According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the woodworking industry is expected to grow by 8% from 2020 to 2030.
Increasingly, people are eschewing fast furniture, turning to homemade decor and accessories to fill their homes. Much of this influx can be traced to the ongoing global pandemic and the newfound creativity that people have found as they spend more time at home.
Are you interested in becoming a woodworker yourself? Or, maybe you’ve already spent years honing this craft. Either way, you need the right equipment.
If your woodworking safety glasses are on the fritz, it compromises the safety and integrity of your job. Today, we’re sharing five signs that it’s time to invest in a new pair.
- They’re Cracked
You could have the best woodworking safety glasses in the world, but they won’t do you any good if the lenses are cracked. This trade requires expert precision, and you need the ability to clearly see what you’re doing at every turn. This is especially the case if you’re working on an intricate task, such as a project that requires a dovetail marker.
Even a hairline fracture could impede your visibility. As soon as you notice that they’ve started to crack, go ahead and get a new pair. This is a critical part of woodworking safety and could prevent an accident down the road.
If only one lens is cracked, you may be able to reach out to the manufacturer and request a replacement. However, if you go this route, make sure you’re replacing the old lens with one that’s designed to fit inside the frame of your glasses precisely.
- They’re Ill-Fitting
Next, you want to make sure that your woodworkers safety glasses fit your face securely. This is important for three reasons.
First, it helps ensure that your vision isn’t blocked. If the glasses are slipping and sliding all over the place, they could block your sight, even for a moment. This can cause you to make a mistake, and also poses a safety risk.
Second, they could fall off and fall into your woodcutting equipment. If your glasses come into contact with a table saw, lathe, hacksaw, or any other type of woodworking gear, they can become airborne. If this happens, they could hit you or someone working near you.
Finally, you don’t have to think too much about good-fitting glasses. You slide them into place and get on with the job. If yours don’t fit well, then it’s easy to get distracted as you continuously put them back into place.
This can take your mind off the job at hand, which is also dangerous.
- They Don’t Meet Standards
If you’re looking for the best safety glasses for woodworking, it’s important to understand that you can’t just use any pair of safety glasses and expect them to work.
Rather, you need ones that meet rigorous standards set forth by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). You can read the standards in their entirety online. These guidelines mandate how woodworking glasses should work, as well as the different types of hazards they can protect against.
Before buying a new pair, check to make sure they have a designated ANSI rating. If you don’t see one on the packaging, then you can contact the manufacturer to verify. If you’re in Canada, then you’ll need to look for a rating from the Canadian Standards Association, or CSA.
The CSA works in a similar fashion to ANSI. It is designed to establish and promote workplace safety standards across the country.
- They’re Scratched
Scratched lenses are just as detrimental as cracked or broken ones. However, most wearers continue to use their safety glasses even when they’re covered up with hairline marks. They consider these glasses to be the same as their sunglasses and assume that a few scratches won’t make a difference.
However, it’s important to monitor your safety glasses for all types of wear, including scratches. Especially if you’ve had yours for years, you might notice that they start to look damaged after a while. If you continue to use them, you could put yourself and others at risk.
Compromised lenses can hinder visibility on the job, and distort your perception. When you shop for a new pair, look for ones that feature a special coating to prevent scratches from forming in the first place. Then, buy a sturdy case and use it to keep them protected when you’re not using them!
- They’re Always Foggy
It’s an easy mistake to make. You go to clean your woodworking safety glasses, but you grab the wrong cleaner by mistake. Or, you purposefully grab your eyeglass cleaner, expecting it to work the same way.
Then, you can’t understand why your glasses seem to be permanently foggy or dirty. You take them off, wipe them clean, and there still isn’t any change.
In most cases, this will occur because you cleaned your glasses with the wrong type of solution. This can cause a film to form on the surface of your lenses. While you may be able to remove the film by using the correct type of cleanser, this isn’t always possible.
Is It Time to Buy New Woodworking Safety Glasses?
Part of being a safe and successful woodworker is having the right tools by your side. If you plan to invest in all of the heavy-duty equipment you’ll need to work in this industry, then don’t scrimp on the small stuff.
Woodworking safety glasses might be a minor expense, but they can play a major role in your work environment. Take the time to assess yours routinely to see if it’s time for a replacement pair.
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