Precautions to be taken while carving

Avoid the cutting edges of your tools at all times. By that I mean never have your hand or arm or body in the direction of the tool's travel. Don't let anyone stand directly in front of you when you are carving because sometimes the tool slips out of your hand and if, by chance, you are driving the tool, it can go across the shop in a hurry, cutting as it goes. Never use a carving tool to whittle with. Use a sharp jackknife. Never use a dull tool. More accidents are caused by dull tools than sharp ones. Take care when you use these lethal weapons. They don't care what they cut, but you do-presumably.

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The first axiom-never wear loose, floppy garments when you work around machines. Never wear a necktie. Never have the tabs of your shop apron tied in front of you. Don't have loose cuffs on your coveralls. These are mantraps and, if they get caught in the moving blades, will yank you or your hand into the blade and that is that. Keep your hands and fingers away from all machine tools; two inches is the close limit.

For machine tools, if you want them, I would suggest a band saw (Image 17). In addition to the band saw, a table saw or its equal is good and a great help. A small drill press is one of the useful tools that can be had in the shop. You can go on from there and spend lots more, but, in my opinion, you don't have to. Personally, I won't have a rotary jointer in the shop. I dislike this tool and have seen too many accidents resulting from its use even by skilled workmen.
Each of the foregoing machine tools requires some skill in getting the most out of it. I suggest that trial cuts be made in waste stock until you have learned the basic use of each tool.

Work on band saw. Note that my hands and fingers are held well away from the blade. This is important!

Excellent machine tools can be obtained or ordered by mail from the leading mail-order houses. The best-made tools are legion and there is a large choice among reputable tool manufacturers. Handbooks are available for each of these tools, usually put out by the maker or, in the case of the catalogue houses, from them. Read the rules and abide by them. Safety in the shop is an ESSENTIAL MUST. The directions for all machine tools will emphasize this point, too.

In the final analysis, don't overbuy tools at the start. Be content to use the humble tools first. Learn by practice how to sharpen those that you have, to take care of them, and how to get the most out of them and how to keep your digits intact.

One final parting shot. Let the tool do the work. Take your time. Don't hurry. Go easy. Quit when you get tired. Don't work more than six hours a day on any project and be careful.






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