Warning: The Woodworking studio has tools and equipment that may cause personal bodily injury, especially if improperly used.

 Knowledge and understanding of policies, practices and safe operation procedures are each member’s responsibility.  The Craft Center reserves all rights to change and/or modify policies or procedures and access at any time as they relate to safety, misuse or related situations.  All policies are strictly enforced.

Download Woodshop Safety Manual



A.  Woodshop Use

The woodshop is available for fine woodworking projects. It is meant for the hobbyist and not for production enterprises. Craft Center Membership Required.

Woodshop Access­ Privileges may be extended after:

Successful completion of a Craft Center basic woodworking class along with manual reading, passing safety test and attending an Orientation either in class or separately.

Experienced woodworker must watch safety video, read safety manual, pass safety test & attend Studio Orientation.  The safety test will be good for 1 academic year. Studio orientations are required every term.

Equipment Access¬ Safety clearance allows access to any machine or tool you are knowledgeable in. If you do not know the correct way to use a tool or machine do not use it, ask for help, and/or take a beginning wood class to learn. Misuse or abuse of a tool will suspend its availability. Only use equipment as it was intended for use by the manufacturer.


B.  Procedures

Safety Requirements­ - Each person must:

  • Watch the Woodshop Safety Video- (Available at Craft Center front desk or on-line)  
  • Read & Comprehend the Safety Manual- (Available at Craft Center front desk or on-line)  
  • Complete & Pass the  Safety Quiz -(Available at Craft Center front desk or on-line)  
  • Sign the User Safety Agreement- (Available at Craft Center front desk only)  

Numbers 1-3 above will be available at the Craft Center or on-line at http://mu.oregonstate.edu/craft-center/current-class-schedule/wood-working

The SAFETY QUIZ must be submitted to the Front Desk in order for the quiz to be graded The User Agreement must be signed by each member.

Once the above is satisfactorily completed, a member’s craft center membership card will be stamped for use to check out tools and keys to access equipment. This transaction occurs at the craft center front desk.

A current craft center membership is required & member must submit their membership card with valid wood stamp at the time of tool check out.

Check out­

  • Any tool you have checked out must be returned to the Front Desk personnel 

Clean up­

  • Your work area must be clean before you leave. 
  • Most machines are directly connected to a dust collection system. Make sure to open the blast gate before operation & close when through; there is a pole with hook in the studio that can be used to reach the blast gate.
  • Member is responsible to sweep up/ clean any wood debris not removed by the dust collection system on or around the machine /work area.
  • Brooms, dust brush & pans are located in the studio. Dispose of wood chips & debris into proper labeled bin. Please minimize amount of debris that goes into floor port, reserving that for final, fine wood particles.
  • Place newspaper or old catalogs beneath items to be glued. Wipe up any glue spills.
  • Failure to properly clean your workspace may void woodshop privileges.  


  • Due to minimal storage space in the woodshop, projects should be stored short term ONLY.
  • Wood stock should be labeled, dated & properly stored in a reserved wood bin.
  • Wood bins expire at end of term & items should be removed or bin renewed along with membership.


C. Safety

Accidents ‐ Report everything!  We need to know for your safety.  Inform Craft Center Staff as soon as possible.  Minor incidents are important.   Accidents include any personal harm or any damage done to machines or tools. Danger= Anything that appears to be an immediate or potential hazard should be dealt with immediately.

  • Damaged equipment should be reported. 
  • Electrical Hazards ‐ Keep out of any electrical control boxes. 
  • Moving Parts ‐ Always keep your hands and other extremities away from all moving parts.

Eye Protection

  • Imperative when working with or around any tools and machinery, even if you are not using the equipment.

 Eye protection must be worn at ALL times when you are in the shop.  This is the law; there are no exceptions! 

Face Shields ¬ Required when using lathe, but advised for all machinery.

Ear Protection - Available and strongly advised.

Dust Masks – Disposable masks are available for purchase from craft center supply store or you can provide your own. Whenever working with wood, dust is produced and can be a hazard.  Certain woods could contain harmful chemicals and Western Red Cedar has been attributed to asthma and nasal cancer. It is advisable to wear a particulate mask when creating high levels of saw dust and always keep work area clean.  OSHA has information & resources on-line with regard to general respiratory protection guidance; members are encouraged to be informed and to decide what protection is best for them.

No Food, Drinks, tobacco, alcohol, or drugs, legal or otherwise.¬ Do not operate machinery under the influence of any drug or alcohol, of if fatigued.


1. Long hair must be pulled back and secured.

2. No loose clothing.  Long sleeves should be rolled up and shirt tails should be tucked in.

3. Must be wearing full‐length pants.

4. Shoes must be rubber soled and closed toed, No sandals, etc.

5. No jewelry can be worn, including watches and dangling earrings.

6. Backpacks and other belongings must be hung on coat hooks or stowed away from work area.

7. Do not wear gloves when using power equipment.

8. Electronics - No headphones or cellular devices while operating equipment.


D. Emergency  

Shut off equipment immediately upon an emergency.  

A fire extinguisher is located in the shop to the left of the sink. It is for small localized fires. Personal safety is paramount, if fire danger is great- exit building & call 911.

A First Aid box is located near the sink and other locations throughout the craft center.  

Have craft center staff assist you with all injuries.  Complete accident report with front desk staff when able.

Emergency Assistance -­ Dial 9­911 from on- campus phones.  



1. Woodshop­ houses all the stationary tools that are connected to a sawdust vacuum collection system.  A Studio Orientation will familiarize you with procedures, how it operates and your responsibilities as they relate to it.

2. Two worktables are equipped with electrical outlets for hand tools and vises to secure projects. 

3. Chemical use is not allowed in this room, this is a fire hazard. No Solvent based products, epoxies, etc..

4. Membership card required for key check-out for machine operation and tools sign-out.

Respect your peers and staff - Be considerate and helpful toward each other.


Stationary Tool Safety

1. Use machines only as intended.  If in doubt, ask for assistance and/or refer to USER MANUAL.  

2. You should be experienced and informed in operation and safety procedure. If you are not comfortable with a machine, do not use it; ask for assistance. 

3. Focus on your work.  Look, listen, and be in control of what you are doing.  Do not be distracted by or talk to others while operating machinery and do not distract others.  

4. Avoid accidental starting. Only the person using the machine should ever start it!

5. All Safety guards and devices must be in place when operating machines.

6. Do not overreach. 

7. Machine must be at rest before removing byproducts and turned “off” before leaving.

8. Return adjustable parts to rest position. Machine should be clean and clear before, during, and after it is used.  

9. Red knobs are not for adjustments.  These are for calibrations that should ONLY be done by trained staff.

10. Make all adjustments with the power box switched off!  . 

11. All adjustable parts should be secure before power is on.

12. DO not use force.  The tool should do the work.  If it does not perform as you expect, let staff know: there may be a better way. 

13. Stay within reach of power switch at all times.

14. Check for worn and damaged parts.  Let TRAINED STAFF correct these problems. Do not attempt it yourself. 

15. Machinery should not be used to cut bucked limbs or stumps, used wood, wet wood, plaster or drywall.  Studio is for milled, dry wood, and furniture-grade wood.



Band Saw ‐ Free‐hand tool designed for cutting circles and curves.   Can also be used to rip and crosscut relatively small pieces of wood.

Safety - eye protection is required by law. Do not be distracted by or talk to others when operating machinery.

1. Always keep hands and fingers 3” away from the cutting edge.

2. Upper guide should be only 1/8” above material height.

3. Hold wood firmly feeding it into blade at a moderate speed.

4. Check band for good tension.

5. Avoid backing wood out of an incomplete cut.

6. Blade inhibits tight turns that could twist and break band; make multiple relief cuts to decrease stress.

7. Clicking while blade is in motion indicates a hazard. If you hear this, STOP, inform STAFF.

8. Bandsaw brake must always be applied after shutting off switch.


Edge Sander ‐ Free‐hand tool for sanding small pieces of wood.

Safety ­ Eye protection is required by law. Do not be distracted by or talk to others when operating machinery.

1. Sand only in the direction of the wood grain 

2. Do not apply excessive force. 

3. Check sanding surfaces for tears or holes.  Worn surfaces should be replaced. 

4. Check belt traction while running

5. Gloves should not be worn, neither should you hold object with rag.  


Combi-Disc/Belt Sander ‐ Free-hand and tool for sanding small pieces of wood.

Safety ­ Eye protection is required by law. Do not be distracted by or talk to others when operating machinery.

1. Sand only in the direction of the wood grain on the downward stroke of the machine.

2. Do not apply excessive force. 

3. Check sanding surfaces for tears or holes.  Worn surfaces should be replaced. 

4. Check belt traction while running. 




Spindle Sander ­ Used for sanding curved surfaces.

Safety ­ Eye protection is required by law. Do not be distracted by or talk to others when operating machinery.

1. Sanding spindle should be appropriate size for the radius of the curve you need to sand.

2. Keep wood flat on table while sanding.

3. Do not apply excessive force.

4. Check sanding surfaces for tears or holes.  Worn surfaces should be replaced. 


12” Compound Slide Miter Saw ‐ Used for cross cuts, miter and compound miter jointing.  

Safety - Eye protection is required by law. Do not be distracted by or talk to others when operating machinery.

1. Blade should be sharp, run freely, and be free of vibration. 

2. Let blade come to full speed before beginning cut. 

3. Hold material with hand away from blade and keep your fingers and thumb together.

4. Do not cross your arms while using the saw.  

5. Start the saw, pull out, push down, and push back.

6. Allow blade to stop completely before lifting up.

7. Do not attempt to cut small pieces.

8. Do not handle blade guard.  It is designed to self‐retract.  


15” Variable Speed Drill Press ‐ Designed to make vertical holes or create mortises. 
Safety - Eye protection is required by law.  Do not be distracted by or talk to others when operating machinery.

1. Larger bits should be used at slower speeds.  

2. Place scrap stock underneath material to be cut in order to protect base.  

3. Clamp scrap stock to base.


8” Long Bed Jointer ‐ For squaring and shaving along the edge grain.  

Safety ­ Eye protection is required by law. Do not be distracted by or talk to others when operating machinery.

1. Use a push block whenever project goes over the cutting surface keeping fingers 4” from the cutting knives.

2. Wood should be a minimum of 10” long.

3. Never adjust out-feed table.

4. Feed against blade rotation. Reverse direction can cause serious injury.


Planer ‐ Designed to plane stock to any thickness smoothly. This machine cannot straighten bows or warps.

Safety ­ eye protection is required by law. Do not be distracted by or talk to others when operating machinery.

1. Use only if trained specifically on this machine.

2. Plane off only 1/16” each pass.  

3. Keep others out of line of in-feed and out-feed of table.

4. Plane only clean clear wood. Any imperfections in the wood should be checked first.

5. Only one piece of wood at a time. Do not start a second until first is clear and do not stack.

6. If board stops moving, turn power off immediately, lower deck, and get trained personnel.

7. Clear dust and woodchips with brush not hand.

8. Feed against blade rotation. Reverse direction can cause serious injury.


Table Saw ­ - SAWSTOP Ripping and Crosscutting stock.

Safety ­ eye protection is required by law. Do not be distracted by or talk to others when operating machinery.

1. Use a push block whenever project goes over the cutting surface. Keep hands at least 4” from blade.

2. Stand to side of wood being ripped.

3. Stay within reach of power switch.

4. Only use one fence or miter gauge.

5. Be sure adjustment wrenches or any other objects have been removed from table before use.

6. Hold wood firmly feeding it into blade at a moderate speed.  Push wood with a push stick until it clears cutting blade.  

7. This in not a free‐hand machine.  Always use a fence or miter gauge.

8. Feed against rotation.  Wrong way will accelerate wood and cause damage.  

9. No dead‐cuts.  Continue ripping all the way through your board without stopping.  

10. Only use wood that has flat surfaces and is dry, No wet wood.  

11. Only one piece of wood at a time.  Do not start a second until first is clear.  


Table Saw ­- DELTA used for Dado cuts

Safety ­ eye protection is required by law. Do not be distracted by or talk to others when operating machinery.

Delta saw does NOT have a safety brake system.

Follow steps 1-11 above.

When changing out blades- tightly secure, but do not over tighten.


Routers ‐ Used for milling and shaping wood edges and free forms.

Safety ­ eye protection is required by law. Do not be distracted by or talk to others when operating tools.

1. Hold with both hands.  This tool is easy to lose control of. 

2. Bits can be extremely hot after use.  

3. Keep base on flat surface for smooth cuts.  

4. Make progressive cuts to desired depth.  

5. Speed should be reduced for larger bits.  

6. Do not “Climb‐cut.”  Cut outside edges counter‐clockwise and inside edges clockwise. 


Wood Lathe ­ Milling original, symmetrical wood profiles. 

Requires separate class/ training, and is for very experienced woodworkers only.

Safety ­ Eye protection is required by law.  Do not be distracted by or talk to others when operating machinery.    


Hand Tool Safety

1. Use tools only as intended.  If in doubt, ask for assistance and/or refer to a user manual.   

2. You should be informed in operation and safety procedure. If you are not comfortable with a machine, do not use it; ask for assistance.

3. Focus on your work. Look, listen, and be in control of what you are doing. Do not be distracted by or talk to others and do not distract others.

4. All safety guards and devices must be in place when operating tools.

5. Avoid accidental starting.

6. Tool should be at rest before removing byproduct and laying it down. Unplug a tool that is not being used.  

7. Unplug tool before changing parts and making adjustments. Be sure bits and blades are secure before usage. Turn switch to “OFF” before plugging into socket.  

8. Return adjustable parts to rest position. Machine should be clean and clear before, during, and after it is used.

9. Do not use force. The tool should do the work. If it does not perform as you expect, let trained personnel know. There may be a better way.

10. Do not overreach.

11. Extension cords must be 3‐prong grounded or polarized. If a 2‐prong cord will not fit, flip it over.

12. Pull plug out from sockets by the grip not the cord.  

13. Use clamps and vises to hold down wood or metal. Keep your hands free to control the hand tool.

14. Cords can be electrocution hazards. Be sure they run behind you, out of the tools direction.

15. Hold by insulated gripping for greater shock protection.  

16.Check for worn and damaged parts.  Let trained personnel correct these problems.  Do not attempt it  yourself.  

17. Wood should be flat and clear of all foreign objects. 


Belt Sander ‐ This tool is designed to smooth larger items like rough boards.  

Safety ­ Eye protection is required by law.  Do not be distracted by or talk to others when operating tools.    

1. Hold with both hands.  This tool is easy to lose control of.  

2. Belt must be tracked properly before use.

3. The weight of the sander is sufficient.  Leaning on the tool is bad for the motor and is less effective.


Finishing Sander ‐ Half and quarter sheet sanders for finishing flat surfaces.  

Safety­ Eye protection is required by law.  Do not be distracted by or talk to others when operating tools.    

1. The weight of the sander is sufficient. Excess pressure on the tool is bad for the motor and is less effective. Abrasive paper should be secure before use.  


Random Orbital Sander ‐ This palm‐sized sander removes material more rapidly than a finish sander.

Safety ­ Eye protection is required by law.  Do not be distracted by or talk to others when operating tools.    

1. A moderate grip on the sander is sufficient. Excessive force is bad for the motor and is less efficient.

2. Abrasive paper should be secure before use.  

3. This tool is capable of abrasions unlike finishing sanders.  


Drill ‐ This tool is designed to drill various sized straight holes into wood or metal.  

Safety ­ Eye protection is required by law.  Do not be distracted by or talk to others when operating tools.    

1. Drill straight in and pull straight out. Twisting or wobbling bit in a hole will damage the bit and cause bodily harm.

2. Bits can be extremely hot after use.  

3. Be sure to drill with motor in forward direction.  Reverse direction will burn or can ignite wood.  

4. Pull bit out of deep holes to remove debris.  Excess chips can cause overheating.  


Jig Saw ‐ This tool is generally used for pattern cutting into materials with the maximum thickness of 4 1/4” for wood. 

Safety ­ Eye protection is required by law.  Do not be distracted by or talk to others when operating tools.    

1. Find a clear area to work with this tool and secure the material.  

2. Keep base on flat surface when in use.  

3. Do not use a bent blade. 



  • There are several styles & sizes of clamps located in the studio.
  • If gluing, use newspaper under work. Clean up any glue spills before they set.
  • Limit the time work is clamped and occupying a table space; return day after gluing to unclamp, properly stow work and put clamps back where they belong.  
  • Label clamped work with full name and date.


Golden Rules of the Woodshop


Don’t operate a machine or tool if you are not trained and familiar with it!

If you’re tired . . . take a break

If you open it . . . Close it

If you turn it on . . . Turn it off

If you unlock it . . . Lock it

If you checked it out . . . You must check it back in

If you use it . . . Take care of it

If you break it . . . Report it

If you glued it . . . Tag it with date and time

If you make a mess . . . Clean it up

If it is in the way . . . Move it   If you moved it . . . Put it back

If you are confused . . . Ask for help

If you are unable to operate it . . . Leave it alone!