power sandingNo woodworking project is complete without a heavy-duty sanding job. Sanding helps eliminate annoying grit and splinters and makes it easier to paint or stain your masterpiece. However, if you’re power sanding, you need to follow these five woodworking tips to avoid serious injury.

Always Wear Eye Protection

Although power sanders quickly hone your wood to a smooth finish, the small wood particles that fly off during sanding can cause serious eye damage. Put on a pair of heavy-duty work goggles to avoid this danger.

Remove Loose Hanging Items

Loose items, such as ties, rings, watches, jewelry and even sleeves can get caught in the sander belt. The results are rarely pretty. Simply remove these loose hanging items to eliminate the risk.

Clamp Down the Item You’re Sanding

Power sanders are, well, powerful and placing one on an unsupported item can force it away from the sander in a somewhat comical fashion.

However, this may damage your piece or cause injury to spectators. Fully clamp down your item while sanding to avoid this risk.

Turn Off Sander During Adjustments

While you’re sanding, it can be tempting to make adjustments to its settings. This is highly dangerous, as it can cause a change in direction, power and speed while its running. It can damage your sander in permanent ways. Just turn it off: your project will still be there, safely clamped down.

Keep a Clean Work Area

Work areas are often littered with debris, scrap wood and other items that can get in your way while sanding. While they may seem like a minor inconvenience, they won’t be if they seriously distract you from sanding or disrupt your sander. Just pick up a little bit before you start working. You don’t have to throw anything away: put it in a box for storage.

Follow these safety tips and your sanding will always go smoothly!