Power Tools

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Power Tools

OSHA 3080 defines a power tool as any tool requiring external electrical, pneumatic, or chemical power to function.


Table Saw

Main Article : Table Saw
Table Saw

Best for: Straight cuts

A table saw is a circular saw mounted under a table. The blade projects up through a slot on the table, and cuts to material are made by running the material over the table and into the blade. The table saw is typically used for straight cuts to flat pieces of material, i.e. sheets or sticks of wood, sheets of acrylic or foam, etc.

The table saw is one of the most accurate and efficient ways to make a straight cut in flat material, but is also one of the most dangerous tools in the shop. Aside from blade related injuries, the biggest potential for injury comes from kickback, as the user is essentially working against the blade to make a cut. When using the table saw, it is important to be aware of possibilities for kickback, and take appropriate measures in preventing such situations.

Here in the idea shop, we have a variety of tools (push sticks, sleds, miter jigs, etc) for use with the table saw to enable users to more safely make cuts on the saw.


Main Article : Bandsaw
Delta band saw.

Best for: Curvilinear cuts, splitting tall material

A bandsaw is a saw with a long, ribbon-like blade of toothed metal stretched between two or more wheels. Material is cut by moving along material along the table and into the path of the blade and used with or without a fence.

Advantages include the ability to cut irregularly shaped materials, and the ability to cut curved shapes in a variety of materials. Additionally, since the blade is pulling the material down towards the table, it is unlikely there will be kickback or ricochets. The blade itself can come in a variety of sizes and tooth pitch, which enables the machine to be highly versatile and able to cut a wide variety of materials including wood, metal and plastic.

Circular Saw

Main Article : Circular Saw
Circular saw.

A circular saw is a power-saw using a toothed or abrasive disc or blade to cut different materials using a rotary motion spinning around an arbor. A circular saw is used for cutting many materials such as wood, masonry, plastic, or metal, and may be hand-held or mounted. In woodworking, the term "circular saw" refers specifically to the hand-held saw.The table saw and chop saw are other common circular saws. "Skil saw" has become a generic trademark for conventional hand-held circular saws. Appropriate saw blades should be used depending on the material used. Asked for help if needed.

Miter Saw

Main Article : Miter Saw
Miter saw.

A power miter saw, also known as a drop saw or chop saw, is a power tool used to make a quick, accurate crosscut in a workpiece at a selected angle. It is commonly used for cutting of molding and trim. Most miter saws are relatively small and portable, with common blade sizes ranging from eight to twelve inches. The miter saw makes cuts by pulling a spinning circular saw blade down onto a workpiece in a short, controlled motion. The workpiece is typically held against a fence, which provides a precise cutting angle between the plane of the blade and the plane of the longest workpiece edge. In standard position, this angle is fixed at 90°. A primary distinguishing feature of the miter saw is the miter index that allows the angle of the blade to be changed relative to the fence. While most miter saws enable precise one-degree incremental changes to the miter index, many also provide "stops" that allow the miter index to be quickly set to common angles (such as 15°, 22.5°, 30°, and 45°). Compound-Miter saws add the ability to rotate the blade head at a range of angles from the board allowing you to enter the wood at an angle other than 90 degrees. Creates a ramp angled cut into the side of the wood. Allows for more complex cuts and is commonly used in trim work for homes.

Panel Saw

Main Article : Panel Saw
Panel saw.

The panel saw is any type of circular sawing machine with a sliding table or saw blade that crosscuts sheets into sized parts. The Idea Shop panel saw is a vertical unit with a sliding saw blade. This is especially useful for cutting down large standard 4' x 8' sheets of plywood, melamine, acrylic or cardboard. The saw normally operates in the vertical cutting direction, however the blade can be rotated to rip long steps from sheet material. Many circular saw blades are available to cut a variety of materials from wood to metals. Because of guards the panel saw is a much safer alternative to the table saw for making straight cuts, especially on large stock materials. The size of the stock normally requires two people to load the material safely into the machine.

Planer Saw

Main Article : Planer Saw
Planer Saw

The planer saw is a machine with a flatbed and a cylindrical blade above the flatbed. The cylindrical blades shave off the top of a sheet of wood to achieve a flat finish on the top of the wood sheet. The planer is a good machine for flattening warped sheets of wood or making segments of a table top. The maximum height of block that the planer can cut is 6", and the maximum cutting width is 13". For short pieces of wood, it is recommended to attach the desired wood on top of a longer sheet of wood with double sided tape before pushing it through the machine's blades.


Cordless Drill

Main Article: Cordless Drill
Cordless Drill

A cordless drill is an electric drill which uses rechargeable batteries. These drills are available with similar features to an AC mains-powered drill. They are available in the hammer drill configuration and most have a clutch, which aids in driving screws into various substrates while not damaging them.

Drill Press

Main Article :Drill Press
Drill press.

A drill press is a drill mounted on a stand and is used for cutting cylindrical holes in a workpiece or part. The drill press can be used for drilling, reaming, countersinking, counterboring, and tapping.

A drill press has several advantages over a hand drill, including a more consistent operation, the ability to drill into denser and harder materials, and the ability to use a wider range of bits for a wide variety of applications.

Sanders / Grinders

Belt/Disc Sander

Main Article : Sanders
File:skil belt sander.png
Manual Belt sander.
Manual Orbital sander.

Belt sanders are primarily used to rapidly sand wood, normally removing larger chunks than sanding by hand. Using a sander can result in a smooth surface on wood. Some belt sanders can also be used on metals such as aluminum.

Instructional Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_H9cGyL3BoY

Bench Grinder

Main Article : Bench Grinder
Bench grinder.

A bench grinder is a benchtop type of grinding machine used to drive abrasive wheels. A pedestal grinder is a similar or larger version of grinder that is mounted on a pedestal, which may be bolted to the floor or may sit on rubber feet. These types of grinders are commonly used to hand grind various cutting tools and perform other rough grinding. Depending on the bond and grade of the grinding wheel, it may be used for sharpening cutting tools such as tool bits, drill bits, chisels, and gouges. Alternatively, it may be used to roughly shape metal prior to welding or fitting. A wire brush wheel or buffing wheels can be interchanged with the grinding wheels in order to clean or polish workpieces. Stiff buffing wheels can also be used when deburring is the task at hand. Some buffing machines (buffers) are built on the same concept as bench grinders except for longer housings and arbors with buffing wheels instead of grinding wheels.

Lathes and Mills

Grizzly G0769 Lathe with Milling Head

Main Article : Manual Mill and Lathe
Grizzly Mill Lathe Combo.

A lathe mill combo


Handheld Routers

Main Article: Handheld Router
Handheld Router.

A handheld router is a machine that works similarly to a CNC and chisels away unwanted pieces of material. The height of the router bit can be manually adjusted. Bits are shaped differently depending on the job, such as if a joint is being created.

Sewing Machines

Sewing Machine

Main Article: Sewing Machines
Singer 4423 Heavy duty sewing machine.

Sewing machines use thread to stitch together pieces of fabric.

Embroidery Machine

Main Article: Embroidery Machines
Brother PE800 embroidery machine available in the Idea shop.

Embroidery machines use special stitch files to create thread designs on fabric.