7 Lathe Safety Tips 7 Lathe Safety Tips
A lathe is a tool that holds and turns a material such as wood, metal or glass as it is being cut or shaped by tools. Lathes are extensively used in mechanical and woodworking applications. Depending on the type of application, lathes can be increasingly complex in function and large in size. Therefore, it is important to follow all the required safety precautions when you work with lathes.
1 – Wear Safety Protection
Lathes turn at very high speeds when turning pieces of material that need to be cut, finished or smoothed. Sometimes, sharp particles or blocks of the material can fly off and may hurt you if you have not taken adequate precautions to protect yourself. Wear safety goggles or a face mask that meets industrial safety requirements. Wear ear protection to prevent damage to your ears. Dress appropriately. Avoid jewelry, rings, long sleeves or long hair that could get caught in the moving parts of the tool and seriously injure you. Wear slip resistant boots that protect your feet.
2 – Work in a Safe Environment
Always ensure that you have adequate lighting in your work area. Poor lighting can tire your eyes easily and increase the chances of accidents. Maintain a clean working area that is free of tripping hazards. Keep a safety kit close by at all times.
3 – Use the Chuck Safely
The chuck is a part of the lathe that holds the rotating elements in place. Before every use, you must adjust and tighten the chuck in place with a chuck key or wrench. It is vital to remember to remove the chuck key after you adjust the chuck. If you leave it in place and start operation, it could fly off and cause serious injury.
4 – Inspect all Parts before Operation
Before you turn on the lathe, you must check all the parts and ensure that there is no damage or breakage anywhere. Make sure the chuck is in proper condition. Ensure that the work material is properly gripped in place as you run the tool.
5 – Prevent Fire Hazards
Keep the work area clean of wood chips, saw dust, grease and oil. The accumulation of these materials can increase the danger of accidents and fire hazards.
6 – Operate the Lathe Properly
Before turning on the lathe, remove all instruments and objects in the vicinity. Never leave the lathe unattended when it is plugged in or turned on. When you are working on a piece of material, start slowly and gradually increase the speed. Never force a material, because it could get jammed and damaged. There is also the possibility of injury and damage to the tool. Operate the tool at the speed level appropriate for the job.
7 – Handle the Work Material Safely
Before you start working on a material, inspect it thoroughly. Avoid work pieces that are damaged or uneven, if there is a chance that they could get stuck in the lathe. Never adjust the work piece or take measurements when the lathe is turning. From time to time, turn off the tool and check that the work piece is securely in place.