My workshop is poorly insulated and without heat so I can only get back into the shop when the weather is conducive. I’m so glad Spring has finally arrived! Of course, Winter doesn’t prevent me from buying new tools or getting pallet wood. So, a few weeks ago, I had to spend a few days breaking down pallets. Last weekend I dedicated time to re-configuring the workshop. My floor-standing band saw was… well standing in the middle of the floor and I had no room to get around it. Along with a few other new items.
You can see from the photos below I cut back one of my workbenches to give the band saw a place to live. At the same I gave the Ryobi air compressor I bought a couple months ago a convenient spot under the bench beside it. The new Bostich shop vac will sit just infront of the compressor and attach to the band saw and is close enough to the table saw for a quick switch. Yeah!
I have to say, having a decent shop vac makes a world of difference. I feel like I spend half my shop time on cleaning up after making a few cuts. My old vac was small and very under-powered. Plus the filter was always clogging up. Without a cyclone (next on my list?), I resorted to sweeping up the majority of the debris and using the vacuum as a blower to blow the rest out the door. It was enjoyable and gave me time to think, but it was time consuming.
I decided to try out the new shop vac suction power on the table saw and make some cuts for my current project (for an upcoming post). It works GREAT! And with the included vacuum bag, I expect clean up will be a breeze!
Anyway, I needed some thinner stock for part of the project and I did something stupid. I didn’t grab my push stick. I knew better!!! I slowly made the cut and when it got toward the end one piece cracked and I reached far ahead to remove it — SAFTEY FIRST! Well, as I did that the board was still where the blade made contact and pulled it forward — catching my thumb!
Fortunately, I had the blade no higher than was needed for the cut of this could have been worse. A LOT worse. The kind folks at the ER said there was too much ‘material’ missing so stitches or gluing was out. In the end, they decided to clean it, stick a bandage on it and send me away. Crazy, huh?
Take it from me, “Mr. Thumb Kerf” …shop safety is important 100% of the time! To that end, I put my band saw to good use by making a couple of push sticks. TWO! No excuses!