Wood Shop

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Shop Captains

Nate Lelek

Shop Policies

1. Safety First.

2. No alcohol (or other intoxicant) use prior to or during operation of woodshop equipment.

3. If you see someone acting in an unsafe manner, stop them or report it to a shop captain.

4. Remove or stow any dangling apparel or body parts.

5. Always use appropriate personal protective equipment (Earplugs, safety glasses, dust mask).

6. Be aware of your surroundings.

7. Do not bypass equipment safety features.

8. Leave the shop in better shape than you found it.

9. Put away tools after using them.

10. Use equipment for its intended purpose only.

Tool-Specific Policies

Table Saw

  • Safety guidelines:
  • Always unplug the saw before opening the side panel or the throat plate.
  • Always use a push stick for rip cuts narrower than 6".
  • Use a featherboard when ripping narrow stock.
  • Never freehand cut.
    • When rip cutting, use the rip fence.
    • When crosscutting, use a crosscut fence (miter gauge) or crosscut sled.
  • POWER ON: Main power must be turned on and initialized before activating the saw. Wait for the red light to stop blinking.
  • Never leave the saw running when you're not standing at it.
  • Check the blade for square before you use it.
  • Use the dust collector. Remember to turn off the dust collector when not cutting.
  • Always use the riving knife or blade guard UNLESS you are doing a dado cut.
  • Dado blade requires a different cartridge. Consult the manual for cartridge change procedure.
  • Clean off the floor around you, the table surface, and the inside of the saw after using.
  • If you tilted the blade, return it to 90° after using.
  • Bypass procedure: The Sawstop mechanism is triggered by electric conductivity. Some types of wood (pressure treated, high moisture content, aluminum foil lining) may trigger this mechanism. For these types of wood, the cartridge can be bypassed. Consult the manual for the bypass procedure.

Band Saw

  • Unplug after using and before adjusting the blade.
  • Always hook up the dust collector.
  • Position the blade guard just above the thickness of wood you are cutting.
  • Lock the blade guard down with the knob on the back.
  • Verify that the blade is centered on the drive wheel.
  • Verify that the upper and lower guide bearings are properly spaced and not rubbing on the blade when it is freely turning.
  • Do not use the 3/8" blade for resawing.
    • If you want to resaw something, contact a shop captain and we will install the 3/4" resaw blade.
    • Conversely: the resaw blade is ONLY for resawing.

Mitre Saw

  • Always double-check your angle with a square.
  • Lock down the slide if not needed.
  • For cuts that require sliding: slide out, cut downwards, then slide in.
  • Unplug after using.
  • After using, clean off the saw pivot knuckle bushings with a shop vac. This prevents premature wear on the bushings, which can lead to slop in the saw movement.

Router Table

  • Pay attention to the spin direction of the bit (counterclockwise) and only feed stock in the opposite direction (Right to left when facing the table). Feeding stock along the spin direction will result in chatter, unpredictable cutting, and is dangerous!
  • Only use router bits with the router table (No drill bits).
  • Use push pads and featherboards when possible.
  • Return bits to the bit case after using.


  • Ensure that the tool rest is close to the workpiece without touching it, and securely tightened, before starting the motor.
  • Do not adjust the tool rest while the motor is running.
  • Only adjust the speed while the motor is running.
  • Always return the speed to LOW before shutting it off. If the lathe starts at high speed, it can damage the belt drive.

Drill Press

  • Do not use router bits with the drill press! Drill bits only. To drill a flat hole, use a forstner bit.
  • Be careful to not drill into the iron table. Place a scrap block below the workpiece to reduce tear-out.
  • Return bits to the bit holder on the wall when finished.

Dust Collector

  • Turn on the motor and check the system for leaks before using. The most common locations for leaks are around the upper rim of the bag, and the lower rim of the canister filter.
  • No indiscriminate floor sweeping! Use for wood dust only. Metal/plastic/large chunks will damage it.
  • For maximum airflow, use the gates at the splitter to isolate the duct you are using. Only one branch can be used at a time. If 2 people need to use separate tools (planer and table saw, i.e.) they should take turns.
  • Don't leave it running while you're not collecting dust! Electric motors overheat.
  • Empty the dust bag if it is over 75% full. If you don't know how, ask a shop captain.


  • The jointer has an exposed blade and is very dangerous! Only use it if you know what you are doing.
  • Double check the fence for square every time.
  • Do not remove the safety guard. If you need to remove it (to joint a wider board, for example), contact a shop captain.
  • Do not prop open the safety guard while using.
  • Feed stock right to left in a smooth motion.
  • Always use push pads when jointing faces (or edges of narrow boards).


  • Always hook up the dust collector when planing wood.
  • The height adjustment has a tendency to stick. If this happens, do not force it! Back off and try again more gently.

Drum Sander

  • Before using, verify the abrasive is wrapped tightly around the drum and not loose on either end.
  • Take very gentle passes -- 1/8 turn per pass, max.
  • No pine! Pine (and other softwoods) contains sap pockets which can build up on the abrasive and create scorched lines.
  • No finish stripping or plywood. Drum sander is for unfinished solid wood only.
  • Clean off drum with rubber eraser block frequently to prevent buildup.
  • Feed belt can drift if the roller tension is misaligned. If the belt isn't centered, use the tension adjustment screws to realign it.


Wood Shop Equipment

Stocked Materials

Stocked Consumables