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Lathe Safety

Follow these safety guidelines when working with wood lathes:

  • Examine wood for knots and other defects before placing it in the lathe.
  • Ensure that glued materials are set before placing them in the lathe.
  • Before turning the lathe on, slowly turn rough materials a few times to ensure they will clear the tool rest.
  • Keep hands off the chuck rim when the lathe is moving.
  • Hold all wood cutting tools firmly with two hands.
  • Start all jobs at the lowest speed. Ensure that materials are in a cylindrical form before advancing to higher speeds. Never turn large diameter materials at a high speed.
  • Firmly screw faceplate work to the faceplate. Take care to avoid cutting too deep and hitting the screws.
  • Do not cut too deep or scrape too long.
  • Remove the "T" rest when sanding or polishing.

Follow these safety guidelines when working with metal lathes:

  • Make sure that all gear and belt guards are in place.
  • Never leave a chuck wrench in a chuck.
  • Keep your hands off chuck rims when a lathe is in operation.
  • Do not attempt to screw the chuck onto the lathe spindle with the power on, as it may get cross-threaded and cause injury. Stop the machine, place a board under the chuck, and then screw on by hand.
  • Steady rests should be properly adjusted to conform with the material being worked on.
  • When filing work in a lathe, always face the head stock and chuck.
  • See that tailstock, toolholder, and work are properly clamped before turning on power.
  • Never attempt to adjust a tool while the lathe is running.
  • Never apply a wrench to revolving work or parts.
  • Always use a brush to remove chips; never your hands.
  • When possible, use pipe sleeves to cover work protruding from the end of the lathe.
  • Before removing your work from the lathe, remove the tool bit.

15. Nail/Air Gun Safety (Pneumatic Fastening Tools)

Nail guns and air guns are powered by compressed air. The main danger associated with pneumatic fastening tools is injury from one of the tool's attachments or fasteners.

Follow these safety guidelines for working with pneumatic tools:

  • Ensure that pneumatic tools which shoot nails, rivets, or staples are equipped with a device that keeps fasteners from ejecting unless the muzzle is pressed against a firm surface .
  • Never point a tool at items you do not want to fasten.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to begin work. Most pneumatic tools have a hair-trigger that requires little pressure to activate the gun.
  • Treat air hoses with the same care as an electrical cord.
  • Do not drive fasteners into hard, brittle surfaces or areas where the fastener may pass through the material and protrude on the other side.


16. Planer Safety

Follow these safety guidelines for working with planers:

  • Examine wood for knots and other defects before placing it in the planer.
  • Do not plane against the grain of the wood.
  • Let go of the materials as the feeder rolls catch. Do not follow the work with your hands.
  • Do not run boards that are more than 2 inches shorter that the distance between the infeed and outfeed rolls.
  • Use a push stick if a board stops with its end on the infeed table.
  • If a board sticks under the cutter head, turn off the machine to keep from burning the cutter knives.


17. Forging Machines

Once punchers, shears, and benders are activated, it is impossible to stop them until the end of a cycle. Use extreme care when working with these tools.

    • Inspection and maintenance:
    • All forge shop equipment must be maintained in a condition which will ensure continued safe operation.
    • Hammers and presses:
    • All hammers must be positioned or installed in such a manner that they remain on or are anchored to foundations sufficient to support them according to applicable engineering standards.
    • Hammers:
    • Die keys and shims must be made from a grade of material that will not unduly crack or splinter.
    • Presses:
    • All manually operated valves and switches must be clearly identified and readily accessible.
    • Power-driven hammers:
    • Every steam or airhammer must have a safety cylinder head to act as a cushion if the rod should break or pull out of the ram.
  • Gravity Hammers: Air-lift hammers must have a safety cylinder head.
  • Forging and trimming presses:

When dies are being changed or maintenance is being performed on the press, ensure the following:

  1. The power to the pressure is locked out.
  2. The flywheel is at rest.

The ram is blocked with a material of the appropriate strength. All upsetters must be installed so that they remain on their supporting foundations.

18. Sander Safety

Follow these safety guidelines for working with circular and belt sanders:

  • Ensure that sanding belts are not too tight or too loose. Never operate a sanding disk if the paper is too loose.
  • Use the correct grade of abrasive material.
  • Ensure that the distance between a circular sander and the edge of the table is not greater than 1/4 inch.
  • Do not push materials against sanders with excessive force.
  • Sand only on the downstroke side of a disk sander.
  • Do not hold small pieces by hand. Use a jig for pieces that are difficult to hold securely.