Growing up in New Jersey creates a person that is always on the move. When I opened up my shop, the last thing I wanted to do was spend money and time outfitting the shop with air filtration systems, create a complete dust and chip collection system as well as create separate workspace for the loudest machines. I had finally opened up my own shop and just wanted to get started with my first few projects.
I was eager and impatient but I knew, after seeing what had happened over time to my mentor, that it was important to take care of these safety issues, and would impact my quality of life.
Let me explain. From a young age I learned under a woodworker who created a shop in an oversized garage just off his home. For some reason or another there was no air quality control. In the winter, all the doors and windows were closed, even when operating a large panel sander.
There were no vacuum systems, no fine dust filters and no dust masks. Come to think of it, he never even wore ear or eye protection. He must have come from a different time where there was no awareness to the long term dangers.
Anyway, as he became older, it was clear that he was having breathing issues. Walking up a flight of stairs would take his breath away, as well as other basic daily rituals.
In the end, to see his deterioration was saddening. I am not sure how much one could blame his workshop environment for his condition but one must take this seriously.
If you are as eager to work as I am, then follow my lead and make sure your shop is outfitted for safety because you, just like me, want to be working in the shop for a long time…