Safe, effective use of a wood lathe requires study and knowledge of procedures for using the tool. Read and thoroughly understand the label warnings on the lathe and in the owner/operator’s manual.
Always wear safety goggles or safety glasses and a full face shield when needed. Use a dust mask in dusty work conditions. Wear hearing protection during extended periods of operation.
Tie back long hair, do not wear gloves, loose clothing, jewelry or any dangling objects that may catch in rotating parts or accessories.
Check the owner/operator’s manual for proper speed recommendations. Use slower speeds for larger diameter or rough pieces, and increased speed for smaller diameters and pieces that are ‘true’ or cylindrical. IF the lathe is shaking or vibrating, lower the speed. If the workpiece vibrates, alwaysstop the machine to check the reason.
Make certain that the belt guard or cover is in place. Check that all clamping devices (locks), such as on the tailstock and toolrest, are tight.
Rotate the workpiece by hand to make sure it clears the toolrest and bed before turning the lathe on. Be sure that the workpiece turns freely and is firmly mounted. Never adjust the toolrest with the lathe turned on.
Use only defect-free stock, without cracks, splits, checks or knots which could chip and fly out, causing serious injury.
Hold turning chisels securely on the toolrest, and hold the tool firmly. Always use a slower speed when starting until the workpiece is cylindrical. This helps avoid the possibility of an unbalanced piece jumping out of the lathe and striking the operator.
When running a lathe in reverse, it is possible for a chuck or faceplate to unscrew unless it is securely tightened on the lathe spindle.
It is recommended that you rough out your workpiece on a bandsaw or with a chainsaw before mounting it on the lathe.
When using a faceplace, be certain the workpiece is solidly mounted. When turning between centers, be certain the workpiece is secure.
Always remove the toolrest before sanding or polishing operations.
Don’t over-reach, keep proper footing and balance at all times.
Keep lathe in good repair. Check for damaged parts, alignment, binding of moving parts, and other conditions that may affect its operation.
Keep tools sharp and clean for better and safer performance. Don’t force a dull tool. Don’t use a tool for a purpose not intended. Keep tools out of reach of children.
Consider your work environment. Don’t use lathe in damp or wet locations. Do not use in presence of flammable liquids or gases. Keep work area well lit.
Stay alert. Watch what you are doing, use common sense. Don’t operate toolwhen you are tired, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Guard against electric shock. Inspect electric cords for damage. Avoid the use of extension cords.
Remove chuck keys and adjusting wrenches. Form a habit of checking for these before switching on the lathe.
Never leave the lathe running unattended. Turn power off. Don’t leave the lathe until it comes to a complete stop.