Woodworking Safety Tips for Beginners

WoodItGood is supported by its readers. We may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you if you buy through a link on this page.

Don’t lose a finger! Read these woodworking safety tips for beginners. If you’re thinking about starting a woodworking project, then you should definitely consider these basic safety rules.

They’ll help you stay safe and prevent injuries. Woodworking is an amazing hobby and profession that has been around for centuries. It’s also a dangerous hobby if you aren’t careful.

In fact, there are many ways that you can get hurt while working with wood. Even folks with lots of woodworking experience wind up in the hospital from time to time.

Follow these basic woodworking safety rules so you do not become a statistic!

Let’s Get Into Some Woodworking Safety Tips!

Woodworking safety tips, some advice for newbies.

Now that we’ve prefaced what we’re going over today, lets get into it! Here’s the advice you need to safely move forward on your new woodworking adventures.

Wear Appropriate Clothing

Wearing appropriate clothing is one of the most important and easy to achieve safety precautions you can take while woodworking.

Loose clothing is a big “No-No” in your wood shop! When woodworking you should always wear appropriate clothes.

They should be sturdy enough to protect you from sharp edges, flying wood chips and the like.

Never wear loose-fitting clothing that can get caught in the machinery or other dangerous tools and cause injury to your body.

Always make sure that any clothing is tight enough so it doesn’t move around when working with power equipment, but not too tight as this will restrict the movement of your arms and hands.

Protect Yourself From Splinters

Splinter injuries happen more often than most people realize.

Protect yourself from getting hurt by wearing protective clothing.

Don’t Wear Jewelry

Be careful about wearing jewelry. Many woodworking machines, especially a router table or lathe, spin at very high speeds. Your jewelry could become tangled up in the machine causing serious injuries.

If you are going to use these kinds of woodworking equipment be sure to remove all jewelry before starting work on them.

Always Use Proper Tools

Always check out what type of woodworking tools you need before purchasing one. Make sure that the tool has been tested by an expert before buying it.

You don’t want to buy something cheap just because it looks good. It may look like a great deal at first glance, but if it isn’t safe then it won’t last long.

Keep Your Work Area Clean

A clean area when woodworking is a must.

Keep clutter away from where you are cutting materials. This way there is less chance of getting injured by sharp objects falling off shelves or tables. Or worse, falling into a spinning blade or tripping you into one.

This means keeping dust off of everything including yourself. When sanding keep a fan blowing over the surface being worked on to help reduce dust particles from getting into your eyes.

Also try to avoid breathing in sawdust during sanding. Make sure that there aren’t any sharp objects lying around where children might find them.

Always Wear Safety Equipment

Wearing safety equipment, such as safety glasses, gloves, hearing protection and protective boots is also a top priority.

Proper woodworking safety equipment includes eye protection, hearing protection, gloves, and shoes.

These items protect you against accidents such as cuts, burns, and electrical shocks. They also prevent you from injuring other people who may come across your workspace.

Dust Mask Protects Your Lungs

Always use a dust mask when woodworking because dust masks filter fine particulate matter which can irritate your lungs.

A dust mask helps to ensure that no harmful substances enter your airways.

Safety Glasses For Woodworking Are A Must

Eye Protection in your woodshop is critically important and ignored by many to their dismay.

If you have ever watched someone splinter wood or break a blade with a circular saw or used a jigsaw without wearing a pair of glasses, you know how dangerous those things can be. The same goes for routers and grinders.

Use a pair of safety glasses whenever possible.

Ear Plugs

If your woodworking projects will have you working with or near loud machinery, earplugs should be worn. Ear protection in a woodshop is important because noise levels can reach hazardous levels.

Earplugs are inexpensive and easy to obtain. Just remember to take them off once you leave the shop.

Shop Appropriate Shoes

Steel toed boots are the best option for any kind of workshop, but any kind of closed toe shoes will do.

Proper shoes for a woodshop include steel-toed boots, slip-resistant soles, and toe caps.

Steel toes keep you safe from heavy falling objects. Slip-resistant soles allow you to walk safely on slippery surfaces. Even if you do not care to wear steel-toe boots, closed-toe shoes are a must. No sandals!

Work Gloves

When working with power tools, hand protection is essential. Always wear leather or vinyl-covered work gloves.

Leather protects your hands from heat and friction. Vinyl provides additional grip so you will feel more secure holding onto whatever object you are working on.

Disconnect Power When Changing Blades And Bits

Never change blades or bits while the tool is still connected to a power source. Doing this could cause serious injury.

Disconnect all power sources before changing anything else. Stupid happens! Don’t lose a finger because the power button is accidentally pressed.

Work Against the Cutter

Always cut away from yourself!

When working with wood it is important to always work against the cutting edge of the blade.

It’s much safer and easier to pull your hand back than trying to stop an advancing blade. When using a power tool like a circular saw or jigsaw, never cut towards yourself.

Keep Your Fingers Out Of The Way

Use a push stick when making long cuts. Push sticks help guide the material through the machine.

You don’t want to get caught up in the running blade. When using a table saw, consider making yourself a crosscut sled to protect your fingers.

Use A Single Extension Cord

Extension cords in your wood shop can be a hazard. Make sure only one cord runs to your equipment. This way, there is less chance of tripping over multiple extension cords.

Also make sure they are out of the way where children cannot access them. You also don’t want any chance of your power cord coming into contact with a running blade.

This is one of the most basic rules for woodworking. Using multiple extension cords poses a fire hazard.

Never run multiple extension cords together. Instead, connect one cord at a time to each device. This way, if there is a problem with any single connection, only that part of the circuit fails.

Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

Avoiding alcohol helps prevent accidents caused by impaired judgment. Avoid recreational drugs which impair coordination and reflexes.

And time your woodworking around your prescriptions that could impair your ability to use heavy machinery. These substances may also affect your ability to operate machines properly.

Dust Control

Dust control is extremely important in a woodshop. It can accumulate quickly and become a huge mess and very dangerous.

Wood dust is dangerous because it contains fine particles of hardwood shavings. If inhaled these particles can irritate your lungs causing coughing fits and even pneumonia or fungal infection.

They can also become lodged deep inside lung tissue leading to respiratory problems. Use dust collectors to remove large amounts of dust. If you have no dust collector, use a vacuum cleaner instead.

Vacuum cleaners are available in many sizes and models.

Always Use Sharp Blades and Bits

When woodworking, it is important to keep your saw blade sharp. Sharp blades cut cleanly with far less effort than a dull blade.

Dull blades tend to grab hold of materials creating a drag force that causes tearing. Tearing creates splinters and flying debris which can injure people and damage surfaces.

Check Wood for Nails

Before cutting any wood, especially reclaimed wood, always check for nails. Removing nails from old lumber will save you money on replacement parts.

Hitting a nail with a saw blade can lead to broken teeth, damaged machinery, injury to you or anyone in the area.

Always wear eye protection when removing nails.

Don’t Work When You Are Tired

Being tired is a form of impairment. Working while feeling fatigued increases the risk of mistakes being made.

Fatigue makes it harder to concentrate and focus. A wide range of mishaps can happen when you are fatigued. From picking up the wrong tool, using a tool without the proper safeguards, to dropping heavy objects.

In addition, fatigue reduces reaction times and muscle strength. Most accidents happen when people are not focused closely on what they are doing.

Never, Ever Reach Over A Running Saw Blade

If you reach across a running saw blade, you could lose an arm or worse.

The blade has momentum and can cause serious injuries. It is best not to touch the moving blade unless absolutely necessary.

NEVER WITH YOUR HAND! This is another one of those absolute rules for woodworking.

One of the most dangerous things a woodworker can do is reach over a blade. The risk of slipping into the blade or getting a sleeve caught is just too darn high.

All too many woodworkers have become seriously or permanently injured when reaching across a running blade because of accidental contact.

Do not join their numbers.

If you have to get behind the blade, take the time to reach around it. If something is important, shut your tool off and stop the blade. Remember how important blade guards are.

They should always be in place.

Rules For Woodworking Safety Poster!

A cooperation, workplace safety poster that can also work in your workshop.

In conclusion, the best advice we can give you is to use your common sense along with these safety precautions.

We hope this list of woodworking safety tips helped you learn more about safe practices for your woodshop.

Please share this article if you found it useful!

Did You Like These Woodworking Safety Tips? You May Also Enjoy:

Types of Wood Finishes [A Guide For Beginners]

Types of Wood for Woodworking Projects