No matter what you’re doing it’s always important to stay safe. That means making sure that you know the rules and that you are following them at all times and that becomes extremely important when you’re talking about a bench top planer. Because of the blade, this planer is extremely dangerous to use if you don’t know what you’re doing and that’s why it’s important that you practice plenty before you step up and start using it on your own. It could keep you from a very serious injury or even just from ruining your project.
- Stay Away From the Infeed and Outfeed – No matter what you want to make sure that your hands are not in the way of the openings at either end of the tables. This is where the most damage will likely occur and it’s one of the easiest ways that you can be injured. Always keep track of where these ends are relative to your hands to avoid any damage. You could be seriously hurt by leaving your hands too close to anything and that definitely needs to be avoided.
- Stand Next to the Machine – Never stand directly behind the machine because if the wood buckles or kicks back or shatters you could end up with a very serious problem that gets worse if you’re directly behind the machine when it happens. By standing to the side you can keep yourself out of the major radius of injury. Just make sure that no one is standing behind the machine as they could end up being injured instead if you (or they) aren’t careful. Remember that the machine has a lot of power.
- Avoid Gloves and Loose Articles of Clothing – You want to make sure you’re not going to get pulled into the machine or caught in it. The best case scenario is that you would tear your gloves or clothing or bind up the machine. These things can definitely slow you down and make for a rough day. The worst case is that you could cut yourself and be seriously injured. That’s a reason to always follow the rules and keep track of where your clothing, hair or jewelry is at all times (and keep them away from the machine).
- Check the Area First – Before you start working the very first thing you want to do is check the area that you’re going to be using. You want to make sure that you are not going to be invading someone else’s space and you want to be sure that the board you’re using isn’t going to cause anyone else injury as well. That means making sure that even if the board kicks back, it’s not going to hit anyone who happens to be standing nearby. You are responsible for knowing what is going on in the area directly around you and your project.
- Wear Safety Glasses and Hearing Protection – This tool is very loud and can easily blow back pieces or even just sawdust. You want to make sure you’re paying attention to this and that you’re protecting yourself from anything that might come your way. Your safety goggles should have some type of shields on the side to protect your entire eye and to make sure that you don’t get anything in them. Wearing hearing protection is going to keep the loud noises from damaging your eardrum in any way. Make sure that you’re always using these whenever the machine is on or even if you’re walking near someone else who is using one.
- Use All Guards and Covers – You want to always make sure that the guards and covers put in place for your safety are being used. These covers are going to keep your hands away from blades and other dangerous parts. By leaving them alone you’re going to have less danger and you’ll be able to get your project done more quickly and safely as well. You won’t have to worry about pinching your fingers (at the best) or cutting yourself or even improperly cutting your board while you’re working. Those guards are there for a reason and must stay there.
- Always Unplug the Machine to Set it Up – You don’t know what could happen if you’re adjusting blades and pieces while the machine is running. Even if there doesn’t appear to be anything in or on the machine, it’s possible that pieces get jammed inside or even just the movement of the blades and mechanisms could jar something. If the machine is off there is no power behind the movements and you shouldn’t have anything that comes loose and flies out of the machine or kicks into gear without warning. This keeps you and everyone around you safe while you make changes.
- Check Your Wood – Before you do anything with the wood you want to check each, individual pane. You want to make sure that there is no excess damage to the piece and also that there is nothing sticking in the wood that could catch in the mechanism. By looking at each piece carefully you keep yourself and everyone around you a whole lot safer and make sure that there is less chance of damage to the machine as well. All of these things are going to be important if you want to keep using your planer.
No matter what you plan to do with your wood when it’s all done, you want to make sure that it looks great when you’re done. That means making sure you know what you’re doing and that you’re doing it properly. Not only could breaking the safety rules result in something dangerous happening to you or someone around you, but it could also damage your tools and your pieces of wood as well. None of those are things you want to happen and that means you need to keep working carefully and making sure that you have all the tools that you’re going to need and an understanding of how to use them.