For each woodworking task, there is a power tool that reduces the time and effort required to cut, shape and smooth lumber. But woodworking power tools aren't just about economy of time and effort; they allow cabinetmakers, finish carpenters, sculptors and do-it-yourselfers to create results more consistent and precise than possible with human hands and arms. The names of the power tools used in wood work might at first seem strange and confusing, but once you understand the activity associated with each name, you'll know which tool is right for your woodworking project.
The tool called a "table saw" features a circular blade protruding from a stationary table. Woodworkers push boards through the spinning saw blade to create long, straight cuts. An adjustable bar, called a "fence," allows a woodworker to adjust cutting dimensions and ensure accuracy, and a lever or wheel adjusts the blade's height to alter cutting depth.
The band saw employs a single, circular band of sharpened and serrated metal as a blade. This large, metal belt attaches to the machine between a stationary table and a suspended arm. A motor drives the circular motion of the belt as a woodworker pushes wood across the table and through the blade. This type of power tool easily cuts curved lines.
"Drill press" is the name of the stationary drilling machine used to bore accurate holes of varying depth and perfect straightness. The drill press features an arm-mounted, rotary drill machine suspended above a stationary table. Wood rests beneath the drill while an operator pulls a lever to "press" the drill downward toward the table and through the material.
Miter Saw or Chop Saw
The name of the tool used to cut precise angles through trim, moulding and casing is "miter saw" or "chop saw." The saw's large circular blade lowers or "chops" through an attached, stationary base and accompanying boards. The cutting angle of the blade adjusts on a horizontal plane and, in fancier versions, on a vertical plane.
The shaping tool that creates decorative edges or grooves for joinery is called a "router." A router tool employs rotary motion, such as that of a drill, to spin a sharpened, shaped attachment, called a "bit." Woodworkers plunge bits into a board's surface or run bits along a board's edge while the spinning bits remove chunks of wood with each revolution.
"Power sander" refers to the power tool that replaces process manual sanding in wood work. Woodworkers attach sandpaper to a power sander's flat underside and, once activated, the sandpaper vibrates independently of the tool's hand-grip. The repeated shifting of the sander's underside rubs abrasive paper across a board's surface, smoothing the wood.
- Photo Credit saw image by Kaarel from Fotolia.com saw blade image by laviniaparscuta from Fotolia.com moulding image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com router bit s image by Michael Cornelius from Fotolia.com Schleifmaschine image by Volker Gerstenberg from Fotolia.com
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