Wood Shop Tutorials

Basic Tutorials

Wood Lathe

  • While cutting, have the tool rest and guard in place.
  • When sanding, move the too rest out of the way and do not press the sandpaper against the workpiece with your fingers. Hold the sandpaper taut and keep it in motion against the part's surface.

Wood Bandsaw

The Woodshop’s Bandsaw can be used for wood, plastics, and aluminum. If you would like to cut aluminum under 1" thick, use the metal lubricant tube that is on the bandsaw.

  • Ensure the blade guard is as low as possible for your cutting operation.
  • Make and/or use a push stick when you are pushing towards the blade.
  • Never use excessive force when cutting.

Miter Saw

  • For cutting wood only, NO PVC pipes!
  • Do NOT hold work pieces close to where it is being cut.
  • Let the blade come to a complete stop before raising the blade to it's upright position.
  • When cutting compound angles, make sure the blade does not hit anything by doing a dryrun first.
  • Do NOT try to cut small pieces with the Miter saw, get special instructions from a proctor or machine shop manager.

Drill Press

  • Can be used to drill holes in a verity of materials.
  • Always secure work firmly to the table or use a vice.
  • Do NOT use a spade drill to make an existing hole larger!
  • If the workpiece is long, make sure the workpiece is to the operators left side.
  • Do NOT drill sheet metal! Use a hole punch…


SawStop has a new feature that will stop the saw if it senses any conductivity in the material it is cutting. This means if your finger was on the blade while it was running, the SawStop will recognize it and stop automatically. However, this also means we can NOT cut any conductive material. Here are some tips in using the SawStop.

  • Do NOT cut conductive material including wet wood, or materials with mirror coatings
  • If you are cutting material that is not wood, let the machine shop manager know so you can get a special blade for plastic
  • If you are unsure about whether your material is conductive, please ask the machine shop manager
  • Only use the machine when the solid green light is on
  • Change the height of the blade by turning the wheel by powering box and change the angle of the blade by turning the side wheel - the black knob at the center locks the wheel
  • For angled cuts, use sled - see the machine shop manager
  • For long narrow pieces, use the stop block to push piece further out from the fence, in order to prevent your piece from flying off, ask the machine shop manager for instructions
  • In order to cut slots (1/8) follow these instructions
    • Turn off the machine and change the blade height
    • Remove the table insert
    • Inside cavity, lift the lever - the whole guard lifts out - and store the guard under the table
    • Use the riving knife (stored on the side of the saw) in place of the guard

Oscillating Spindle Sander

  • Hold workpiece down against table firmly at all times.
  • Do not sand workpieces that are too small to be safely supported.
  • Keep the floor around the machine clean and free of scrap material, oil and grease.
  • Always use appropriate table insert for the selected spindle or drum. Do not sand without a table insert in place.
  • Remove loose items and unnecessary work pieces from the area before starting the machine.
  • Allow machine to reach operating speed before beginning to sand.
  • Do not operate this sander with a damaged spindle or sanding sleeve.
  • Always feed work against direction of spindle rotation.
  • Read the operating manual before use.

Oscillating Spindle Sander Operating Manual

Thickness Planer

  • The thickness planner is for WOOD ONLY!
  • Do Not insert pieces of wood that are too short for the planer to auto-feed the wood in automatically.
  • Do NOT place your fingers inside the planer!
  • Do NOT plane wood that is taller than the width.
  • Never run wood through the planner if it has nails, staples, screws, or any other foreign objects in it.
  • Do NOT exceed the recommend amount of wood to be removed, see gauge in front of the machine. The depth varies with the wood width.
  • Read the operating manual before use.

Thickness Planer User Manual

Advanced Tutorials

Bandsaw: Changing the blade

Follow these steps to change the dull or inadequate blade. If you are not a proctor, ask the proctor on duty to change the blade for you.

  1. Unplug the machine
  2. Open the top and bottom doors and take out the circle plate holding the blade in place on the table
  3. Loosen 2 screws at the top and bottom of the guard to take off the guard
  4. Loosen tension on the blade by turning the blue wheel
  5. Put on gloves in the wood shop and pull the blade out
  6. Fold the blade into three circles by putting one foot on the blade, grabbing the blade underhand and sweeping arms in a hugging motion
  7. Insert a new blade - unfold slowly with gloves or toss it away from you and other people - and make sure that the teeth on the right side is pointing downwards
  8. Close the machine up by undoing steps 4-1: spin the wheels slightly while increasing blade tension to let the blade align on the wheels
  9. Plug the machine back in and turn it on to check that it runs normally
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License