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Noob to the forum but long time woodworker. I am curious if any of you have any shop rules you are particularly proud of. I have three that have served me well:

1 - Always know where your fingers are.

2 - Never work when you're tired.

3 - Don't be stupid.

Sometimes I have Scouts over to the shop to do some simple projects. We always start with a safety discussion, and I lay on them rules 1 and 3. They seem to get it. Any others out there I should know about?

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Don't startle me when I'm working.

There's no wine-ing in the workshop.  There's no beer-ing or whyskey-ing either.

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I don’t know why but to me, cross cutting a board on the ts using the miter bar with the end against the fence is one thing I fear the most.

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28 minutes ago, K Cooper said:

I don’t know why but to me, cross cutting a board on the ts using the miter bar with the end against the fence is one thing I fear the most.

Best advice yet, guaranteed kick back and flying wood, tips like this are the best, don’t be stupid makes no sense to me, everyone knows that but in the shop they may not know what stupid is. Always use a push block when ripping stock, safety glasses, hearing protection, no loose clothing, no goofing around, one person on a machine at a time, if you don’t know if it’s safe ASK someone who does and probably a dozen more I can’t think of right now. 

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At night/evening:

No power tool, except for sanding.  To limit the risk if you are tired, of physical injury.

Looking for stock only, no cutting or jointing/planning. Marking where the cut will be.

Do not do repetitive tasks.

 

Only one tank of gas in the chain saw, once it is empty, done for the day. To limit the risk of repetition/not paying attention.

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14 hours ago, Mark J said:

Don't startle me when I'm working.

There's no wine-ing in the workshop.  There's no beer-ing or whyskey-ing either.

I make one exception to this rule and that’s when I’m sanding for a long time but that’s it. Never to excess though and I won’t use anything else that night. 

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12 hours ago, Mick S said:

Don't use any tool as a coaster.

Our welding shop at work, which also builds wood gates, chopsaws boards to length and is heated during the day, cold at night, brick building, no insulation.........so not the best environment for tools.  I just noticed about a dozen cup rings on the new Delta drill press.  WTH!

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Hand power tools are on the bench when using or on the floor. Tools can't fall on the floor if they already are on the floor.  If I am not done with a tool and they might get knocked off the bench, I find an out of the way spot on the floor and near the work. Twice as important for hand corded tools. Even if I am done for the minute and I know soon I will need it again. Put in on the floor. Risk factor declines a lot means less chance of  nose dive on concrete. A bad dream is a nose dive for my big domino cutter. They do not stay on the floor for long. They are put away if not needed.

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13 hours ago, Martin-IT said:

Only one tank of gas in the chain saw, once it is empty, done for the day. To limit the risk of repetition/not paying attention.

Chaps on until the saw is put away for the day.  Had a buddy who was laid up for a couple months after his saw kicked back into his jeans-clad thigh.

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15 hours ago, Mick S said:

I made a desk for our office a couple of years back. Alison had a friend over who enjoyed wine very, very much. She wanted to see what I was working on (the desk) so we went out to the shop. She walked over to the desk and set her wineglass down on it - ½ an hour after I'd put the final coat of Arm-R-Seal on it. 

I moved faster than I knew I was capable of. No harm to the finish. I handed it back to her and she turned around and set it on my tablesaw. We moved back into the house.

I applaud your restraint ;-)

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There's never been any alcohol in our house but we do drink water and coffee.  Except for me and my coffee, for which I have a specific place to set my cup and to stand and take a sip, nobody brings liquids into the shop.  No exceptions ever. 

Even though my tools are all heavy and industrial I don't allow anyone to lean on tools.  My philosophy is that if you can't stand without leaning on something then take a quick walk through the shop and go sit in the house.  I work in the shop all day every day and I don't lean on anything.  Besides, as has been said I don't want your hands on my cast iron surfaces.

And just as important, don't walk in and begin picking up pieces of wood or moving fences and such.  Fences might have been set for a particular cut when you got here and I'll make the cut when you leave, so don't move anything.

I welcome visitors and many from our Woodworking Club come by but all get the 'rules briefing' before entering the shop. :D

David

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Huh, no one ever wants to hang out in my shop long. I think they are all afraid I'm going to put them to work or something....

My dad put a cup down on cast iron. I explained to him that it could leave a rust ring on the cast iron and he never did it again. He gets a pass on all non-safety shop rules as he had to put up with me messing up all his things for a good 12 years. Now that i have my own shop i get his frustration with me when i was a teenager.

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I pretty much only get time in the shop in the evening, so some of these rules wouldn't work for me. I do try not to get into a task with my hands anywhere near power tools with cutters if I'm tired. Often if I just want to go in and unwind a bit I'll just use the hand tools (and it's quieter if the kids have just gone to bed). I also generally go with the rule that if I spend more than 5 minutes searching for the tool that was just in my hand, it's time to give up for the evening. :P

I will occasionally have a beer in the shop, but only if I'm sanding, finishing, or doing easy hand work (scraping, hand planing, etc). Like anything else, most of this is common sense.

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On 10/20/2019 at 6:27 PM, treeslayer said:

Best advice yet, guaranteed kick back and flying wood, tips like this are the best, don’t be stupid makes no sense to me, everyone knows that but in the shop they may not know what stupid is. Always use a push block when ripping stock, safety glasses, hearing protection, no loose clothing, no goofing around, one person on a machine at a time, if you don’t know if it’s safe ASK someone who does and probably a dozen more I can’t think of right now. 

Yeah, I agree - don't be stupid doesn't mean anything - unless you have already made plenty of stupid mistakes, then you know what it means. The first time my son used the table saw (he was 34) he let go of the offcut and it went flying when it shifted into the blade. His fingers stung for a few minutes but no other harm done. I didn't explain to him what I had learned long ago from a similar experience. In this case I was the stupid one, because I did not tell him what was second nature to me.

Perhaps this rule should say don't start any power tool until you have thought through what you are going to do and considered what could go wrong.

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If any particular operation feels iffy, then listen to that inner voice & change the procedure.

It took a number (not saying how many) of minor scars before I learned that one.

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On 10/21/2019 at 12:43 PM, Mick S said:

I made a desk for our office a couple of years back. Alison had a friend over who enjoyed wine very, very much. She wanted to see what I was working on (the desk) so we went out to the shop. She walked over to the desk and set her wineglass down on it - ½ an hour after I'd put the final coat of Arm-R-Seal on it. 

I moved faster than I knew I was capable of. No harm to the finish. I handed it back to her and she turned around and set it on my tablesaw. We moved back into the house.

Glass, wine and inconsiderate, would be moved directly to the car she/he came in.  One lost glass would be unimportant.

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I'm a bit late to this party but this is the thing I tell anyone who wants to use my shop.

Explain that a table saw is most likely going to be the most dangerous tool they ever have the privilege of using. Tell them how badly a table saw wants to dismember them. Cutting off fingers is all a table saw dreams about when it is not in use. Remind them that all table saws want out of life is to spray human blood all over a workshop and every day that goes by that they don't spray blood makes them want to do it all the more.

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