This is Woodworking Safety Week, and while we here at the Buzzsaw Blog are all about using push sticks, safety glasses and hearing protection, we want you to think outside the box a bit when it comes to being safe when in your shop. As woodworkers you put a lot of time and care into the parts you are fabricating, but we want you to consider the stuff you leave behind!
Everyone is aware that woodworking is more pleasant when they are not covered in sawdust, and that dust in the nose, lungs and throat are not good even without wood allergies, but good dust collection enhances shop safety beyond what may be obvious.
Slipping on dust or shavings on the floor while running a router is a recipe for disaster. Seemingly harmless bits of sawdust built up between a board and the rip fence on your table saw can lead to kickback. And dust built up inside and around motors can cause overheating and even fires. In every measure, having good dust collection set up makes working safer, more accurate, easier and more pleasant.
Setting up proper dust collection in a shop used to require purchasing pipe and fittings from an industrial supplier or cobbling a shop-built system out of sewer pipe and plumbing fittings. But with the rise in woodworking as a hobby, there is now a huge array of DC options for the home woodworker.