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Safety Guidelines

In addition to the safety suggestions for general power tool usage, there are specific safety requirements for each type of tool. The following sections cover safety guidelines for these types of tools:

  • Drill press
  • Grinder
  • Jointer and shaper
  • Lathe
  • Nail/air gun
  • Planer
  • Forging machines
  • Sander
  • Saw
  • Band
  • Circular
  • Radial arm
  • Table


11. Drill Press Safety

Follow these safety guidelines when using drill presses:

  • Securely fasten work materials to prevent spinning. Never use your hands to secure work materials.
  • Use a center punch to score the material before drilling.
  • Run the drill at the correct speed. Forcing or feeding too fast can break drill bits.
  • Never attempt to loosen the chuck unless the power is off.
  • Lower the spindle before removing a chuck.
  • Never use a regular auger bit in a drill press.
  • Frequently back the drill out of deep cuts to clean and cool the bit.

12. Grinder Safety

Follow these safety guidelines when working with grinders:

  • Ensure that no combustible or flammable materials are nearby that could be ignited by sparks from the grinder wheel.
  • Ensure that a guard covers at least 270 degrees of the grinding wheel on bench-mounted machines.
  • Place the grinder tool rest 1/8 inch from the wheel and slightly above the center line.
  • Allow the grinder to reach full speed before stepping into the grinding position. Faulty wheels usually break at the start of an operation.
  • Unless otherwise designed, grind on the face of the wheel.
  • Use vise-grip pliers or clamp to hold small pieces.
  • Slowly move work pieces across the face of wheel in a uniform manner. This will keep the wheel sound.
  • Do not grind non-ferrous materials.
  • Periodically check grinder wheels for soundness. Suspend the wheel on a string and tap it. If the wheel rings, it is probably sound.
  • Replace wheels that are badly worn or cracked.
  • Never use a wheel that has been dropped or received a heavy blow, even if there is no apparent damage.
  • Before using a new wheel, let it a run a few seconds at full speed to make sure it is balanced.

13. Jointer and Shaper Safety

Follow these safety guidelines when using jointers and shapers:

  • Ensure that jointers are equipped with cylindrical cutting heads.
  • Use a push stick, as necessary.
  • Do not use single cutter knives in shaper heads.
  • Ensure that knives are balanced and correctly mounted.
  • Adjust cut depth before turning the machine on.
  • Do not use the jointer for strips that are less than 1 inch wide.