Wood Shop


The wood shop is on the ground floor of the IDEA Building. It has 3,000 square feet of working space and a fully automated, state-of-the-art dust collection system.


  • open Monday to Friday, from September to early August (except during the COVID-19 period)
  • regular hours are posted on the shop door
  • extended hours are scheduled to meet course demands


  • the shop operates on a first-come, first-served basis
  • completing orientation is required to use the shop
  • no more than 9 students can be in the shop at one time
  • closed-toe shoes are required (no sandals, bare feet, etc.)
  • a shop assistant cannot permit access to the shop outside the scheduled hours

Contact and Support

Regan Southcott (shop supervisor); 902-719-6428; regan.southcott@dal.ca

  • conducts wood shop orientations
  • assists and trains students in the proper use of equipment
  • is available for consultation on methods to achieve model-making goals
  • delegates supervisory responsibility to student assistants

Facilities and Equipment

  • supports student and faculty model-making needs for learning and research
  • provides training in model-making principles and processes in various media
  • supports faculty and graduate student design and research, particularly prototyping

Major Equipment Available Only During Regular Hours

  • thickness planer
  • jointer
  • SawStop table saw
  • radial arm saw
  • panel saw
  • lathe
  • grinder
  • CNC router [pdf] may be used only under special conditions  

Minor Equipment Available Whenever the Shop is Open

  • band saws
  • drill presses
  • sanders
  • Hand tools must be used in the shop; they cannot be signed out.
  • Additional hand tools owned by DASA may be available in the studio or the lab.


  • Shop users supply their own materials.
  • Cutting of recycled materials requires advance permission from the shop supervisor.
  • If you wish to have large items delivered directly to the shop, check with Regan. Storage facilities are limited.

Workplace Safety

The University’s safety policies are guided by Nova Scotia’s provincial workplace safety act, based on the Internal Responsibility System. This means that students, supervisors, and administrators of a workplace share responsibility for health and safety. In other words, safety in the workplace is the responsibility of each of us. For more information, please download the Faculty workplace safety framework and Model Shop rules.

Download the Faculty's Rules for Use of Technical Facilities and Equipment.

Wood Shop Rules


  • if you have not completed the shop orientation, you cannot use the shop
  • no more than ten people (including supervisors) can be in the shop at any time
  • during weeks when the shop is used heavily, students who sign up have priority
  • tools cannot be taken out of the shop
  • minor equipment (band saw, drill press, sander) cannot be used unless a supervisor is present in the shop
  • major equipment (thickness planer, table saw, jointer, radial arm saw) cannot be used without approval each time from Regan
  • major equipment cannot be used after regular hours
  • when Regan is advising another student, do not ask to use major equipment
  • closed-toe shoes are required (no bare feet, sandals, etc.)

Operation of Machinery

  • ask Regan if you do not know the proper use of a tool or machine
  • turn on the dust collector just before using a machine and turn it off immediately after
  • wear eye protection at all times (available in the shop)
  • use a push stick when working close to blades
  • do not leave a machine running unattended
  • do not rush
  • do not talk when you are using a machine
  • do not talk to someone else who is using a machine
  • recycled materials cannot be used without approval from Regan
  • return all blades and guards to their safe operating position
  • clean up wood scraps and sawdust from the machine and the floor
  • if you notice something that needs repair, report it immediately to Regan (in writing, if he's not present)

Evenings and Weekends

  • only minor equipment and hand tools can be used
  • a trained shop assistant will be present at all times for advice and supervision
  • all equipment must be turned off if the assistant is not present
  • a shop assistant cannot permit access to the shop outside the scheduled hours