Popular Woodworking 2007-12 № 166, страница 6

Popular Woodworking 2007-12 № 166, страница 6

Out on a Limb

BY CHRISTOPHER SCHWARZ,

EDITOR

fl T POPULAR I •

Learn How. Discover Why. Build Better.

A New Way Not to Get Hurt

oodworking writer Nick Engler has one leg that's shorter than the other - the result of a motorcycle accident years ago. When he talks about the incident now, he always starts off with a little joke.

"There are two kinds of motorcyclists," he says. "Those who have been in a serious accident, and those who are going to be in a serious accident."

Sadly, the same can be said of woodworkers. I know far too many friends, students and colleagues who have lost small bits of themselves to the awesome and dangerous machinery we work with all of the time.

If workshop injuries were a disease, they would probably be an epidemic. Yet, honest talk about safety in the workshop is rarely discussed or practiced here in North America. In my 11 years at this magazine, I've seen only two or three table saws in shops that had guards installed, and one of those shops was in Germany.

Of course, I know (as do you) that the current guard systems on table saws will frustrate you more than they will protect you. When I first started working with table saws every day, I tried to use a stock guard. I really did. But the splitter bent when you looked at it funny. The anti-kickback pawls were worthless, and the blade cover moved so stiffly I had to j am the work under it with all my might. That's not how guards are supposed to work.

10 ■ Popular Woodworking December 2007

Lucky for us, things are changing. And I hope that you're willing to change, too.

New table saws in the United States are incorporating European-style features, such as a riving knife and a quick-change blade cover. These make the saw immensely safer

- ifyou have them installed. And that's where Marc Adams comes into this picture.

During the next year, he's going to be writing about how to work safely and accurately in the shop for our Woodworking Essentials series. Before your eyes glaze over, I hope you'll think about this for a minute.

Adams runs the largest woodworking school in North America and has more than 2,500 students every year. I've watched him teach safety to his students, and he's not just quoting from a manual or textbook. In fact, he's sometimes at odds with them.

His approach to safety is practical. It allows you to do accurate work with ease. And it's not going to get in the way of basic or even advanced operations. Most of all, when you try these methods (especially his 12" and 3" rules) you'll notice a different feeling in your gut because the chances of you getting hurt have dropped to nil.

I've taken Adams's methods of work to heart, and I'm glad I did. It feels like driving to the corner store in a Sherman tank

- instead of on a motorcycle. PW

PHOTO BY AL PARRISH

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Safety Note

Safety is your responsibility. Manufacturers place safety devices on their equipment for a reason. In many photos you see in Popular Woodworking, these have been removed to provide clarity. In some cases we'll use an awkward body position so you can better see what's being demonstrated. Don't copy us. Think about each procedure you're going to perform beforehand.

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