Woodworkers Club of Houston

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Eye Safety

by Ridg Gilmer (Woodworkers Club of Houston)

Early this month I was ripping some treated pine 2X6X8 pieces to make expansion strips for the concrete pool deck.  Yes Ė I was wearing my bifocal safety glasses that have sidepieces, so I thought I was protected.  However, later that evening my right eye felt like I had something in it that I could not remove.  When this persisted, I made an appointment and when my ophthalmologist examined my eye, she said that indeed I had injured it.  This resulted in her numbing my eye, scraping away some inflammation and putting a patch over it.  Two days later, following application of antibiotic, my eye had healed and I felt fortunate.

 So Ė following our WWCH meeting, I consulted Mike Turner, our safety expert.  Mike advised me to go to a machine tools company for eye protection, as they carry more robust safety glasses than our woodworking stores.

 I picked Continental Tool & Supply Inc. out of the yellow pages and finally found their place off 610 Loop East.  After trying a few of their regular safety glasses that did not seem superior to what I have, I settled on a pair of goggles.  These are acrylic plastic with fabric-coated pads that enclose the eyepieces and fit snugly over the eyes.  Iím able to wear my regular reading glasses under the goggles if needed. Although more trouble to put on, they are fairly comfortable.  Iíve been using them and they will be especially helpful when I turn on the electric blower to clean the shop.  The best news was the price - $4.49! *  I know that my eyes are worth far more than that and I certainly donít look forward to another eye patch episode.  How about you?  What are your eyes worth?

 *Gateway 40112 Goggle, meets ANSI Z87.1-2003 or CSA Z943-2002 standards