Tool & Machine Maintenance Woodworking Tips

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Here you will find a list of 11 useful tips for tool and machine maintenance for woodworking woodshops.

Definitions:
Machine Equipment - A piece of equipment with moving parts that uses power to do a particular type of work, such as a planer, jointer, circular saw, etc.

  1. Periodically apply a coat of paste on the working surface of the table saw and the rip fence to reduce friction, prevent rust, and improve safety.  This also holds true for all wood working machines.

  2. Periodically clean the wood resin from saw blades and bits with mineral spirits.  This will help make sharper cuts and prevent chipping and burning. 

  3. Periodically inspect equipment drive belts.  Replace warn or clacked belts to prevent breakage.  Belts tend to stretch with use, so periodic adjustments are necessary to eliminate slippage and to maximize performance.

  4. Use a metal grinder to periodically sharpen and redress hand tools, such as lathe turning tools, chisels, drill bits, screwdrivers, etc.  Sharp tools will help prevent personal injury, allow more efficient use of the tools, and reduce wood burn.

  5. Each woodworking machine, whether it is stationary or portable, should be periodically dusted and then lubricated with the appropriate grease or oil.  Maintaining equipment this way will reduce wear and increase its useful life.  The amount of use will dictate the frequency each piece of equipment should be lubricated.

  6. The miter gauge face should be square with the miter slot.  This can be checked by placing a  framing square against the miter gauge face and determine if the blade of the square is aligned with the miter slot.    

  7. Periodically check your table saw blade to determine if it is rotating true.  One way to determine this is to place a combination square in the miter slot of the table and slide the ruler until it touches a tooth of the blade.  Next rotate the blade 180 degrees and slide the square in the miter slot to determine if the ruler touches the same tooth.  If there is a difference, make appropriate adjustment to the blade.

  8. The splitter on the table saw should be perfectly aligned with the saw blade.  To check this, place a straight edge against the saw blade and the splitter to determine if they are parallel to one another.  Make adjustments for alignment if necessary.    

  9. Be sure the table saw rip fence is perfectly aligned in order to insure accuracy, eliminate binding the lumber, and prevent kickbacks.  A simple way to check this is to slide the rip fence to the miter slot and check for gaps.  The rip fence should be parallel with the miter slot.

  10. Be sure that the table saw blade is square with the table top.  This can be checked by placing a square on the table top and adjusting the arbor until the blade is square.  Finally, adjust the 0degree stop if necessary.

  11. Periodically inspect and adjust the band saw guiding system.  Minor adjustments can keep the blade running true and prevent wandering.  A well adjusted band saw will cut more efficiently and possibly eliminate injury.