Skip to main content
Being a member at Brock House Society
provides a place to build lasting friendships.
HomeWoodwork Shop Rules

Workshop Rules

Click Workshop Rules to download the rules in a PDF document.

Use of the workshop is a privilege afforded only to current members of the Brock House Woodworkers Group who are:

    • familiar with use of woodworking equipment, 
    • have signed a waiver form
    • who observe the rules and appropriate safety protocols
  • Contact is maintained by e-mail notices so it is important to ensure that the convener has your current, active e-mail address.
  • The workshop has no paid employees so all the maintenance is provided by the members using the workshop.  Each member using the workshop is expected to clean up after themselves, help maintain equipment, use equipment appropriately and help train other woodworkers.  The tools and equipment must be returned to their proper places, waste should be discarded and the equipment, floor, bench, sink and finishing room should be cleaned up each time you finish your work for the day.
  • Members are expected to sign the attendance sheet in the book near the door upon arrival for each working session and provide their current membership number.
  • Guests must sign a waiver form (found in rack to the right of the door). Leave the form in the sign in book. Guests must also sign in with the member’s number in brackets. 
  • Guests may not use shop equipment or power tools and are restricted to assisting members.
  • The Sawstop table saw can only be used by authorized members that have taken a training session and successfully completed the operation quiz for the Sawstop.
  • A list of current members is posted by the door. If you wish to contact one of the members send a message with your request and contact information to the workshop convener at to ask the convener to pass the message on to the listed member.  It will then be up to the member to directly contact you.
  • Commercial work is not permitted in the workshop and no items are to be made for personal profit.
  • Workshop hours are Monday to Friday 8:30 to 3:45, except public holidays. The workshop is not open on weekends. The access key is available from the Brock House Society office on the third floor of brock House, and must be signed out each time. The key must be returned to the office by the last person in the workshop by 3:45, after ensuring that equipment and lights are turned off. The workshop should not be left open and unattended at any time.
  • Smoking is not permitted in the workshop or in proximity to the door.
  • Equipment and tools are not to be removed from the workshop without the express permission of the workshop convener.




  • The workshop activity has many risks including noise, dust, trauma and fire.  Each member should locate the exit doors, the fire extinguisher, the first aid kit, the phone and the sink before they are needed in an emergency.
  • All significant injuries in the workshop must be reported to the workshop convener at as soon as possible. An incident report should be completed to identify any unsafe equipment or situation which contributed to the injury, so that action can be taken to help prevent similar incidents.
  • Wood dust can cause chronic bronchitis and cancer. To lessen these risks the shop operates several dust extractors to minimize sawdust in the air.  Ensure that dust extraction equipment is operational and the blast gate is open on any machine that you are using.
  • At least two persons should be present when major shop equipment is being used in case there is a significant injury that requires immediate help.
  • Use hearing protection and dust masks where and when appropriate.  Eye protection is mandatory when using table saw, compound mitre saw, the drill press, the lathes, the jointer and the planer. It is strongly advised to use eye protection while using any equipment which produces chips and sawdust.
  • Some face shields, eye glasses and hearing protectors are available in the shop but for long term use members are responsible for providing their own safety glasses, hearing protectors, face masks, gloves and other personal safety devices.
  • Safe operating procedures must be used on all equipment. Equipment manuals explaining the proper use of the equipment are generally available in the large filing box on the shelves near the jointer or in the boxes holding some individual power tools.  They can also be found on-line by using a google search. The complete operating manual for the Sawstop can be found by googling “Sawstop Professional Cabinet Saw Owner’s Manual”. If in doubt about using any particular machine, ask an experienced individual.
  • Do not use any machines that you are unfamiliar with. Ask an experienced user for guidance. Members without recent woodworking experience are encouraged to attend a woodworking safety and orientation program, such as offered by Langara College or the Round House Community Centre.
  • The accumulation of dust in electrical outlets is a fire hazard. Vacuum as necessary.
  • Rags and paper towels used for finishing must be disposed of in the red metal canister in the finishing room.  When possible cut the rags into small sizes before use so that the amount of waste cloth put into the canister is minimized.
  • In the event that equipment is damaged and/or cannot be run in a safe manner, do not use it. Post an “Out of Order” notice with an explanation of the observed problem and disconnect the power. Notify the workshop convener at to initiate repairs.
  • Do not handle or use electric power receptacles or plug-ins on tools that appear to be in disrepair or unsafe. Tag the problem item and notify the workshop convener.
  • Do not distract or interrupt any person operating a machine.
  • Running machinery must not be left unattended at any time.
  • Do not wear loose clothing, bracelets or loose jewelry when operating machines.
  • Long hair must be tied back to avoid getting caught in rotating cutters or other machine parts.
  • Open-toed shoes or sandals should not be worn in the workshop.
  • When appropriate use the available sleds or push sticks when making cuts close to the blade on the table saw and jointer.
  • Use the riving knife and the floating overhead dust collector on the Sawstop.  The riving knife separates the cut parts of the wood to prevent the rotating blade from binding on the cut pieces and throwing them back into the operator.  It can be used for most cuts done on the Sawstop except dado cuts.


Use of equipment


  • Power tools and equipment should be left in a ready-to-use state. In particular, remove drill bits and key from the drill press, leave table saw and mitre saw and drill press in a 90 degree position, remove special blades from the table saw, and replace with the standard ripping saw blade.
  • Do not over-tighten bolts, handles, etc. on machines (e.g. saw blades), to avoid possible stripping of threads.
  • Do not place carbide-tipped saws on a metal surface, as this can easily damage saw teeth.
  • Ensure there is no metal (nails, staples etc.) in wood before attempting to cut with any power tools. Use the metal detector to check.
  • Tools are to be used for their intended purpose. Do not abuse tools, or use in such a way as to cause unnecessary wear and tear.
  • Ensure that blast gates are open, and that the dust extraction system is operating prior to running machines.
  • Paint and glue should be removed from wood surfaces before cutting with the jointer, planer, or router.  
  • Use the appropriate eight-inch ripping blade and the six-inch dado blade on the table saw. If you use an incorrect blade the SawStop does not function properly.  If you need assistance changing the blade, come and ask on a Monday or Thursday morning. Someone will gladly assist. 
  • Grinding equipment is to be used only to sharpen tools such as chisels and turning tools. Do not shape or sharpen other metal objects on the grinding wheels.
  • Return all tools to their proper place before leaving the workshop.
  • Report any broken tools and equipment to the workshop convener at
  • Report any dull tools to the workshop convener and learn how to sharpen them.
  • Members are responsible for supplying any special tools not included in the workshop inventory.  
  • Do not adjust the bandsaw or replace a blade if it breaks unless you have been shown how to adjust the blades.  Leave a note on the machine and send a message to the convener at BHWW to initiate the repair process.


Materials and supplies


  • Brock House Society provides basic shop supplies for the volunteers making items for sale as a fund-raiser for the Society. Donated and recycled wood is available for that purpose but should not be used for personal projects.  This is the only wood stored in the workshop.  It is valuable Brock House Society property. We welcome donations of usable hardwood for these volunteer projects.  Wood for personal projects should be stored at home unless it is just in the shop for a few days to acclimate before it is cut.
  • Waste wood in the firewood box under the mitre saw can be claimed or used by anyone in the workshop.
  • A small number of finishing chemicals and solvents are kept in the workshop for use on Brock House projects by the Monday/Thursday morning group that crafts projects for Brock House sales.  Any chemicals left in the shop must be approved by the workshop convener and must be compliant with WHMIS 2015 requirements.  Other chemicals can be brought into the shop when they are needed for finishing a project if they do not endanger any workers but should be stored at home between uses.
  • Chemical use must comply with current practice standards for hazardous chemicals such as Workplace Hazardous Materials Inventory System 2015 (WHMIS 2015) or the Globallly Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).  Labels on containers should include information on risks.  At the end of all work the bench must be cleaned of spills and all left over material and waste must be properly disposed to the red waste canister or another appropriate discard.
  • Members undertaking personal projects are expected to supply their own materials and supplies (wood, hardware, glue, stain, sandpaper and other finishing materials).
  • Avoid used pallet material as it often contains dirt and grit that quickly dulls cutting tools.
  • Do not use treated wood and do not bring it into the workshop. Dust from this wood is a severe health hazard.
  • Be aware that some material can activate the brake on the SawStop. Never use materials with printed patterns that may contain very thin layers of metal foil.  Moist wood can also cause failure unless the saw is operated in by-pass mode.




  • The workshop is maintained by the users. All users are expected to clean up the areas where they have been working prior to leaving. This cleanup includes disposing of left over scraps of wood and vacuuming sawdust from the workbench, machines and related floor areas. Vacuuming sawdust from the walls, ducts and floor facilitates maintenance of a dust-controlled environment.
  • Leave all workbenches clean and free of projects. If glue-ups are left overnight they must have a note indicating the name of the woodworker and the date when the project can be moved.  Ideally the project should be moved the next day.  All glue spilled on the benches or the sink must be cleaned up.
  • Clean the sink if you use it.
  • Wood scraps should be cut to firewood lengths and placed in the box under the compound mitre saw.
  • Brock House uses a waste disposal system that requires sorting waste into the following categories: 
  1. Compostable organic waste such as paper, sawdust and small wood scraps.The liners in these garbage tins are clear plastic bags.
  2. Metal
  3. Garbage such as plastic containers and wrappers.The liner in this tin is a black plastic bag.
  4. Treated or oily cloth or paper used in finishing
  5. Firewood.Pieces of left over wood suitable for burning in a fire or furnace are left in the paper boxes in the cart under the mitre saw.When these cardboard boxes are full they are moved to the wooden box at the outside of the entrance and is available for anyone that wants the wood.This wood can also be used by anyone in the work shop.


The waste containers are labeled. 

Replacement bags are located under the bench by the north of the planer.


  • The three central dust collection systems empty into bags or barrels in the outside, locked enclosures on either side of the main entrance. These bags and barrels will fill up and need to be emptied periodically.  They must be checked and emptied at the end of any project cutting or planing large volumes of wood.  They can be emptied into one of the bags for organic waste bins.  The waste bag is then tied off and placed on outside in the open space at the north side of the door. The keys to the outside dust cabinets are hanging on the nails inside the paint room.
  • Whenever the suction on the portable shop vacuum cleaners is weak the suction can be restored by emptying the dust chamber into one of the organic waste bags and brushing the accumulated dust off the large filter attached to the inside of the lid.
  • The ceiling heaters operate automatically through a thermostat and control system. Do not adjust this system, but notify the Workshop chair if the system appears to be malfunctioning.
  • The overhead air cleaners are designed to operate automatically in the evening to filter the small dust particles out of the air. Please do not use the manual switch on these appliances during the day because it clogs the filters with large dust particles that naturally settle without the need for filtering.
  • Large, usable pieces of scrap wood (up to 3 ft. long) should be stored under the south workbench. Members who leave materials in the shop for their own use must label these with a name and date. Otherwise such items will be considered as general shop supplies available for other users. Members are requested to minimize the volume of wood left in the workshop due to space limitations.
  • Bulky projects that will not be worked on the next day should be taken home or stored in the attic storage areas.
  • Small projects in progress can be stored in the storage shelves at the south end of the shop or leaned against the wall under the coat hangers.
  • The emergency exits cannot be used for storage because the exit must be kept clear.