Woodworking tools - safety tips

Practicing tool safety regularly is one of the first habits to develop in the home workshop. Use common sense, and the guidelines below, to add to the many hours of woodworking enjoyment ahead of you in the shop.

• Always unplug a power tool before servicing or adjustment. Let moving parts come to a standstill.

• Never wear loose-fitting clothes or dangling jewelry when using power or hand tools.

• Check the condition of a tool before you use it. Inspect power cords for cracks or frays, cutting edges for sharpness, and handles for stability.

• Don't tamper with or remove safety mechanisms from power tools - they're there for your protection.

• Use the proper tool for a job. Read and understand all instruction manuals that apply to a tool before you use it. Find out what it was meant to do as well as what it can't do.

• If there is even a remote possibility of eye injury in a particular situation, don't hesitate to wear safety goggles.

• Keep onlookers, especially children, a safe distance away while you're working with tools. Always instruct others in the proper use of a tool before letting them use it.

• Work in good light. Use bulbs of sufficient wattage and have extra clamp-on lights available as needed.

• Never work with tools when you're in a hurry, tired, or in a bad mood.

• Put tools away after use, preferably in a locked cabinet.