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Tool Safety and Operation

  1. Wear proper personal protection equipment. A face shield is required. Wear hearing protection that is appropriate for the level and duration of the noise in the tool room. A dust mask is recommended. Do not wear gloves.
  2. Wear proper apparel. No loose fitting cloths or neckties. No loose jewelry. Long hair must be covered or tied back. Non-slip footwear is recommended.
  3. Keep the work area clean. Cluttered areas and benches invite accidents.
  4. Check the wood to make sure it has no defects that would cause it to break when turning. Remove all moldy wood immediately.
  5. Check all glue joints before mounting the stock. A weak joint may come apart when revolving at high speeds. Make sure all glued-up stock is completely dry and cured before turning.
  6. When doing spindle work, fasten stock securely between centers. Make sure the tailstock is locked before turning on the power.
  7. When using a faceplate, be sure that the material is securely fastened to the plate.
  8. Adjust the tool rest as close to the stock as possible. Then revolve the stock by hand to make sure it clears the rest.
  9. Always stop the lathe before making any adjustments such as changing the position of the tool rest.
  10. Run all stock at the slowest speed until it is rounded.
  11. For stock over 6" in diameter, maintain slower speed; from 3" to 6", medium speed; under 3", use faster speeds.
  12. Hold turning tools firmly in both hands.
  13. Keep the tool rest as close to the work as possible. At intervals, stop the lathe and readjust.
  14. Remove the tool rest when sanding or polishing to avoid fingers getting caught between the tool rest and the stock.
  15. Keep all turning tools sharp.  Ask a tech or instructor to show you how to properly sharpen dull tools. 

DOWNLOAD PDF - Lathe Safety Sheet