Woodturning Safety Tips; New Lathe

Posted by Michaelle Bradford | Posted: 04/02/2013 2:54PM


Woodturning safety fundamentals (from the Canadian Centre for Health & Safety) include the basics – wear eye protection, ear protection if the sound is loud, and a dust mask if your turning out dust. And make sure the area is well-lighted, so the work piece is visible. Also:

• Before the lathe is turned on, ensure that all clamps and fittings are secure and that the work piece is free to turn.

• Hold tools firmly with both hands and against the tool rest.

• Hold the stock securely on the faceplate or between the centers.

• Use sharp, well-maintained chisels and gouges.

Select a speed that is appropriate for the job: use a low speed and use a moderate cut depth to prevent splinters from flying out during roughing operations. The actual speed of the lathe depends on the type of wood (use stock free of defects), diameter of stock, nature of work being done and type of tool used.

Adjust tool rests so that they are parallel and as close as possible to the stock. They should also be set high enough so that tools will cut into the wood slightly above the center of the work being turned.

The woodworker pictured at left is demonstrating JET’s latest 1221VS woodworking lathe. Its 1-hp motor delivers variable spindle speeds: The slow speed range (60 to 900 rpm) is for intricate turnings; a middle range (110-1800 rpm) is for sanding and finishing; and the high range (220 to 3600) is for small-diameter items and general woodturning. “Turning at 60 rpm, but still having plenty of torque behind the lathe, allows you to perform tasks such as threading and ornamental work that you can’t do nearly as effectively on a machine that only goes down to 250 rpm,” says Barry Schwaiger, JET director of product development.

Canadian Centre for Health & Safety


About the Author

Michaelle Bradford

Michaelle Bradford

Michaelle Bradford is Managing Editor of Woodworking Network magazine and Custom Built Interiors Weekly eNewsletter. She can be reached at mbradford@woodworkingnetwork.com or Google+.

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