Great options for eye protection

Safety Glasses

New materials and styles take modern protective eyewear from "geek" to "sleek."

"Just one little cut." How many times have you used that excuse for not wearing your safety glasses? Unfortunately, that's when most eye injuries occur. And the truth is, with all the innovations in style, comfort, and features, there's really no good reason not to be wearing safety glasses while in your shop.

NEW MATERIALS. The first thing you'll notice is that safety glasses have

Frames are flexible,

Side shields provide lateral protection

Magnification area acts as bifocals reduce glare come a long way since the heavy black frames and soda-bottle-thick lenses you may have worn in shop class. Most are made from polycarbonate, a plastic that makes them so light you almost forget you're wearing safety glasses. And they come in different-colored frames that are stylish and comfortable.

TASK ORIENTED. They're also designed for specific tasks. You may have one pair to protect your eyes from flying sawdust, and another pair while working with finishes. And if your eyes are sensitive to light, you might need a third pair that's tinted, like you see pictured on the left.

TYPES. Protective eyewear comes in three categories. The safety glasses (also called spectacles) you see pictured above are the most popular. Safety goggles and face shields are covered in the box at the bottom of the next page.

Safety glasses have two main parts: the lenses and the frames. And those parts have gone through major changes over the years.


The lenses of today's safety glasses are made in two levels of protection — basic impact and high impact. Basic-impact safety glasses are the most common and should provide you with adequate protection in your workshop. They're readily available at your local hardware store or home center.

EXTRAS. In addition to impact resistance, some safety lenses can protect your eyesight by blocking 99 to 100 percent of the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. Some lenses come in various magnifications, like the bifocals pictured on the next page. And you can get lenses to match

the prescription of your regular, everyday glasses.

SIDE SHIELDS. Years ago, one of the easiest ways to tell if someone was wearing safety glasses instead of regular glasses was the cumbersome side shields along the arms. The side shields should be worn to prevent flying debris from getting around the main lenses. But most of today's safety glasses are made with integrated side shields in a "wraparound" style. By making the side shields part of the main lenses, they're less bulky while still providing good lateral protection.

Arms shorten and lengthen for best fit


Less bulky can also be used to describe the frames of safety glasses. Manufacturers have gone beyond the basic requirements and are adding comfort to the frames.

FLEXIBLE. One of the first improvements was to get rid of the hard plastic frames. Now, frames are more flexible, yet firm enough to stay put without causing headaches at the end of a long day. Another improvement was to make the lenses easily replaceable. Now, you can changes lenses on the spot if they get scratched or you want to switch to tinted lenses.

ADJUSTABLE. However, the feature 1 like best is the adjustability built into the frames. Most come with arms that can be shortened or lengthened, as you can see in the top photo on the right.

The best frames, though, are the ones that "pivot" (lower right photo). You can adjust the tilt angle of the frames to get the best fit.

— "Pivotfeature adds more comfort and protection

So, the advances in durability, protection, and comfort eliminate any excuse you can come up with for not wearing safety glasses. They're an inexpensive way to protect your valuable eyesight while working in the shop. OS

Some safety glasses come with magnifying bifocal lenses to see markings better and clearer.

If you're looking for even more protection for your eyes, safety goggles and face shields can help.

The safety goggles on the left below form a seal around the eyes, preventing dust particles from getting under or around them. Ventilated goggles allow air to circulate through them, preventing fogging. Unventilated goggles form an airtight seal around your eyes to keep liquids and fumes from getting into them.

On the right is a face shield, which protects your face when using a tool that generates a lot of flying debris, such as a grinder or lathe. But you should still wear safety glasses in case some wood chip finds its way around the shield. And they provide little protection against liquids.

As you can see below, face shields come with adjustable headgear to fit your head, and you can get the shields in clear or tinted polycarbonate.

The bottom line is to look at the task and select the right protective eyewear for the job.

Head gear adjusts for a perfect fit to your head —■

Face shield protects face against flying debris


Adjustable elastic band ■ for tight fit

Flexible frame seals around eyes

Shield flips up out of your way when not ——needed

One-piece replaceable — lens

Wood smith


You can see how to use your router to get perfect pieces at:

One of the biggest challenges in working with plywood is turning large sheets into smaller workpieces with crisp, tearout-free edges. But cutting a 4' x 8' sheet on the table saw can be a hassle. So 1 take the simple route and use a circular saw. But there are a couple places where you can run into trouble.

The biggest problem with a circular saw is that the cuts are usually less than perfect. The veneer is often splintered and the edges may have blade marks, or burning.

The second trouble spot is cutting pieces to size accurately. It doesn't take much to end up with a piece that's a little "off." This is especially the case with angled cuts on odd-shaped workpieces.

So what I've come up with is a simple, two-step routine that takes the hassle out of getting clean, perfectly sized plywood panels. In a nutshell, what you do is "rough" cut the pieces from the sheet, then trim them to final size with a handheld router. The best thing about this is that you're really taking care of both of the problems I mentioned earlier at the same time.

ROUGH CUT FIRST. The first step in the process is cutting the parts from the sheet. The main thing is that instead of trying to get an exact cut, you cut the workpieces a bit larger than the final size.

A FEW BENEFfTS. Although you're adding another step, there are a couple of good reasons for doing it. The first reason is it's much easier to handle smaller, rough-cut panels than it is to try to make a dead-on cut in a full-size sheet.

The second reason is that you gain some flexibility to "tweak"

the panel size as you build a project and end up with accurate parts. You don't need to make the panels much bigger than the final size. I typically cut them V4" wider and longer than I need. This gives enough "wiggle room" to adjust the size without wasting a lot of material.


At this point, you're ready to trim your parts down to the final size. The equipment for truing the edges is about as simple as it gets — just a router, a flush trim bit, and a straightedge. And making the cut is just nuts-and-bolts routing. But for accurate results every time, there are a few things I'd like to point out.

IAY OUT LINES. To get started, you'll need to lay out the final size of the panel on your rough-cut blank. If you have a clean edge to work from,

Flush Trim the Edge. Now, to guide the router bit, you can attach a straightedge with carpet tape. Then flip the board over and clamp it to the workbench and rout the edge.


Run clean edge against rip fence to create second parallel, square edge

FIRST: Make a straight line on workpiece


Cut to within Vs" of line with a jig saw

Cut to Rough Size. Start by marking a straight line on the workpiece away from any flaws. Then use a jig saw to cut away most of the waste. Stay about away from the line.

Use framing square to position straightedge on layout line bit


to right

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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