Friday, June 24, 2005

Sands of time

Okay, so who didn't cross everything? Huh? Huh? Yep, another day, zero progress. The joys of supermarket shopping instead, and nothing wooden worth speaking of in the place, except the tannoy announcements...

So instead some more theorising and such, which is what I'm better if, if we're honest. I don't usually stumble across to the Normite side of WoodCentral, but this afternoon I did, and found this. A horror story concerning ill-health after power sanding a piece of wooden kitchen worktop, for the benefit of anyone reading this long after the link is dead. Anyway, it made for me to think. Should we regard sanding with the same kind of care and attention for Health & Safety as we would with, say, a spindle moulder? (I would say as a table saw, but I'm too well aware of what H&S practices are regularly disregarded on those... ) Okay, so the effects of sanding aren't going to result in instant loss of digits, blood etc, but examples like this show it's not always just the stranger 20 years from now whose life you could be saving, but the here-and-now you. Of course you know where this is going, don't you? Yep, the wonders of hand tools. They just don't make that killer dust that the powered demons do. If the guy had simply lugged about a #5 for a while he could have achieved the same result with the added bonus of a little cardio-vascular workout and a raging thirst... Not to say I don't slaughter a few electrons in the name of a fine finish myself, but the more I can cut back, surely the better off I'll be? And a pile of whispy shavings beats a bag o' dust any day of the week for the "Ahhh" factor from passers by. So should we treat powered sanders with the same kind of wariness bordering on horror that we do dado blades? Discuss, and please use just one side of the paper.


  1. Hi Alf,
    wasn't the problem due to the food contamination on the worktop? Manual planning would be just as likely to cause a health problem with the spores being disturbed.
    However, I do agree re H&S awareness using powered sanders, I always use attached extraction.

    From your other reader, John!

  2. Good grief, there's another one! Hi, John.

    Well yes, the guess was the contamination in the worktop may have been the problem, but it hadn't caused anybody any trouble while it was still part of the worktop. So my unscientifically-based contention (and it's my Blog, so I can if I want to ;~) is that it would have been unlikely to cause any trouble while still trapped in the form of shavings. Plus most of the trouble with these things seems to come when they're inhaled, the likelihood of which is, as we know, greater with fine dust than fine shavings. But you're right, I skipped some of the facts for effect. Shame on me...

  3. No sympathy what-so-ever, I'm afraid... Shoulda taken one look at the "googly gunk" (whatever that is), and introduced the customer to the idea of something called "cleaning the kitchen"!

    From your hard-hearted other reader (and no, I refute any suggestion I might be a TOG)...

  4. Yikes, another one! They're all coming out of the - wait for it - woodwork.

    Okay, I'll get my coat on the way out...


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