It is hard to argue the contention that the scroll saw is the safest tool in a typical shop. In fact, the worst injury that you could get into when using a scroll saw can be dealt with a Band-Aid. This, however, doesn’t mean that you should get careless when using a scroll saw.
After all, getting a cut in your finger is still painful. It can also cause a temporary delay in your project, something you obviously don’t want to happen.
There are many safety rules that you should remember when operating a scroll saw. This article will enumerate some of these rules.
As with operating other power tools, you should be mindful of the clothes you wear. Many experts suggest wearing tight fitting clothes.
Long sleeve shirts should also be avoided. Loose cuff on this type of shirt, for example can be easily caught on the moving arm of a scroll saw.
If you can’t avoid wearing long sleeve shirts, then you should roll it up first before using the scroll saw.
You must also be conscious of your hair. If you have long hair, tie it back with a ponytail to prevent it from getting entangled with the power tool.
Avoid wearing jewelry too as these can easily become caught in the scroll saw and cause an injury.
You should also make it a habit to wear safety glasses when operating a scroll saw. You may also wear a face shield. Both would protect your eyes against sharp blades, which can be very dangerous if they break off.
You’d also want to wear a dust mask especially if you are prone to asthma attacks. The very fine dust generated by the scroll saw can affect your health. While your scroll saw may have a dust blower, but it only blows the dust into the air and doesn’t really prevent you from inhaling those microscopic elements.
Good lighting lets you see the marked lines well, resulting to accurate cuts. You should always work in a well-lit area. It also doesn’t hurt if you purchase lights separately that you can mount on the scroll saw. Or better yet, buy a scroll saw that has work lights.
The work area should be kept clean and uncluttered. You should also choose an area that is spacious enough to give you a two foot perimeter around the scroll saw. You must also place the scroll saw in a fixed and stable surface.
The work area should also have enough lighting. And the area should have no objects that can make you distracted or lose your focus, such as TV.
You should also replace the blade with the teeth facing down. You must also install the right blade for the job. Putting one with too few teeth in relation to the thickness of the wood will offer poor control, aside from the risk of it jumping around.
Whether you are changing blades or making adjustments to the tool itself, you should always turn off the machine first. For example, you want to remove scraps. Before you do so, you should turn off the scroll saw first. The same goes for making adjustments to the scroll saw such as changing its speed settings.
Before cutting the workpiece, you should inspect it first. For one, there should be no nails or foreign object in the part where you want to cut it. This could cause a small projectile to launch and hurt you or other people.
You must also make sure that it isn’t too small for you to cut it through the scroll saw.
The three inch rule is simple—your fingers should be at least three inches away from the path of the blade. Since you are cutting intricate cuts with turns and angles unavoidable, there is always a chance that the wood will ‘jump’ if you are not careful.
This is one of the most important scroll safety rules you should remember as it can prevent you from getting nasty cuts.If the work piece is so small that you can’t follow the three inch rule, then you should use a push stick instead. This would help you cut the work piece without putting your fingers in harm’s way.
Plan your cuts well as making sudden twists can cause the blade to bind or brake. It is advisable that you saw curve gradually.
It is also recommended that you make a short cut first. You must also ensure that the blade is running at full speed before you start a cut. Moreover, you should avoid backing out of cuts with the scroll saw on as this can cause the blade to bind.
It is not uncommon for users of scroll saw to remove the hold down clamp. The usual reason is that it can get in the way especially when working on small pieces. But it should be left in place as it plays a very important role. The hold down clamp helps ensure that you won’t slip the fingers into the blade.
If you still find it a hindrance, simply lower it down as close to the wood as possible.
These are 10 of the basic scroll saw safety rules that you should keep in mind when you operate the said power tool. While scroll saw is generally considered a safe power tool, that doesn’t mean that you can be reckless in operating it. Be conscious of your safety as well as those of others around you so that you can finish your project without any hassles.
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