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View MrRon's profile

Formula for preventing accidents

by MrRon
posted 07-30-2016 09:43 PM

17 replies so far

View JADobson's profile


1448 posts in 2911 days

#1 posted 07-30-2016 11:42 PM

Actually, yes the gadgets can replace experience. Someone with no experience at all can ram their hands into a SawStop or a Reaxx and walk away just fine. Not saying experience isn’t important or necessary but let’s not underestimate the amazingness of the technology.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View jwmalone's profile


768 posts in 1502 days

#2 posted 07-31-2016 12:36 AM

I agree with MrRon. I understand what your getting at Dobson but no gadgets do not and can not replace experience. Dependence on those gadgets is why the modern workforce lacks the common sense and ingenuity of their predecessors. Not putting them down but I’ve seen it to many times. And besides to many regulations interferes with natures ability to weed out the dumb ones before they reproduce. (that last sentence is just a joke from an old timer I had the pleasure of learning from)

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

View Greg the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg the Cajun Wood Artist

515 posts in 1742 days

#3 posted 07-31-2016 03:41 AM

For me it is complete and total focus and concentration during each and every step

-- Wood for projects is like a good Fart..."better when you cut it yourself" Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

30559 posts in 3138 days

#4 posted 07-31-2016 03:51 AM

Technology is wonderful and helps without question. But experience and focus are huge. If I had employees, the technology would be mandatory. It’s one way to overcome stupid and unfocused.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View BurlyBob's profile


7689 posts in 3066 days

#5 posted 07-31-2016 03:56 AM

MrRon I’m in total agreement with you about fatigue and calling it a day. I had a very minor accident at the end of the day and learned a very valuable lesson. Nowadays I’m a stickler for proper use of tools and keeping my fingers well out of range. Once bitten, twice wary!

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3604 days

#6 posted 07-31-2016 01:07 PM

Very well said MrRon. I agree 100%. I’ve always said, I’m slow to get things done, but, I try to be as safety conscious as possible. I too have the ability to know when to stop. Hopefully, that will continue in the future. Let’s face it, just like you said, our equipment is dangerous to the point of very simple to very serious mistakes. I wish everyone a safe and happy woodworking future. Like I always say: “Work/Play safe, Keep makin dust”

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View OSU55's profile


2649 posts in 2790 days

#7 posted 07-31-2016 01:40 PM

I agree completely with being in a rush and/or being tired contribute to accidents, and while experience helps, something else is needed to keep the inexperienced from having an accident, especially a bad one, until they get experience. I can think of 2 things to help with that: 1) respect for the tool, 2) knowledge of the tool and methods.

Before I flip the switch on my TS , the thought of what it can do to me goes through my mind. I intentionally do it. It isn’t fear, it’s respect. If I’m going to make a cut I haven’t done before, I do some research and think it through – gain knowledge about it. Too many times the response is “I didn’t know…....”. It’s one of the benefits of the internet….........of course the internet also shows examples of stupidity, but if you look for multiple sources you can figure out the stupidity.

Understand the tool and what it can do TO you better than what it can do for you.

View htl's profile


5162 posts in 1959 days

#8 posted 07-31-2016 02:29 PM

” let’s not underestimate the amazingness of the technology.”

It’s so true but at a cost way higher than most new woodworkers can justify when they need it the most when their first learning. [thinking about woodworking as a hobby here]

If you think about it this tech could be used on band saws and other tools just as well.

I just wonder how many will feel so safe with their new safe tech tool to take chances they wouldn’t have if they didn’t feels so safe?

Being tired will get you in trouble but so will boredom.
Or playing around in the shop. [ this is more for the pro shop or kids in the shop]

Horse play in the shop can get dangerous too.
I had a small shop years ago where I would go and install the cabinets while my two young helpers stayed in the shop to get the parts made up.
We used a lot of masking tape and after it was used was waded up and thrown away.
I came in the shop and saw one of my helps cutting something on the table saw and was so distracted by the other worker throwing these masking tape balls at him that he couldn’t keep his eyes on his work.
He would be looking around to see where the other worker was while he was cutting the parts.

So I would say boredom and horse play is another danger to be aware of.

Just some random thoughts and as you can see in no logical order.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View ChefHDAN's profile


1695 posts in 3650 days

#9 posted 07-31-2016 02:56 PM

I don’t mean to hijack the thread, but I think that we’ve also got a great loss of wonderful teachers to teach the right ways of learning and place emphasis on working with your head at the same time as your hands.

Coming up in my industry it was expected for cooks to acquire their knives and gain skills in using them, which was then passed to the newer cooks through mentorship as they would join the team. Sadly there is now a kevlar glove that is mandatory in most all professional (industry) kitchens, and it’s rare to see a cook with their own tools. The glove has become mandatory because of newer cooks not valuing the development of a skill to increase their value to the team and sadly the horseplay mentioned above. The cost of repairing injuries is now greater than developing quality talent and the use of the PPE has dumbed down the ability of the talent pool..

I sadly miss the apprenticeship methods of training in all the trades, I won’t start in on the igjits that come to me fresh out of culinary schoool and tell me that they’re chefs because of few years of school…

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View jwmalone's profile


768 posts in 1502 days

#10 posted 07-31-2016 03:29 PM

ChefHDAN I could not have said it better myself.

-- "Boy you could get more work done it you quit flapping your pie hole" Grandpa

View AZWoody's profile


1477 posts in 2024 days

#11 posted 07-31-2016 04:00 PM

Experience is good but it’s never a guarantee for safety. I do safety meetings every year for my employees and even people with the most experience will get hurt or even killed on the job. I have to tell them stories of people we have known or seen in our lifetimes of farming get killed because of doing something they do every day and just do one thing different and it costs them.

I can tell of a foreman with 30 years experience who decided to start a tractor from the ground and have it run over him with an implement.

I don’t have a tablesaw with the new technologies. I ended up with a slider because I felt it added other dimensions of safety but one thing I tend to shake my head at is the cavalier attitude I see here and in real life where people say they’ve never had an accident and have experience so they don’t need any new safety “gadgets”.

I’ve seen people scoff at splitters/riving knives, blade guards, kickback pawls, various jigs and other devices that are meant for safety because they will say they’ve never had any kind of accident without them for so many years.

The OP is right that experience helps but we were all beginners at one time or another and when I started woodworking, I didn’t have 30 years of experience to keep me safe. I did have respect for the tools though, that I knew from growing up farming. It’s sad that we don’t have shop classes anymore in our schools to give kids the fundamentals and basic skills but we don’t, so safety devices and electronics are a good start. I think they may be expensive but they are not something to be looked down upon.

View MrRon's profile


5924 posts in 4044 days

#12 posted 07-31-2016 06:22 PM

ChefHDAN; I completely agree with you. I am also an amateur cook and have a serious respect for kitchen knives. If I’m asked to do some cooking at someone else’s home, I always bring my own cutting tools and a sharpener. I watch my wife struggling to cut through something ranging from meat, chicken or bread with a dull knife, but when I give her a sharp knife, she says it’s too sharp and that she will cut herself. I try to explain to her that dull knives cause more serious cuts than a sharp one, but she doesn’t listen. I keep my knives sharp by honing on a diamond sharpener before I start cutting. Not only does the knife cut through the toughest food easily, but safely. Raw chicken is one of those foods that demands a sharp knife. The skin slides around and can cause the knife to slip, if not sharp. Sorry to get off topic, but it is still a safety issue.

View MrRon's profile


5924 posts in 4044 days

#13 posted 07-31-2016 06:40 PM

Somewhere I read a survey about how many people use their saw guards. I believe the majority said they never use the guard. I’m one of those who doesn’t use one; in fact, the first time (35 years ago) I removed the guard from my brand new saw and never put it back on; I don’t know what happened to it; I think I may have tossed it. The consensus seems to be that people regard it as dangerous when you can’t see the blade and of course it can’t be used when doing a dado cut. I don’t advocate others disabling “safety” devices as it is up to them to decide for themselves. My comments are mainly directed toward experienced woodworkers and I realize inexperienced beginners need all the safety devices available, but as their experience grows, I hope safety will become instinctive. Safety with machines should be regarded with the same fervor as handling of firearms or knives or driving a car. So I say; know your machine. It should be regarded as a tool for good; not as an item to fear. I know there will always be those who disagree, but good common sense is a first place to start.

View NoSpace's profile


170 posts in 2041 days

#14 posted 07-31-2016 07:01 PM

All the injuries save one are minor cuts with either Japanese saw or carpet knife because I’m scrambling to finish something and I’ve been up hours and hours working on and can’t let it go. Being awake is probably the #1 factor. As a relative newbie, I do a lot with jigs that keep my hands away from the blade and control the cut. For my TS, I have a crosscut sled with several safety features built into it. I over-jig with tools I’m not used to. Just finished a router table and finger-joint jig, never used either before. The wood is clamped to the backboard and jig pushed from the side of the table. some of this is overkill until the operation is familiar enough.

View 000's profile


2859 posts in 1699 days

#15 posted 07-31-2016 08:32 PM

There is no formula that will prevent accidents.
So many things that can relate to being the cause it can’t be written in a paragraph.
You would have to write a whole book about it.
Many things can help prevent one though, being tired and stopping is certainly one thing.

Common sense can go a long way.

Learning the proper way to do things is one.

Awareness to what your doing (focus) is probably the biggest thing.

I’ve read a lot of stories about it being the last cut and people are thinking about what’s next or anything else but what their doing. This is when I believe most accidents are caused.

Proper equipment, jigs, saw blades, procedures …etc etc…. so so many things.

Experience is the biggest help, but that doesn’t prevent an accident from happening.

Safety Equipment.

Being taught proper methods is a head start but even knowing the right way to do something doesn’t help if your not paying attention.

No matter what you do, there is no guarantee. That’s why there called ACCIDENTS!

View BB1's profile


1652 posts in 1648 days

#16 posted 07-31-2016 10:07 PM

I definite see the benefit of the apprentice opportunity but as a hobby woodworker that has been Youtube and Woodsmith dvds. Having stumbled on to LJ, I really appreciate all those who patiently answer questions and give step-by-step pictures of projects. The forum questions/responses are really helpful as the various responses give new insights and often I use info from unrelated projects on my own. So thank you to all that contribute!

View ChefHDAN's profile


1695 posts in 3650 days

#17 posted 08-02-2016 01:01 PM

AZ – Shop class was one of my favorite’s, funny how much I hated math and ‘rithmatic, but have no issues with inch fractions..

Ron, without doubt any tool sharp is safer than a dull one, for breaking whole chickens, I’ve got a “10 serrated chef's knife that I call my chicken chainsaw. It’s not a high end knife but for the money it’s a huge timesaver when ripping through a 48ct case of WOGS

Jbay, great points, it’s about reducing the potential for accidents to occur, but also recognizing when there are near misses to take action against, common sense, knowing the right way to do it & MOST importantly listening to that little voice in your head

BB1, LJ’s is a great wealth of info and talent to learn and draw from, I would warn to that there are times when many of us are at the WTF point with some of the videos on You-tube where we see very dangerous practices, but with the loss of NYW and most shows being about other BS rather than woodworker directed programming it’s most likely the best we’ve got next to the apprentice system of old.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

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