Safety Tips for Working with a Wood Router
A wood router is an extremely handy tool that allows you to create versatile designs, grooves, sharp edges, moulds and door panels. It can help even the most novice woodworker make unique and remarkable work pieces. Though some may not find a wood router as an essential tool to have in their workshop, it is definitely a tool that can add finesse and more detail to your wood working projects. A wood router is traditionally a hand-powered tool but today with the advent of new technology this is now an extremely powerful and automatic electronic tool.
Like all power tools a wood router works fast, is sharp and can be tricky to handle therefore, can be dangerous to use if appropriate safety protocol is not taken. Powered by a machine, a wood router consists of a flat base and a cutter that is extremely sharp. Thus you should be extremely careful while handling it and any negligence can have grotesque consequences. Stated below are some precautionary measures you can take to have a safe experience while working with wood routers.
- Pay Attention
While using a wood router your hands come into really close contact with the machine. As such you should always work with utmost concentration and should avoid any distractions. Any disturbances or interferences while working with a wood router can result in grave mishaps despite being a seasoned wood worker.
- Wear Safety Guards
Wood Routers are noisy machines hence, you should wear earplugs while using the machine. Sounds from the wood router may also continue even after the machine is switched off. Dust and loose particles may also be floating around while using a wood router. Thus, you should also wear protective eye gear to prevent any such particles from getting lodged in your eyes. While some routers contain dust collectors, you should also consider wearing a facemask if your wood router does not have this feature.
- Appropriate Clothing
Loose fitted garments can get caught in a wood router hence; you should wear apparel that fits your body properly. You should avoid wearing items such as ties, jewellery and other items that can get entwined with the cutter.
- Feed Direction
It is important to always be aware of the feed direction of the router. The direction of the feed should always be contrasting that of the cutter. For example if the cutter is moving clockwise, the feed direction should be counter clockwise.
- Check the Router
Inspect the router before you start using it. Do not be hasty and be aware of the default setting to avoid being surprise when switching on the machine.
- Check the route bits
Always check the condition of the route bits before starting. Route bits should be in good condition before using. The route bits should fit firmly in the collet. If it is loose then it might get propelled out of the machine causing great damage. An extremely tight fitting may also be problematic, as it may not allow smooth cutting of the wood.
- Appropriate Work Environment
Make sure the work environment in which you are using your router is safe. The area should be clear of any clutter and debris and nothing should come in the way of the router. The work environment should also be dry as damp or wet area can cause electrical shocks or other accidents.
- Avoid being intoxicated
It might be tempting to drink a can of beer while working on your projects, however, being intoxicated can severely impair your judgement. As mentioned in point 1, concentration is very important while working with a power tool such as a wood router. It is advisable not to be under the influence of any drugs or alcohol that may cause decreased concentration, slow down your reflexes and in general diminish you ability to work safely.
A wood router is a great asset for any wood worker. It allows you to create intricate designs and create true masterpieces. However, while using such a machine you should employ the safety measures mentioned above in order to fully maximise the true potential of a wood router and to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you.
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