All machines are tools that help people to make things or make work easy.

A woodwork machine is a machine that is used to process wood. Woodworking is an art or process of making items from wood.

There are two types of woodwork machines namely:

  • Portable power tools.
  • Machines.


A) Portable Power Tools

A power tool is a tool activated by an additional power source and mechanism unlike handtools that require only manual labour. A portable power tool is a handheld power tool which can be carried or easily moved. There are many portable power tools, some of which are:

1) Belt sander: It is a sander used in shaping and finishing wood. It consist of an electric motor that turns a pair of drums on which a seamless loop of sand paper is mounted.

It is handheld and moved over the wood. It is used in the beginning stages of the sanding process, or used to rapidly remove material and sometimes, for removing paints or finishes from wood. It can also be used to achieve a completely smooth surface.



2) Biscuit joiner or plate joiner: It is used to join two pieces of wood together. It uses a small circular saw blade to cut a crescent-shaped hole in the opposite edge of two pieces of wood or wood composite panels.



3) Chain saw: It isa portable, mechanical saw, powered by electricity, compressed air, hydraulic power, or most commonly, a gasoline two-stroke engine. It is used in activities such as tree felling, lumbering, bucking, pruning, and removing branches and foliage.



4) Jig saw: This is a tool used for cutting arbitrary curves such as stencilled designs or other custom shapes, into a piece of wood and other materials. It usually cuts in a straight line only. It can be used in amore artistic fashion than other saws.



5) Nail gun: This is a type of tool used to drive nails into wood and other materials. It uses fasteners mounted in long ships or collated in a paper or plastic carrier, depending on the design of the nail gun.


6) Rotary saw or spiral cut saw: It is used for making accurate cuts (without the need for a pilot hole) in wallboard, plywood or other thin solid materials.



7) Router: This is a tool used to route out an area in the surface of a relatively hard wood. It is used in making patterns in a wood and for staircase makers. It is a high speed process of cutting, trimming and shaping wood and a variety of other materials.




There are many types of portable machine tools such as:

1) Circular saw: This is a tool for cutting many materials such as wood and it can be mounted on a machine. The table saw and chop saw are other forms of circular saw.



2) Band saw: It is used for cutting a variety of materials, such as cutting irregular or curved shapes. It can make a straight cut.


3) Wood lathe: It is used for wood turning, thermal spraying and parts reclamation. It can be used to shape pottery, the best-known design being the potter’s wheel.


4) Surface planer: It uses a roller to smoothly move the stock past two or three evenly matched, very sharp knives. The knives spin at high speed to remove a very thin layer material from the board. It is used in the initial preparation of wood, producing flat faces and square edges.


5) Thickness planer: This is a woodwork machine used to make boards flat to a consistent thickness on both surfaces. It consists of three elements: a cutter head which contains the cutting knives; a set of rollers which draws the board through the machine; and a table which is adjustable relative to the cutter head to control the resultant thickness of the board.


6) Sanders or stationary sanders: These include: stroke sander, spindle sander and disc sander. They are used to smooth surfaces by abrasion with sandpaper.

They have a means to attach the sand paper and a mechanism to move it rapidly. It is usually powered electrically.


7) Drill press: This is also known as pedestal drill, pillar drill and bench drill. A drill press is a fixed drill that may be mounted on a stand or bolted to the floor or workbench. It has a magnetic base to grip the steel it workpieces drills. It has an advantage over a handheld drill because it requires less effort. It is used for sanding, honing and polishing of wood.



8) Table saw or saw bench: This is a woodwork tool consisting of a circular saw blade mounted on an arbor, that is driven by an electric motor. The blade protrudes through the surface of a table, which provides support for the materials, usually wood, being cut. It is usually used for cutting hard and soft wood.


9) Scroll saw: It is a small electric or pedal-operated saw that is useful for cutting intricate curves in cases where jigsaw or coping saw is not appropriate. It is capable of creating curves with edges for joints.


Functions of the different Groups of Woodwork Machines

Woodwork machines or tools are devices used in order to cut, carve or shape a wood. Basically, the machine must contain a motor so that the work of the operator will be reduced while production is increased.

Woodwork machines make less noise and vibrations which are usually experienced with manual operations and they provide smoothness on the surface being operated. Below are some woodwork machines with their functions.



  1. For cutting and shaping various workpieces, the machines used are band saw, jig saw, miter saw, routers, scroll saw, table saw and circular saw. We make use of miter saw for crosscuts and miter cuts. We use stationary saw for irregular and curved cuts and radial arm saw for making long cuts. Routers are used for cutting, trimming and shaping wood.
  2. For joining two pieces of wood together; we make use of biscuit joiner, domino joiner and nail gun joiner.
  3. For shaping and finishing wood; we make use of belt sanders, spindle moulder, sanders and thickness planer.
  4. For making holes and driving nails into the wood, sanding, honing and polishing; we make use of drill press, mill drill, electric drill, nail gun and drum sander.
  5. For thinning of stock down to size; we use surface planers.


Care and Maintenance of Woodwork Machines

Woodwork machinery are usually made for specific purposes. When subjected to misuse and stress, which they were not designed for, they will fail to work correctly.


Power tools require little maintenance if stored in a clean, dry protected area.

In order to take care and maintain woodwork machines, it is good to take measures such as the following:

  1. Keeping the machine clean: Keeping machinery clean in a dusty environment starts with controlling dust with dust collector. Poor dust collection will cause machine downtime in the long run. The dust can also be removed by either brushing it off, blowing it off with compressed air or sucking it up with a vacuum.
  2. Keeping it lubricated: Once the machine is cleaned, it can be lubricated by selecting and using the proper lubricant. This is essential for maintaining machinery over a long time.
  3. Protecting tools from moisture: Always protect tools from moisture and extreme temperature. Exposure to moisture causes corrosion on unprotected metal surface.
  4. Taking proper care of the cutting surface: Saws and sanders require more attention for their maintenance. The cutting and abrasion surface need proper care and if worn out, it must be changed frequently.

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