Like any craft, woodturning has its hazards.  We are dealing with powerful machines, sharp tools, dust, and noise.  So we need to protect especially our eyes, face, hands, lungs and ears. The answer of course is to use safe practices.  Please take the time to carefully review the information and resources below.

First Principles

Throughout the resources below you will find recurring themes that apply in all areas of safe practice.  Here are a few:

  • Plan ahead - acquire the right tools and right safety equipment before you dive in!
  • Think long term too - hearing loss or respiratory damage are just as real as a cut or bruise!
  • Look, listen, feel - if something feels "off" stop and figure out what is wrong!
  • Don't work when you are tired - know when to stop!
  • Create routines based on safety - sensible specific work practices will help you keep safe!
  • There's no such thing as a dumb question - if you're not sure, just ask for help!


The American Association of Woodturners (AAW) has excellent safety resources.  The following are all must-read resources:

Woodturning safety is YOUR responsibility - A must-read three page summary of woodturning best practices.

Safety Guidebook for Woodturners - A must-read for every woodturner, whether novice or experienced.  Includes a checklist and articles on various topics (including one by BAWA member Jim Rodgers).

AAW woodturning safety web page - Where you can find additional important tips and articles on safety.

Note: Joining AAW will give you access to continuous updated safety information on its website, forums, and bi-monthly magazine.

Go to AAW

Bay Area Woodturners Association is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit local chapter of the American Association of Woodturners, which has over 13,000 members and 330+ chapters in the United States and abroad.     

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