Woodworking Projects

Safety speed bumps

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Magnetic blocks are a signal to slow down and pay attention.

Author Headshot By Jonathan Brower Jan 05, 2022

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New year, new me! Well, no. Even if you don’t make new year’s resolutions, it’s a good time to pick up a new good habit. On a shoot with Jonathan Brower, Anissa Kapsales captured what I think might be the simplest safety trick that I’ve seen in a while.

Most woodworking injury stories start with “I had one more cut to do” or something similar. It’s in those rushed moments that we ignore the fundamentals of machine physics, or neglect to get the appropriate push stick. Maybe if there was a reminder in place on every machine we might pause, and give ourselves enough time for those thoughts to trickle into our consciousness.

Borrowing a concept from his time at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, Jonathan’s brightly colored, magnetic “speed bumps” create a built-in pause in his workflow. Sure, you could easily pick up the block and throw it across the room in the heat of the moment, but if used as a reminder to focus yourself and concentrate, they just might add the moment you need to work safe.

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