Hello Everyone! I know it has been a little while since I’ve written, and for that I apologize. Life has been a bit crazy lately. But nonetheless, I come to you today with a useful post! My goal today is to help all of you get past the fear commonly associated with using power tools. Even though I portray a confidant hand while working on projects…that was not always the case. And I still have issues when learning a new technique, or using a scary tool for the first time. If it uses electricity, makes a loud noise, or has a potential to harm (or even kill) you……chances are, I’m terrified at first. And I still use extreme caution when using said tool.
So how do we combat that fear of hurting ourselves, and reach a point where we can use power tools with ease?
There are a few steps that can help you through this scary journey. But I promise, if you have an open mind and get through the fear, there are so many things you can do and create! It will be worth it in the end. To this day, I have mini-celebrations when I successfully use a nail gun or saw without the assistance of my dad.
Below you will find the steps I’ve used and suggest for battling the fear.
Get Lessons –
First and foremost, find someone to teach you how to use your power tools safely! For me, this person has been my dad. If you don’t have a friend or family member who has a diverse knowledge of power tools and safety, many hardware stores provide classes and lessons. Usually they have a schedule of classes posted in the store or on their website. Another way to go about this, is to take a skill related class at your local college or community center. Or, if none of these work, I’m sure there is someone on craigslist that would love to make s quick buck in return for lessons. JUST MAKE SURE YOU APPROACH STRANGERS WITH CAUTION! And Last but not least, talk to your family and friends. You may not know someone that could give you lessons, but maybe they do!
Protective Wear –
To be honest, the thing about power tools that truly bothers me the most, is the abrupt loud noises that go along with them. It spikes my adrenaline and raises my heart rate. Ultimately, making me really anxious. However, wearing earplugs helps TREMENDOUSLY! And the more I use them, the more comfortable I become with using them.
Even though you may not have the same regard to noise like I do, protective wear may help with the fear in general. Other forms of protective gear can include:
- Work gloves
- Goggles or protective glasses
- Chemical/particle mask
- Work boots (occasionally things are dropped!)
- Thick Jeans – I have to put this one on the list, because I had an unfortunate experience when working in yoga pants….Involving slicing my butt on a sharp piece of metal when I bent over. Not only did I have a painful cut in an uncomfortable place….but I also ruined my favorite (expensive) yoga pants. And yes…I was pissed.
Companion Projects –
Work on projects with friends! Sometimes having someone around makes me feel more confident. It may sound stupid, but it really works. However, do not let the friend distract you when you’re using tools that can hurt you or them. Stay focused!
Confidence is Key –
Repeat to yourself, “I can do this!” Sometimes it’s as simple as that. Once you have received sufficient lessons from a qualified individual, it’s time to put the newly acquired knowledge to work! Just because the tool is loud and needs a cautious regard, doesn’t mean that it should scare you. All you need to do is be confident in your abilities, and use every safety precaution required.
Practice DOESN’T Make Perfect –
As you get more comfortable with the tools and technique that you are using, it’s important not to get too comfortable. This sounds counterintuitive…but it’s important to remember. When power tools are involved, it’s important to remain alert and use your brain! The last thing you want is to be working too hastily and slice off a finger!
With these few helpful tips, I truly hope that all of you can combat your fear and become upcycling and DIY champs! Once you have the tools and knowledge, the only limiting factor is your creativity! Anything is possible! No project is too small or too large. Good luck!
And as always, let me know if you found this post to be helpful or inspiring by leaving a comment below!