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Work Bench Health And Safety Tips

Apr 9, 2008
Health and safety is as important in woodworking as it is in any trade. Of course, a large part of health and safety awareness boils down to common sense and cautiousness. However, a certain amount of expertise is required too, particularly when using equipment and tools. A consideration of the various health and safety implications of using a work bench, for example, demonstrates just how much there is to bare in mind in order to work in a safe and efficient way.

The most important design features of any work bench are its vices, which are used for holding the wood in place while you work on it. Not only do vices give the work bench its unique selling point, they also help to keep you safe. Before commencing any task, make sure the vices are rigid and heavy enough to support the wood. Vices come in many different varieties depending on what the intended use of the work bench is. Understanding your vices - how they are put together, what the advantages and disadvantages of a particular type of vice are - is essential to health and safety.

Another important safety feature on a work bench is the base, which prevents the top from moving while the wood is being worked on. Many users prefer using an open base rather than a storage base. Storage bases have the obvious advantage of giving you somewhere to keep tools and materials, but open bases are easier to construct and are generally safer because they do not get in the way.

When using any piece of equipment, it is essential to understand how it works, or how it is put together. With work benches it is particularly important to understand what they are made from, as this can have a significant influence on the type of work it is safe to use them for. For example, some work benches are specifically designed and made for safe use in the electronics industry.

Many work benches, however, are made from wood. Solid wood, although more expensive, tends to be much stronger and more durable. Plywood, in contrast, can be easier to work with - as well as being cheaper. Work benches can also be made from steel. Whatever material your work bench is made from, make sure you understand what it can and cannot be used for.

Finally, when considering whether a work bench is fit for purpose, size and shape are very important too. When buying a work bench, your choice of size and shape may well have been limited by the availability of space and your budget. However, before embarking on any project it is essential to make sure your bench offers enough space to complete the task safely. Generally, the bigger the work bench the better, although more experienced wood workers will be better equipped to cope with a smaller work space. If you are using a small bench, remember to fix the bench to the floor to stop it sliding around while you are working on it.
About the Author
Since we started in 2004, we have been sending out thousands of parcels every week to homeowners and businesses within the UK and Southern Ireland. Your one-stop-shop for all your shelving, workbench and storage needs. http://www.bigdug.co.uk
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