Lathe Machine Safety And Useful Tips
- Lathes – and especially some milling machines – are very top heavy. Take care when moving them round the workshop, and don’t do it alone. Even She Who Must Be Obeyed will keep an eye on you and, unless your life is insured for too generous a figure, phone for the fire brigade and ambulance when you are trapped.
- Machine tools do not take prisoners they maim and kill without compunction
- Moving a machine? Take off rings and other jewellery and wear tight-fitting clothing. A friend was pulled over and his hand badly mangled by a toppling machine when the sharp edge of a toolpost bolt caught his wedding ring.
- Keep a clear, safe and oil-free working area around your machine tools. You must be able to think of better things to do than tripping, slipping and then falling onto a rotating cutter or mechanism.
- Take off your tie, jewellery (even rings) and remove anything that might get wound into rotating mechanisms.
- Once the part has snapped off and embedded itself in your eye it’s too late.
- Never leave a chuck key in a chuck.
- After setting up any turning job, take a moment to pull the job round by hand to check that everything clears.
- Small lathes need all the help they can get. The secret of successful operation is to keep the cutting tools sharp by using a slip stone across its top surface; the sides rarely need attention. Sharp tools are also a lot safer and easier on the machinery; blunt ones tempt you into forcing the lathe and over-straining it