View Full Version : Be safe...

Pete Howlett
02-20-2015, 10:40 PM
With the thread on those snazzy radius fingerboard cutters may I remind everyone to use all tools safely. Large router cutters are best mounted in a table set-up where the work is feed into the tool against the rotational cut. Where possible, make jigs with handles that will keep your hands and fingers well away from the business end of the machine. These are wonderful tools - I do all of my profiling on a 1/2" 2,000W router mounted on a table and wouldn't be without it. I also have all my fingers... Same goes for hand tools - keep them sharp and your fingers away from the edges. Please be safe :)

02-21-2015, 03:34 AM
Just cut my finger on the edge of the 80 grit abrasive while loading the drum sander...:(

Michael Smith
02-21-2015, 06:08 AM
Echoing Petes warning to new and old builders alike, I have heard horror stories about router injuries which not only severely cut but pulled tendons from the hands leaving the hand unrepairable and forever disabled.

02-21-2015, 08:19 AM
...and rotational tools (table saws, drum sanders, and especially routers on a table with a fence) can fire wood pieces like a cannon if one loses control of the piece.

02-21-2015, 08:29 AM
I'm going to steal a quote from another related thread by Pete:

- in the hands of an amateur (and most who post here are) not used to router technology these are potentially dangerous.

I am one of the amateur posters who Pete is referring too and I think this is a great point. I mainly use hand tools for a couple of reasons: 1) Availability (I do not, nor ever will own a drum sander), and 2: I enjoy working with wood and time and efficiency is not an issue with the hobbyist builder like it is with the pros who have to produce the product as efficiently as possible. Efficiency is not really an issue with me. A beautiful and structurally sound ukulele can be produced with hand tools alone. That being said, I do use a router simply because of the precision it gives that would be very difficult to achieve with hand tools. Yes, a rosette can be cut in using a popsicle stick, a nail and a razor blade, but I do draw the line somewhere. Also, what's the hurry? Oh, and ukuleles don't even need rosettes or binding.

Can we go back to having fun now?

Michael N.
02-21-2015, 09:36 AM
Actually that popsicle stick is a very good method and faster than many people think. If you are producing a set rosette width then the popsicle stick never need be adjusted, it's forever set.
You might be surprised at how fast one can become with hand tools. Ultimately it's never going to be as fast as using multiple machine tools but there are a number of full time pro makers who don't use machine tools.

Pete Howlett
02-21-2015, 09:38 AM
The fun for me is making the jig or tool to work with the router. I then smile constantly at the repeatability of each operation. I've been using routers of all sizes for over 40 years now so have a healthy respect for what they do.