Happened upon this school website
Can YOU pick out all the safety hazards in these photos?
Check out all the router table action with no push blocks or sticks,
hands inches from the bit.
Well, he does still have all his fingers, but I wonder if the bookies in the
UK are taking bets yet?
He scares SWMBO and she doesn't know a router from a table saw. I don't know
why I continue to record his show as I just FF over the first few minutes
and erase it almost immediately.
Once, I did see him build a nice little oak bookshelf, with very nice lines,
that was put together correctly, but most of his stuff is cheesy DIY to the
But he must be doing something more or less pleasing to the powers that be
... he's on TV and we're not (although I am convinced there is a real
woodworker hiding somewhere off camera). ;>)
Yeah he has to know something... I guess he rushes through the projects to
show more of what can be done.
I was thinking I might swing by and see you some time next week,
Wednesdayish. Will be be around?
This one doesn't appear to
Nasty kickback risk on this one, even with that riving knife.
The inverted sander isn't good practice
although the worst hazard is clearly the terrible electrical fault -
look at what it's done to his hair !
This should have a push board to feed the board through - can't see if
there is one.
I'd like to see more earmuffs too.
Or... is his finger bent - like the second finger is?
Oh please. You're stretching on this one Andy. Is there any cut on a table
saw that the kickback police don't nail as a kickback hazard? That is a
perfectly reasonable cut to make on a table saw.
Now that one is... shall we say... novel. Not a horrible safety risk since
it's just a vibrating sander, but I can't imagine how wobbly that must have
I'd really be concerned if there was a push stick in the picture. Note that
the board is not yet past the edge of the bed. You'd suggest a push stick
on a board that is not fully secured on the bed? It's time to quit looking
for boogy men in everything on this site. His hands aren't near the
business end of the machine and his hands offer far better control than a
push stick. So - what is the safety advantage of a push stick?
It's a borderline cut. You'd do it, I'd probably do it. It's also a
poor photo angle and the real situation might have been much better or
much worse than we know.
These are kids though. _Not_ the best and most skilled workers. Don't
make it any harder for them.
There's also the far more important point that this isn't a workshop,
it's an instructional workshop. You don't just do what's needed, you
do what you _ought_ to do, for any forseeable variation on that
operation. You're not trying to make stuff here, you're primarily
trying to teach good techniques andd good habits for the future. I
often use my saw (cabinet or bandsaw) without earmuffs, because
they're both quiet machines. But if there are kids around I _always_
wear them, because as a general rule "cabinet saws are noisy and you
A workshop like this has crosscut sleds to hand, and you use them
whenever you _can_, not whenever you _must_.
So would I. But I said push _board_, not push stick. A piece of scrap
board of appropriate width and thinner than the workpiece. For a
single drum sander you really do need one, and even for a machine like
a thickness planer it's a good idea to have one handy, in case the
powered feed roller stalls or slips. These things do happen from time
to time, and prior preparation removes the slightest incentive to
stick your fingers somewhere unholy.
Geeze Andy - did you see the work they produced? These guys aren't the
untrained, unskilled, off the street kids. Their work practices make it
clear that they know what they're doing.
You can take this to the point of looking for problems that don't exist.
Not everything done in the name of safety is really safer. A good example
is using a push stick as has been suggested by more than one poster. The
operations in question were in fact being performed much safer by hand.
I think you need to look at the site completely Andy. They're making
things. Nice things. This is not first semister wood shop.
Wrong. Badly wrong. You use tools, adjuncts, and procedures when they are
appropriate, not just for the sake of proving something. This is the
perfect example of taking it too far.
Again Andy - take a look at the picture. The stock is not even fully on the
bed yet. A push block or any other device that lessens the control that the
operator's hands exert over the work piece would be flat out wrong.
Dangerous. It isn't about contriving safety rules, it's about smart, common
sense, practical procedures. Procedures that will ensure against accidents,
not invite them.
They're inexperienced. They're schoolkids - they can't be anything
_but_ (they just haven't had the time).
One of the smartest comments I ever heard at school was from my
metalwork teacher. He pointed out that metalwork as a school subject
was basically pointless. Very few of us would ever handle a hacksaw
again. Of the few that went on to engineering apprentices, or
whatever, they'd be working 40 hour weeks. The couple of hours a week
we'd spent in the workshop during all our years at school would be
outweighed in no time at all. He was right.
They are indeed making nice things. That's rewarding, and good on them
for doing it -- but it's still _incidental_ to a vocational course,
because that has to focus on what you learn to make afterwards. Of
course the best way to encourage this can be through the reward of
present achievements, but you still have to
To be honest, a non-vocational course doesn't need to teach you much
beyond the fact it's _possible_ to make stuff. You can pick the rest
up later. Sadly the current UK system ignores this completely and
we're spawning a generation of mall-rats fit for nothing other than
entirely passive consumption. Things are made in factories full of
robots and you get them by going to a shop -- the idea that you could
_make_ something yourself just doesn't occur any more 8-(
So what's wrong with using a sled ?
This is an entirely appropriate cut to do on a sled. Doing it against
the fence like this is borderline for being in the proportions where
it becomes hazardous (neither of us can really tell from that
Of course - but a block doesn't (a stick would).
I'm assuming that the "bed" here is actually a powered feed belt. If
it isn't, or if that belt slips, then you have the workpiece coming
back towards you. You need to control that, and you can't control it
with your fingers for the last part of the pass (at least not without
getting your fingers too close to the drum).
That statement ignores the degree of accomplishment these kids have
achieved. It presumes they are absolute beginners. If they were, you would
have a more valid point, to a degree, but since they clearly are not, your
point loses all of its validity.
You don't need years of time under your belt to have developed the necessary
understandings and appreciations of certain things. I think I'm hearing
some eliteist stuff coming through. I find that hard to believe based on a
lot of other postings I've read from you, but I can't figure out what else
it would be.
I'd agree with that but what does it have to do with the discussion at hand?
Most of us do a number of things on a very part time or occassional basis.
That does not prevent us from doing them with all of the appropriate safety.
Nor does it imply that we need to go overboard trying to implement every
conceivable measure that might be considered a safety consideration in spite
of perfectly acceptable procedures.
Our discussion was not about whether they are pursuing a vocational
Nothing. It's a great adjunct - in its place. It's just not necessary to
use it all of the time. There are a ton of cuts on the table saw that do
not require or even benefit from the use of it. To state that a perfectly
safe cut on a saw without one is unsafe just because they didn't use one is
wrong and that's what I commented on.
Wrong. There is plenty of support along the fence. It only requires a
glance to see that. This is not a small piece of wood he's trimming. It's
a matter of stability against the fence. He was only trimming an inch or so
off of a piece of wood that approached a foot in length. Please explain how
that proportion is boarderline to becoming hazardous. That's the problem
with blanket statements like one commonly finds here at the wreck - they
become mantras and ignore the fundamental principles. The cut he was doing
is one which a table saw does well and poses no problems to the operator.
The fellow in the picture was far from reaching any point of wood protruding
beyond the blade to be of concern.
It sure as hell would when the wood is still not fully on the bed.
Andy - you're looking too hard for things to find wrong. Again, look at the
picture. He is providing the highest possible degree of control over his
workpiece. That's what it's about - it's not about gadgets and things. He
is not at the end of the push, he's at the beginning.
Looking at the piece being cut, I'm not at all sure most cross-cut sleds
would be able to safely hold that piece between the blade and the fence at
the start of the cut without the sled having to be pulled back such that it
was tipping off of the back of the saw or the panel almost engaging the
blade at the start of the cut - this would require raising the guard and
placing the panel under the guard prior to starting.
Both of you guys are, wrongly IMO, applying your 20th century American
values to a situation that existed in another country, at another time.
Instead of "sanctimonious" or "condescending", I'll use the word
"provincial" to describe this type of thinking .. folks from elsewhere in
this, an International forum, may not be so charitable in their thoughts.
Say <what>!!?? I ken not of which you speaketh... :(
What in the world is wrong w/ having at least an acquaintanceship w/ any
particular arena of learning whether it is/is not going to be a long
Methinks somehow you've misunderstood the complaint....
To the contrary ... I am thinking you misunderstood the context of the post
you replied to, both in place and time.
You did clearly say:
"I disagree and think on the contrary he was totally wrong..."
I am saying: Who are you to say that he (the instructor) was wrong for the
time and place?
Since you have pretty well demonstrated in other posting that you have not
experienced that particular time and place, I would have to say that your
opinion on the matter is just that, and imminently subject to argument ...
which is being provided. :)
BTW, I enjoyed your "farm life" postings ... brought back memories. My
earliest are of cattle and rice. We raised cattle for gravy to put on the
OK, so perhaps I could have made my complaint more explicit in that what
I was really conveying my opinion that what Andy was saying was that
because this previous instructor of his said what he said that Andy
meant it is a waste of time to be teaching industrial arts now in
general (and to those particular students in general)...if that was not
his intent, then I did misunderstand.
How's that for obuscation... :)
Thanks, at least one person wasn't totally, bored...hopefully someone
may have learned just a little or get a slight change in viewpoint as
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