Safety

Always bear in mind that working with power tools can be dangerous. I know many woodworkers, and some of them have missing digits. If that frightens you, that's good. It only takes one careless action to result in frightful consequences.

If you work with power tools, make sure that you know what you are doing. Read the instructions that come with the tools very carefully Misuse of the equipment can lead to serious injury to yourself or damage to the tool.

Never take your eyes off of the work; always concentrate on what you are doing, and take the necessary safety precautions. Develop the habit of avoiding the path of the saw—do not stand directly behind it or directly in front of it. Power saws can flip a piece of wood back at you with incredible force.

It is always wise to wear some kind of safety goggles when working with wood. It only takes one splinter of wood flying toward your eye to make the purchase price and the practice of wearing goggles worth your while.

Because of the amount of sawdust that is produced when you work with wood, some sort of dust mask is a prudent accessory. Wood dust can be very irritating to your lungs. There are a number of different masks available, ranging from a simple paper mask to more sophisticated masks with replaceable filters.

Prolonged exposure to loud noise can have harmful effects on your hearing. If you use power tools for extended periods— especially power saws, which can be quite loud—a pair of ear plugs or protectors is a good investment.

Finally, just because you should be careful when working with wood doesn't mean that you can't enjoy yourself. As the project develops, take time out to savor the look, feel, and aroma of the freshly cut wood. Then, when you've finished, pat yourself on the back for a job well done. And don't be shy about showing off your accomplishment to your family and friends!

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