Lathe Safety

This is not meant to replace a course in lathe usage.
For those, look here:

The wood lathe lets you take a piece of wood (either a block or long piece), clamp it in place, spin it and apply cutting tools to the surface to shape it. Simple enough.The headstock end has the motor and is what spins the wood. The tailstock end is strictly for support of the far end and for drilling. The tool rest gives you an even support for the tools. Tools are held in your hand and carefully applied to the wood surface.

Some basic rules for not bleeding on the lathe:

  • Always be sure the wood is secured.  Whenever possible, use a tailstock support in addition to the mounting method for the headstock.
  • Always cut at the centerline of the wood or higher.
  • Always keep the tool rest as close to the surface of the wood as possible.
  • Turn the wood by hand before powering up the lathe to be sure it doesn’t hit anything.
  • Stand to the side when you power up the lathe so that if the wood goes flying, you aren’t stopping it with something you are attached to.
  • Use slow speeds when the wood isn’t well balanced.  If it is way off, consider rounding it a bit on the bandsaw.
  • Use sharp tools.
  • Use safety glasses or a face shield.  No long sleeves, hair pulled back.
  • Always cut with the center of the tool edge.  Never let a corner of the tool touch the wood.
  • Cut downhill – from the thicker part of the wood to the thinner part.