Lathe, Spindle Turning

Wood Lathe Spindle Turning Safety Instructions

1. Proper eye protection must be worn when using the Mini Wood Turning Lathe.
EXPLANATION: This protects the eyes from danger created by flying particles.

2. Get permission from the teacher each time before using the Mini Wood Turning Lathe.
EXPLANATION: This creates order and keeps unqualified students from operating power tools.

3. Students must not wear loose clothes, watches and jewelry while operating the Mini Wood Turning Lathe.
EXPLANATION: Loose clothing, watches and jewelry could become caught in the revolving parts of the Mini Wood Turning Lathe, thereby pulling the operator into the machine powered movement and creating an injury.

4. All wood intended for turning must be carefully examined for checks, knots, or other defects before being put on the lathe.
EXPLANATION: Bad checks or loose knots could allow material to fly out and cause injury.

5. All glued work must be properly set before being turned on the lathe. Most glues, require a period of 24 hours to be sufficiently dry; but a period of 48 hours or more is recommended.
EXPLANATION: If glue has not set properly, the product’s wet glue may separate during turning, thus causing possible injury.

6. The tail stock must be secure and locked before lathe power is started.
EXPLANATION: If tail stock is not locked properly the tail stock may slide away from stock allowing the wood spindle turning to become loose and fly out of the lathe.

7. Rough stock must first be turned a few times by hand after being centered on the lathe to make sure it will clear tool rest.
EXPLANATION: If rough stock is not clear of tool rest and lathe is turned on, it will chip the stock or throw the entire stock out of the lathe.

8. All lathe tools must be held firmly with both hands while cutting stock on the lathe.
EXPLANATION: If a tool is not held firmly it may flip out of your hand and cause an injury.

9. All lathe work must be started at the slowest speed and stock must be roughed down to cylindrical form before going to a faster speed.
EXPLANATION: Too high a speed on rough stock (90 degree corners) causes much vibration which would result in the loosening or throwing the stock out of the lathe.

10. Large diameter spindle turning (3 inches in diameter) stock must never be turned at high speed.
EXPLANATION: Too high a speed for large stock causes too much vibration and could result in stock flying from lathe and causing injury.

11. The tool rest must be kept a gap of 1/8 inch or less away from the stock being turned, but must not be moved or adjusted until lathe is at a complete stop. This will have to be done often as the wood gets smaller and the gap between the tool and rest gets wider.
EXPLANATION: Too much room between tool rest and stock increases the possibility of the lathe tool being drawn in between the tool rest and the wood stock, resulting in ruined tool, ruined stock and/or causing a possible injury.

12. Wood turning tools may only be used for the wood lathe.
EXPLANATION: Lathe tools are especially designed for this work and any other tools used on the lathe is dangerous. Special portable router set-ups may be used when directed by the teacher.

13. Lathe tools must be kept sharp at all times.
EXPLANATION: Sharp lathe tools are a must for good work and safety.

14. When sanding or polishing on a lathe, remove tool rest entirely to prevent accidents.
EXPLANATION: It is possible for fingers to be pulled down between stock and the tool rest when sanding or polishing. _

15. The live center (motor end of lathe) should be securely fastened on the spindle before power is turned on.
EXPLANATION: If live center is loose stock becomes loose and dangerous.

16. The belt or belt position on the lathe must not be changed until the power is turned off and the machine is at a complete stop.
EXPLANATION: Fingers could be easily pinched between belt and pulley. Always get the support of the teacher in changing speeds.

17. Make all adjustments and measurements only when lathe has completely stopped.
EXPLANATION: This avoids jamming tool rest into moving stock or injuring hands.

18. All stock two inches or over in diameter must have corners chamfered before being turned. Secure work piece in the woodworking vise and plane these chamfers on all four corners.
EXPLANATION: This avoids many flying chips and lowers the chance of lathe tools being powered away from operators hands.

19. The live center is not to be forced into the work piece by means of the tail stock feed handle. Instead, tap it in with a mallet.
EXPLANATION: This makes for a sure holding and eliminates unnecessary force on the lathe. Sawing a 90 degree cross on the live end of the stock at right angles helps for accurate centering of the live center.

20. When using a mandrill (used in making pens), check twice to assure that the stock is secure to the mandrill and that the mandrill is secured the head and tail stock.
EXPLANATION: This assures the work piece will not loosen and fly out at the operator.

21. When starting the lathe, you should stand to one side of the work piece (stock). DO NOT stand directly in line with the stock work piece.
EXPLANATION: This gets the operator out of the line of possibility, should the stock come out of the lathe.

22. The center push rod must never be left in the headstock spindle.
EXPLANATION: If left in the center, the push rod could be thrown out.

REFERENCES: Pictures and more infomation on Wood turning lathes can be obtained from class textbooks.
General Woodworking, by Groneman, pp 165-167.
Exploring Woodworking, by Zimmerman, pp 38-40.
Cabinetmaking and Millwork, by Feirer, pp 337-351.
Advanced Woodwork and Furniture Making, by Feirer and Hutchings, pp 321-332.