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Woodworking FAQ & Resources

Woodworking FAQ & Resources2023-06-15T21:56:05-07:00


How do I get started in the Woodshop?2022-12-28T15:27:14-08:00

If you want to explore whether woodworking is for you, sign up for a Try It! class. Take Orientation to the Woodshop to learn more about what the shop offers and qualify for open studio. If you want to use the main power tools during open studios, also take Woodshop Tool Safety Checkout 1 and 2. After that, depending on your skill level, decide on a project and build it, or take a class that has a project suited to your skill level. The library in the bench room has loads of project ideas. Ask a shop manager for advice on how to proceed.

How do I get open studio access to the Woodshop?2023-01-26T11:38:34-08:00

At a minimum, you must take Orientation to the Woodshop to access open studio in the Woodworking Studio. If you want to use any tools covered by a safety checkout class, you must also take that class first. Woodshop Tool Safety Checkout 1 qualifies you to use the table saws, jointers, planers, miter saws, and drill press. Woodshop Tool Safety Checkout 2 qualifies you to use most of the bandsaws, stationary sanders (spindle, disc, drum, and edge belt), routers and router tables, and scroll saws.

When are open studio times in the Woodshop?2023-01-17T14:01:35-08:00

Except for a few holidays or BARN events, open studio sessions are:

  • 9 am to 3 pm every Wednesday
  • 3 to 9 pm every Thursday
  • 9 am to 3 pm every Friday
  • Noon to 6 pm every Saturday and Sunday
I’m a BARN member. How do I get fob access to the Woodshop?2023-07-15T16:06:54-07:00

After you take Orientation to the Woodshop and Woodshop Tool Safety Checkout 1 and/or Woodshop Tool Safety Checkout 2, the Membership Coordinator will reprogram your fob so it opens the main shop door during open studio hours.

Please note that the instructor will still need to open the door before a class, since classes aren’t at open studio times.

If you have taken the required classes and your fob doesn’t work during open studio, please contact the Membership Coordinator,

What are the safety requirements in the studio?2022-12-28T15:41:47-08:00

Follow instructions from the safety monitor. Discuss them if you disagree, but the monitor has the final say.

If you are not sure whether a procedure is safe, ask the safety monitor or shop manager before you turn on the tool. You can also read the tool’s handbook, stored in the library area of the bench room, and review safety videos made in the woodshop.

Besides tool-specific safety requirements, these are general safety requirements:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid standing in the kickback zone for tools such as the table saws and jointers.
  • If you must talk to someone using a power tool, wait for them to finish and approach from the side.
  • Wear safety glasses in the main shop at all times. In the bench room, safety glasses are required only while operating grinders in the sharpening area.
  • In both rooms, you must wear closed-toe shoes. If you are using power equipment, tie back long hair and avoid dangly clothing and jewelry.
  • Do not listen to music through earbuds or ear muffs so you can hear if a tool is making an unusual noise or if a safety monitor needs to give you guidance.
Do I need a ‘skills card’ to access some or all of the equipment?2023-01-17T13:42:58-08:00

The Woodshop doesn’t have a skills card per se but it maintains a card for each participant in Orientation and tool safety checkout classes. Instructors initial the tools you are qualified to use. When you attend an open studio session, sign in on the daily log and tip your card sideways (but still in the box) so the safety monitor can check it.

Can I check out equipment and use it at home or off-site?2022-12-28T15:47:19-08:00

No, except by rare, special permission of the studio lead or when a community service project is being done off-site.

Is help available during open studio sessions?2023-01-17T13:40:04-08:00

Yes. A safety monitor and a shop manager are on duty at all open studio sessions, and many BARN woodworkers are happy to offer advice or lend a hand.

Do I need to become a BARN member to use the Woodshop?2023-06-15T22:02:49-07:00

No. It’s not necessary to be a member to take a class or to use Open Studio time at no additional charge to complete a class project. Non-members can also participate in open studio by paying a daily fee, currently $20.

If I have a lot of woodworking experience, can I just start using the shop?2022-12-28T15:55:42-08:00

No, unless you are signing up for a class that has no prerequisites. Regardless of experience, you must qualify for Open Studio by first taking Orientation to the Woodshop. Tool Safety Checkout 1 and/or 2 are required before you can use the tools those classes cover. Experienced woodturners can qualify for lathe work by scheduling a private evaluation session with the head of the woodturning program.

What are the age requirements?2022-12-29T14:28:24-08:00

In general, Woodshop users must be 14 or older. Classes for youth younger than age 14 are offered throughout the year, and the required age(s) will be noted in the description for those classes.

Teens 14+ are welcome at Open Studio and in all woodworking classes for adults, provided they meet the same prerequisites as adults.

Can my spouse, child or friend help me?2023-01-17T13:31:23-08:00

Yes, someone 14 or older can help carry materials and watch procedures during open studio time without an additional charge even if they are not a member. To use tools, however, the helper must first take Orientation to the Woodshop and any relevant tool safety classes, and pay a daily rate (currently $20) if not a BARN member.

How does a complete beginner get started in woodworking?2023-01-17T13:30:24-08:00

The Woodworking Basics series of classes is designed for you. Take the three gateway classes (Orientation to the Woodshop and Woodshop Tool Safety Checkout 1 & 2), then sign up for  some or all of the 11 Woodworking Basics classes. You’ll get a solid grounding and be ready to tackle a project on your own.

Does BARN provide wood for personal projects?2022-12-29T14:41:18-08:00

Yes, the Woodshop can help.

  • Wood in scrap bins is free for anyone to use.
  • The shop keeps a limited selection of wood for sale in the storage racks on the back wall. A shop manager can explain how to pay.
  • The shop also stores a large assortment of donated wood off-site. Leave a note on the desk in the bench room if you want to join the next group to view and buy wood.
  • If you want to purchase wood from Edensaw in Port Townsend, you may be able to save a delivery fee by piggybacking on a BARN order. See details >>
Can I store my project at BARN while I am working on it?2022-12-29T14:47:36-08:00

Yes, for a reasonable time and provided you are making progress. Ask a shop manager to help you find a suitable place. Project storage areas are located under the work tables in the main shop and in cabinets in the bench room. Glued-up projects can be left overnight, but attach a note with your name, phone number, time when you will return and time when it’s OK to remove the clamps in case someone else needs them before you return.

Can I apply finish at BARN?2022-12-29T14:52:17-08:00

If possible, take your project home and finish it there. If you have no other place to apply finish, discuss the finish and your options with a shop manager. High-solvent finishes are not allowed. Read the full policy >>

How can I volunteer in the Woodshop?2023-01-17T13:24:42-08:00

There are many ways to help and get more involved.

  • Show up at 9 am Mondays and help with shop upkeep and tool maintenance.
  • Volunteer to assist with a class, Teen Night, or other activity.
  • Sign up to participate in a community service project; as opportunities come up, they are posted on the Woodworking Calendar.
  • If you are an experienced woodworker who uses the shop frequently, let the woodworking lead know if you might be interested in becoming a safety monitor.
How do I connect with my BARN community online?2024-05-28T16:15:51-07:00

Join BARN Circle, BARN’s online community. This community hub is open to everyone participating or interested in activity at BARN. Consider it the digital equivalent of hallway chats, workbench hangouts, and studio bulletin boards. Learn more and get started >>


  • Two SawStop table saws (36” & 52”)
  • Four bandsaws (15”, 16”, 18” & 36”)
  • Miter saw (260 mm)
  • Two scroll saws
  • Two drill presses
  • Vertical mortising machine
  • Five Festool dust extractors and a robust collection of Festool handheld tools including Domino tenon cutter, track saws, router, sabre saw, and random-orbit and linear sanders, including the Rotex model
  • Oscillating spindle sander with spindles from ¼” to 3”
  • Disc sander
  • Parallel drum sander (22-44””)
  • Edge belt sander (8”) with 4” spindle
  • Wide-belt thickness sander (37”)
  • Jointers (6” & 16”)
  • Thickness planers (24” & 25”)
  • Shaper
  • Line boring machine (21-hole)
  • Routers & two router tables (mobile & built-in)
  • Six assembly tables with storage lockers
  • A robust collection of clamps
  • Vacuum bagging table with multiple bags
  • Steam bending equipment
  • Dovetail jigs
  • Benchtop tools: planer, belt/disc sander, miter saw, 1” delta sander.
  • Power hand tools: drills, drivers, sanders, biscuit joiners, pinners/nailers, etc.
  • 10 woodworkers’ benches
  • Computer station with software for CNC design
  • A wide array of hand tools (mostly Lee Valley & Lie-Nielsen Toolworks)
  • Carving tools (mostly Flexcut & Drake)
  • Sharpening systems: water stones, WorkSharp & Tormek
  • Handscrews
  • Luthier tools & jigs
  • Japanese tools


  • Powermatic 3520 and 2020
  • ADA-compliant Powermatic 1420
  • Jet 1642
  • Two Jet 1221s

Tools and chucks:

  • Complete complement of D-Way and Sorby turning tools for spindles and bowls
  • Full-size and miniature hollowing tools
  • Quality Oneway chucks for all lathes, a vacuum chuck, and other accessories
  • Complete sharpening system with CBN wheels
  • 3-wheel buffing system, bowl buffs
Woodworker using a hand plane in the Woodworking Studio Bench Room


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