Woodshop Best Practices

Appropriate Dress


  • Eye protection
  • Closed toe shoes
  • Long hair tied up
  • Close fitting clothing & accessories 


  • Ear protection
  • Dust mask (especially when sanding)
  • Long pants
  • Remove all jewelry

General Safety

  • Do NOT work alone in the woodshop, never use power tools unsupervised. Just because the door is open, does not mean the shop is open – make sure there is an instructor or monitor on duty AND in the room.
  • Never work when tired, stressed, emotional or impaired in ANY way.
  • New lumber is the only material to be used on the woodworking machines (w/o explicit permission and guidance from the Studio Manager). 
  • Clean up after yourself – leave the shop better than you found it. 
  • Studio Monitors have final say – don’t be a jerk. 
  • If you’re unsure or in doubt about anything, ASK before continuing.

Using the Machines 

  • Only use machines you have been trained on and you feel comfortable using.  
  • Do a “dry run” – with the machine off and blade out of the way, go through the motions of making your cut. Identify any obstacles or catching points.
  • Be sure to unlock any fences or guards before adjusting them and lock them once in place.
  • Do not talk to someone while you or they are using a machine, wait until the cut is finished and the machine is off. 
  • Avoid distractions – don’t wear headphones when working with power tools. Focus on what you are doing. 
  • PAY ATTENTION! If something seems off, it probably is. Strange noises, excessive vibrations, burning smells, and sparks are all warning signs. Stop the machine and alert the Studio Monitor. 
  • Always use dust collection, especially on the sanders!
  • Wait for the blade to come to full speed before introducing your workpiece.