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About Your Safety:

Like any type of woodworking or workshop activity, there are dangers inherent in pen making. Use common sense in the shop! Understand everything you’re working with, from the simplest hand tool to your biggest machine. Protect your eyes, ears, and lungs with appropriate safety gear. Don’t work when you’re tired or under the influence of anything that dulls your senses and slows your reactions. Keep your shop as clean and organized as possible. A fire extinguisher and a telephone might also help you save your shop or your life.

Using hand or power tools incorrectly or ignoring safety practices can lead to serious injury. Make sure that your woodworking tools and equipment are properly assembled, adjusted, and maintained, and that you are thoroughly familiar with their operation. All guards and safety devices should be in place and functioning, and never attempt any operation unless you are confident that you can perform it safely.

Some adhesives, solvents, and finishes contain chemicals which may cause short-term allergic reactions and long-term health problems. Many of these compounds are also extremely flammable. Pay close attention to the manufacturer’s warnings regarding exposure and ventilation.

Exposure to fine sanding dust can cause a variety of health issues. Accumulation of particulates in the lungs and sinuses, and irritation from natural and applied chemicals, mold, and fungi in the wood can cause problems ranging from a runny nose to serious disease. Some woods, such as Cocobolo, Red Cedar, and Teak can produce severe allergic reactions in some people from inhalation of sanding dust or skin contact.

Enjoy working in your shop, but make health and safety your first priority.

This document was posted August 1, 2008

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