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Wood Shop Orientation

The order of this document is roughly the order you will walk through the woodshop during the training. This orientation assumes that they have gone through our general space orientation.

Do not operate any power equipment if you are under the influence of anything, in a hurry, are tired, or are not feeling well.

Inspect the equipment before using.

General Safety

  • Attire
    • Avoid loose clothes and hair
    • Remove rings
    • Wear close-toed shoes
    • Don't wear gloves when operating power tools
  • Wear Safety Glasses
  • Wear respiratory protection when appropriate
  • Hearing Protection for loud equipment or extended use
  • Keep floors clean, clear, and dry
    • Keep extension cords off of the floor when not in use
  • Don't throw oily rags in the trash can
  • Store finishes in the yellow cabinet
  • Don't eat and drink around power tools
  • Be aware of people around you when using equipment, and don't approach others

Dust Collection

  • Use dust collection!
  • There will still be fines in the air when dust collection is on. For extended operation or for messy operations, like routing MDF, you may want to wear respiratory protection.
  • General ventilation fan can be turned on as well.
  1. When dust is visible in the barrel, please empty it. Dust is put loose in the dumpster between our building and Barnett Heating & Air. You can bag it if you would prefer or are taking it home.
  2. Demonstrate detaching and re-attaching dust barrel
  3. Don't run the dust collector when the barrel is not attached.
  4. Demonstrate turning on the dust collector
  5. Ensure that the gates are set properly for the equipment you are using.
  6. Show the other dust collection systems in the space

Air Compressor

  • Stays off when not in use.
  • Uses Industrial couplings
  • Change desiccant if necessary Demonstrate removal and reattachment
  • Air tools are in the drawer under the bench
    • Nailer/Stapler
    • Pin Nailer
    • Blow Gun

Turn On

  1. Nozzle on the bottom should face forward in the closed position
  2. Red button turns it on
  3. Two separate pressure gauges.
    1. Line pressure is adjustable with the knob.
    2. Tank pressure should start rising

Turn Off

  1. Turn compressor off
  2. Turn regulator knob to 0 to clear line pressure
  3. Open bottom nozzle to empty tank

Miter Saw

  • The miter saw is used to make rough cuts to length and to quickly cut angles.
  • There are end stops on the fence
  • You shouldn't need to clamp the workpiece, but can if you prefer.
  1. Mark the cut on the piece
  2. Match the blade to the mark
  3. Left hand holds the piece against the fence. Keep clear of blade
  4. Right hand thumb on safety, squeeze trigger.
  5. Dust collection will turn on automatically
  6. Bring blade down and up in one motion
  7. If the piece is large, watch out for pinching on the blade.

Have members demonstrate usage with a test cut, if necessary

Miter Saw for Beginners


  • Larger blades are for resawing, smaller blades can do tighter curves. Bring your own for special use.
  • Many adjustments are possible, avoid them unless you are changing the blade.
  • The main things to adjust are the fence, guard release lever, and guard height wheel.
  1. Make sure the blade is tensioned. With the machine OFF, see if there is any give in the blade. If so, flip the blade tension lever on the back.
  2. Adjust guard to the height of your workpiece
  3. Set fence
  4. Turn dust collector on (adjust gates as necessary)
  5. Turn bandsaw on
  6. Run piece through the blade, keeping fingers clear. Long pieces may need support from the back.
  7. Turn bandsaw off

Have user demonstrate a test cut
Demonstrate the floor cleanout next to the bandsaw


  • The planer is used for milling boards to a desired thickness. This is often referred to as 'flattening' a board, but it's not quite that simple. A planer won't fix warped boards.
  • You can use a jig to correct warp and twist in boards if you don't want to use the jointer.
  • Ensure there is no metal in the board you are milling
  • Scrub dirt and dust off of the board prior to milling
  • Patience is important - make small cuts over multiple passes.
  • Support the ends of long pieces to avoid snipe.
  • The planer is loud and produces a lot of dust. Wear hearing protection and use dust collection.
  • Make sure you have enough outfeed space for your board.
  1. Unlock the carriage and adjust the height so that the workpiece moves the rollers.
  2. Lock the height
  3. Adjust the gates and turn on the dust collector
  4. Turn on planer
  5. Feed the board into the planer with the grain at a slight angle. Make sure it is flat on the table.
  6. Let board come through and slide free.
  7. Turn off planer and DC.

Have user demonstrate a test pass

Drill Press

  • The drill press can make repeatable and angled holes, as well as use specialty, higher torque bits like Forstner bits.
  • Depth stops can be adjusted for repeatable depth.
  • Speed can be adjusted by changing the belts.
  • Table height can be adjusted by the wheel on the side.
  • Bring your own bits if the ones in the shop don't meet requirements.
  • There is a sacrificial insert to back up your cut. Use it, but don't drill all the way through it. Replace it if necessary.


  • The other part of milling lumber. Jointers are for squaring a board's face and edge.
  • Use hearing protection.
  • Use push sticks for thin pieces.
  • You shouldn't need to adjust the table. Don't unless you know what you are doing.
  • Guide board against the fence,
  • Apply downward pressure on the outfeed table only. Not over the blade, not on infeed.
  • Don't leave a hand pushing on the back of the board.
  • Do research about how to correct different board defects.
  • Once one corner is square, use the tablesaw and planer to create a four square board

Have user demonstrate a test pass

Using the jointer

Table Saw

  • Remove splitter for dado or shallow grooves
  • Raise blade height to just above piece.
  • Lower blade when finished.
  • Change blade between fine finish, rip, and general if you want
    • Inserts match to saw blade. If changing blade, use default insert or matching zero-clearance insert.
    • Threads are opposite of normal
    • When changing blade don't lose the bolt and washer down into the saw - a pain to get out
  • Unplug saw and move extension cord when you are done
  • Sweep off steel top with a brush, not oily hands

General Safety

  • Keep left hand away from blade, preferably away from the board also
  • Use push sticks and blocks.
  • Push piece down and towards the fence with right hand/block, keep left hand clear
  • Don't mess with the offcut until the saw is off

Rip Cut

  • Rip cuts are made with the grain of a board (cutting longways)
  • Be wary of warped wood. It can pinch the blade and kick back.
  • Make sure you are using the splitter on the saw
  • Use proper outfeed support for long boards
  1. Consider changing to a rip-cut blade (especially if wood is thick, gnarly, or on the wet side)
  2. Line up fence to the appropriate measurement and lock it down.
  3. Adjust blade height to just above the blade
  4. Turn dust collection on
  5. Turn saw on
  6. Stand slightly to the side of the blade (not directly behind it)
  7. Using a push block with the right hand to hold the board down and against the fence, push the board until it is cut through.
  8. Continue pushing the board against the fence until it is past the blade.
  9. don't mess with the offcut
  10. turn the saw off

Have user demonstrate a test cut with scrap MDF or plywood

Cross Cut

  • Cross cuts are made when you are cutting against the grain (or across the short dimension of a board)
  • Use crosscut sled
  • Watch thumbs where blade comes through sled
  • Make sure the piece and sled are clear of the fence during operation
  • Grooves and dados can also be cut with repeated passes.
  1. Turn dust collection on
  2. Put sled on table
  3. Raise blade height to just above workpiece
  4. with saw off line up piece with the blade, then hold or clamp piece against the fence
  5. Turn on saw
  6. With hands on either side of sled fence, clear of the blade kerf, slide sled forward and back in one motion, pulling back as soon as the blade is through the piece.
  7. Turn off saw

Have user demonstrate a test cut with a scrap 2×4

Miter Cut

  • Use the Incra miter gauge to cut arbitrary angles. Using the Miter Saw might be simpler.
  • Usage is similar to the crosscut sled.
  1. Adjust blade height to just above piece
  2. Adjust miter gauge to correct angle
  3. Measure piece against the stopped blade and clamp piece to the miter gauge fence
  4. Ensure table saw fence is clear of the workpiece
  5. Hold fence, gauge, and piece around the miter gauge, which should be to the left of the saw blade
  6. Do NOT hold the piece to the right of the blade
  7. Move gauge and piece forward through the blade and back in one motion

Router Table

  • No loose clothing, loose hair, or loose jewelry. No rings.
  • Produces LOTS of dust. Respiratory protection recommended. Clean up after yourself.
  • Router bits are your responsibility
  • Demonstrate loading and unloading router bits
  • Multiple passes will help with overloading the router and burning
  • Leave a very small final pass for a clean finish
  1. Align the fence with the bit.
  2. Set up a fingerboard if downward or sideways pressure will be hard to do safely
  3. Turn on dust collection
  4. Turn on router
  5. Pass material through evenly, with the bit rotating towards you and cutting with the grain
  6. Turn router off


  • Sharpening Station
  • Sanding
    • Don't push so hard you slow or stop the belt.
    • Use wax stick to clean belt
    • Clean up dust afterwards
  • Wood Storage - label if wood is claimed, don't leave for long
  • Track saw is useful for safe, straight cuts on weird or large pieces
  • The scroll saw is like a slow bandsaw, or an automated fret saw. There are some extra blades, bring more if you need different characteristics.
  • We have a lot of woodworking books in the library. Check it out!
  • Orientation document is on the wiki
  • In-progress project storage is ok if it is not in the way and is labeled
  • There are lockers available for smaller project storage

Remind members that the orientation documents are on the wiki
[ ] Sign authorized member list

wood-shop-orientation.txt · Last modified: 2020/10/08 06:26 by brian