Machine tools

There are a range of machine tools commonly used in workshops that you should be familiar with.


A sander is a machine with a rotating abrasive belt used to remove waste material from woods for shaping or rounding off edges.

A belt sander is a machine with a rotating abrasive belt used to remove waste material for shaping or rounding off edges.

An orbital sander has an orbiting abrasive pad that is used to smooth surfaces or remove blemishes and marks.

Pedestal Drill

Operating a pedestal drill
Operating a pedestal drill

A pedestal drill machine drill that's fixed to allow more precise drilling. The drill consists of pillar that's held in position by the drill bed which is bolted to the floor. The pillar also has the drill table which can move up and down and holds and supports the material to be drilled or it support a machine vice.

The pillar at the top has the head assembly which houses the motor and chuck. The motor is generally belt driven and can be set to different speeds depending on the material. The motor drives the chuck which would hold the drill bit.

Mortice machine

This machine cuts slots for mortice joints using using a special bit. This bit is a casing that has chisel edge surrounding a drill bit. These material is clamped to the bed of the machine and then the bit is lowered to cut. The bed also moves to help cut slots without having to unclamp and relocate the material.

Scroll saw

A scroll saw is a reciprocating saw that allows for straight and multi-directional cuts such as curves. It is called 'reciprocating' due to the 'push-pull' movement of the blade. The blade is placed on an arm and fixed at a point below the machine. It then is moved up and down very quickly through the bed of the machine to allow a cutting action. The workpiece can then be placed on the machine and moved freely against the moving blade so that it can be cut in different directions.