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What are some tips I can keep for shop safety?


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In my shop (basement downstairs) I have all my stuff laid out, masks, guitars I'm working on, wood I'm drying and all the stuff that comes along with luthiery. I have all my pliers and screws in one designated space, I have my razor blades  all put into the cartridge or in a pile. However my main concern is the dust and cuts. I am sanding off the finish of a squire strat and that stuff smells nasty, and I can occasionally smell it through my N95 mask, is that something to be concerned with? I keep a fan running, dust constantly being scraped up and a mask and gloves on and glasses as well. What else can I do to not first off get this stuff breathed in and two, what do I do to prevent cuts? And over all what is some general luthiery shop safety tips I can have as a blossoming luthier?

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3 hours ago, PRSpoggers said:

However my main concern is the dust and cuts. I am sanding off the finish of a squire strat and that stuff smells nasty, and I can occasionally smell it through my N95 mask, is that something to be concerned with?

Dust is best collected as close to the source as possible. That means running tools that generate large quantities of fine particulates with dust extractors or vacuums. The mask should only really be relied upon as a backup to whatever other dust management you're using. If you can smell the dust you're generating while sanding either the dust isn't being collected effectively at the tool, your dust mask isn't fitting correctly or the dust mask isn't rated to filter out the particles you're generating.

 

3 hours ago, PRSpoggers said:

I keep a fan running

Is the fan drawing the air from the basement to outside? If all you're doing is using the fan to blow across your work area inside a sealed basement you could be doing nothing more than stirring up the dust into the air and recirculating it around the room.

 

3 hours ago, PRSpoggers said:

What else can I do to not first off get this stuff breathed in

Any power tool that has a dust collection port should be used with a dust collector of some sort, particularly when in an enclosed space. For hand sanding, wear a mask that fits correctly and is rated to filter out dust and (if possible) do your sanding in an area with good ventilation. 

 

3 hours ago, PRSpoggers said:

what do I do to prevent cuts?

Keep your hands where you can see them (don't place your fingers underneath the block of wood you're cutting with the jigsaw).

Any bladed tool that has the potential to come in contact with you must be operated in the way it was meant to be operated (don't stick a circular saw in a vice upside down and use it as a table saw).

If the tool has a handle for both hands, use both handles provided (don't hold a power planer with one hand underneath the sole).

Keep the pointy end away from you (don't hold the wood you're chiselling with one hand in front of the blade).

When you power up a cutting tool make sure it's not in contact with the workpiece before it has reached full speed (don't leave the router in contact with the timber when you switch it on).

When you power down a tool, let it come to rest before doing anything else (don't put that spinning router back on the workbench while the cutter is still spinning down)

Keep your work area clean.

Know your limitations and seek assistance where required (read the fricken' manual)

It is not a toy.

You will be fine :)

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On 11/17/2020 at 7:07 AM, curtisa said:

Keep your hands where you can see them (don't place your fingers underneath the block of wood you're cutting with the jigsaw).

 

My personal version of this is keep your fingernails where you can see them - works especially with big machines like jointers. 

On dust extraction, at least Mirka has mesh-style sanding pads (Abranet) that are great at allowing dust removal. I think Bosch also sells similar stuff now. 

If circulating air inside the shop, you could run it through an indoor air purifier. These machines are sold for pollen allergies, but basically they are just blowers with A/C filter panels in them. Should be easy to DIY such a box. 

If you are working with paint or other substances with strong odors, get a proper spray painting mask. "A" in the filter code indicates protection against solvent vapors, "P" is particulates, higher number the better, so A1P3 is basic vapor protection with high dust protection, for example. These are not too expensive, 50 bucks should get you a good mask with removable filters.  

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when I was 15 I worked at the local cabinet shop.  there was a guy who built sinks... whom I had the pleasure of working with.  he had worked there for several years... and wore a respirator... but everybody in the place would say he was slow.  super nice guy... anywho my point is: don't breath anything other than air.  even if you take your reg vacuum cleaner and mount the hose near you on the workbench using a cheap u clamp (i do that w my shop vac all the time).  finish/paint is among the worst esp if  you are sanding it.  you can get very fine and very harmful dust. 

afa safety: have been watching youtube videos a lot lately.. I can tell you that is NOT a place to find safety info!!  all sorts of folks doing things that make me cringe.  I would advise that for any tool... you go watch some videos of accidents... helps remind you how easy it is and of the common things that cost fingers.

my other advice would be - do not do anything with small pieces.  99.9% of accidents are from small pieces!  I'm always thinking ahead three steps so that the last thing I have to do for a small piece is make one cut to separate it from a bigger piece... then it needs to be done!!

anywho, hope there was SOMETHING useful in my thoughts.

cheers

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Don't drink and work.  Done't work when tired.  Know the hazards you are working with before you start and have a plan to protect you from them.  

You are doing the right thing asking.  There is a ton of experience here.  I worked for 25 years as a safety officer on hazmat sites.  if you or anyone else wants help, just ask.

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Before you take ANY action with hand or power tools, think:

- what could go wrong?

- and if it does go wrong, would I (or any part of me) be in the wrong place?

It takes seconds but it saves fingers.  And in my factories, it saved lives.

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Don't work in bare feet

Don't have your tools near your work when plugging them in

(Make sure your tool is switched off before plugging it in)

Clear your work area of other tools, parts, sawdust

Make sure you can see clearly, keep your glasses or face-mask clean

Never experiment on your actual job, do it on offcuts etc.

Learn from your mistakes, don't think to yourself "I stuffed it up last time but this time she'll be right"

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