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Woodworking Tips and Tricks…Uses for Carpet in the Shop

07/10/2018

One of the things that is little discussed when dealing with woodworking is the floor.  Since my dad died, my shop floor doesn’t show very often, as he used to come once a week and sweep up.  He loved that air compressor nozzle and blew up a real mess of dust, a lot of which ended up in my office (which explains why my CD players didn’t last very long).

Having a clean floor goes with sound logic safety-wise (and if your shop is at home, you want to have a peaceful marriage), and there is something about having it all swept up that makes working there more pleasant and more “professional”.  I heard once that “Tomorrow’s masterpieces can’t be made in yesterday’s mess.”  Not sure if that’s true because I don’t know if I have made any masterpieces…only the future can judge that.

But one place you need to make absolutely sure you have a clean floor is in front of your table saw.  Dust here can make cement very slippery and here is the scenario:  You are leaning on your tiptoes over the running saw to reach for a piece on the other side of the blade and your feet slip and you fall forward onto the spinning blade (please picture this), cutting your arm, face or chest in half.  It’s happened….yes I know that the guard is there for a reason but half of table saw work is done without the guard.

Here is what you do:  get a large piece of heavy house carpet (not anti slip mat, as dust will make it useless,) something that is stiff enough not to curl at the edges so you trip on it, and put it in front of your saw.   This will keep your feet from slipping and trap some of the dust from going into the house.  It also insulates the floor so the cold of winter doesn’t seep into your feet making you want to give it up and go in for a hot cup.

Yes, it makes it harder to sweep, but considering the alternative, it’s cheap insurance against that accident of all accidents.  But you know there are no such things as accidents in woodworking, right, just carelessness?  Even a “minor” saw injury can be life altering, especially if it makes you not be able to do your job.

So care about your face and arms and chest and do this simple thing.


One place you can source this carpet is you can cut a piece from under your couch or better yet, the bed.  No one will know until you move.

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