Friday, October 16, 2009
When was your last Tetanus booster?
Of course with any type of wood carving comes the risk of injury and carving injuries are usually the result of a momentary lapse in judgement. Its usually occurs when the carver disregards what he knows to be safe in order to get that one last cut in, or when he becomes distracted. That being said lets talk a little about safety so that you can spend more time carving and less time figuring out how you are going to explain the $50 emergency room co-pay to your other half!!
One rule to understand is that a large number of injuries come from the carver using dull tools. The use of dull tools causes the carver to exert a greater amount of force which in turn results in accidents. Make sure all tools being utilized are "Wood Carving Sharp" (I will define this furtherin an upcoming post) before and during use. Trust me a cut from a dull blade hurts a lot worse than one from a sharp one.
Use safety equipment. This means a carvers glove (I have in case my primary fails), the glove is worn on the opposite hand as it usually holds the wood being carved. A thumb guard can also be used if desired. The other item is VetWrap made by 3M, this is sold usually at a farm store in 4" wide rolls. The roll in the picture has been cut down to a 1" width. VetWrap is not made for stopping a sharp blade but is worn on the carving hand to diminish the chance of minor cuts while padding the hand to prevent blisters.
Safety Tip: Employ the "Line of Fire" rule. This meaning to keep any appendages(fingers) from being in line with a cut. That way if you slip there is a good chance it will not result in injury.