Basic wood shop health and safety - On a budget.
You know what I'm going to say here already don't you!
There is something wrong with that statement "On a budget"
How can you put a price on your own health and your own safety in your wood shop?
Look... There are 3 basic needs and you absolutely MUST use them (at least as often as you can)
1. A respirator - Here's what you need. Click the image.
I'm about to scare you a little. This scares me too but it's one of those times in life where being a little scared can save you from yourself.
If you allow yourself to breathe in a wood shop dust, over time your lungs will lose their efficiency. Essentially you'll find it harder to catch your breath. The more you breathe in small wood particles, the more lung capacity will be taken up with dust that your lungs cant reject.
You see, your lungs can bring up and remove the larger particles but the microscopic particles stay in there and it gets worse and worse over time.
A respirator is uncomfortable and it gets in the way when you're doing close up work, I get it...
If your wood shop has poor air quality you have the following options:
1. Install good quality air filtration - At some point, I'll post an article about making your own air filtration system on a budget... I think you'll enjoy that...
If you can afford to get one though, one of these will keep the air in your shop clean, often cleaner that the air outside.... They are amazing and for less than a couple hundred dollars, who could complain?
Click the pic for details.
2. Wear a respirator and make sure the filter is changed regularly or you'll be breathing in bacteria you won't believe. Want to be ill much more often? Don't replace your filter and see what happens...
I've tried all of them and by far the best are the large ear muff type that you wear over your head. They are way more comfortable and reduce noise levels better than the earbuds you push into your ears.
Earbuds are really uncomfortable as well.
One very big thing to avoid - Don't ever wear earbuds that have a piece of string between them so you can leave them wrapped around your neck.
That is the craziest idea in the world in a wood shop. You might as well wear a tie.
Think about it, Imagine leaning over a spinning table saw blade and the string gets caught in the blade.
There's a real chance that your entire head could be dragged into that blade in the blink of an eye and you wouldn't even see it coming or have time to react.
Don't ever wear loose fitted clothing in a wood shop. A close fitting t-shirt or warm top will do just fine.
For your legs, wear something hardy... Tougher than jeans...
I absolutely swear by Dickies carpenter pants because they are comfortable but far tougher than regular denim. They also come with leg pockets for your marking knife, pencil, rule etc...
Click the pic for details...
I have to be honest, I'm just as guilty as the next guy of forgetting to wear eye protection sometimes. What scares me is that the reminder to put them on often comes when my table saw spits a piece of wood at my face and it just misses my eye! True.
Get yourself a decent pair of protective eyeglasses
You can buy prescription protective glasses from most opticians these days, so no excuses.
I'm short-sighted so I don't have a prescription on mine because I see better close up anyway.
Just remember, if you wear glasses every day anyway. Don't, I repeat, don't think that they will protect your eyes from something one of your machines could throw at you. they won't. they are not designed to.
Protective eyewear, will cost just a few dollars. You don't have any reason not to have some. Just don't have them dangling from around your neck (as previously discussed).
I truly hope this is useful guys and girls. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.
See you next time.