Joy of Maintaining the Woodshop

Agenda Item: Shop Steward

Or a hall monitor

This is where the momey goes. It’s very disappointing.

Thank you for posting and letting the membership see this, @shoottx.


Absolutely pathetic, not sure if this is lack of proper leadership or just really awful members in need of discipline.

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I don’t see this as a leadership issue. Woodshop is easily the busiest area of the space and there is no way a committee, much less a few leaders, can police it effectively.

That said, there are some things leadership can and should consider, the first being locking up tools. Things like the Festool sanders, the Dominos, etc. should be in a controlled-access locker with badge access for members. If nothing else, this will provide a sense of accountability for the member who pulled a tool out and used it.

If we don’t do something like that, we’re gojng to be back to disposable Harbor Freight tools before long.

Aside from the Multicam and lasers, most of DMS’ value to me is workspace, which I don’t have enough of at home. I’d sure like to see lockable storage space for some of my own tools, which I’ve learned to bring with me but hate schlepping back and forth. I’d happily rent a lockable space for that purpose. To store stuff like bits, clamps, drills, glue, painting supplies, PPE, etc.


Such a stark choice you present - quality or garbage.

The choice of Festool has been an interesting one to watch play out. Their marketing seems to be aimed at a demographic I’ll designate as cabinetmaker - someone that deals in the careful execution of details on a deadline. It’s a fine thing to aspire to, but I’m not sure this is the goal of most woodshop users nor their actual usage - especially since it’s not their hard-earned premium coin on the line when they abuse our tools processing pallet wood.

Take the miter saw. Looks like a new KS-120 goes for around $1475. Outside of its current malady, it seems to be making routine visits to the Festool depot for service. While I’m sure it exhibits maximum skookum relative to its competitors, it appears that the DeWalt I recall in woodshop goes for less than a third as much ($400) and even the more recent Bosch is only slightly more than a third as much ($500). Most of what I see members using the miter saw is cutting pieces to length - a task I’m sure both the DeWalt and Bosch can do as well as the Festool. Heck, I built an entire shed with the lowliest of the low - a Ryobi miter saw ($219) - and it’s still running despite being subject to dozens of setup/teardown cycles.


It’s not about quality versus garbage as much as it is about disposable versus not. The point is that whatever we have is going to get destroyed so we need to purchase with that in mind. It’s a shame, too, because heavy use does not have to equal destruction. People just suck.

I equate it to having a fine precision turntable being used by Mr MC Scratch-a-lot in his just starting out phase.


The price of a destroyed quality tool is greater than a one that is merely acceptable. And while better quality generally correlates to more abuse tolerance, it doesn’t tend to contribute to lower total cost of ownership since any added margin for abuse is generally a tiny fraction of the immensely greater cost.

I don’t disagree with that.

With more and more tool interlocks being deployed I wonder if we couldn’t evolve toward a scenario whereby a dust collector sensor, when full, forces tools to power down and remain in that state until the bin is emptied …


could we rig up a pirated ice cube maker sensor from an old fridge?

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while i think this might work, I’m hesitant to implement it, since this seems like a method that could be used for gatekeeping VERY easily, which (IMO) feels like it is counter to DMS’s spirit.

have we checked the footage to see if we can find out who was it that did this to them?

Controlled access storage is already used in Laser, Automotive, Arts & Crafts, Ceramics, 3D Fab, and others. This would be no different.


I think the Felder already has the necessary sensors. Would just need to integrate into tools’ badging systems. BUT that’s more complex than it seems because it’s dangerous (and potentially destructive to both tools and projects) to stop tools while they’re being used.

i am aware, and am not a fan of it. that being said. I also realize that there might not realistically be another way to keep the tools from getting damaged (or at least hold the people who damage them responsible)

I don’t understand your objection to folks checking out tools. It doesn’t keep anyone from using anything. It just time stamps use and ensures (or helps to ensure) that tools are returned to a designated spot.

What about a laser beam that when tripped sets off an obnoxiously loud siren in the woodshop area that can only be turned off once the bin is cleaned out?


More obnoxiously loud than a table saw ripping boards? I’d like to see someone try. The ear pro in the wood shop is sufficient for gunshots there’s no way you’re gonna badger people into doing anything with just an alarm.

Oh we are makers remember? I am sure that one might be able to rig up an air horn from a train or maybe one of those early warning sirens may do the trick.

we could do that but why would we want to?