Woodworking Shop Safety

10 Safety Tips to Post in Your Shop

  1. Think Before You Cut – The most powerful tool in your shop is your brain, use it. Thinking your cuts and movements through before acting can help save both fingers and scrap wood.
  2. Keep a Clean Shop – A cluttered shop is an accident waiting to happen. Keeping your shop clean will help protect you, and your tools, from tripping hazards.
  3. Avoid Distractions – Pay attention to your actions. Looking up to watch the shop TV or visitor can result in your hand contacting the blade. Always wait until you have completed your cut before you take your eyes off the blade.
  4. Don’t Rush – Keep in mind that this is just a hobby and take a break when you feel rushed or frustrated with a project. Mistakes happen when we rush to complete a job.
  5. Don’t Force It – If your saw is resisting the cut, stop and see what’s wrong. A misaligned rip fence or improperly seated throat plate can sometimes cause a board to get stuck in mid cut.
  6. Forcing the board in these situations may cause kickback or contact with the blade. Take a moment to evaluate the situation and determine the problem.
  7. Protect Yourself – Wearing the proper shop protection is an important part of safe tool operation. Goggles, Ear Protection, and Lung Protection should be used when operating tools. Use push sticks when working close to the blade and make sure the tool’s safety features are in place.
  8. Let the Tool Stop – Giving the power tool time to wind down after a cut is an often-overlooked safety mistake. Even without power, the spinning blade can still do a lot of damage.
  9. Fumes and Dust – Solvent fumes and airborne dust can present health and explosion hazards. Care should be taken to ensure a supply of fresh air and use only explosion proof vent fans.
  10. Wear Appropriate Clothing – Loose clothing or hair can get caught in power tools and cause severe injury.
  11. No Alcohol – Too many woodworkers have been injured because Alcohol clouded their judgment. Avoid their mistakes and wait until after you’re done in the shop.

10 easy steps to adjust the fence to be parallel to the miter slot.

  1. First get a piece of ¾”x 4”x17” or longer hardwood. It should fit in to your miter slot without slop. If it does not fix without slop get a different piece of wood or use a shim on the side away from the fence.
  2. Now loosen the screws that hold the fence.
  3. Unlock the fence if needed.
  4. Side the fence against the board in the miter slot.
  5. Take some clamps and clamp the fence to the board in the miter slot.
  6. Lock the fence.
  7. Tighten the screws that hold the fence.
  8. Remove the clamps
  9. Unlock the fence
  10. Remove the wood from the miter slot.

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Shop-Built 3-Jaw-Chuck

A cheap, effective turning tool.


Three-jaw lathe chucks are virtually indispensable for a turner, yet the cost of buying one can be prohibitive. Three-jaw chucks are useful when turning small pieces at low speed, and permit multi-axis turning. This shop-made chuck can be made from scraps of maple and a few machine screws. By changing the arrangement of the screw holes, this can also be made into a 4-jaw chuck.

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