. Most power tools emit a sound that can damage your hearing. Flying dust or wood chips may injure your eyes.

With these various hazards, it is wise to take sensible precautions. You should ensure that all of your tools are in top condition. Please make sure that all safety devices are in the proper place and in good working order.

As you use any power tool, please read the owner's manual several times. Also, make sure you know its construction and the tool's correct operation, prior to operating it. On your initial use of the power tool, consider finding a how-to book on using the equipment.

Getting Started in Woodworking - Important Safeguards

In your workshop, make sure you have adequate lighting and ventilation. You must ensure that all electrical circuits are properly grounded and of the correct voltage for each piece of woodworking machinery. You should consider putting the lights on a separate circuit apart from any of your equipment. You don't want to be in the dark if one piece of machinery trips the circuit breaker.

A table saw splitter with anti-kickback pawls or riving knife is paramount. Kickback on the table saw causes all sorts of injuries. A table saw splitter nearly eliminates all kickback, so you are not a victim of kickback injuries.
To keep your fingers attached to your hands, please consider building your own Push Shoe for the table saw and a different kind for your Router Table.

Personal Safeguards

It is wise to think about personal safeguards. You can use goggles to protect your eyes, ear muffs for ear protection, and a dust mask or respirator for lung protection.
You should have a first aid kit handy for emergencies. You never know when an accident may occur. For more information and a picture of a good first aid kit, please see First Aid Kit.

And you need a good fire extinguisher that can snuff out various types of fires.
Please consider a good Dust Collection System to protect your health and lungs.

Safety Is Vital for Getting Started in Woodworking

Continue to Page #3 Woodworking for Beginners - Supplies!


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