An efficient woodworking shop is clean, tidy, and in good working order. But this doesn’t just happen automatically. It takes a little bit of maintenance to ensure your woodshop is in tip-top shape for your students. Here are some of our best tips for maintaining the woodworking supplies and tools in your room.
Before You Start
Some maintenance tasks will be simple enough for students to complete when they are finished working. Other tasks will require more time and care, and should be completed by the teacher, janitorial staff, or other knowledgeable adult.
It’s usually wise to wear woodworking safety goggles, a dust mask, and gloves when performing any of these routine maintenance tasks. Make sure you turn off all devices and unplug them from the electrical outlet to prevent accidental start-up and injury.
Woodshops are well known for the infinite amounts of dust they produce. No matter how powerful your woodworking dust collection method is, it will never get 100% of the debris. To avoid build-up, you’ll have to be proactive. Use a brush, vacuum or compressed air to blow excess dust away and remove resinous deposits.
A gum and pitch remover can be applied to your saw blades, then wiped clean with a shop towel. Be sure to get in between all the teeth and any other tricky spots. For areas of rust, mix together household ammonia with a commercial detergent. Dip a #000 steel wool into the mix and use it to scrub away at the rust. Some parts may require a light coat of oil such as guide posts, pins, shafts, and joints. A light layer of paste wax helps protect the metal table without staining the wood.
While working on these tasks, you should also check that all parts are working properly and adjust or replace if necessary.
Portable Power Tools
Your woodworking tool storage is just as important to their longevity as how you use them. They should be cleaned and lubricated regularly, have blades and bits sharpened, re-calibrated periodically, and stored away properly when not in use. You should also keep an eye on all parts and replace them when they get worn out, especially batteries.
A clean and dry woodworking tool cabinet is the best place for hand tools to stay overnight. It’s even better when the tools are organized within the cabinet. Put like items together and sort sizes from smallest to largest to make finding the right tool quick and easy. This also helps keep the tools in better condition since they won’t be buried at the bottom of a tool box.
Your woodworking tool storage cabinets will also need to stay stocked with all the various supplies needed for different tools, machines, and projects. Periodically take inventory of your sandpaper, nails, and drill bits. If you’re running low, or what you have is no longer in good condition, be sure to order replacements as soon as possible.
How Does Your Woodworking Shop Look?
After you’ve carefully selected the tools and machines in your classroom, and your district has paid big money for them, these maintenance tips will ensure they remain in top condition for many years. If you’re ever in need of woodworking tools, machines, tables, or supplies, Midwest Technology Products is here to help!