Skip to content

Shopsmith ad in popular woodworking magazine questionable

Safety issues are always our own personal responsibility, and i know that it’s obvious this ad is advertising sandpaper products, but there is still something businesses should do to make certain the ad content doesn’t mask the inherent dangers surround a product, machine or method of work. This ad and another Shopsmith uses shows people working without adequate protection as do most magazine images. This, as I say, masks the dangers to present an image of freedom that doesn’t actually exist when using machines.
Did anyone else see this advert in Popular Woodworking this month? DSC_0001Did anyone else wonder why it said, “Seasoned professional or amateur? I wasn’t at all sure if there was one of those hidden meanings in the fact that she was wearing no dust mask and she was obviously using a sander that had no dust bag or extractor connected to the dust port at the rear end of the sander. Was this as it seemed to me, sort of  irresponsible advertising. I thought perhaps I was missing something here and someone could explain to me some subtlety in the ad.

Here we see a woman sanding with protective glasses on ( I think) and no other protection. Of the three head protective pieces, which one would you most likely be wearing in this advertisement, she’s wearing eyeglasses only, which I think is also important but was this just a mistake?

A similar ad appears in Fine Woodworking but this time it’s a man wearing glasses but no dust mask and using a belt sander. This one doesn’t show the tail end though.


  1. Mike Russo on 21 July 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Sometimes I think we read too much into advertising. This ad is for sandpaper, I think, since the rest of the image is cut off. It’s not an ad for a training course in sanding technique. It’s not a public service announcement for the risks of inhaling sanding dust. It’s jut an ad for sandpaper. Good sandpaper makes sanding dust, so showing a dusty sander in use for the ad makes logical sense to me.

    I worry about all the comments I see around the web regarding safety issues in woodworking. If I was new to this craft, I wouldn’t want to ever start it. To get started with power tools, I need the expensive tools and tons of safety gear. To get started with power tools, I have less cost in tools, but then I might need to tune them, and then they get get dull and there are 1000 people saying their way to sharpen is best.

    What saddens me when I see an ad like this is that they are trying to design one advertisement that will cover all the possibilities of the “instant gratification” world we live in.

    – Want more information, here’s our website
    – Too lazy to type in a website, here’s our QR code.
    – Too lazy to read the words, look at the dusty picture, product must have something to do with sanding.
    – Too lazy to look for our product on the shelves, here’s what the packaging looks like.

    Our bodies are smart….too much dust from sanding, we’ll cough. Our minds are the problems. When we ignore the coughing, that’s when the problems start!

    • Paul Sellers on 21 July 2013 at 11:09 pm

      I know you are right in some of this, but I just finished reading an email on the effects of wood dust from machines and it is a serious issue we somehow think we are immune to. Sometimes the cough is too late as one account with cancer attributed directly to machine dust attests too after suing his company for various aspects of neglect.

  2. McGlynnOnMaking on 21 July 2013 at 4:48 pm

    I’m pretty sure there isn’t any actual sanding going on in the picture, but it’s certainly not well done. If you’re going to pose a picture it ought to be complete with the recommended safety gear. Or posed in a way that shows the sanding is already finished. Using a dirty sander with the dust bag missing is pretty lame.

    But you can’t really fault PWW for this. I doubt they have any editorial control over the content of advertisements. That’s a pretty competitive game.

  3. bob easton on 21 July 2013 at 6:27 pm

    1) It is as others have said, simply an advert for sandpaper. (albeit poorly done)


    2) They were on a tight budget and didn’t have the dust mask, ear defenders, helmet, face shield, full-body Tyvek suit, gloves, and steel-toed shoes usually required for machine woodworking.


    3) She’s really hand sanding with a sanding block that just looks like a machine.

  4. Paul Sellers on 22 July 2013 at 12:30 am

    Yes. you are probably right. Doesn’t take much to get it right though. But I’ve made mistakes too. I just thought that there was some hidden meeting. Another ad happened for Irwin where this guy was standing string into space because he had an Irwin saw blade.

  5. Paul Sellers on 22 July 2013 at 12:32 am

    No, there was nothing like that there. It is probably that they just sell sandpaper to people and don’t know much beyond that.

  • Paul Sellers on My GoalsWith regard to throat openings on any plane I always go off how it works and not appearance. If it is functioning well then leave as is.
  • Paul Sellers on The Shinto Raspy Thingy!Or someone was let loose with a cheese grater.
  • Paul Sellers on Pallet Wood, Trash Wood, TreasureThere is room for both. By that I mean to conceal the fact that it was wood made into pallets and then left as is. All too often the suggestion that it is ideal for a "contemporary…
  • Paul Sellers on Pallet Wood, Trash Wood, TreasureSorry, Steve but it would be just as visible and probably look worse if you used dowel.
  • Steve on Pallet Wood, Trash Wood, TreasureI think for nail holes I would drill them out to the nearest dowel size and then glue in a short length and cut / plane it flush. I don't think it would be too visible.
  • Jeff Rogers on Pallet Wood, Trash Wood, TreasureAccording to some online sources, the heat treated (HT) are subjected to 56C for 30 minutes to kill pathogens and other stuff if present. Sounds good to me. It may be my imaginatio…
  • Jeff Rogers on Pallet Wood, Trash Wood, TreasureI leave them in because it looks right to me and I'm not trying to hide the fact it is recycled wood. In some cases, I fill the holes with super glue or epoxy which doesn't hide th…
Scroll To Top