Wood Shop Tutorials

Basic Tutorials

Wood Lathe

While cutting, have the guide and guard in place.

When sanding, move the guide 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 and soft plastics. If you would like to cut aluminum under 1" thick, use the metal lubricant tube that is on the bandsaw.

  • Ensure the guide on the blade is as low as possible for your cutting operation.
  • Make and/or use a push stick or push block when you are pushing towards the blade or using a lot of force.
  • Do not feed work so slow it starts burning nor so fast that the blade flexes.

Miter Saw

Can be used to cut wood and some plastics. Do not hold work pieces close to where it is being cut, and do not try to cut small pieces with the Chopsaw, get special instructions from a proctor or machine shop manager.

Drill Press

Can be used to drill holes in most materials. Do not hold sheet metal while drilling: if you need to drill sheet metal, secure it to the table with clamps and make sure that there is a piece of wood between the sheet metal and the drill press table, avoid using a vise because the sheet metal may deflect enough to dislodge from the vise. In order to make a clean hole in sheet metal use a hole punch.


SawStop has a new feature that will stop the saw if it notices 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 Paul know so you can get a special blade for plastic
  • If you are unsure about whether your material is conductive, please ask Paul
  • 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 guider - see Paul
  • For thin pieces, use the stop block to push piece further out from the fence, in order to prevent your piece from flying off
  • In order to cut slots (1/8) follow these instructions
    • Turn off the machine and change the blade height
    • Take off plate
    • Inside cavity, lift the lever - the whole guard lifts out - and store the guard under the table
    • Use the riving knife (stored in the cabinet) in place of the guard

Thickness Planer

  • The thickness planner is for WOOD ONLY!
  • 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.

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 four 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
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