Wood Shop

Safety First

Each piece of equipment has it own unique safety rules. Reading and understanding all safety documents is a must. Everyone should be taking personal responsibility for his or her own personal safety in the wood shop. With so many new woodworkers joining it is important to reinforce the things that may seem like common sense to an experienced woodworker. Even experienced woodworkers can always use a refresher on these key safety attitudes:

  1. FOCUS – A good safety attitude means that you focus on the task. How well are you concentrating on the job? If you have other things on your mind, you may be distracted.

  2. STRENGTH – No, this does not mean muscle strength. What it means is the strength to do the right thing, even when you are under time or other pressure to take shortcuts. A good safety attitude means you have the strength to follow the safety procedure.

  3. TIME – A good safety attitude means taking the time to do things correctly and using the right guard or personal protective equipment. Is saving a few minutes worth a lifelong injury?

  4. RESPONSIBILITY – If you care about yourself and others, YOU will have to take responsibility, follow the safety procedures, and not take short cuts.

  5. RISK – We all take risks. A good safety attitude means being smart and avoid taking unnecessary risks. A one in a thousand risk is not worth the possible cost. Do not play the odds, always follow the safety procedures.

Additional safety guidelines can be found here.

General Info & Rules

Questions about anything shop related should be directed to the Wood Shop Resource Manager, Mathew.Marulla@makeitlabs.com, or posted in the resource-wood-shop channel on Slack. General woodworking discussions, not specifically rated to the shop or its tools should go in the general-woodworking channel.

Anyone wishing to use the Wood Shop needs to be a member in good standing and must complete the MakeIt Labs Wood Shop Safety & Orientation Class. This is conducted once per month, generally on the first Wednesday, but additional classes may be scheduled based on demand. You can sign up in the MakeItLabs Class Schedule. Note that lathe operation is not covered in the orientation - there is a separate class which is scheduled aperiodically.

Before leaving the Shop, it must be returned to as-found or better condition. This includes, but is not limited to, sweeping the floor, vacuuming dust from tools, putting hand and power tools back in their proper homes, emptying the scrap bin when full, etc.

Any work on reclaimed material will not be done without prior approval of the Wood Shop Resource Manager. In determining if the work can be done on MakeItLab's equipment, the Wood Shop Resource Manager's may consider:

  • Removal of any prior finish

  • Visual inspection of boards to assess foreign objects

  • Use of a Metal Detector to confirm whether nails, screws, or other metal objects are present.

Shop users agree to follow Wood Shop Resource Manager's directives, including leaving the shop if not following the shop rules. Repeated violation of these rules is cause for losing shop privileges and other membership privileges pending Board of Directors decision. The user will be responsible for any equipment or shop damage due to negligence.

Dust Collection

The shop has an extensive dust collection system that extends to every major tool. Use it! Each tool has an associated blast gate - just open the blast gate and the dust collectors will turn on. Close the gate when done and they will turn off. Each blast gate has a knob which should be tightened (not a lot - just snug) in both the open and closed positions. Tighten when using the tool to prevent suction from pulling the gate closed and tighten when closed to prevent it from rattling open and turning on when no one is present. The only blast gate that may not be obvious is the one for the table saw. It is located to the right of the saw, next to the router table:

At times, you may close a blast gate and the system does not shut off. First, make sure no other blast gate is open. Especially check the one between the two lathes as it has a tendency not to close fully. If you are sure that all blast gates are closed and the collectors remain on, then the relay is probably stuck. Turn off the dust collector using its own switch:

Once the dust collector spins down, you should be able to turn it on again and it will remain off. If after doing this it still does not stay off when all blast gates are closed, leave it off and notify us on the resource-wood-shop Slack channel.

There is an additional dust collection line suspended above the table saw outfeed table. This can be used with handheld tools like sanders or biscuit joiners. It's blast gate is just above the one for the router table. Please hang the dust collection hose back up when done.

For extensive sanding, please use the sanding table:

This should be attached to a shop-vac rather than the dust collection system - it requires high-velocity air flow.

Finally, if you are doing anything that produces fine dust, turn on the ventilation system. Instructions and the remote control are located on the paint cabinet, to your right as you enter the wood shop area:

Available Equipment

Exact equipment can change faster than this wiki, but this list should be pretty close.

Delta 3hp Unisaw with Unifence

Ryobi 16" Scroll Saw

User's Manual

Reliant 15" Thickness Planer

User's Manual

(Note: Manual is for a Grizzly Planer, but is virtually identical to this unit.)

Wen Benchtop Drill Press

Jet Belt/Disc Sander

Rikon 1" Belt Sander

User's Manual

Wen Spindle Sander

User's Manual

Incra Router Table w/Makita Router Core

User's Manual

Craftsman Lathe

User's Manual

Handheld Power Tools

Includes several each of the following:

Drills, Routers, Belt Sanders,

Finish and Detail Sanders,

Circular Saws, Sawzall

Biscuit Cutter, Tool Sharpener,

Jigsaws, etc.


Certain items are not provided by MakeItLabs - You need to bring your own. Here are the sizes and guidelines.

  • Finish Sander - The random orbit finish sander takes 5", Hook & Loop, 8-Hole Discs. Make sure to get 8-hole discs, not 5-hole or "universal". Only the true 8-hole discs allow dust collection to work properly. Currently, the proper 8-Hole disc are available at Lowe's under the "Gator" brand. Home Depot only has the Universal type. Buy: Lowes Amazon

  • Detail Sander - The detail sander takes 3-7/8" x 5-1/2", Hook & Loop, Shaped Sheets. Buy: Home Depot Lowes Amazon

    • Finish Nailer - The pneumatic finish nailer takes 18-gauge Finish Brads, from 1/2" to 2" length. Buy: Home Depot Lowes Amazon