Sometimes I worry about us woodworkers. We tend to go off to our shops and isolate ourselves from the world. (Did you hear about the guy who always stayed at home because he didn’t want to have to kiss his wife goodbye?) As a follow-up to our safety week and as a public service, I call attention to a bulletin issued last week by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Use this information to stay safe and keep buying tools.
The CDC issued guidelines to follow in case of a Zombie Apocalypse. (You may think I am making this up, so here is the actual real link). This warning really hit home with me since my shop is in the back yard in the deep woods so to speak, and it can get really spooky (not to mix metaphors) out there at night. After dark with the lights on in the shop, you cannot see what is going on outside, and when you get absorbed in a delicate little dovetail joint, the whole world could end around you and you would hardly know it until it was too late to do anything about it (as if you could). I have often wondered what steps I would need to take in case zombies (the technical term for the condition is Ataxic Neurodegenerative Satiety Deficiency Syndrome) showed up at the shop. For instance, the CDC recommends that you set up a meeting place outside the home so your family can rendezvous and escape together to a zombie-free refugee camp. They post a list of supplies to take with you including water and food and a first aid kit, though they do admit that once bitten the first aid kit will not be of much use.
The thing they are missing though, is defensive tools to protect yourself from a zombie attack. I think woodworkers are particularly well-equipped to protect themselves with things both portable and effective already in nearly every woodworking shop. My lathe skew chisel (properly sharpened) with its slanted blade and sharp point would be very effective in zombie defense. My battery powered drill (I will need to keep the batteries charged better than I normally do) with a two inch spade bit would be helpful. Oh wait, how about the drill mounted three inch hole saw -- I think that would be better. The battery powered reciprocating saw is an awesome tool, effective in many situations where no other tool will work. If you have ever caught your finger in one of those Japanese cut-off saws, you will recognize what damage that thing could do when properly applied to larger fleshy appendages. And as in most woodworking operations, having this saw cutting on the pull stroke makes it much easier to use when you are in a rush to finish a project. Last but not least, is my chain saw. I prefer a 20 inch blade to give me a little more depth of cut, and you don’t need a really big saw -- too heavy to lift to shoulder height on a continuing basis. Just make sure it has the proper gas and oil mix so you can get it started easily. When you need it, you need it quick.
I am going to recommend to the store that we put together a Highland Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness Kit. It should include all the materials recommended by the CDC, plus the things I have suggested. I think we will put it in a big tool bag so you can grab it and go on short notice. The problem with that is you will not be able to use the tools from the Kit without taking a chance on missing some of them when you have to leave in a rush. Just use them and put them back in the Kit when you are done. We are open to suggestions here people. Send us your ideas and perhaps you will see them incorporated into our Kit. Now go fuel up the chain saw. Be prepared!! Stay safe. Keep your brain.