Woodworking Tools and Protective Gear
The world has seen a rise in hobbies over the last few years–due mostly to a global pandemic keeping everyone at home. With more free time than most had seen in years, many hobbyists have turned to woodworking. Whether you’re a professional or amateur, safety should be top priority. You could be new to the game and looking for insider tips on gear, or an established pro looking for a new perspective on tools of the trade–read on for a list of gear that can take your work to the next level.
- Woodworking tools
- Woodworking ear protection
- Woodworking eye protection
- Woodworking shop aprons
When it comes to woodworking, the possibilities are endless. Anything from fixing up the family home to making a birdhouse falls under woodworking, so there is no set list of proper equipment that covers every potential project. Instead, there are just a few items that are necessary and useful for nearly anything you could be stepping into the shop for.
A carving set consists of a number of smaller tools used for shaping and shaving wood. These kits could include anywhere from four to twenty tools, so be sure and pick the one that has everything you need. Most kits will include the same basic tools: things like a gouge chisel, a spoon knife, a whittling knife, a hook knife, and a wood carving knife. Some kits will even include finger tape and wood blocks to carve. Either way, a set is primarily for things like whittling and putting the finishing touches on larger projects. These aren’t the tools you’d use to slice up heartier pieces of wood.
Wood Carving Gloves
It’s common sense that slicing through a block of wood is more difficult than, say, a finger. That’s why it’s so important to ensure the proper safety protocols are in place when handling knives and tools meant to cut up wood. One of the most important precautions would be wearing wood carving gloves, which are meant to protect the skin from being cut. It’s important to note that these gloves are far different from winter gloves, which will provide little to no protection from knives. Instead, carving gloves are made of material that is “knife-proof”. Some gloves will even include a slip-proof material on the palms and fingers to improve the user’s grip. That way, you reap all the benefits of protective gloves without experiencing any sort of drawback, like losing the ability to wield your tools properly.
Woodworking Ear Protection
When thinking of woodworking safety, ear protection may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, ears provide a fairly large target for small materials like sawdust and wood chips. Not to mention, most woodworking tools like saws and sanders can get pretty loud, causing hearing damage. When considering what could prevent both physical injury and hearing damage, there is one piece of equipment that comes to mind.
Woodworking Ear Muffs
A set of woodworking ear muffs should ideally completely cover the ear itself while also blocking noise. While the most important factor to consider should always be safety, make sure that the ear muffs you choose are also comfortable and easy to wear. Some muffs will even include a Bluetooth feature, meaning you can play all your favorite music while hard at work. Music or not, the first step to a good time is making sure all safety bases are covered–including the ears.
Woodworking Eye Protection
When it comes to any hobby or sport, eye protection is always taken into consideration. We wear sunglasses daily to protect our eyes from UV rays, why wouldn’t we also wear protective glasses when handling dangerous equipment and small objects?
Woodworking glasses are essential for anyone planning to work with wood–whether they’re an amateur, professional, or frequent hobbyist. There are loads of options available, from glasses meant to look similar to what most would wear daily, to those that are nearing safety goggle status. Unless you’re planning on using your safety glasses for more than just woodworking–like having them updated with a prescription lens and wearing them daily, the safer–albeit, less fashionable–options are the best bet. Look for glasses that not only have a lens directly over the eyes, but offer protection for the sides of the eyes as well. They should be fairly large, able to cover your entire eye and the area around it. It’s not a bad idea to pick a frame that expands up the eyebrow and down to the top of the cheekbone.
Woodworking Shop Aprons
Moving on down from the head, the next area to ensure is protected would be your midsection. Most machinery is operated at waist-level–table saws and power sanders to name a couple. While safety is an important factor when purchasing an apron, it’s not the only benefit to wearing one. Woodworking requires the use of smaller, delicate tools–meaning that pockets are a must. Overall, an apron is a versatile tool that can be used for any hobby–not just woodworking.
Pockets for Tools and Accessories
Just by exploring wood carving kits, like the ones listed above, it becomes apparent that woodworking involves a multitude of smaller, handheld tools. Add into the mix nuts and bolts, bits of sanding paper, and chunks of wood to be used later, and you’ve got a real mess on your hands. The large pockets that an apron provides ensure that all those odd and ends stay right under your nose and helps keep your woodworking adventure stress-free.
Protection from Sawdust, Debris, and Sharp Tools
Wearing an apron for protection might seem silly, but the kinds of aprons used for woodworking are not the stereotypical “kiss the chef” aprons you see dads wearing by the grill. True woodworking aprons are tough, meant to add a significant layer of protection between you and any blades or shards of wood being thrown your way. In order for an apron to hold up against those kinds of threats, it should be made of a heavy canvas material. Canvas is ideal, because it’s light enough that it won’t strain your back or shoulders, but strong enough to resist any tearing or fraying. When canvas material is high quality, it provides more protection than any kind of leather apron would.
Not only does it protect from debris and sharp objects, but another important factor to consider is cleanliness. Woodworking is a messy business. Sawdust has an infuriating ability to get everywhere, and it’s not the easiest to clean up. Things like wood stain or lacquer can also lead to the kind of mess that would dampen anyone’s day. While it’s true some messes can’t be avoided, the least you can do is keep them off your clothes. The apron is there to catch the mess, so that you can move in and out of the house without leaving a trail of sawdust.
Texas Canvas Shop Aprons
For a quality apron that keeps you safe, equipped, and clean, check out Texas Canvas Wares apron selection. The canvas material ensures safety without being heavy enough to break your back, and the price ensures you won’t break the bank. These aprons are made for anyone who knows the value of hard work–whether you’re just starting out or you run the game. There are multiple colors available, and the numerous pockets mean you’ll always have enough space. If those roomy pockets aren’t quite organized enough, check out their magnetic wristbands as well, you’ll have all your bolts and screws–literally–an arm’s length away.
Woodworking is a rewarding skill, but it can be dangerous as well. Staying safe while on the job not only ensures that you live to see the next project, but many safety measures can improve the outcome of your current one. Adding prescription lenses to safety glasses is a great way to hone in on the detail of whatever you’re crafting, and the grips on protective gloves lead to better control over smaller tools. Ultimately, you and your product benefit greatly from staying up-to-date on shop and personal safety. Take your product to the next level by investing in yourself first.