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HomeWoodwork Shop Rules

Workshop Rules

Click here to download the rules in a PDF document.

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

    • familiar with use of woodworking equipment, 
    • have signed a waiver form
    • who observe the rules and appropriate safety protocols
  • Only those who have completed a training session on the Sawstop table saw are authorized to use it.
  • A list of current members is posted by the door.  Membership in the Woodworkers Group and access to the workshop may be denied for failure to adhere to rules and safety protocols.
  • No commercial work is 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 society office, 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.
  • Workshop volunteers contribute considerable time and effort in maintaining shop equipment and tools. The cooperation of workshop users is essential to ensuring these are kept in optimal working condition.
  • It is the responsibility of each workshop user to maintain clean and tidy conditions. Equipment and tools are not to be removed from the workshop without the express permission of the workshop chair.  
  • Members are expected to sign the attendance sheet upon arrival, for each session attended, and to provide their current membership number. 
  • Guests must sign a waiver form (found in rack to the left of the door). Leave the form in the labeled envelope nearby.  Guests must also sign in with the member’s number in brackets. 
  • Guests must not use shop equipment or power tools, and are restricted to assisting members.


  • Safe operating procedures must be used on all equipment. Equipment manuals are generally available. If in doubt about use of a 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.  
  • Use hearing protection and dust masks where and when appropriate.  Eye protection is mandatory when using table saw, mitre saw, and radial arm saw.  It is strongly advised while using any equipment which produces chips and sawdust.
  • Members are responsible for providing their own safety glasses, hearing protectors, face masks, gloves and other personal safety devices.
  • 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.  No open-toed shoes or sandals should be worn in the workshop.
  • Use appropriate push sticks provided for the table saw and jointer.
  • Do not distract or interrupt any person operating a machine.
  • Wood dust is a carcinogen. Ensure that dust extraction equipment is operational and the blast gate is open on any machine being used. Close blast gate when finished.
  • The accumulation of dust in electrical outlets is a fire hazard. Vacuum as necessary.
  • 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 and disconnect the power. Please also notify the Workshop chair.
  • 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 chair.
  • Do not handle fluorescent lights. These will be maintained by qualified staff.
  • All injuries in the workshop must be reported to the workshop chair or the Society Administrator 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.
  • At least two persons should be present when major shop equipment is being used.
  • Rags used for finishing should be disposed of in the red metal canister in the finishing room.

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 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.
  • Use blade guard with riving knife and dust collection whenever possible.  When it is not possible, always use the riving knife instead.  There is no operation where a riving knife can’t be used.
  • 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 tocause unnecessary wear and tear.
  • Ensure that blast gates are open, and that the dust extraction system is operating prior to running machines. Blast gates should be closed when finished using the machines.
  • Paint and glue should be removed from wood surfaces before cutting with the jointer, planer, or router.  
  • Use a worn blade (found on a nail by the mitre saw) to cut painted or used wood on the table saw.  If you need assistance changing the blade, come and ask some 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 chair.  (Bandsaw exception noted below.)
  • Report any dull tools to the workshop chair. Dull tools can burn wood and result in combustion of fine wood particles in extreme cases.
  • Members are responsible for supplying any special tools not included in the workshop inventory.  
  • Bandsaw: Do not adjust the machine or replace a blade if it breaks.  Instead, call a woodworker named on the machine.

Materials and supplies

  • Members undertaking personal projects are expected to supply their own materials and supplies (wood, hardware, glue, stain, sandpaper and other finishing materials).
  • 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 this purpose. This is the wood you see stored in the workshop.  It is valuable Brock House Society property.  Please do not use it for personal projects.  
  • We welcome donations of usable hardwood for these projects. 
  • Avoid used pallet material as it often contains dirt and grit that quickly dulls cutting tools.
  • Do not use treated wood. Dust from this wood is a severe health hazard.


  • The workshop is maintained by the users. Users are expected to clean up the areas where they have been working prior to leaving. Please also take the time to vacuum sawdust from walls, ducts, floor etc., as this will facilitate maintenance of a dust-controlled environment.
  • Leave all workbenches clean and free of projects. If glue-ups are left overnight, they should be removed early on the next working day, or a date taped to the assembly.  
  • Clamp etiquette:  Leave a note on your clamped work indicating when the clamps can be removed for use by the next woodworker.
  • 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. Organic waste: eg. paper and sawdust

2. Recyclable plastic 

3. Metal  

4. Garbage. 

The containers are labeled.  Replacement bags are located under the bench by the radial arm saw.

  • The two central dust collection systems empty into large bags in the enclosure just outside the door. These need to be emptied periodically, to ensure efficient operation of the dust control system.
  • The 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 cleaner is designed to operate automatically when the lights are turned on.  Please do not use the manual switch on this appliance, as it is there to protect all of us from dust. 
  • Periodic vacuum cleaning of the filters is required.  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.