Safety

Working with metal creates many hazards to beware of. Cutting and drilling create sharp edges and burrs that can cause nasty cuts, and can cause small, sharp pieces of metal to fly around at high speed. Wraparound safety goggles (which can easily fit over spectacles if you wear them) are a must! So-called "safety glasses" that permit objects to get to your eyes from the side can be worse than useless because they create a false sense of security.

Soldering metal pieces involves the use of very high temperatures that can cause second or even third degree burns in seconds. Heavy leather gloves are therefore a very worthwhile investment. You should develop the habit of feeling naked and unprotected whenever you don't have on the proper safety gear.

Beyond this, we don't want to belabor the point. Good safety equipment is no substitute for common sense! If you develop your workshop beyond the basics, then you will be bombarded with sound safety advice from other sources, be it from the manufactures of the equipment you buy, or from instructors at classes you may attend.

However, we'd like to add just one word of caution. In any activity or line of work, the most dangerous phase is after you develop skills and familiarity, and caution begins to lapse. Many people have been badly hurt or killed by bad habits that built up bit by bit as they gained confidence and experience. Be forewarned, and guard against this tendency.

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