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In response to our recent router post, reader Eli posted another great example of powerful tools wreaking havoc in shop class, and he points us to an excellent article containing safety tips for burgeoning woodworkers.

My shop teacher (Mr. Green, had all his fingers) showed us the effects of table-saw kickback by removing a safety poster from the cinder block wall ten feet behind the saw. The poster was covering a one-foot-diameter hole made by a piece of hard maple. I immediately developed a habit of standing to the side of the blade when cutting.

Below is as good a place as any to start for routers. Pay particular att’n to rule#9, as that’s how you’ll screw up most of your work. The best bit/most useful bit for someone new to routing is probably a simple roundover bit. Also make sure there’s nothing in the path of the router after it leaves the work. It helps to have someone who’s used one intelligently help you set it up and take first passes.

I wonder if the “on the ball” type of instructor would’ve put the poster and router near the hole in the wall to make a point without having to actually go through with it. That definitely sounds like something a shop teacher would do.

Don’t Fear The Router [Do It Yourself]


3 Responses to Reader Tips: Router Safety

  1. Scott says:

    Bravo, I must have missed that link when I checked back into the comments the other day. I’m going to show that list to my dad and see what he thinks. He probably paid no mind to rule number 9 when he first tried his router, which is probably why its been sitting untouched for 20 years or so.

  2. Zathrus says:

    The current (Jan or Feb 09 I think) Family Handyman has an article on router safety as well. I skimmed it (I don’t have a router), but I think they hit many of the same points as the DIY article, and have a couple of good pictures emphasizing rule #9.

  3. Shopmonger says:

    I know another way to be safe it have the rigth size router……

    I kow this is very un-ME but buying two routers… one for large routing and table work and a palm router for trim, mkae your “hand work” much safer

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