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What Scares You In The Shop?

by papadan
posted 11-10-2009 03:06 AM

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78 replies

78 replies so far

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3394 posts in 4907 days

#1 posted 11-10-2009 03:17 AM

Over confidence scares me.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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118161 posts in 4588 days

#2 posted 11-10-2009 03:20 AM

People who don’t know what there doing (sometimes me)


View Gatsby1923's profile


39 posts in 4149 days

#3 posted 11-10-2009 03:21 AM

Being tired but still wanting to work. Take a rest. I know this for a fact… Second to that is the table saw.

-- I don't know where I'm going but I'm on my way!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4833 days

#4 posted 11-10-2009 03:25 AM

Dan, I have more respect for my jointer than any other tool in my shop. While I use it routinely, I still approach it with a great deal of caution.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 4968 days

#5 posted 11-10-2009 03:26 AM

What scares me most in my shop is being in a hurry. Some of the most dangerous situations I have been in (and thankfully didn’t get hurt from) were because I was in a hurry or thinking about something else. No matter how small, quick, easy or insignificant you feel the operation might be, it demands your full, undivided, not rushed, attention. Take the time to think about how you will execute whatever it is your doing…where will your hands be…what might go wrong….assume nothing and take everything seriously. Just the other day, I did something with my chop saw that I am too embarrassed to even say, and I am lucky I can still count to ten…and why? Because it was late in the day..I was tired…I wanted to be finnished..I thought it was a quick little cut and I could get away with what I was doing…..and before I knew it the piece was flying into the fence and then the blade and then exploding in my face with a loud smack. Needless to say after a quick digit count and a change of shorts I was more angry at myself than anything else…I am always careful, and plan out every cut I make…I always listen to that voice inside of me that says”you shouldn’t try this..its too dangerous” but for some reason I didn’t take the time..or listen to my safety voice….and that could have been the “time” I hurt myself. Its one thing if things go bad when you have taken every precaution and its another thing when they go bad because you were being stupid..or lazy. Sorry for the tirade…but you asked what scares me in my shop…and that scared me…and slowed me down quite a few notches!


View drfixit's profile


318 posts in 4155 days

#6 posted 11-10-2009 03:40 AM


-- I GIVE UP!!!! I've cut this @!&*!% board 3 times.... its still too short!

View woodsmithshop's profile


1418 posts in 4556 days

#7 posted 11-10-2009 03:43 AM

David, I’m with you, before I start a cut or whatever, I have this feeling that I may do something wrong, either safety wise or screw up and waste material, and I try to stop and think about it, do I want to do this? have I thought of everything? did I measure twice, correctly? just last night I cut a piece too short, it was late, and I measured wrong, so I just quit and waited for morning to start again, if I had continued it could have been worse.

-- Smitty!!!

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 4469 days

#8 posted 11-10-2009 03:44 AM

I used to watch a shop for the Navy when I was stationed in VA. most of the traffic we used to get was the occasional younger guy wanting to build a speaker box for his car. But one time a retired guy wanted to build a hope chest for his daughter and was working in the shop and had attended all of the safety briefs. I caught him at one point sliding a board forward and backward across the jointer almost like he was trying to scrub it down.

-- San Diego, CA

View PurpLev's profile


8648 posts in 4659 days

#9 posted 11-10-2009 03:44 AM

those sneaky machine ghosts

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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matt garcia

1927 posts in 4683 days

#10 posted 11-10-2009 03:45 AM

Making that initial first cut!! I’m always afraid of cutting it too short!! Also, staining. Once I’ve finished construction, final sanded, and it’s time for finish, I’m afraid I’m going to ruin all my hard work!!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 4292 days

#11 posted 11-10-2009 04:04 AM


View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 4297 days

#12 posted 11-10-2009 04:06 AM

Watching new woodworkers that don’t know enough to respect all the tools. We train new people often
and it usually makes me a nervous wreck. That,and confident people in a hurry.


View charlie48's profile


248 posts in 4180 days

#13 posted 11-10-2009 04:09 AM

Not having a plan

-- Charlie............Only time will tell if it was time well spent.

View Scott 's profile


103 posts in 4370 days

#14 posted 11-10-2009 04:17 AM

I’m with Scott Bryan on the jointer. After that the TS.

-- Scott, South Carolina

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3257 posts in 4607 days

#15 posted 11-10-2009 04:33 AM

being in a hurry or not thinking things trhough before I make a cut

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View john's profile


2389 posts in 5392 days

#16 posted 11-10-2009 04:52 AM

What scares me are people who go into their shops unsure of themselves or intimidated by their own machines .They are the ones who usually get hurt first . It,s fine to be cautious but it,s not a good idea to have negative thoughts about your own tools while you are using them .

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View Sean's profile


156 posts in 4626 days

#17 posted 11-10-2009 05:16 AM

thinking 2 steps ahead instead of focusing on what i have to do right now. The other day I completely destroyed my Miter fence, an OSborne EB3….had it in the slot on the TS, and i was just running a piece of ply thru the saw to trim off a bit, kick back blew it back at me…and the EB3 saved me some stitches im sure. It hit the fence and bent it back all out of shape. I hadnt even realized what i had done for a few seconds.

-- "Democracy is by far the worst system of government. Except all the others that have been tried." ~ Winston Churchill

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 4473 days

#18 posted 11-10-2009 05:23 AM

My kids in there when I am at work for 48 hrs

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their [email protected]

View rowdy's profile


375 posts in 4453 days

#19 posted 11-10-2009 05:46 AM

Dust, table saw, router.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

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1386 posts in 4553 days

#20 posted 11-10-2009 06:00 AM

My wife

-- Bruce Free Plans

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Rick Dennington

7138 posts in 4205 days

#21 posted 11-10-2009 06:05 AM

I guess what scares me(well-not really scares me) but seriously—-! Not having enough caffine and nicotine before heading to the shop. I usually sit out in the sunroom in the mornings and have 2-4 cups of joe and smokes before heading out. I’ve been drinking coffee and smoking for 40 years, and I’ll get one serious headache if I don’t get my “fix” in the mornings. And a woodshop is no place to get a bad headache, cause you can’t think straight and be clear-headed!! So I make sure I have plenty before heading out. I even have a coffe maker in the shop, put on a pot, and take several breaks(bad back,too), and have more joe. I drink about 2 pots aday. After coffee, maybe a Coke(caffine,too) in the afternoon. Always drink or eat a little snack to keep you alert while in the shop. Don’t over-do, and quit when tired. You’ll stay out of trouble longer that way. I find they’re ain’t anything that won’t keep until tomorrow. That’s it for me!!!

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4243 days

#22 posted 11-10-2009 06:13 AM

I am ultra safety paranoid in the shop, make double, triple, quadruple sure I know EXACTLY where my body parts are, and EXACTLY where the blade is, and make sure the two never meet…

What scares the tar out of me, and something that keeps me away from working as much as I would like is distraction.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 4379 days

#23 posted 11-10-2009 01:17 PM

A lot of good answers, keep them coming please.

View bunkie's profile


415 posts in 4158 days

#24 posted 11-10-2009 01:56 PM

Me when I don’t listen to that little voice that says (in Goliath’s voice) “Gee, Davey, I don’t think that’s a good idea”.

-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4601 days

#25 posted 11-10-2009 03:02 PM


-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View PeteMoss's profile


214 posts in 4481 days

#26 posted 11-10-2009 03:54 PM

Glue squeeze out, seriously, I have some kind of weird phobia about it.

-- "Never measure......cut as many times as necessary." - PeteMoss

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 4724 days

#27 posted 11-10-2009 04:48 PM

i’m not really scared of anything in the shop, all the tools in there have the potental to do real damage, and you have to respect all of them. the scarest thing for me is that i work in a one man shop, so 99.9% of the time i am here alone and if something where to happen(knock on wood here) i would have to get a neighbor for help, or make the call myself. i try not to think about it but it’s always on my mind.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View webwood's profile


626 posts in 4261 days

#28 posted 11-10-2009 05:06 PM

taking a piece i’ve been working on for some time and ruining it in a split second with one bad move

-- -erik & christy-

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 4169 days

#29 posted 11-10-2009 05:31 PM

The other day I used the router to trim some zero clearance blanks for the tablesaw, so I threw on an old, cheap bit. After the third insert, I looked in the saw dust pile I generated and there was a glowing ember making a little smoke. Of course, I doused it. But I was thinking what might have happened if I ran my DC on it…

Lots of ways yo get yourself into trouble in the shop.

As for tools, never minded the jointer much and my miter saw seems very safe (all the more reason to be alert). The router makes me think I’ll get a finger wedged between the bit and the fence, especially on small pieces. Sometime I feel like the band saw blade might break and slice me in half, but that comes from watching too many bad movies. Drill press? Nah. But the table saw is the one I fear most, and consequently, I have a constant thought about safety when around it. Ironically, I have more confidence in my Unisaw than the Craftsman Benchtop saw before it.

Something about good tools makes me more confident.

-- jay,

View RedShirt013's profile


219 posts in 4673 days

#30 posted 11-10-2009 05:44 PM

People coming into the shop looking for me. Who think they’re being polite by not disturbing you and silently stand behind and watch over your shoulders waiting for you to finish using your tablesaw.

-- Ed

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160 posts in 4762 days

#31 posted 11-10-2009 05:55 PM

Cutting a finger off, taking out an eye, Boa Constrictors and big foot.

-- Dave- New Brunswick

View hammeredon's profile


7 posts in 4148 days

#32 posted 11-10-2009 06:42 PM

I teach woodworking for a living and two kinds of people scare me. The student who thinks thiey know everything and the adult who thinks they know everything. I know what I am doing. Don’t tell me how, and I have done it that way so many times before I do not have to follow those dumb rules.

View Mark's profile


1817 posts in 4285 days

#33 posted 11-10-2009 06:59 PM

me not being in the…nah…im reall paranoid with my fathers old broken bandsaw because once the blade started falling off track i would just throw it back on n use it til it falls off again etc. but it freaks me out because when i was cutting small pieces i was almost crapping my pants because of how close my finger was to the blade with no idea when its going to fall off again. but i no longer deal with that saw thk god. now i kno how woodworkers always manage to cut sumthing off within a short period of time :P

-- M.K.

View RBWoodworker's profile


442 posts in 4363 days

#34 posted 11-10-2009 07:00 PM

The worst for me was kickback of a piece os 1/4” scribe I was cutting.. the pushstick was too worn out to securely hold the piece as I was cutting it off a larger board.. the little tab that was holding the piece as I fed it thru the saw broke off as I was completeing the cut and the saw threw the scribe with such a force that it flew across the room (35 feet).. and went thru a piece of 3/4” solid red oak lumber.. completely thru it!! the 10 foot stick shattered upon impact, but still.. had it hit me or my cousin.. it would have been a disaster.. now I make sure that the pushsticks are new and in good shape.. and I warn anyone in the shop to NOT stand by me or the saw..

Other than that.. I’m not too afraid of anything really..I’m cautious, careful, and aware that these machines are NOT my friends and command respect at all times

-- Randall Child

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Vincent Nocito

485 posts in 4375 days

#35 posted 11-10-2009 07:53 PM

Stacked dado blade. A lot of angry metal moving at high speed and you can’t use the blade guard.

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51458 posts in 4491 days

#36 posted 11-11-2009 06:18 AM

The table saw. It used to be my friend, until I caught a kickback in the chest that nearly knocked me off my feet. I guess I cant say I am afraid of it, but I certainly think about it everytime I turn it on.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2824 posts in 4601 days

#37 posted 11-11-2009 06:31 AM

For me it’s the thought of not being able to do the work anymore. Woodworking isn’t just how I make my living, it’s my life. It’s a passion that I’m deeply obsessed with. It scares me that one day I won’t be able to continue to do the work. Maybe I’ll be hurt, get to old, lose all my stuff, who knows. I came close to losing it all once and squeezed like hell to keep it all. I need to do woodworking as much as a smoker needs a smoke, or a drinker needs alcohol. It really sounds rediculous, but that’s really just how it is.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 4155 days

#38 posted 11-11-2009 06:20 PM

Jointer, hands down.

I have a vintage Delta open stand. The motor makes a very low pitched “thrum” that is made even more intimidating by the fact that it never alters pitch or intensity no matter how wide the stock I’m running over the cutters.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2659 posts in 4537 days

#39 posted 11-11-2009 06:35 PM

If it has a switch it is out to get me or a scary sharp blade… tired, rushing, being too comfortable in what I am doing…

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View pete79's profile


154 posts in 4151 days

#40 posted 11-11-2009 06:37 PM

The fact that my workshop is in my detatched garage. Two scary thoughts….

1. Risk of theft – if someone breaks in, the likelihood of me hearing it is less since the garage is 20 feet from the house.
2. When I’m in the workshop, my wife can’t hear if I’m not doing something, or if a tool is abnormally running nonstop. This means she’s not able to be as alert if something goes very wrong and I’m in need of help. We’re solving this problem now with me having a walkie talkie in the shop, and one in the house – that way we can communicate if there’s a need.

-- Life is a one lap race.

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 4724 days

#41 posted 11-11-2009 07:23 PM

i used to be scared of someone stealing my tools until i got a 75lb red alarm. burglers hate dogs.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View knotscott's profile


8410 posts in 4386 days

#42 posted 11-11-2009 07:31 PM

Breaking a bandsaw blade while in use usually causes some shatting of pants!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 4446 days

#43 posted 11-11-2009 07:54 PM

My wife making her quarterly pilgrimage to the shop.
All power tools scare me enough to be very careful and use whatever safety devices are available.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

732 posts in 4629 days

#44 posted 11-11-2009 08:10 PM

The router scares me. I don’t think I will ever have the guts to use a shaper! I try, as I’m sure all of us do, to respect each tool but the things I’ve done when I was tired are the scariest.
But seriously I would have to say my Mother-in-law would be the scariest thing I could ever have in my shop…...or anywhere else!

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View cstrang's profile


1832 posts in 4179 days

#45 posted 11-11-2009 08:12 PM

I am comfortable with myself in the shop, I know my limitations although I do tend to test them sometimes but I always do in the safest way possible. The real thing that scares me in any shop is other people, I know the guys that I work with are a good crew but as recently as a week ago I was walking to the other side of the school shop and bam, kickback from a table saw one of my friends was on, came about 6” from hitting me, and I was back from the saw about 10’, the piece of plywood flew about 25’ before hitting the edge bander and stopping.

-- A hammer dangling from a wall will bang and sound like work when the wind blows the right way.

View woodyjim's profile


17 posts in 4132 days

#46 posted 11-11-2009 08:13 PM

People with a lack of understanding of tools, safety, and operations scare me.

“People that think they know everything….........really tee off those of us that do!”


There is something missing in today’s world…..........WISDOM. You can get KNOWLEDGE from books and DVD’s, but wisdom does not come from a book. It come from somewhere else. Mabe the “School of Hard Knocks?”

View McLeanVA's profile


493 posts in 4445 days

#47 posted 11-11-2009 08:16 PM

Ripping anything narrower than 4” on my cheap Craftsman contractor’s table saw with even cheaper fence. Took a board to the palm 2 years ago and it forces me to think safety before turning the machine on every time.

-- Measure, cut, curse, repeat.

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 4903 days

#48 posted 11-11-2009 08:18 PM

Nothing in my shop scares me since I got rid of the radial arm saw. However, I have a healthy respect for anything sharp that spins.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 4482 days

#49 posted 11-11-2009 08:34 PM

I fear poor reception on the radio and no talk show! The deafening ringing in my ears and talking to my self would drive me CRAZY! You knew that huh…go ahead, say it…I know you want to.

View Brian024's profile


358 posts in 4411 days

#50 posted 11-11-2009 08:47 PM

Not having the proper machine to do something and then having to do a risky cut on the RAS which scare me enough already..

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