Wood shop tip lists

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This area is to work on some 'tips for success' for each tool, to eventually make into signs to put near the tool. This will help stop the same repeatable errors from happening.

SawStop Table Saw

  • This tool requires authorization prior to use. Always ask for help if you're unsure about the use of this tool.
  • Always open the dust collector gate and turn on the dust collector prior to working with the table saw. Close the gate when done.
  • This saw has a built-in safety brake that will trigger when contact is made with flesh or conductive material. Check your material for metal pieces using the metal detector. DO NOT CUT THE FOLLOWING ON THIS SAW:
    • Mirrored acrylic
    • Laser cut pieces (the black carbon residue is conductive)
    • Aluminum or other conductive metal
    • Any other conductive materials
  • Use a cross-cut sled or miter gauge when making cross-cuts or miter cuts. Do not use the fence when using a cross-cut sled or miter gauge. Generally, a cross-cut sled or miter gauge should be used if the longest edge of the piece can't be supported on the fence.
  • Stand to the side of the blade when cutting - do not stand directly behind the blade in the line of kickback.
  • If you cannot hold the piece firmly when cutting, ask for help. Use push-sticks if necessary. Hold the workpiece firmly against the fence or miter gauge during the entire cut.
  • Clean up the work area when you're done!

Rockwell 20" Bandsaw

  • This tool requires authorization prior to use. Always ask for help if you're unsure about the use of this tool.
  • Check the blade for kinks or breaks before use. Replace blade if necessary.
  • Lower the blade guide to slightly above workpiece to minimize blade drift. Check tightness of guide blocks. Check the tension of the blade.
  • Wider blades cannot cut as tight of a curve as thinner blades. If the saw makes squealing noises when cutting you are likely stressing the blade.
  • Clean up the work area when you're done!

Bosch Sliding Compound Miter Saw

  • This tool requires authorization prior to use. Always ask for help if you're unsure about the use of this tool.
  • Always secure your workpiece properly before making a cut. Use clamps and stop blocks as needed. Do not hold pieces with your hands close to the blade.
  • Allow the blade to rev up to full speed before making a cut. Do not lift up the blade after cutting until it has come to a full stop.
  • Check the dust collection bin below the saw and empty if full.
  • Clean up the work area when you're done!

Supermax Drum Sander

  • This tool requires authorization prior to use. Always ask for help if you're unsure about the use of this tool.
  • Always turn on the dust collector and open the dust collector gate prior to working with the drum sander. Close the gate when done.
  • The height adjustment on this tool is very sensitive - no more than a 1/16th-1/8th turn is typically needed to adjust the height enough. When in doubt, start high enough that the work piece barely touches the bar and adjust by small amounts until you reach the work piece.
  • Do not sand or polish anything on the conveyor belt.
  • If the light turns red on the conveyor belt speed control, the sanding drums are under too much stress. Raise the drums and do lighter passes, or slow the belt down.
  • Clean up the work area when you're done!

Craftsman Drill Press

  • This tool requires authorization prior to use. Always ask for help if you're unsure about the use of this tool.
  • USE FOR WOOD ONLY. Please use the drill press in Small Metals for drilling metal. Do not use oil or other cutting fluids on this drill press. Oil can leave unsightly stains on wood.
  • Secure your piece with clamps or a vise prior to drilling.
  • Use a waste board or the depth stops to prevent the drill from going into the table.
  • Please put back drill bits in their proper place so others can find them easily.
  • Clean up the work area when you're done!

Excalibur Router Table

  • This tool requires authorization prior to use. Always ask for help if you're unsure about the use of this tool.
  • If available, attach a ShopVac hose to rear dust port on the table to collect sawdust during use.
  • Adjust the height of the router with a 6mm hex key. Do not use the wrong size key for the height adjustment.
  • Ensure the bit can spin freely and does not catch the fence prior to making your cut.
  • Bits spin counterclockwise looking down - always make your cuts feeding against the spin of the bit (i.e. from right to left using the front side of the bit). Feeding in the spin direction can catch the board and is not safe to do.
  • Clean up the work area when you're done!

Grizzly Jointer

  • This tool requires authorization prior to use. Always ask for help if you're unsure about the use of this tool.
  • Check area around chip chute (lower-left side of the jointer) and clean out if excessive debris is present. Chute should be clear for chips to fly out prior to using.
  • Check fence for squareness and check that the infeed table is not too much lower (typically 1/16" or less for most uses) than the outfeed table. Make sure all parts are secure before using.
  • Feed your workpiece slowly from right to left. Use grips as needed to hold the workpiece and keep your hands well away from the cutter heads.
  • Clean up the work area when you're done!

Jet Lathe

  • This tool requires authorization prior to use. Always ask for help if you're unsure about the use of this tool.
  • Always wear a face shield when the lathe is in use, and ensure there is no loose clothing or jewelry that could catch on the lathe.
  • Ensure your piece is securely fixed in the chuck and does not wobble before turning the lathe on.
  • Always hold your cutting tool stable on the guide when cutting - do not freehand!
  • Clean up the work area when you're done!

Laguna 16" Planer

  • This tool requires authorization prior to use. Always ask for help if you're unsure about the use of this tool.
  • Always turn on the dust collector and open the dust collector gate prior to working with the planer. Close the gate when done.
  • Check your workpiece for metal using the metal detector before planing - metal damages the cutter heads.
  • The height gauge on this tool is no longer accurate - always check the height of the cutter head relative to your workpiece before beginning a cut.
  • Do not plane pieces thinner than 1/4" or shorter than the length of the cutting area (from roller to roller). Your work piece should be sticking out of one end of the planer during the whole pass.
  • Clean up the work area when you're done!