Please clean up your workspace and the tools you use

I was in the shop today for the first time in quite a while. Several machines had, at best, a simple swipe with a brush. Dried glue drops on work tables. And then I opened the bandsaw. It had stratified layers in it, by species.

When you use a tool, you need to clean the tool. For bandsaws, that involves opening the top and bottom doors, and vacuuming them out. It’s really helpful if you clean up a large radius around a tool, or your work station.

We don’t have anyone to clean the shop but us. If you don’t clean up, someone else has to, and things can degrade. Sawdust on the floor is a safety hazard. Running equipment while it’s clogged shortens the life of the tool.

If the equipment is dirty when you get to it, report it. Any red QR code will take you to a Google Form to report any kind of problem. Photos are helpful, and you can attach them. After that, please clean it up. It’s not fun cleaning up someone else’s mess, but don’t contribute to it, and leave it for the next person.

If a trash can is full, take it out. Don’t look for one with room, then put something in and go home. (Laser offcuts in the woodshop?). Combine a couple together, and take one out.

Check the dust collector, the chip can at the planer, and any portable dust collector bucket. If you use it, empty it - even if not full.

A clean shop is not a provided service. It’s a responsibility, for everyone.


Some of that sawdust is definitely mine. I always try to clean up after myself, but I had no idea that for the bandsaw the top and bottom need to be opened and vacuumed out. I was under the impression that these areas were only opened for blade changes, and that wasn’t something I should be doing. During the original wood shop certification the point about cleaning was made, but I don’t recall any mention of cleaning the inside of the band saws.

I’m a very novice woodworker and so it would not be obvious to me that this needed to be done. Perhaps the wiki should be expanded to include before/after use bullet points for each piece of equipment.


Very valid point Karl. I don’t think that particular item is something that has been consistently covered in Woodshop Safety. I know I personally have not been specifically covering that in my 1:1 sessions. Thanks for the feedback!

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On that point, another safety practice is to unplug the machine before you open it up and reach in.