Sounds like a lot of locks, when the best solution might be a lock on the
garage/shop door. Kids don't need to be playing unsupervised in a garage
even if it only houses the family car.
Well, in the short term that's the plan - when they're this age, they
never need to be out there.
I know when I was, say 12, I spent a lot of time relatively unsupervised
in the garage. I don't think they should have to get me to get a
(neander) saw. My *hope* is that, when they're that age, I won't have
to worry about them around power tools, either - I know when I was 12
you couldn't've paid me enough to turn on my Grandfather's radial arm
saw, I thought it was terrifying (even though I'd worked on it with
him). But we won't know for sure until we get there, and there are
always kids' friends who may be over and less intelligent than my own
genius progeny ;). Whatever the exact age, I expect that there will be
a point when I'm willing to trust them to use neander tools but not
Good LUCK! When I was about 10 years old my father want to keep me from
running the table saw so he installed a fused switch on it with a paddle
lock on the switch lever.... Thought it was all safe.... Wrong answer:-)
it did not lock the fuse cover, so I just unplugged it ( did not want a
nasty shock:-) and jumpered around the fuse and switch and then plugged it
in to turn it on and unplugged it for off.... BTW I still have all my
I had initially replied to your reply to Bill Pounds' reply. However, I
got too random and snipped the entire text and now this stands alone.
You might want to consider a big safety switch like one of these:
Put this in between your two panels. Make sure you get one with a
lockout. Alternatively, you can place one on the front end of any
circuits that you want to disable.
Ask yourself what all of those panic buttons are going to do for you.
If a child is able to get the machine turned on and gets bitten by its
teeth, then they probably won't be able to get to a safety switch. If
they can't turn it on in the first place, there would be less danger.
You can still cut yourself on a non-powered saw blade. DAMHIKT.
Therefore, you should also lower your Table Saw blade after use. You
If you do go the route of all of the emergency stop buttons, you will
probably also want to have magnetic starters on all of your machines.
That way a machine that was shut down from the power down will not be
restarted on power up.
Another option would be to remove and lock up all of your blades,
chisels, planes, etc in a cabinet.
I'm in a similar situation with little ones and am contemplating some
of the same issues that you are.
Thanks for the suggestion and link. Am definitely planning on doing
this for kid safety (and, like I said, not just my own - don't want any
neighborhood hoodlums bleeding all over my shop either if they get in).
If you look at my original article, I'm asking about buttons and safety
switches. The switches are to lock out the kids, the buttons are for
me, when I'm in the shop. It seems like they won't add much to the cost
of the wiring, and as long as I don't have any wall coverings, it should
be easy enough to toss 'em in.
Excellent point. I do on my tablesaw and jointer, but I'm not 100% sure
of my planer.
Well, like I said, with them at the ages they are now (2 & 4), plan A is
to keep the garage locked. Obviously I don't want them touching knives,
saws, chisels, etc. at this age. But I'm thinking there'll be a point
where I'll let them in the garage under minimal supervision but not let
them use powertools under minimal supervision. While you are correct
that you can cut yourself on a human-powered saw, I don't think I've
heard of anyone cutting his own arm off with one - at least by accident.
Yea, I know it gets harder, not easier when they get older. I remember my
own youth. Our garage didn't even have a door for some of my teen years,
and my dad was an HVAC and steam fitting contractor so we had lots of power
stuff around. Not much woodworking though we did have a radial arm saw. I
shudder when now when I think of the stuff I did with that, and no
instruction from dear old dad at all. Just wasn't his style to worry about
the kids doing dumb stuff.
In addition to the RAS, I can recall:
-Playing with gasoline on the BBQ and setting my entire shirt sleeve on
fire - no burns, just singed hair.
-Putting power caps from the stud gun in a vice and firing them with a
hammer - no injury
-Welding stuff - might have been bad on my eyes, they aren't too good today
-Hooking the welder into the edison power drop above the rain hood with
alligator clamps - blew the fuses on a pole somewhere and shut down the
neighborhood power - I was smart enough to hide the evidence before edison
showed up to repair.
-Shot my brother in the chest from 50 feet with an arrow - lucky for us both
it was the blunt practice points. Actually, luckier for him than me. Hit
him dead center too.
-Shot the cat in the head with the same bow - but we all did that right?
Most of this was around JHS age. I'm amazed that bro and I survived without
any serious injury whatsoever. I do know that I learned a hell of a lot
about building things and making stuff work. I also learned to keep the
garage door locked whenever I was away.
Good luck with those yunguns.
Its a good thing you got wood to take out your agression on. Now I
understand teh pen name. I previously thought it hads something to do
with your last name.
Don't worry though, I'll still value your woodworking advice. I might
look over my shoulder for those Con-Ed guys though. The power company
doesn't believe in a statute of limitations.
Eric in MN
Pounds on Wood wrote:
We called the big red buttons safety switches. They are normally
closed and wired in series to operate a contactor (relay) which would
control the power to the whole shop.
The simplest way would be to have a small subpanel to control the lights
and battery chargers you want left on and the main panel for the tools
would be fed through the contactor. Drop out the contactor with one of
the safety switches and you kill the power to the main panel. A quick
search on motor starters will find one that will do what you want for
The safety switch you noted above will do what you want manually but if
you want to use push button safety switchs you will need an enclosed
motor starter to kill the power to the main panel.
just one more thought to the emergency switch topic. I also wanted to put
that into my shop but didn't do so up to now.
Reason: My TS has got an electrical brake which is not functioning without
power (required by the local code here for new machines). With a heavy dado
blade on it will stop spinning after 5 seconds with the brake active as
compared to close to a minute w/o.
So before you cut-off power in your shop, make sure your equipment does not
I don't5 claim to be an electrician, however I am a former woodworking and
metalworking Industrial arts teacher (program closed and I am now a school
librarian: LONG story!!!) However I still maintain my home shop.
What you are seeking is/was standard equipment in most (if not all) school
shops. The entire shop could (and was whenever the teacher was not there)
turned off from any of several locations within the room. There was usually one
"panic button" per wall. The shop was "turned on" either with a separate key
switch mounted on the wall or by opening the circuit panel and resetting the
main breaker. Frequently the only functioning electricity in the room was the
lighting and the clock outlet.
In my basement, I have most of the lights and power tools on two circuits
though if one of the breakers trips, there is redundant lighting. I could
separate the lighting out and control both these circuits with a single throw
double pole switch which could be locked. (this doesn't give you the panic
buttons" but does give you security and it is cheap! I wired most of the shop
so the switches control outlets fastened to the ceiling joists. These allow 4'
fluorescent tubes to be plugged in or drop cords to be used to power tools as
Good luck and enjoy your new shop! PS I like the idea of Plywood walls!!
snip: >Spent some time trolling the archives and Google, and couldn't really
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