General Safety and Conduct

Terms and Definitions

Laser Cutter

Power Tools

Stationary Machinery

Metal Fabrication

Demonstration Videos



Using Hand Tools



General Guidelines:

The following guidelines apply for all hand tools. Select the most appropriate tool for the job. (Don't use a box cutter as a screwdriver.)

Secure your work to a workbench before using hand tools

Handle tools with care when moving about the Shop.

Lay tools in a safe place. Do not leave tools projecting from a workbench or vise. Hand off tools with the handle extended. Never throw tools.

Keep tools clean. Do not allow oil, grease or dirt to accumulate on the tools or their handles.

Layout tools


Work usually begins with layout tools available at the ENV Shop


Sharp-Edged Tools


Sharp-edged tools include saws, chisels, awls, knives, and scrapers. Keep the following in mind when using a sharp-edged tool.

Only hold a sharp-edged tool by its handle.

A dull tool is dangerous because it is difficult to control. Always keep sharp-edged tools sharpened.

Always cut away from the body. Never expose yourself or others to the cutting edge. 

Do not stand in front of anyone else using a sharp-edged tool.

Carry sharp-edged tools by the handle with the point downward. It would be bad to place a sharp-edged tool in your pocket.

Be careful when sharpening tools, and keep fingers away from the cutting edge.



Hand Saws



There are two types of hand saws. Pull saws have teeth that face toward the operator and cut on the pull stroke. These saws have thin curfs and provide a great deal of control. Traditional saws have teeth that face away from the operator and cut on the push stroke. These saws generally have thicker blades and are used for cutting larger material.

Make sure the material you are cutting is stable before you start cutting.

Check that the path of the blade does not pass through anything valuable on the underside of the cut.

When first beginning a cut, score the material lightly with the blade.

Be sure you can still control the material once it falls into two pieces.




Clamps and Vises

Clamps and vices are used to secure materials to a stationary work surface. Clamps are usually regarded as portable devices, while vices are generally attached to work benches and are stationary. 


We use clamps to secure materials while working and provide additional safety and control. Clamps are highly recommended to secure materials when using a drill press, hand tools, or portable power tools. Clamps may also be used to join and glue objects together. Several types of clamps are available in the shop, including traditional wood clamps, small hand clamps, web clamps, a variety of C clamps, a few "quick-grip" clamps, and a large supply of pipe clamps.


Use care when removing clamps from the storage rack. (Because you could inadvertently trigger an avalanche)

When a vise is not in use, close the jaws and leave the vise handle hanging vertically.

Do not leave tools or materials projecting out from vices.