Building Cabinets 2 - Safety Tips and Common Mistakes

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Safety Tips

1. Safety glasses or goggles should be worn whenever power tools are in use and when chiseling, sanding, scraping or hammering overhead. This is very important if you wear contact lenses.

2. Wear ear protectors when using power tools. Some operate at noise levels that damage hearing.

3. Be careful of loose hair and clothing so that it does not get caught in tools.

4. The proper respirator or face mask should be worn when sanding or sawing or using substances with toxic fumes.

5. Keep blades sharp. A dull blade requires excessive force and can slip which causes accidents.

6. Always use the right tool for the job.

7. Repair or discard tools with cracks in the wooden handles or chips in the metal parts.

8. Don't drill, shape or saw anything that isn't firmly secured.

9. Oily rags are spontaneously combustible. Take care when you store and discard them.

10. Don't abuse your tools.

11. Keep a First Aid Kit on hand.

12. Do not work with tools when you are tired. That's when most accidents occur.

13. Read the owner's manual for all tools and know the proper use of each.

14. Keep tools out of reach of small children.

15. Unplug all power tools when changing settings or parts.

16. Be sure to review the safety section at the end of the tape.


Take special care in reviewing the tape regarding the use of the table saw fence settings, and the suggestions on how to make cuts using safety guards, push sticks, push blocks, fence straddlers, and feather boards.

Avoid the Most Common Mistakes

The single most common mistake in any do it yourself project is the failure to read and follow the manufacturer's instructions for any tool or material being used. Other common mistakes include taking the safety measures that are laid out for a project for granted, and poor project planning. Here is a list of hints to success- fully complete a project and to do it safely.

1. Follow the "Golden Rule" of measuring: "Measure twice, cut once."

2. Provide yourself plenty of time for each step.

3. Understand your plan. (If you have questions, review that part of the videotape).

4. When finishing the wood, keep dust and dirt away from the cabinet.

5. Follow the application instructions for your choice of finish.

6. Experiment with scrap wood before you work on the real piece.

7. Be sure to use a dowel jig, horizontal boring machine or dowel centers to be sure that dowel holes are aligned.

8. Be sure face frame is flush with the plywood sides before nailing.

9. Assemble entire face frame before attaching to the carcass.

10. Do not fill countersunk nail holes until after the stain has been applied. This assures a better color match.

11. Be sure the notches on the sides are cut to fit flush with the bottom of the face frame, not the bottom of the bottom shelf.

12. Be sure the doors are hung straight and aligned.