Do it your­self, but do it safely

Keep your health in mind when tack­ling projects

The Covington News - - SHOWCASE OF HOMES -

Do you spend your week­ends or free time fix­ing things around the home? Many peo­ple do.

We have be­come a do-ity­our­self na­tion, spurred on by the mul­ti­tude of television pro­grams and mag­a­zine ar­ti­cles telling us just how to do ev­ery­thing from build­ing a book­case to re­fin­ish­ing a deck. While th­ese projects may range in dif­fi­culty, they do share one com­mon el­e­ment: the chance for in­jury.

“ Do- it- your­self projects can be very re­ward­ing to com­plete. But many DIYers dive right into im­prove­ments with­out tak­ing the right safety pre­cau­tions,” says Don Ze­man, home im­prove­ment ex­pert and host of the na­tion­ally syn­di­cated “Homefront with Don Ze­man” ra­dio pro­gram. “With a lit­tle know-how and some prod­ucts that make us­ing tools and other shop items safer, the chance for in­jury drops dra­mat­i­cally.”

Along with power- tool in­juries, falls, cuts and eye in­juries top the list of po­ten­tial haz­ards for ill-pre­pared DIYers. Wood­craft Sup­ply, LLC, the wood­work­ing in­dus­try’s lead­ing provider of tools, prod­ucts and ed­u­ca­tion, of­fers the fol­low­ing tips to keep you safe around the house.

Sen­sory safety

Be­ing able to see, hear and breathe eas­ily can pro­mote a safer time when work­ing on projects. That’s why one of the first steps to take is to pro- tect the most im­por­tant tool for a do- it- your­self project — you.

• Pro­tec­tive eye­wear is a must when do­ing any re­pair. Com­bin­ing the fly­ing dust and de­bris pro­tec­tion of gog­gles with the hard frame and dis­tor­tion-free lens of spec­ta­cles, the Spog­gle is very unique pro­tec­tive eye­wear. The frame of the Spog­gle is cush­ioned against the face by a soft lam­i­nated foam gas­ket (much like ski gog­gle foam) to pro­vide a com­fort­able but tight dust-free fit. The prod­uct meets OSHA/ANSI stan­dards for pri­mary eye pro­tec­tion.

• The dust cre­ated when us­ing power tools is not just a nui­sance, it can be haz­ardous to your health. So, whether you’re op­er­at­ing a ta­ble saw, router, or san­der a res­pi­ra­tor is the so­lu­tion. Con­sider the Tri­ton Pow­ered Res­pi­ra­tor for com­plete per­sonal pro­tec­tion.

• Hear­ing pro­tec­tion can safe­guard the del­i­cate au­di­tory sys­tem. Rou­tine use of loud power tools can con­trib­ute to hear­ing loss pre­ma­turely. When work­ing in­doors, the sound of tools may be am­pli­fied and cause even more dam­age.

• Work­ing safely also means be­ing able to see clearly what you’re work­ing on. There­fore, task light­ing should be on your list of safety equip­ment. An item like a Mag­netic or Clip- On Base Work Light al­lows you to place il­lu­mi­na­tion just about any­where. The 360-de­gree swivel head and jointed arm ad­justs to light any work area with up to 60 watts.

Pro­tect your dig­its

Some of the most ap­par­ent dan­gers as­so­ci­ated with wood­work­ing and other do- it- your­self projects is the po­ten­tial for cuts and am­pu­ta­tions from cut­ting edges and con­tu­sions or bro­ken bones from kick­back of stock. That’s why it is al­ways es­sen­tial to keep fin­gers and hands away from blades and other fast- mov­ing ma­chin­ery. Push sticks, push blocks and feather boards help the DIYer ac­com­plish this.

• A feather board is a use­ful tool when cut­ting thin stock or mak­ing an in­tri­cate bead with a router. It serves as an ex­tra pair of hands, keep­ing the wood in place on a ta­ble saw or router ta­ble. Many wood­work­ers rely on the Miter Slot Feather Board. With two lock­ing screws, not just one, this feather board holds se­curely in a stan­dard 3/ 8- inch by 3/ 4- inch miter slot. For DIYers who need a more flexible feather board, try the Magswitch Mag­netic Feather­board that can be placed any­where on a steel ta­ble or fence sur­face.

• Kick­backs oc­cur when a saw seizes the stock and hurls it back at the op­er­a­tor, re­sult­ing in any num­ber of bod­ily in­juries. Kick­backs can hap­pen when the stock twists and binds against the side of the blades or is caught in the teeth. A blade that is not sharp­ened, or that is set at an in­cor­rect height, can cause kick­backs.

Anti- kick­back de­vices can be used on saws to stop this prob­lem. Anti- Kick­back Safety Rollers come com­plete and ready to in­stall on your fence or fix­ture. Yel­low rollers ro­tate in a clock­wise di­rec­tion and will not ro­tate counter- clock­wise, pre­vent­ing kick­back on ta­ble saws and router ta­bles.

• A push stick or push block can keep your fin­gers away from the cut­ting blade as you feed the end of stock through. For even bet­ter con- trol, try the Ad­vanced GRRRip­per Sys­tem that grips and holds both sides of a work piece dur­ing a rip­ping op­er­a­tion.

The prod­uct main­tains bal­anced pres­sure on the wood as it passes through and be­yond the blade.

There are many other ways to equip your home shop with safety items and prac­tice care­ful op­er­a­tion when en­gag­ing in do- it- your­self projects. To hear tips from Don Ze­man click on www. homefront. com. To learn more about the prod­ucts men­tioned, visit www. wood­craft. com.

Metro Creative Ser­vices

Safety first:

Avoid in­hala­tion of dust and de­bris by us­ing a shop res­pi­ra­tor.

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