Power Tools

Power tools, or any tool which uses electric power to operate, are utilized a great deal in many aspects of stagecraft.  You will receive training on the safe operation of power tools and should be familiar with both the proper use and limitations of power tools prior to using them.  Records will be kept of tools on which you have been trained.  Never operate a tool unless you have been trained in its safe use!

Guidelines for Safe Power Tool Operation

  • Inspect your tool prior to use.  Loose or defective parts, frayed or exposed wiring, missing parts, or any other suspected problems should be reported to your crew supervisor, who will determine a course of action.
  • Never carry any corded power tool by its power cord.  Never carry any battery-operated tool by its actuation device (i.e. trigger).
  • Prior to attempting a change of any user-serviceable parts (i.e. screwdriver bits, Sawzall blades), ensure that the tool is unplugged or (in the case of a battery-operated tool) that the safety mechanism is engaged to prevent accidental activation during the servicing process.  Follow all manufacturer’s instructions (available in the tool manuals, which are found in the Technical Director’s office) when servicing power tools.
  • Never use power tools on wet surfaces OR outside in wet weather.
  • Dull tools can damage your work and increase your risk of suffering injuries; always use sharp blades or bits in your power tools.  If your blade or bit has become dull over the course of a project, the Scene Shop Supervisor can provide you with new blades or bits, if available.
  • Never alter or remove any blade guards on any power tools.  This is especially important on large stationary tools such as the band saw or unisaw.


Soldering is the process of joining two (or more) metal items by means of melting and flowing a filler metal (known as solder) into the joint between the items.  Soldering is commonly performed by electrics, sound, and wardrobe crews and in model building.

To receive training in soldering, contact your crew supervisor or the Lighting and Sound Shop Supervisor.

Many solders contain lead.  To minimize your exposure, wear hand PPE such as nitrile or latex gloves while handling lead-based solder products.

Guidelines for Soldering Safety

  • Wear eye PPE – safety glasses or goggles – when soldering.  Soldering irons are very hot, and if hot solder contacts your eyes serious damage may occur.
  • Never leave a hot soldering iron unattended.
  • Always keep a clean workspace when soldering – ensure that arm or body movement will not move flammable or sensitive materials into harm’s way while operating a soldering iron.
  • Avoid soldering in poorly-ventilated areas.  Ventilate your work area as best you can to avoid eye or throat irritation from fumes.
  • Always store your soldering iron in its stand.  NEVER store your soldering iron on a work table or other surface.
  • Never touch a hot soldering iron.
  • Never use a soldering iron for any purpose other than soldering.
  • Never leave flammable materials near your soldering iron.
  • Unplug your soldering iron when leaving the shop area.