I love working with wood
.. and we all know that ANY time a person endeavors to take a material and mold it, shape it, cut it, slice it there is some level of risk depending on the activity involved. Sanding wood is relatively safe. Ripping a long board on a table saw can be done safely, but is probably one of the most feared activities because of the countless accidents that happen each year.
But, as I said, it can be done safely.
Here’s a bit of simple wisdom for you… “If it feels a little dangerous, it probably is. Find another safer way to accomplish the task.”
You know what this means. I surely do. It means that when you are about to do something, anything, that if your gut is telling you it’s a bit dangerous, it probably is more than a BIT dangerous and you should stop and consider other, safer ways to accomplish the task. Take the ripping example I gave earlier. If you are extra careful to not shove the wood to hard and are careful to not move it from side to side, you’ve got a pretty good chance all will go fine.
Another example is when someone is using the wrong tool for the job, but it’s all they’ve got to do it. There is a shred of judgement that you need to exercise at that moment. It’s like t hat Bugs Bunny cartoon where he’s an ammunition tester and he hits the ammo on the end, but it never explodes. Yosemite Sam comes along and does it one time and KABLAMM! it explodes. Wrong tool dude. The fact that Bugs never gets blown up, well, that’s cartoon-land for you!
The point is to not attempt the task without the right tools. Sure, tools cost money, but so do emergency room visits.
As I build my shop out I find myself feeling pressure to complete the work, so I am frequently tempted to “just wing it” in order to accelerate my efforts, but I resist. Instead, I’ve spent at least $70 so far just for tools – and those tools are just for me to build the benches and cabinets I need to get the shop done. The only woodworking that’s happened in there so far is bench building. I have yet to cut one piece of wood “just for fun” – but soon… soon I will.
Next posts will be about the progress in my shop, tools that I have acquired, what I want to build first, and some pictures of the shop and tools – and – eventually a project or two.
May your shop be filled with sawdust all year long,