Hand tools and power-driven machine tools have been developed to save time and perform accurate, repeatable work. Hand and power tools consistently perform the same operation hundreds of times if they are properly used, cared for, and understood. In nearly all cases, mistakes and/or injuries are due to operator error, not the machine. Whether the tools are helpful or harmful depends on you.
For each tool listed in this manual, there are corresponding links to Youtube videos about that tool. These videos, along with the introduction and safety guidelines at the beginning of this manual, will provide the answers to the questions found in the corresponding quizzes.
GENERAL WORKSHOP SAFETY
*Introduction and General Lab Safety sections were taken from “Woodworking Safety Manual and Tests: Construction Technology, Casper College”.
**The following tool specific safety information was pulled from http://www.powertoolinstitute.com/
Table Saw Safety Notes:
Position your body correctly when using the table saw. Stand to the left of an imaginary line drawn through the blade, with your left foot forward.
When cutting a board on the table saw, one edge of the board should be jointed first. This will provide an even cut, it will help prevent kickback, produce a parallel cut, and the cutting process will be safer.
Place the workpiece flat on the table with the jointed edge pressed against the fence and the leading end at least 3” from the front of the blade.
The first step when using the table saw is to set the height of the table saw blade above the material this is being cut. The blade should extend about ¼” above the material.
Turn on the saw, and push the workpiece forward while simultaneously pressing it against the fence. Watch the areas in front of the blade and along the rip fence to make sure fingers stay well away from the blade and that the work-piece remains in full contact with the fence all the way through the cut.
Center the push-stick between the blade and fence and use the push-stick to move the workpiece forward until the board clears the blade.
Free-hand cutting is very dangerous and is not allowed.
You should not reach, or lean, over the table saw blade while it is spinning.
When setting up for a cut on the table saw, the good material should go between the table saw fence and the blade.
When crosscutting, never use the rip fence as a length stop; the offcut, trapped between the blade and fence, will be thrown back at you.
A stop block setup for crosscutting allows you to cut multiple pieces to the same length and creates space so the cutoffs stay safely away from the back of the blade.
Re-sawing (cutting down or in between the grain) using the table saw is dangerous and should only be done by students with direction from instructor.
Do not cut cylindrical (round) material on the table saw it will roll and kickback.
Do not pull the material from the back of the table saw to make a cut.
A table saw splitter or riving knife must be used to help keep the saw kerf open and prevent kickbacks.
When the blade is costing to a stop, do not reach under the guard and pull out the cutoff piece.
When cutting material that is less than 3” wide, make sure you use a push stick.
When using the table saw, never back the material being cut out from between the blade and fence while the blade is still rotating. Shut the table saw off with your knee and hold the material firmly in position until the blade stops rotating.
When changing the table saw blade, the first thing you should do is disconnect the power source.
Think ahead! Always try to keep your fingers out of the line of cut.
When making a crosscut (cutting across the grain), you generally use the miter gauge to help support the material through the cut.
Have the instructor double check any special setups on the table saw.
Video: Table Saw Basics: Woodworkers Guild of America
Video: Cross cutting on the Table Saw: Woodworkers Guild of America
Video: Unsafe Cross-Cutting: Avoid Dangerous Table Saw Kickback – YouTube
Video: Wood Whisperer
Video: Function of Riving Knives for Table Saws
Video: Woodworking Tips: Table Saw Safety Tips – YouTube
Video: 7 Things to Get You Started Using a Table Saw
Video: What Not to Do with a Tablesaw
Miter Saw Safety Notes:
Do not raise the guard to see better or align the cut.
No cutting with the grain (ripping) on the miter saw.
Wait until the motor reaches full speed before making a cut.
Do not cut round material on the miter saw
Return the carriage of the miter saw to the full rear position after each cutting operation.
When preparing to make a cut, you should not start the saw while the blade is in contact with the top of the material.
The material being cut should be in contact with both the table and the fence.
Always push the head of the miter saw through the material, never pull cut.
After the cut is finished, but before the blade stops rotating, the carriage/blade assembly should be held in the downward position.
If the material is bowed, clamp the outside bowed face towards the fence.
Placing the material correctly onto the table and against the fence is the most important way to prevent the blade from binding and kicking back.
When holding material to be cut, keep your thumb under the board and your fingers together and straight. Your fingers should not come closer than 6” inches to the spinning blade.
The saw blade should be aligned on the waste side of the making line.
Never attempt to remove waste material from the cut zone until the blade has stopped rotating.
No pull cutting on the miter saw.
Never reach under a coasting miter saw blade.
Do not hang your fingers over the miter saw fence while holding material to cut.
When making a miter cut, you should hold the material against the fence and onto the table with your thumb on top while applying pressure in a forward direction.
The electric brake on the miter saw motor causes the blade to jerk down due to the quick change in momentum. This is why you should leave the blade in the downward position, after making a cut, until it stops rotating.
Never cross your arms to make a cut on a miter saw. Switch hands if necessary.
Video: Miter Saw Safety Tips – Youtube
Video: What Can you do with a Miter Saw? – Youtube
Video: Reviewing Miter Saw safety with the Festool Kapex – Youtube
Bandsaw Safety Notes:
Use a v-block to cut round material.
If band saw blade breaks turn the machine off, unplug it and notify the instructor. Wait until is stops before removing material.
Always keep your fingers out of the line of cut.
Cut through a cut; do not break through a cut.
Shut the band saw off before backing out of a long cut.
The upper blade guidepost (blade guard) should be adjusted while the machine is off and to approx. ¼” to ½” above the material being cut.
Relief cuts prevent the blade from binding using any material.
The correct band saw blade width for a specific cut depends on the smallest radius of the cut to be made. Therefore the wider the blade the larger the radius of cut that can be made.
The teeth of the saw blade should always point down on both the scroll saw and band saw.
Scrap material should be cleared from the band saw table when the machine is off and completely stopped.
The upper blade guard, on the band saw, should be adjusted while the machine is off.
Students should not stand to the right of the band saw when making cuts.
If the blade breaks on the band saw you should turn off the machine, wait for it to stop, unplug it and notify the instructor.
Keep your fingers at least 2 inches away from the blade at all times.
It is very important to keep your material flat against the band saw table when making a cut.
Video: Bandsaw Safety Demonstration – Youtube
Video: Bandsaw Safety Lesson – Youtube
Video: Additional Bandsaw Safety Video – YoutubeVideo: Steering Sticks – Youtube
Stationary Sander Safety Notes:
If the sanding disc on a combination disc/belt sander rotates in a counterclockwise direction; you should hold the material being sanded flat on the table and from the center to the left edge of the disc.
If the operator of a combination disc/belt sander reaches across a rotating sanding disc you may receive a serious cut on the hand or arm.
The first step in the process of changing sanding belts or discs on the combination disc/belt sander is to disconnect the machine from electricity.
On combination disc/belt sanders, both tables can be adjusted to 45 degrees.
Only one person at a time should use the combination disc/belt sander at the same time.
Pay attention to the task at hand when sanding. Do not be distracted by conversations.
The main purpose of the “disc” sander is to remove a small amount of material on the end or edge of a board. You should not sand face grain on the “disc” sander.
Keep clothing, fingers, and jewelry away from the abrasive surfaces on the combination disc/belt sander.
It is important to watch for the sanding belt tracking to one side or the other and rubbing against the edges of the belt sander. Shut the machine off and let the instructor know if this happens.
When using the “disc” sander, hold the material you are sanding flat against the table. When sanding on the “disc” sander, do not sand with the material lifted above the table.
When using the “disc” sander, always sand the material on the downward side of the disc.
Keep the wood moving while sanding with the combination disc/belt sander in order to keep the wood from burning.
When sanding material using the “disc” sander make sure you sand from the center of the disc to the left side of the disc.
Never leave the combination disc/belt sander on unattended. Make sure you shut it off and wait until it comes to a complete stop before you walk away.
When using the oscillating spindle sander, you should feed the material you are sanding against the spin of the spindle.
When using the oscillating spindle sander, it is unsafe to move the material you are sanding in the same direction the spindle is turning.
When sanding with the combination disc/belt sander, edge sander, or oscillating spindle sander, start the sanding process with light pressure against the abrasive surface and increase the pressure gradually.
When using the edge sander, feed the material being sanded into the abrasive surface with light-pressure on the trailing edge first. (The leading edge is the front of the board and the trailing edge is the back of the board.)
Only sand edge grain on the edge sander!
The minimum length of material that should be sanded on the edge sander is 10″ long.
When using the edge sander, the material being sanded can “kick-back” if you contact the leading edge (front) of the material before you contact the trailing edge (back).
When using the combination disc and belt sander, the material being used needs to be thicker than the gap between the belt and the table to avoid YOUR fingers and the material from being pulled into the abrasive surface.
Video: Disc and Belt Sander Demo
Video: Tutorial on Basic Disc and Belt Sander Use
Video: Router 101: Router basics for absolute, total beginning woodworkers. – YouTube
Video: Router Bits for Beginners | Rockler Skill Builders – YouTube
Video: Wood Tips: Routers – Plunge vs Fixed Based Router – YouTube
Video: How to Safely use Routers and Router Tables – YouTube
Article: 6 Profiles From One Router Bit by Jim Heavey
12 Tips for Router-Table Safety Review: The Essential Do’s and Don’ts of Router-Table Use
By: Lonnie Bird
Fine Woodworking Article, August 10th, 2006
Although most router bits are small, routers and bits deserve your attention and respect. As with all power tools, you can enjoy them safely by following these safety guidelines, excerpted from Taunton’s Complete Illustrated Guide to Routers.
Drill Press Safety Notes:
When using a drill press, use a faster RPM for small drill bits and a slower RPM for larger drill bits.
A v-block, or vise, should be used when drilling cylindrical material on the drill press.
Use scrap-wood under what is being drilled to help prevent tear-out and damage to the drill press table.
Loose clothing and long hair are a problem when using the drill press.
Clamping the material being drilled to the table is the safest way to drill a hole when using the drill press.
Do not wear gloves or anything that would cause your hand, fingers or clothing to be wrapped around the revolving bit.
When drilling holes using the drill press, raise and lower the drill bit from the hole as it is being drilled in order to remove the wood chips. This action is often called peck drilling.
When using the drill press, material should be drilled with the excess material to the left of the operator. This is because if the drill bit catches and the material rotates it will hit the column and not the operator.
When using the drill press, you should ease up on the feed pressure when the drill bit begins to cut through the underside of the material that is being drilled.
When drilling a long piece of material, place the excess length to the left of the operator.
When drilling a deep hole with the drill press, raising the bit often to allow the chips to escape, helps to provide better control over the drilling process, and keeps the bit cool.
Drilling small material with the drill press make sure to clamp the material with a vise or to the table and notify the instructor.
Video: Drill Press Safety
Article: Safety Tips for Working with a Drill Press
Video: Drill Press: Setting up & Making Adjustments
JOINTER & PLANER
Jointer Safety Notes:
The main purpose of the jointer is to flatten one face of a board and make the joining edge square (90 degrees) to the flattened face.
Make all adjustments when the machine is off and at a dead stop.
The infeed table is used to adjust the depth of cut. The outfeed table should never be adjusted because it should always be at the same height as the knives at the highest point.
The guard should remain over the knives all the time to reduce injury. Never drag the material being jointed back across the knives.
Boards that are less than 10” long can be very dangerous to cut and is considered too short for the jointer.
Never hang your fingers over the end of the board you are jointing.
Always joint material with the grain.
You should move your hands so they never apply pressure directly over the cutterhead.
Hold the material firmly against the table and fence, and use a slow but steady advance when jointing.
Stand in a balanced position when using the jointer.
Complete each pass on the jointer; it is best not to stop midway.
Always use a push paddle when face jointing.
No end grain jointing, unless you check with the instructor first and receive direct instruction.
The fence should be set so that no more of the cutter head is exposed than is necessary.
Planer Safety Notes:
The minimum thickness of a board to be planed is ¼”.
Always plane boards with the grain.
Do not adjust the thickness of the cut while the wood is being fed through the planer.
Do not stand directly behind or in front of the board being planed.
Loose knots can be thrown from the planer or cause the board to get stuck in the planer. If the board gets stuck, shut the machine off, wait until it stops and back the hand wheel off until the board is free, then let the instructor know what happened.
The safest amount of material to be removed per pass is 1/16”.
The main purpose of the planer is to reduce the thickness of a board and make it parallel with the opposite face.
When using the planer, it is best to plane boards of differing thicknesses end-to-end rather than side-by-side.
When feeding a board into the planer, be careful not to pinch your fingers. It is safest to place the board flat on the table with one hand across the (grain) or face of the board and the other pushing from behind with your fingers and thumb on top of the board. Move your hand when it reaches the planer table.
When planing a board, place the most stable face of the board down onto the planer table.
The minimum length of board to be planed by itself is 12”.
When starting wood into the planer, the end of the board will usually jump up and then back down which could pinch you fingers.
Video: Planer Safety Tips: Woodworkers Guild of America
Handout: Thickness Planer Safety Rules
Video: How to Use a Jointer- Woodworking
Video: How to Use a Wood Jointer: Woodworking for Beginners #3 – Woodworkweb
Video: Wood Jointer Basics for Beginners
Video: Jointer Fundamentals – Woodcraft
Wood Lathe Safety Notes:
Always wear proper clothing and eye protection for any lathe operation. Remove jewelry. Tie back long hair.
All glued-up work must dry at least 24 hours before being turned on the lathe. If the glue has not set properly, the pieces may fly apart during turning.
Securely lock the tailstock before starting the lathe and recheck the tightness every few minutes.
Check for end play (left or right movement) by rotating the stock by hand before turning the machine on.
Set the tool rest as close as possible to the wood being turned, without actually touching the wood. If there is too much space between the tool rest and the wood, the turning tool may catch and be thrown from your hands.
After centering rough stock on the lathe, turn the stock a few times by hand to make sure it will clear the tool rest before turning on the machine.
Keep the tool rest in the locked position when turning. You must remove the tool rest when sanding.
Never try to adjust the tool rest while the lathe is in operation.
Start all turning operations at a low speed until the stock is roughed down to cylindrical (round) form. Then increase to a higher speed. Do not turn large-diameter stock at high speed.
Maintain a firm, well-balanced stance on both feet while turning.
Do not exceed the recommended speed for the size stock and turning operation you are using. Excessive turning speed can cause pieces to be thrown from the lathe, which could result in serious injury.
Video: Wood Lathe Tips – Youtube
Video: Woodturning Rockler – Youtube
Video: Wood Lathe Basics – YoutubeVideo: Wood Lathe for Beginners – Youtube
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