A woodworking shop can easily find its walls stacked high with tools improving the ease and quality of producing intricately designed furniture and wood pieces. These tools can drastically cut down on the time required to complete a project, and they also allow less experienced woodworkers to perform more complicated woodworking tasks with devices that simplify certain processes.
But even where experience is lacking, woodworkers still need to make a considerable financial investment in their work. The machinery and other tools used in woodworking can rack up enormous bills quickly, with individual pieces of equipment costing hundreds of dollars and sometimes more. One way to defray — or, at least, delay — those costs is to properly care for your woodworking tools, particularly the machinery requiring frequent upkeep.
Woodworking tools and equipment types
Woodworking equipment can vary from small, handheld tools used to create intricate cuts and designs in wood to large-scale equipment anchored to tables and work benches. The exact tools needed for a woodworking shop depends on the type of projects to be completed. Furniture makers, for example, tend to need scroll saws and jig saws to make unique cuts from wood, although these saw types can be beneficial to a variety of projects. Circular saws, radial arm saws and table saws are just some of the other woodworking tools commonly used, particularly for large-scale projects involving large pieces of wood and/or repeated cutting.
But smaller tools still serve a purpose, such as handheld, manually powered saws, sanding tools, joint clamps, hammers and screwdrivers. In fact, handheld tools are often used in the later stages of a woodworking project, when refinement of a basic wood shape has taken place and the detail of the project is finally coming into form. Although these have fewer moving parts and require less maintenance than the larger power tools, routine maintenance in the form of replacing parts, sharpening blades and cleaning out sawdust and resin is still required to keep the equipment in the best condition.
Common woodworking problems and maintenance
When it comes to machinery, one of the biggest problems that can befall a piece of equipment is the sawdust that seems to get into everything. A variety of preventative tools are featured on various machinery, including dust guards, cavities to trap and store woodworking waste, and even built-in vacuums that aggressively suck up sawdust and keep your workspace clean. But even with the best features, sawdust is bound to pervade everything. When you have machinery that features moving parts that can be damaged by foreign materials, consistent upkeep is imperative to their health.
The best way to do this is to routinely wipe down equipment and woodworking surfaces with a damp cloth to catch sawdust. Aerosol air dusters can clear out sawdust from hard-to-reach cracks and cavities in equipment, and cleaning the floor with a shop vac can further keep sawdust under control.
Cutting implements such as saw blades should also be replaced over time to keep the precision and quality of your cuts in the best condition possible, and to keep the larger piece of equipment in working order. Resin should also be cleared off the blades and other parts as it builds up over time, and lubricant should be applied to the appropriate parts periodically.
For more intensive maintenance needs, such as motor hauls on larger saws and other equipment, a professional maintenance technician should be called in to ensure the maintenance doesn’t accidentally damage the machinery.
Maintaining a good woodworking space
While care for individual equipment is essential, a work space built for woodworking can further preserve the quality of this equipment. Proper ventilation can make it easier for sawdust and other air particulates to clear out of the space and get away from your tools. Ventilation can also prevent high heat from building up inside the shop as the sun beats down on its exterior, which could warp tables and other features of some tools. Similarly, maintaining low humidity in a woodworking shop is good for the health of the wood as well as the tools.
Ultimately, tool maintenance can save you money by prolonging the life of parts, and it can also encourage high-quality cuts and woodworking products by eliminating the hazards that can jeopardize a project. In addition to these general guidelines, many tools come with instructions for proper care that should be followed to maximize the lifespan of the product. Although this regular maintenance may seem complicated and time-consuming, it’s more effective than waiting for parts to break down, spending the money for more intensive repairs, and all the while putting your work on hold as you sit and wait.
Jessica is interested in fitness and outdoor activities. In her free time, she enjoys DIY projects and blogging on behalf of Sears and other brands she trusts.