John Slezak presents on shop safety

John Slezak presents on shop safety


Terry Bair lent his experienced hand to the gavel, as both Susan and Larry were out of town.  John Slezak presented us with his views on shop safety for the workshop by presenting a series of items available from Woodcraft and elsewhere.  In addition, his main message was to be aware of yourself and your surroundings.  He also shared two very scary incidents from his own experience, including an occurance of kickback on a table saw and a “catch” on a band saw that knocked him down!

(This is one of the best videos on table saw kickback on Youtube-warning don’t try this at home! –ed.)

1. John began his list of safety appliances by describing a magnetic motor starter as a switch that will not turn on if the power goes off and then comes back on.  Imagine if you thought the power was off and when the electricity returns, your power tool springs into action whether you are controlling it or not.  Also he mentioned a “plug for a plug” which serves the same function.  This is basically a black box that if power is interrupted, will not restore power to the tool that is plugged into it until that tool is turned off.

2. A first aid kit-make sure it is not just an empty box.

3. Hearing protection.  Both ear muff type of protectors and the foam compressible inserts were mentioned.

4. Push blocks (push sticks) help keep fingers away from moving blades.

5. Hold downs for the router table which can help maintain an even depth of cut as the work piece moves across the bit.

6. Push blocks for the jointer, in this case John showed a 16 inch long push block that could span the entire length of shorter work and keep you fingers away from the cutters.

7. A gripper was also brought in, with emphasis on its use on the table saw. Some members remarked that the gripper was also demonstrated at the Woodworking Show.  Don’t know what it is?  Click below. As the woodworker said, “On the other hand, I have all my fingers.”

8. It almost goes without saying that a small magnet is handy for starting small nails.

9. Tweezers-don’t get splinters without them. (Alternately, try a drop of wood glue, which when allowed to harden will fasten itself to the splinter.-ed)

10. Masks are available in different forms to control dust.  Some are disposable, some are refillable, look for a rating of N95 or N100 to filter out wood dust.  Some are even rated for pesticide use with the proper insert.

11. A variation on the mask is a deluxe model with an exhaust valve that closes when one breathes in.

12. A face mask for wood turners which acts as both safety glasses and a shield.  This is great for those who wear glasses or occasionally operate a weed eater.

13. Safety glasses-some glasses are impact resistant and add a measure of safety.  They are available now with built in magnifiers for those that know what diopter they require.

14. Face masks that cover the most part of one’s face and have powered air supply to help prevent fogging.

15. Safety gloves or protective hand wear for contact or chemical sensitivity.  Try the nitrile gloves if you are allergic to latex or need a little stronger glove.

16.  John also talked about the saw stop and how the saw stops working before it cuts a hot dog.  John is certified to repair these, when the brake mechanism discharges and has to be replaced.  Some of the history of the Sawstop story was related as well.  So far there is no retrofit for older or other saws, but for those in the market for a new saw this is something to be considered.  The video below is from Sawstop.

The next shop meet is at Tony’s place-hey what a nice guy. Tony will give you the shirt off his back, or another one if you ask nicely. The map link is on the home page and in the calendar.

Lowel Newland scheduled his shop for the November shop meet.

Terry Bair presented an article written by one of our previous presenters, the representative from Closetec, and it was suggested to post a copy on our web site. Since our resources page is so huge, it may be best to start a new page of links on a new resources page.

Content and original photographs by Andrew DiLorenzo.