A Day in the Life: The Weekend Turnover

Written by Chelsea Van Voorhis on .


Every weekend between Workshops, our Facilities Staff (left to right: Matt McLaughlin, Angela Robins, and Mark Juliana) ensures that the bench rooms, the machine rooms, and all they contain are clean, orderly, sharp, and square. Here is a typical Saturday morning for our team:





Mark, Matt, and Angela meet to discuss the turnover and determine which tasks they will delegate to our two Workshop Assistants.



Assistants blow dust off machines and shelving with compressed air (wearing masks), vacuum floors, and empty shop vacs.

Angela puts away specialized jigs, demonstration samples, tools, and other equipment that was provided especially for the previous Workshop. She also checks for dulled drill and router bits.

Matt scrubs, waxes, and oils jointers, planers, band saws, table saws, drill presses, and other machinery.

Mark reviews correspondence with incoming workshop instructors to ensure that all requested materials are on hand and well-organized.




Assistants flatten sharpening stones, true up grinding wheels, and inspect glass flattening plates.

Angela looks over the dust collection system and makes sure the filter bags are empty.

Matt makes sure that there are sharp blades on every machine.



Assistants restock drafting supplies, the first aid cabinet, safety equipment, and lumber. They clean the bathrooms, kitchen area, and fridge. And, crucially, they make sure we have coffee, cream, sugar, and filters at the ready for use by the incoming classes.

Angela inspects all hand tools for sharpness and monitors the inventory of sandpaper, glue, and other consumables.

Matt appropriates Peter Korn’s personal 12” Starrett square to proof machine settings.



Assistants organize hand tools, drill bits, instructors’ benches, joint samples, cauls, stickers, and the contents of every cabinet.

This week, Angela replaces all of the knives on a 15” helical planer head, a regularly scheduled service, while Matt replaces a grinding wheel that is getting too small in diameter.



Assistants wipe down cabinets, clean the whiteboard, and mop the bench room floor.

Angela double-checks every machine for its complement of push blocks, safety blocks, and smoothly working guards.

Matt clears leftover finishes from the flammable materials cabinet for disposal in the hazmat storage shed and empties the oily rag bin. 



Mark takes a final walk through to inspect the building.