Machinery Use and Certification

This page for housing diagrams and instructions on proper use of machinery throughout the shop. This is the remote ‘learn how to machine’ idea, where you study at home and then come to the first 30 minutes of shop ready to mow down the safety sheet.


Hand Tools: There is no certification process for hand tools, as their usage is considered common knowledge. Students who need help are always welcome to consult mentors and veteran students.

Hand Tools
Belt Sander

Belt Sander:  The belt sander is used to quickly remove  material from parts. It will remove your skin if you make the mistake of putting your fingers to close to the edge of your part, or if you angle a part downward. Keep a firm grasp on parts and keep your fingers away from the belt.

Vertical Band Saw: Did you know that band saws were invented to cut pig carcasses in half? Always watch your fingers when using a band saw. Use a push stick to keep your fingers out of the way if necessary.Never do 90 degree turns with a band saw. (You can with the scroll saw!). In order to make tight cuts on a band saw, make relief cuts diagonally to relieve pressure on the blade. Make sure that you are using the right saw for the job; a wood and plastic saw might not be the best thing to cut aluminum with!

Horizontal Band Saw: Since this machine uses gravity to cut, there is little risk of injury from the blade itself. Long pieces of metal can drop from one end of the saw though, so supports should be used to prevent the piece from hitting the ground.

Horizontal Band Saw
Disk Grinder

Disc Grinder: The Disc Grinder is the sander’s big bad brother. It is used to quickly remove metal, but never aluminum, as aluminum will melt. The Disc Grinder produces large amounts of sparks and it is therefore important to have eye protection, and to be on the look out for any potential ignitable material. Let the grinder spin for a second before you use it, and stand to the side, as a damaged disc can explode. Keep a firm grasp on any part you are grinding, as the discs spin at incredible speeds.

Drill Press: The drill press is used when you need to be more accurate than what’s possible with a hand drill. Always make sure the bit is securely tightened, and remove the chuck key.Make sure what you are working on is secured, and that the bit is tightly locked in. As a courtesy, remember to return drill bits to their proper containers when you’re finished.

Soldering:  Soldering is the process of fusing wires together with a heated compound. Never touch the tip of a soldering iron, inhale the fumes (they contain lead or antimony) . Always work over a mat and use the proper technique when soldering wires.

Wiring: If you don’t know where a wire is supposed to go, just ask. Don’t touch live wires. Make sure wires are fully connected.

Bridgeport Milling Machine: The Bridgeport Milling Machine is a milling machine that is used for precision machining. Students will need Mentor training in order to effectively operate this machine. Always remember to securely fasten the bit, remove the chuck key, use the proper speed, and when necessary utilize spacers.


CNC: The CNC is a computer controlled router used to cut material according to a computer model. As it is computer controlled, the primary safety issue is ensuring that the right file is being used!

Table Saw: The table saw is used for cutting large pieces of material. It has a built in safety feature that detects electric current, like the current produced by the human body. Because of this feature, students are not allowed to cut conductive material, as the safety feature has to be deactivated prior to cutting conductive materials.

Tormach Milling Machine: The Tormach is a large CNC milling machine, so all CNC and milling machine rules apply.


Lathe: The Lathe is a machine used for precision machining through the spinning of material. The chuck key must never be left in the lathe, as the chuck can throw the key at deadly speed. When operating a lathe, never have loose clothing long hair that is not tied back. Long hair and loose clothing can be caught in the lathe, resulting in death.

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