Shop Safety

  • No long hair, jewelry, etc.
  • Closed Toed-Shoes
  • Long Sleeves (Even in summer)
  • You and at least 2 people in the shop
  • Emergency phone automatically dials police and emergency
  • Safety Glasses

General Advice

  • Paint denotes material type on a piece of stock
  • When cutting stock material, cut the end without paint, so we know what material it is

Horizontal Band Saw

  • Used to cut longer pieces
    • Can only cut straight down
  • Make sure the blade is NOT touching the material when you start the saw, or else the blade teeth in contact with the material will chip or break

Vertical Band Saw

  • You can do some more complicated patterns than the horizontal band saw
  • Use block of wood to push the piece you’re cutting towards the blade
  • Shouldn’t be too hard to push material towards blade when cutting
    • If it is, blade might be dull, inform shop people

Belt Sander

  • Used to sand and remove burs from materials
  • Move the piece around horizontally, so you don’t wear out just one spot on the belt
  • Make sure the piece is pointed downwards since the belt spins down
    • If it was pointed upwards, the belt would push the part down while you’re holding it and might pinch your fingers or something bad

Disk Sander

  • The disc spins counterclockwise, so put the piece you’re sanding to the left, so the chips go DOWN
    • Putting the piece to the right will cause the metal chips to go tangential (UP) which is bad


  • When drilling, don’t hit the vice (expensive vice)
  • Don’t use drill chuck to hold end mill bits


  • Vice
  • Brake
    • Used to prevent the spindle from rotating
  • Lock
    • Prevents quill from moving up and down
  • Stop
    • Stops quill from going down to a certain height
  • Out/In Pneumatic
    • Used to take the drill chuck/end mill holder assembly out or put it back in
    • Put Stop all the way to the top and set lock when using
  • Autofeed
    • Automatically set the X and Y to go a certain speed

Facing Off/Using End Mill

  • Use the end mill (use end mill holder and not drill chuck) to cut part to exact width, height, and length) in x, y, z
  • You can use a special bit to find zero (where your part begins), or just use end mill if you’re already cutting


  • There’s a special bit used for zeroing out and finding where your part is
    • Touch the edge of the bit to the part until it looks aligned and then zero

      • Do this for both y and x
    • Move the x and y so that you’re half the bit’s diameter into the part (e.g. 0.01 inches)

      • This makes it so that the center of the drill is over (0, 0)
  • Use centering bit to make small indentation and a pilot hole so drilling holes don’t make the bits wobble/walk
  • Go up drill bit sizes gradually until you get to your final target drill bit (e.g. #5 increments)
  • Drill into the piece a little bit and then pull out so chips can get out
  • Make sure to use coolant



  1. NEVER leave chuck Key in or it might spin and go flying and hurt someone
  2. Keep a hand on the lever that turns on spinning so you can shut it off if something is loose or something goes wrong
  3. Use a brush to clean up the chips


  • Lever for spinning lathe spindle
    • Forward - To the right and up
    • Neutral
    • Reverse
  • Pedal Brake: Stops the lathe from spinning
  • Chuck
    • Holds the part you want to do stuff with
  • Tailstock
    • Used if you want to drill or tap
  • Lubricant
    • Should use when cutting
    • Must use when drilling
    • Use as little as possible


  • Use tap magic
    • Apply a bunch, don’t be stingy
  • Do like a turn or two and then break the chips by doing a quick small turn in the opposite direction