Comprehensive status of the woodshop

It seems the miter saw, planer and jointer are all having issues, and the table saw is limping along. I ended my session early today since the planer and jointer were chewing up my workpieces, and the miter saw was down for the count. The table saw’s blade also seemed to be dull, pulsing through a crosscut even at a low feed rate through pine. I also noticed that the drum sander, as a stop-gap for the planer, appears to be inoperable.

Is this an accurate assessment? I’m not trying to just throw stones, but it seems to me the majority of the machinery is down. I’m interested in helping, and seeing that there is a workday coming up on the 4th, I’ll look to be there. However, I do need to say I was disapointed that on my first scheduled work day, the bandsaw and drill press seemed to be the only up-to-snuff machines.

I understand this is a community and we all need to pitch in to help and maintain, which is why I’m happy to throw in on the 4th. I want to be part of the solution, but I would like to know if this is an abberation: having this many machines down at the same time. Dull teeth, dull cutters, and marring rollers costs me in ruined materials and lost time. This being my first experience makes it a disappointment and I was hugely excited to be a member.

Also, is there somewhere comprehensive to see the status of the various machines?

Thanks all.


The number of down tools right now is an aberration, but you’re right that we have a lack of preventative maintenance. That’s largely due to too few people trying to do too much work - there’s a big backlog and emergencies always go to the front of the line. If nobody reports a dull tool, it’s not going to be looked at.

@cfstaley has done a ton of work in the past few months to grow the volunteer steward corps and it’s just now starting to pay off. I don’t have new processes to share just yet, but I think our uptime (especially in the wood shop) will be a lot better in 2022.

To speak to the machine problems you raised:

  • the miter saw we’ve had an eye on, but it just kicked the bucket today. There’s a problem report thread with the resolution. We have a new one ordered; it should arrive Friday.
  • the planer we know needs a thorough cleaning and calibration. There’s a problem report thread with current status. I don’t know yet who’s signed up for that job.
  • the jointer was reported I think early last week as having problems. @cfstaley looked into it and its at its mechanical limits - it’s just worn out to the point where it can’t be adjusted back into spec. We didn’t re-tag it because it’s still better than it has been for a while. A new jointer has been ordered and is expected to ship this week. I think woodshop users will be quite happy with it.
  • table saw problems are news to me, and the symptom is a little perplexing. At 7.5HP, it’s wildly overpowered for a 10" blade. You could probably crosscut without any teeth at all. @cfstaley has plans to replace the center table but that wouldn’t contribute to the symptom you’re reporting.
  • The drum sander feed motor burned out again. Poor comms on this is our bad - there was a discussion via email that I didn’t notice wasn’t a Discourse thread. A new drum sander is in transit, expected to arrive next week (but the drum sander is a poor substitute for a planer – this is likely a contributing factor to motor burnout)

We’re beginning to feel we have an education problem here too. The woodshop safety class was intended to be a quick so we could get new members up and running quickly and not overtax the instructor corps, but maybe that was a false economy.

You’re right that we could really use a shop status dashboard-type view. The official policy of updating Discourse threads with machine problems is really annoying for casual users. @cfstaley has created problem report and maintenance log processes that we’ll be launching soon to help get problems resolved faster and build backing data for real-time (ish) status reporting.

Thank you for your interest in helping out! @cfstaley will loop you in on upcoming volunteer oppertunities.


I would definitely appreciate more classes in the woodshop, and I’m happy to pay for them. There are some small projects I end up not doing, mostly because of my own personal lack of knowledge on how to use tools effectively. I think a lot of members are like me, and really would benefit in knowing how to use some/all of our tools effectively. And I took woodshop safety in the middle of last year, so a lot of what I learned has gotten lost due to time.

For example, I would love a class on just routers. The handheld ones, the router table, the works. I think one project I have in mind could benefit from that knowledge, but I get only so far with YouTube tutorials.


I appreciate the honesty here and am happy to see most of the issues will be addressed with with new tools.

I’d like to understand how I can help with the too-few-people-doing-too-much-work problem. I saw the job board but I didn’t see where immediate maintenance was listed. For example, I’m happy to sharpen the drill bits, but I didn’t see where the table saw, miter saw, planer and joiner needed some TLC.

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I’m planning on having a bandsaw maintenance class on Dec 4th or 5th. I want more people to understand how to setup, diagnose, and or fix the bandsaws. I plan on doing in Sat, but don’t want to interfere with the work day

I’ll be wearing overalls


Hi James
If you, or anyone else, are interested in tool maintenance, please get back to me. There are a few of us who do some repair. We need more people, enough so that we can start a preventive maintenance program. We have a lot of brand new equipment coming in, so 2022 is going too be a great year for the space. We’re at 300 members, and that equates to more tool usage, therefore more wear and tear. The stewards are responsible for safety, maintenance and ASMBLY operations. With so much equipment, we need more people with equipment experience.

Let me know if you are interested.


@cfstaley I’d love to know how to maintain and properly adjust tools in the woodshop and like @stepho said there are a lot of tools I tend to avoid using because I’m just not proficient in their operation.


Hi Charlie
I have not been around for a while - overworking buttoning up projects prior to scheduled hand surgery (arthritis) and now recovering till January. My career has been in construction and handyman for eleven years. Please put my name in the log for maintenance in 2022. I’m usually available days.


I’m definitely interested.


Sign me up. I’d love to learn how to maintenance the machines.

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