As fun and rewarding as woodworking can be, it is also a somewhat dangerous job and hobby.
There is potential danger around you when woodworking, whether from the power tools or the different materials you are handling.
But, you should be okay with proper safety equipment, and this article showcases some of the basic ones every woodworker should have.
1. Safety Glasses
Safety glasses are perhaps the most vital safety equipment you need when woodworking. Given everything from cutting wood to sanding generates lots of wood dirt and debris, some can get into your eyes if you do not have eye protection.
With a good pair of safety goggles, you can considerably decrease the likelihood of getting sawdust into your eyes. But, to be useful enough, the goggles need to fit well and be made from tough material.
Safety glasses for woodworking need to have shatter-resistant lenses that will not expose you to more danger and include side screens for protection against dust and debris.
2. Hearing Protection
If you are using power tools for your woodworking projects, you need to make sure you have adequate ear protection as they can be super loud.
Most power tools in the workshops, such as planers, routers, and even table saws, have a noise rating that easily exceeds 100 dBA.
Exposing your ears to these super loud noises for extended periods can result in hearing problems in the long run. Therefore, you need to take precaution by investing in earplugs and earmuffs as part of your woodworking safety equipment.
Wearing hearing protection also helps ensure the noise from the tools does not distract you. However, earmuff and earplugs come in different types and styles, meaning you can quickly get something that suits your tastes.
3. Face Shield
Even if you cover your eyes and ears, the rest of the face is still exposed. Hence, to offer complete protection for the face, you need to invest in a face shield.
A face shield protects against the flying debris by ensuring it never gets to your face. They are great for woodworkers with skin issues like sensitivities as they ensure the wood dust never touches their skin.
However, when choosing a face shield, it is vital to make sure it is made from a material that can withstand the hard debris and is transparent to maintain good visibility.
4. Hard Hat
You also need to think about protecting your head when working, and here a hard hat is vital. Hard hats feature a tough material that can withstand a lot of force from wood debris or even falling tools.
A good hat for woodworking should have a lightweight enough material like ABS.
Also, the interior should be well cushioned with nice foam and be breathable enough to ensure the woodworkers remain cool and comfortable when working.
5. Dust Mask & Respirators
You do not want some of the wood dust generated when woodworking to end up in your lungs as this can have adverse health effects. Hence, you should invest in dust masks and respirators as they can help keep them out of your system.
Dust masks keep the dangerous wood particles from your mouth and nose by capturing them from the air as you breathe. Additionally, they can effectively ensure you do not take in the many foul smells in a typical workshop as they may cause irritation.
On the other hand, respirators are just a more advanced version of dust masks. They ensure the tiny wood particles do not get to your respiratory system. However, they are more effective at keeping out toxic substances from things like paint and varnish.
Gloves are essential safety equipment as they protect the hands from the hazards that come with woodworking. Remember, the hands are the only part of the body in direct contact with the tools you use and the workpiece.
There are different types of gloves you can use for woodworking. The most common ones are cut-resistant gloves made from solid materials like Kevlar to ensure sharp materials cannot puncture them and cause injuries.
Also, there are anti-vibration gloves that help dampen the vibration from power tools for a more comfortable operation. Others like thumb and finger guard protect specific parts of the hand.
While many woodworkers typically wear aprons not to get their clothes dirty when woodworking, they are still an essential safety gear that is a must have.
Aprons can help ensure your clothes do not get stuck in the fast-spinning machines by tying them away to so that there is no loose clothing hanging out somewhere.
Leather aprons are the best choice given the material is quite tough and will not tear easily. Besides going for something with a sturdy material, it is also a great idea to choose an apron with multiple pockets that can keep your tools close.
8. Steel Tip Work Boots
While it is obvious you also need protection for your feet when woodworking, some woodworkers do not know the proper footwear to wear. Here, the steel tip work boots are often the best options.
The steel top boots are handy at protecting your toes from falling stuff when working, and most also have a mid-soleplate that protects the feet if you step in nails. When choosing woodworking boots, make sure they fit perfectly and are breathable enough.
9. Fire Extinguisher
A fire extinguisher is essential when woodworking, given how flammable wood can get, especially when it is cut or shaved into tiny particles.
Having several fire extinguishers is an excellent idea but make sure you place them strategically in easy to reach spots.
If you plan to get into woodworking, it is crucial to take precautions to ensure you will be safe when doing the job. Investing in the 9 safety equipment showcased above is the perfect starting point.
Also, make sure you never compromise on the quality of any safety equipment and only go for certified products where applicable.