Making for Beginners – Part One

In part one of our Making for Beginners series, we discuss perhaps the most important, but often most overlooked element of the workshop/craft room; Safety. Safety does not have to be expensive, and I can say from experience the gear costs less than the ER visits.

Lets consider safety in layers, starting first with our Eyes. Any time you cut, hammer, sand, or paint, your eyes are at risk of taking some debris. Eye protection is super cheap, and if you are willing to pay an extra buck or two, you can get some cool colors that the kiddos will love to wear. Even if you already wear glasses, some safety glasses on top will add an extra layer of protection.

Breathing. As an asthmatic, being able to breath on a good day is a challenge. Add to that dust from ripping wood or that nasty chemical stuff that holds MDF together, lungs need to be protected. In my shop I keep a number of masks on hand to tackle simple dust all the way up to industrial masks that manage organic vapors. Masks can often be re-used and are inexpensive.

Hearing. Nothing prohibits kiddos from workshop time like the sound of a miter saw doing its thing. The loud sounds can be intimidating and in an enclosed workspace, could be dangerous. Keeping a few sets of ear cans around is a critical step for noise management. Cans vs Foam Plugs? I've never been able to fit those foam things into a 4yr old kiddo - the cans work every time and I believe have a higher noise isolation rating.

Hand Protection. This can take many forms such as nitrile gloves, or more industrial protection. I keep a box of small nitrile gloves on hand for messy tasks.

In summary - Look, I am not a medical professional, just a Dad with kiddos that want to participate in workshop time. Protecting myself, and my kids is worth a few bucks investment. In fact, all of the items you see in the picture cost me less than a single Dr. Office Visit. That's money well spent!

Safety Shopping List

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3M Virtua CSS Protective Eyewear

3M Half Facepiece Respirator

HearTek Kids Ear Protection

Kids Disposable Nitrile Gloves