Step 4: SAFETY!!!!
You are going to be working with very, VERY sharp tools in order to cut your linoleum. They might look like nice and innocent little blades, but they can do some real damage.
Rules for using linocutting tools
1. ALWAYS CUT AWAY FROM YOU.
This is a general rule when using any sharp object, but its a good thing to remember
2. KNOW WHERE YOUR FINGERS ARE AT ALL TIMES.
This sounds stupid. How do you lose track of your finger? I promise you, it will happen. When you are carving, your non-carving hand will need to hold the piece of linoleum down to keep it from slipping and moving across your table. Instinctively you will want to hold it at the edge furthest from you, but if you are carving away from yourself, this puts your hand right in the path of your blades. No matter how much control you think you have, I promise you will slip from time to time. If your fingers are in the way, you will cut them. Trust me, your blades are sharp.
3. KEEP ANTISEPTIC AND BAND-AIDS AROUND
With such a sharp blade, you will make a tiny cut that is somewhat deep and will bleed a lot, if you do cut yourself. Apply pressure! Make sure you clean the cut by running it under hot water and applying antiseptic with a cotton swap or Q-tip. Place the band-aid on top of your cut to stop the bleeding and keep your finger from getting infected.
4. CAREFULLY WATCH CHILDREN
Linocutting is a great activity for kids who are mature enough to be around sharp objects. That being said, keep an eye on them!
5. DON'T BE STUPID
In the unlikely event that your cut is fairly deep and will not stop bleeding, don't try and be the tough guy and wait it out. While it has yet to happen to me, I could easily see a foolish carver injuring themselves enough to need stitches. If you can see yellow fatty tissue in the cut, you probably need stitches. If applying pressure isn't slowing the bleeding, you probably need stitches. If your wound cannot be shut, you probably need stitches. With stitches, you cannot wait, you need to get them before the wound starts to heal. A large cut may heal without stitches, but is much more likely to get infected. When in doubt, call your doctor or visit a local ER.