Staying safe

I’m pretty safety conscious around the workshop for one simple reason. My grandfather and great-grandfather were both missing fingers due to woodworking accidents.

With this in the front of my mind every time I work, I try very hard to keep all of mine, along with avoiding other workshop accidents.

I’ve long ago found that unless something is right in front of me I won’t do it, so I wanted to make sure I remembered all my safety gear whenever I worked. The solution was as simple as putting a couple of screws into the bricks next to the powerpoints, because that’s where I usually work.

On these makeshift hooks are my basic safety gear – goggles, dust mask and earmuffs. I actually have to move them to plug the mitre saw in, so take that opportunity to put them on. I also know exactly where they are at all times so have no excuse for not wearing them.


A new shop bin

There’s a bit of advice passed on from one woodworker to another regarding workshop bins – have a metal not a plastic one. The reason for this is so that if something in there catches fire, it will have a better chance of burning out without melting the bin and spreading. It’s not a perfect solution but it can’t hurt.

I’d been meaning to dig this out of my parents garage for a while and put it to use replacing my plastic shop bin. It’s an old army surplus ammo container. I bought it years ago to convert into a cool looking drum, but it never quite happened. Now at least it’s being put to good use.

Army surplus stores can be a great source of heavy duty containers quite cheaply. My dad’s had his tools stored in a couple of bullet boxes for as long as I can remember. Some camping stores carry army surplus stock so it’s worth checking them out.

Update on the floor mats

Just a quick note to say that after two weekends of using the new anti-fatigue mats I’m noticing a difference. I’m feeling less sore and there’s a lot less pain in my knee after using these in the most frequented areas. So they do work, it’s now just a matter of seeing how long they last before wearing out.

Floor Mats

My little workshop is in the garage, on a concrete slab. It’s not the best on your legs and I’ve often finished for the day aching.

I’d tried some old foam mats but they were too thick and spongy to work on, so had always planned to buy some rubber and put it down.

Last week Aldi had their workmate branded anti-fatigue mats on sale at $20 each. They looked quite decent so I considered it. Yesterday I decided to get one to find they’d been reduced to half price so bought a few and carried them all the way back to work. They feel like they will do the job and if they wear out after a year or two I can replace them, but when similar other ones cost near $50 for the same 600 x 900 size then I think it’s worth a go.

I’ve added the poll functionality to the site so would like you to tell me what you use to protect your legs in the workshop.