who wears gloves in the woodshop

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Forum topic by Mainiac Matt posted 07-03-2012 12:56 PM 5120 views 0 times favorited 55 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mainiac Matt

9315 posts in 2841 days

07-03-2012 12:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: gloves workshop safety

I always wear the knit gloves dipped in rubber when I’m swinging a chain saw and splitting wood, or doing landscaping outside.

But The conventional wisdom I’ve always heard is not to wear loose fitting clothes, long sleeves or gloves when using machinery…. and that’s what we preach at work… so I don’t wear gloves in my shop.

However, this past week I manage to do two stupid things in the shop, that has me rethinking this. First, I stuck a very sharp chisel into the pad of my left index finger while cleaning up a glue joint, and then I slid my hand down an 8/4 maple board while handling it, and jammed a large splinter deep into my palm.

During last summers project (a tree house for my kids) I indulged myself with a $10 pair of those tight fitting mechanics gloves, with cut to fit leather palms and fingers, and stretchy nylon backs. I really like that pair of gloves (though I wore holes in the finger tips in just a few weeks).

So I’d like to poll the crowd and see who is wearing gloves in the work shop???

If you wear gloves, what kind???

And if not, what’s your reasoning???

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

55 replies so far

View woodworm's profile


14475 posts in 4103 days

#1 posted 07-03-2012 01:05 PM

I touch my lumber, my machines with love not gloves!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3750 days

#2 posted 07-03-2012 01:09 PM

I’ve worked in too many factories to ever wear a glove, long sleeves, watch, or ring around machinery. I’ve seen almost every type of accident that could have been prevented if the operator had not been wearing something that could pull a hand into moving equipment. Or in one case a long haired lady who did not have on a hairnet while running a punch press. She didn’t get pulled into the press, but it took a long time for the patch of hair and skin that got pulled off to grow back. A welder who worked for me was welding a big steel plate to reinforce a 150 ton press let his stainless steel ring touch both the grounded plate and machine at the same time… In an instant his ring was stuck tight to both pieces. We didn’t have to go to the effort of cutting a stainless steel ring off his finger because it burned right off and cauterized the wound. Yep, I fired him for wearing a ring while welding. He’d been given a list of safety rules to follow one of which specifically prohibited steel rings… He’d also been sent home once for wearing a ring while welding. Nope, I’d rather have a few cuts and scratches I wouldn’t get wearing gloves, but they will heal,and something that gets cut off might not get reattached or grow back.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View waho6o9's profile


8771 posts in 3090 days

#3 posted 07-03-2012 01:10 PM

I never wear gloves in the wood shop.

Reason is for safety, and I don’t find them comfortable when milling lumber because
I concentrate on that spinning blade and router bit etc.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19341 posts in 3080 days

#4 posted 07-03-2012 01:17 PM

I typically don’t were gloves using machinery like the table saw, but I have two types I do use. I have a pair of leather gloves I wear when using the wire wheel or polishing. They have saved my hide (literally) many times. I also wear rubber coated when apply finishes and sometimes when sharpening. I find these task are hard to clean up after and there is no risk of injury because of the gloves.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View johnstoneb's profile


3131 posts in 2686 days

#5 posted 07-03-2012 01:23 PM

I depends what I am doing. Around the drill press and most other power tools I don’t wear gloves. If I am ripping long board on the table saw, I may wear one glove on my left hand as it slides on the edge of the board. With hand tools I may wear them to protect myself from using chisels etc. wrong.
I don’t wear rings! I worked as a mechanic for a John Deere dealer years ago. One of the mechanics was working on a 24V system when he got his wedding ring between a battery and ground. The 24V’s burnt the hell out of his finger ruined the ring. When he got home he caught hell for ruining the ring and no sympathy for the burnt finger. He didn’t wear a ring at work anymore.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3482 days

#6 posted 07-03-2012 02:13 PM

Bad idea. Snag risk.
I only wear gloves if I’m handling a large quantity of rough sawn timber.
Won’t go anywhere near a machine with gloves on.

View NiteWalker's profile


2739 posts in 3090 days

#7 posted 07-03-2012 02:27 PM

No gloves in the shop, only a leather pair when using the angle grinder.
Dem sparks is hot!

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5228 posts in 4473 days

#8 posted 07-03-2012 02:36 PM

Nitrile gloves when finishing/stripping (furniture,etc.), kevlar woven gloves while sharpening knives, leather with lawn implements.

-- [email protected]

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2761 days

#9 posted 07-03-2012 02:38 PM

I wear rubber gloves when applying finish or using certain glues that irritate my skin, however NEVER when using anything with a blade – powered or un-powered.

I do wear gloves with certain power equipment, mostly lawn equipment. Chainsaws for obvious reasons, and the lawn mower/string trimmer to ease the vibration a bit, and I do wear mechanics gloves when working on my cars. Not to keep my hands clean, but I barely have any meat on my knuckles anymore from tearing them up swinging wrenches into jagged metal.

Again, I would never even consider putting them on in the wood shop.


View Oldelm's profile


75 posts in 2688 days

#10 posted 07-03-2012 02:43 PM

I never wear gloves, jewelery, loose clothes around machinery. i have personnaly seen way too many accidents and even seen accidents that were made worse by one of the things above. I do use gloves when handling lumber and I have taken to wearing a cavring glove on my hand holding the tool more because of the fact that I am not as steady as I used to be and was getting more nicks from the sharp tools. Even that carving glove takes some of the feel of the tool away. It surprising how many of your senses you use in woodworking. I don’t even listen to a radio in the shop because I can’t hear what the tool is doing, hand or power..

-- Jim, Missouri

View ChuckV's profile (online now)


3238 posts in 4040 days

#11 posted 07-03-2012 02:47 PM

I use nitrile gloves when applying finish. I do have a pair of protective gloves in my shop. I use them when I change the blade on my bandsaw. I remove them before I even start spinning the blade by hand. I also use them sometimes when handling rough-swan lumber.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2761 days

#12 posted 07-03-2012 02:49 PM

Jim, that is so true. I should wear hearing protection more than I do, but the only time I wear it is with a planer and when sanding a lot (the sander and the shop vac are a noisy combo). My routers are VERY loud as well, but I find I rely on the sound as much as I do as the feel of the tool. I can tell exactly what the router is doing to the wood by listening to it, and a lot of times I will adjust feed rate or depth of cut based on that sound.


View Mosquito's profile


9862 posts in 2805 days

#13 posted 07-03-2012 03:03 PM

I also wear gloves finishing, and sometimes when cutting joinery by hand. I’ll wear gloves when handling larger amounts of rough stock as well. I used to wear gloves while working with my router table, but not anymore. Sometimes I’ll wear them sharpening, for the reason Don stated, it’s messy.

An expansion: Often when I wear gloves when cutting joinery by hand, it will be just one glove. For example when repeatedly striking chisels and guiding them by hand, I’ll wear a glove on the hand guiding the chisel. I’ve slipped once and put a nasty slice in my finger, and the chisel sides sliding over my finger gave me some annoying cuts. Started wearing a glove for that reason, but leave the other one ungloved so I can keep a better feel when doing other work with the chisel, or a saw, etc

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9315 posts in 2841 days

#14 posted 07-03-2012 03:18 PM

what about with sanding stations???

I’ve taken some sizeable pieces of flesh off with a belt sander … and they can’t really grab you and pull you like a blade can.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Mosquito's profile


9862 posts in 2805 days

#15 posted 07-03-2012 03:22 PM

I guess I wear my gloves when I use the ROS, I try not to use it too often, though. I don’t have things like table saw, band saw, drill press, spindle sander, belt sander…

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

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