Woodturner's Resource Safety Information
Think Before You Turn: The most powerful tool in your shop is your brain, use it. Thinking about your cuts and movements through before acting can help save both fingers and wood.
Keep a Clean Shop: A cluttered shop is an accident waiting to happen. Keeping your shop clean will help protect you, and your tools, from tripping hazards.
Avoid Distractions: Pay attention to your actions. Looking up to watch the shop TV or visitor can result in your hand or tool contacting spinning wood resulting in an injury. Always wait until you have completed your cut before you take your eyes off the tool.
Don't Rush: Keep in mind that this is just a hobby and take a break when you feel rushed or frustrated with a project. Mistakes happen when we rush to complete a job.
Don't Force It: If your tool is resisting the cut, stop and see what's wrong.
Protect Yourself: Wearing the proper shop protection is an important part of safe tool operation. Goggles, Ear Protection, and Lung Protection should be used when operating tools.
Let the Lathe Stop: Giving the lathe time to wind down is an often-overlooked safety mistake. Even without power, the spinning wood can still do a lot of damage.
Speed Kills: When finished for the day, turn down the RPMs to its slowest range. Imagine the next day mounting a 50lb block of wood then turning on the lathe only to find the speed was set to 2000 RPMs.
Fumes and Dust: Solvent fumes and airborne dust can present health and explosion hazards. Care should be taken to ensure a supply of fresh air and use only explosion proof vent fans. Accumulation of particulates in the lungs and sinuses, and irritation from natural and applied chemicals, mold, and fungi in the wood can cause problems ranging from a runny nose to serious disease. Some woods, such as Cocobolo, Red Cedar, and Teak can produce severe allergic reactions in some people from inhalation of sanding dust or skin contact.
Wear Appropriate Clothing: Loose clothing or hair can get caught in power tools and cause severe injury.
No Alcohol: Too many woodturners have been injured because alcohol clouded their judgment. Avoid their mistakes and wait until after you're done in the shop.