For many hobbyists, woodworking chores might not seem that important; for professionals, these tasks are more than just optional. They’re tasks that must be done if the shop’s going to operate efficiently and safely. Even so, some of us can get a bit lackadaisical when it comes to woodworking chores. Below are some of the more significant ones that many woodworkers put off – even though they probably shouldn’t.
Swapping out Saw Blades
It’s a simple truth that we often use saw blades far longer than we should just because it’s such a nuisance to swap them out. This is true for virtually any type of blade. The same applies to miter saws, which causes many woodworkers to use them until they’re dull as butter knives. Of course, the worst is probably bandsaws, because some units must be disassembled to change out the blade. Still, if you want to produce good work safely, it’s vital to change out those blades.
The Dreaded Tensioning
As pointed out above, bandsaws are both incredibly useful and incredibly frustrating. But as annoying as it may be, it’s imperative to ensure that your bandsaw blade is properly tensioned. Yes, you may have to spend a lot of time fiddling with it to get the tracking and alignment right, but it’s got to be done eventually, so why not do it now?
The Workshop Dust Filter
One of the most important ways to keep things clean and tidy in a shop is to make sure that the filter in the shop’s air cleaner is changed regularly. This system takes care of any floating particles that might have escaped other filtration provided for your tools. The filter should be changed on a monthly basis. Remember to use MERV filter’s rather than HEPA filters, since the former provide superior filtration.
Disc Sander Sandpaper
When maintaining a disc sander, the glue on the back of adhesive sandpaper discs can be an absolute nightmare. When you finally get it apart and try to peel off the used paper, it usually refuses to come off cleanly in one piece. Instead, you’re left with bits of adhesive stubbornly clinging to the disc. That’s the main reason many people put off this particular workshop chore. But if you don’t do it eventually, you’ll find yourself sanding with plain paper.
Vacuuming the Shop
Obviously, keeping the floors clean in a woodworking shop is a never-ending task. No matter how many filters and sawdust collection systems you have for your tools and shop, the floor will inevitably grow a layer of dust and wood particles that needs attention. Such buildup is more than just a fire and health hazard – it can cause you to slip and fall and can also damage your equipment. So, whether you prefer using a broom or your shop vac, clean the dust off the floor every day.
Clean Those Brushes
One of the least fun jobs in any shop is cleaning off the brushes after applying coats of lacquer. But if you don’t clean them right away, those brushes are going to become virtually useless as more and more coats of whatever you’re using binds the bristles together. A thorough cleaning of all your brushes immediately after every use is the only way to keep them in good shape and get your money’s worth out of them. This is one woodworking chore you definitely can’t put off till tomorrow. So, break out the paint thinner and get to work.
It’s easy to put off daily “housekeeping” duties in your woodworking shop, especially if you’re constantly busy working on projects. But paying attention to those details will add life to your tools and safety to your work space.