Electrical Safety


I like to think I am safe most of the time. I always wear safety toe boots when cutting the grass. Safety glasses are on most times in the shop or when using the weed-wacker. I always lower the blade completely on my TS when I am done for the day. Since our recent move, I have also begun unplugging the saw since the new house has an attached garage as opposed the old detached one.
Why unplug? Why lower the blade? A lovely two year old that always wants to help daddy fix things is the answer. Yesterday she ran into the garage and just had to push those colorful buttons on the TS.
Those of you that don't have kids are free to pontificate about how irresponsible it is to even allow a kid into the workshop before the age of consent. Those of us that have kids know it would be easier to stop a politician from lying than keep a child contained 100% of the time.
My question(s) are these: What type of safety device(s) should I install in the shop to keep my princess in one piece? Currently the garage has only two overhead bulb lights and NO outlets! I'm considering a sub-panel and a key switched load-panel for the outlets I'll be installing. Sources for this type of switched panel?
Does Jet or anyone else make a magnetic switch for a Jet contractor TS? Even a safety conscience guy like me has pulled a 3 stooges plug in the belt-sander move. It was then I considered power tool racing. http://www.powertooldragraces.com /
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Snip

The key switched load panel IMHO would be better than trying to lock every machine. Only 1 switch to secure vs. many that may be forgotten. Check your local electrical supply for the details.
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I have the same 3 year old daughter so my whole shop useses these: http://www.mkelectric.co.uk/products/item.asp?itemid '32&rangeid08
Standard routine when leaving pull them all out excellent product. Im in Northern Ireland so not sure if you have the same think in the US Canada. I have bad dreams thinking what could happen I mount them 5 feet up the wall and by the time she can plug them in she'll know how to use the machine safley. Hope this helps
Regards Connor
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RayV wrote:

Call me old-fashioned and apolitically correct, but my first reaction here is that I taught mine at that age and before "Don't do that!" A few reinforcing reminders will do wonders in that regards.
That said...yes, it's prudent to be careful and not leave unneccessary hazards...
...

Any panel can be purchased w/ knockout for lock. It should be mounted high enough on the wall as to be inacessible anyway.
Access and training are the keys imo...
(Raised four w/ crowded shop and grew up on farm w/ great deal of "stuff" of all types...)
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"Duane Bozarth" wrote in message

LOL ... my first reaction also. But safety devices, in combination with slapped hands and loud admonitions, go a long way to covering all bases.
While just the latter has worked with two daughters and numerous shop cats thus far, that fact could be considered lucky in this day and age of child protective agencies.
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Last update: 8/07/05
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Swingman wrote:

When kids were young I did cut the shop breaker in the service panel when not using it, but nothing else specifically outside of what I would consider ordinary shop "cleanup and put stuff away". In a typical homeowner garage workshop there's typically more stuff as or more dangerous than simply an (unpowered) circular saw blade in the top of a table that's beyond reach anyway...
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Probably the simpliest way to safely cut off all the power in the shop is with a disconnect switch (similar to http://tinyurl.com/d345h ). Keep some of the overhead light circuits energized all the time and put all the outlets on a subpanel downstream of the disconnect. These switches come with holes punched in the handle so you can padlock it in the "off" position and not be able to open the front of the box either.
Any Home Depot or Lowes type place should have them.
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Isn't the "lowered" blade actually closer to a two year old?
Look up under the saw to get the "two year old view"
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Actually lowering the blade started before there were even kids, just in case I bumped the start switch. I have a plywood back that helps direct the dust down so the blade isn't exposed.
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<snip>

I'm with you on the safety aspect, and the power tool circuits are all on a quick cutoff switch subpanel, but that's not what worries me.
There are a thousand unpowered things in that shop that could cause a two year old to come to grief. Sharp, pointy, toxic, heavy, etc. And when I'm out there, with the DC going, and hearing protection on, adults don't make enough noise to catch my attention, unless they want to. (My wife has learned to move over into my line of vision, rather than yell, thank goodness,)
So when the (mobile) grandkids are on premise, I close up the shop. There will be time to show them the tools when they are a bit older, but right now, he's unpredictable, and has an attention span more appropriate to playing with wooden blocks.
A friend of mine told me that his granddaughter, 3, wanted to help him wash his pickup truck. Took them three hours, but they had a great time together.
Patriarch
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Patriarch wrote:

I would consider putting a baby-gate on the door to your shop. Keeping the kids out is the first step.
Master lockout switch on the subpanel is a good idea.
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We have the gates but will probably only get about 6 more months use out of them before they are useless. I can only hope that as she develops the ability to override the security measures she also develops the ability to understand danger.
I thought of telling her the monsters live in the garage but I doubt the Mrs would appreciate that.
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I know ADULTS who shouldn't be allowed near a woodworker's shop.
Working with wood (and other crafts) together with a child is one of the most rewarding times you can have. The younger they are, the pinker the brain, the better the chance to teach safety.
Starting with my first child, I'd take the project to a known kid-proofed area.... like the kitchen...mom just LOVED that...*G* That way, there was complete control of the tool selection, and a manageable theatre of operations. One nasty device at the time. "See what this meanie Paslode does to you dolly's head??" (keep your shirt on, I'm kidding...)
We have a record of the advances we have made over time with the kids..small coat rack here, CD storage rack there..it was fun...just imagine my turning into a blubbering heap when my oldest called me and wanted my opinion on one of those cordless combo packages, the drill/saw/light/etc. that just about every manufacturer offers these days..... she bought this dresser at a garage sale and it needs a few repairs...*big wide shit-eating proud daddy grin*
P.S. We came to the conclusion that she'd be better off buying some tools as cordless, like a drill/driver...and get the corded versions of the tools she's not likely to use as much, like a saws-all. Btw... what with those damned lanterns in all those kits?
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