Checkbox Safety

Got an email about a tool survey from Fine Woodworking (most tools were either not in my workshop, or not in Australia, so I guess rather limited appeal for non-Americans when that Tool Review mag surfaces), and came across a sort of games/quiz section on their website.

After playing around a little with “Spot the Difference” with classic Fine Woodworking covers, I took a tablesaw safety quiz (multichoice), and found I was getting some of the questions ‘wrong’, although I disagree that I was. Not that what was being given as the ‘correct’ answer wasn’t necessarily right in some circumstances, or for some skill levels, which I feel reveals more the danger of using the absolutes of multichoice when discussing machinery safety.

Unless of course, for each question, after A. B. C. and D. there is also “E. Depends”

For example, one question was whether you can rip an irregularly shaped or circular piece of timber on a tablesaw. Their answer is “no”, yet I have ripped many pieces of widely varying shapes on a tablesaw perfectly safely (with the use of a carriage), so the absolute answer really required a “Depends” checkbox.

Operating safely in the woodworking workshop is not a matter of pure black and white “right and wrong”. It is much more a matter of what is needed (including knowledge and skill level) to complete a specific task, rather than whether it is simply “safe or unsafe”.

Can you safely rip an irregular shaped piece of timber on the tablesaw? Depends.

Can you cut a circle safely on a tablesaw? Depends.

Can you cut timber with knots and/or nails? Depends.

Safety Guards should always be used. Depends.

(and before I get tonnes of hatemail, try using a riving knife and blade guard when coving! So “depends!”)

Update: As Sven has pointed out in his experienced comment, there is only one real piece of safety equipment. If that isn’t working in optimum condition, no manner of guarding, or pushstick or anything will help, and that’s the grey mush between the ears.

If you are tired, distracted, intoxicated, or for any other reason off your game and/or not focusing on the job, and tool at hand you might instead be finding yourself suddenly focusing on your hand in the tool.

If your primary safety equipment is switched on, you have every chance of having another great, productive and safe sawdust generating shed session.

Another Router Bit Quiz

Click the logo to get to the quiz, and see what logo you can score.  Remember like quiz 1, the names are their US names (that’s a hint!)

Saw Blade Quiz

I knew there was going to be a real benefit when I conducted my “Battle of the Blades” sawblade review.

That benefit has just been realised when I conducted the Saw Blade Quiz on Tools

Cutting Saw Blade
Cutting Saw Blade quiz
by ToolsToday

Heh heh – ok, so I’m skiting (wonder if that is a term particular to NZ/Oz?) I managed 15/10 – there are bonuses to answering quickly! I don’t mind the occasional online quiz (so long as I do well!)

Router Bits
Router Bits quiz
by ToolsToday

Just had a look at their site, and saw they sell tambour door router bits. Just caught my eye, as I’ve had a few people ask about them over the years, and I haven’t found anyone selling them in Oz.  Might have to see if they will export! (Hmm Stu’s Shed Router Bit of the Month review?) 😉

Tambour Door Router Bits

Tambour Door Router Bits

Router Bit Quiz

While on the topic of quiz results, one of my other readers gave me a link to a router bit quiz, so while you are in the mood, it is also worth a go (but be ready for the American router bit terminology 😉 )

Router Bit Champion
Router Bit Champion

Cheapskate Woodworker Quiz

After my recent mention about a lack of woodworking quizzes, I was sent this link by the editor of

The result: let’s just say that anyone who saw my previous shed (and corners of the current one) will not be surprised by the result!

“Are You a Cheapskate Woodworker?”
My Result
Cheapskate Woodworker
WOW! You are a genius of saving money! Stories of your cheapness are legend within the woodworking community, and probably to your family and friends as well. You always win the “one-up” conversations about who’s the cheapest. Your passion for pinching pennies could infringe on your personal safety – and your time. Is it worth spending 2 hours to save 50 cents worth of nails? Remember – share your cheapskate tips in your favorite forum. After we get a good chuckle we will probably start using your tips 😉
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