In a workshop, you will find the wood lathe to be one of the top tools in terms of safety. However, this is not to say that you don’t need to practice good safety measures with it. Here are some things to be aware of.
Checking the Condition of the Wood Lathe
One must consider that the wood lathe has moving parts that spin at high speeds and are subject to wear. Thus, checking the condition of the wood lathe before you use it is of utmost importance. What you want to check are:
- Security of mounting nuts
- Spur centers that are sharpened
- General tightening of the overall mounting
- Dressing of the tool rest
Quality of the Material
It is important for the operator to know what turning speed he will use based on the type of wood. This information can be found in charts. In other words, the speed of turning is based on the quality of wood. Some types of wood that may need to be turned slower are those with:
- Other imperfections
Wood with imperfections such as these is best approached by first turning at slow speeds. Speed can be gradually increased as some of the imperfections disappear.
No matter how safe the wood lathe is, it is of no value if the operator is not in top condition as well. Thus, the operator should make sure of the following:
- Has sufficient rest
- No influence from drugs or alcohol
- Loose clothing and neckties must not be worn
- No rings or jewelry
Basically any loose item on your person could get caught in the wood lathe putting you in extreme danger of injury.
When the wood lathe is too high or low, the operator is subject to stretching or hunching that can result in back pain. The recommendation is to adjust the height of the lathe so that its center line of turning is at the same height of the turner’s elbows.
Another way to reduce the risk of developing back pain is to stand on a rubber mat while operating the wood lathe.
Be aware of these things and have a safe and pleasant turning session with your wood lathe.