Messages Archive

Re: Safety Lesson? What is your practice now?

William Duffield
I have two of them, both Makitas but different diameters. One has the Kutzall burr on it, and I keep it chained up ;) . The other is equipped with a diamond blade for cutting masonry, including plaster, concrete block, bricks, porcelain bathroom tile, slate pavers, etc. Most of the time, it is installed in a Harbor Freight gizmo for chopping rebar and metal pipe. Just thinking about it raises my hackles.

There are effective and efficient hand tool methods that will accomplish just about anything that an angle grinder with a carving blade will do. Those include mallet with gouge and bowl adze, but even those can be dangerous if you don't have a method to secure your work piece (and I don't mean with your hand or your foot). I'm not comfortable shaping Windsor chair seats with an adze, swinging it towards my toes while removing wood from beneath the sole of my boot, but a lot of people get away with that method.

My safety rules for the hand carving tools are:

- Keep both hands behind the cutting edge;

- Before making every cut, ask yourself, "Where is it going to go WHEN it slips?" (…not IF it slips.)

- Keep your edges sharp. Sharpen often.

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