Woodworking craftsmanship can be a very profitable trade if you know how to go about it. It is not merely a profession, but it is also a highly demanded skill based on the increased rate in demand for woodwork products. Perhaps you are asking the question: “How do I excel as a woodworking craftsman?” You are not far from the answer because it is majorly about how well you operate the tools used in woodworking, and how well you teach your team to handle the tools, too.
To do a highly commendable woodworking job, you must understand, select and use the correct tool for a job at hand. That is, you should know the primary importance of each tool you are working with. In this guide, you will briefly learn all you need to know about woodworking tools, safety precautions, and so on; moreover, by the time you are done with this guide, you will be delighted to recommend the material to your colleagues and friends who are also involved in woodworking as a craft.
In modern woodworking craftsmanship, a craftsman may decide to use hand tools or power tools. Either hand tools or power tools are both important in woodworking because different kinds of operations require different tools to be effectively carried out. Without the proper tools and the knowledge of how to use them, you will only wind up wasting time, reducing efficiency, and bringing injury to yourself or others. Therefore, we would now look into both power tools, hand tools, and relevant details about them.
Power tools are very useful in woodworking craftsmanship with a wide variety of them trending in the woodworks market. Power tools are operated with less manual input from an operator; rather, many of them are powered by an electric motor. Using such tools is a way to make woodworking easier, less laborious, more efficient, and more accurate.
Below is a list of some power tools, their use, and the safety precautions required to handle them
Tilt-Arbor Table Bench Saw
Just as the name implies, the saw blade of a tilt-arbor table bench saw can be tilted for cutting bevels by simply tilting the arbor. The arbor is located beneath the table, and it is controlled by the tilt hand-wheel. To cut items, remove the cutoff gauges, then move the rip fence further away from the saw by a distance which equals the width of the item to be sawn.
Safety Precautions in Operating a Tilt-Arbor Table Bench Saw
- Do not interchange the function of a ripsaw blade with that of a crosscut saw blade. During operations where ripping and crosscutting are frequent, you should install a perfectly working combination blade that will save you the stress of changing the saws over and again
- Check the height of the saw to be sure it will cut through the wood thoroughly
- Don’t attempt to use your hands to push short, narrow pieces between the saw blade and the gauge; use push sticks instead
- Frequently clean the working area, and don’t allow scraps to accumulate in the area
- While the saw is operating, avoid passing materials or even bending over it to pick an item
- Power off the machine when not in use.
Band saws are used to achieve curved cuts even though they can be used for straight cuts too. A major difference between the circular saw and the band saw is the latter is frequently used for freehand cutting. On the band saw, a continuous narrow saw band turns on two large wheels in the same manner a belt is turned on pulleys.
With the band saw, it will be quite difficult to make accurate cuts if the fences are used. The size of a band saw is usually a function of the diameter of the wheels. Therefore, the most common sizes range from 14 to 48-inch-diameter wheel machines. The 14-inch diameter band saw is the smallest.
Safety Precautions in Operating a Band Saw
- Stay away from the moving blade
- Clean every stock and scraps on your table before and after work
- Use only good blades. If a saw blade stops moving, stop the machine immediately and replace it with another one in good condition
- If the saw breaks during operation, shut off the power immediately and completely before any attempt to remove the saw blade
- It is bad to use a small saw blade for large work, or vice versa. Rather, the saw size should be appropriate for the object to be sawn
- Don’t thrust a piece of wood against the cutting side of the band saw blade after shutting down the machine so it doesn’t break. Also, band saws with 36-inch-wheel diameters and above should have a hand or foot brake installed
- Be careful when sharpening a band saw blade to avoid overheating and an uneven thickness of the blade.
The woodworking lathe is about the oldest of all woodworking machines. It is used to achieve a turning or shaping of round drums, disks, and any other round object. There are varying sizes as well as types of woodworking lathes. The lathe has four major parts which are the bed, headstock, tailstock, and tool rest. All the power derived for the lathe is transmitted through the headstock using a fully enclosed motor that gives variable spindle speed.
In using the lathe, wood is rotated against the lathe’s cutting tools, and they include turning gouges, skew chisels, parting tools, round-nose, square-nose; and spear-point. Lathe cutting tools are majorly chisels, toothing irons and auxiliary aids including calipers, dividers, and templates.
Safety Precautions in Operating a Woodworking Lathe
- Stand to one side when starting the lathe motor so as to avoid any hazard resulting from the flying of defective material
- Always use the tool rest when milling stock
- Ensure you have adjusted the tool rest for the start of the cut before turning the switch on
- Make very light cuts, most especially when using hand tools
- Don’t attempt to use calipers on surfaces while the work is in motion.
The jointer is a machine which helps to power-plane stocks on faces and edges. It planes objects by the revolution of the butterhead which is equipped with two or more knives. The size of a jointer is derived from the width (in inches) of the butterhead, and the sizes range from 4 to 36 inches.
Safety Precautions in Operating a Jointer
- Always plane with the grain and not on a piece of wood to avoid a kick back
- Start with your hands on the infeed bed. Thereafter, when the piece of wood is halfway through, reach with your left hand, and balance the piece of wood on the outfeed bed in such a way that both your hands will be on the outfeed bed
- Rather than place your finger or thumb at the horizontal edge of the piece of wood being fed into the jointer, always place them at the vertical end of the wood
- Avoid jointing short pieces of wood because of injury. It is much better to join a longer piece and cut into desired lengths. However, if you must join a shorter piece of wood, use a push stick instead of your hands
- Ensure your jointer table is always free of scraps, shavings, and so on; whenever you want to clean the table, stop the machine. Also, don’t use blunt blades to operate your jointer else, you may have a kick back
- Don’t joint pieces of wood that may contain loose knots
- Your eyes should always be on the Jointer whenever you’re working on it. Furthermore, don’t attempt to operate it if you can’t give it your full attention at the time.
Hand tools are also important woodworking tools. They are entirely operated with the input of a manual operator, that is, a trained individual. Just as power woodworking tools require the time and focus of operators, hand tools also require the same, but even more, the operator wields them from the start of an operation to finish.
Below is a list of some hand woodworking tools, their use, and their safety precautions
Portable Electric Circular Saw
The portable electric circular saw is used to simplify the cutting of wood during an operation. Even though it has an electric motor that runs it, an operator is required to wield it. The size of an electric circular saw is specified by the diameter of the largest blade that can work with it.
Circular saws do not have a specific blade that can be attached to them, so they can be used with hollow-ground blades; abrasive blades; combination crosscut and rip blades; crosscut blades; and rip blades.
Safety Precautions in Operating a Portable Electric Circular Saw
- Avoid using the saw cut through heavy stock so as to not overload the motor and damage it
- Ensure the material you want to cut does not have any material that can damage the blades, for example, nails or other metallic objects
- If you need to make any repair to the saw, disconnect it from the power source first
- Equip all circular saws with self-adjustable guards to prevent the teeth from protruding when working
- Always wear goggles or face shields to protect your eye whenever you’re using the saw, or when you’re cleaning up debris
- Carefully grasp and handle the saw in a way that it doesn’t break contact with the work
- Regularly inspect the blade at frequent intervals – if possible before, during and after each operation.
Very neat, decorative and attractive curves can be cut on woods and light metal with the aid of the saber saw, a power-driven jigsaw which is also wielded by an operator. Most saber saws do not have the capacity to cut wood at a very fast pace. Like the portable electric circular saw, the saber saw also works with a variety of blades – some for cutting woods and some for cutting light metals. A saber saw is useful for making bevel-angle and curve cuts.
Safety Precautions in Operating a Saber Saw
- Remove all jewelries before you use the saber saw. Also, roll long sleeves up, pack loose hairs properly, and don’t use ties before using a saber saw
- Firmly fit the blade in place in the saber saw, and ensure the blade is appropriate for the operation to be carried out
- Check the material to be cut if it is free of any obstructions
- Pay full attention whenever you’re working with the saber saw
- Ensure a firm grip on the handle of the saw with one hand while using the other free hand to control forward and turning movements.
Portable Reciprocating Saw
This kind of saw is both a power tool and a hand tool that can be used for a variety of woodworking operations. It is also useful for cutting rectangular openings and curved openings along straight or curved lines. The blades used for a portable reciprocating saw are of different shapes and sizes, and they are also specified for different operations. That is, there are specific blades for specific operations.
Safety Precautions in Operating a Portable Reciprocating Saw
- Ensure you disconnect the saw before changing blades or making any repairs
- Ground the foot of the saw on the stock firmly before you begin to cut
- Use appropriate materials for the blades being used per time
- Be careful not to cut through electrical wires when cutting through a wall.
There is a large inventory of both power and hand woodworking tools, but this guide has selected a few of them with a focus on providing information that is deemed “necessary-to-know” on the tools discussed in this text. It may be necessary to turn to extra resources for a guide woodworking tools.