Well, he cautioned us against hair and loose clothing, but not a word about
safety glasses or dust masks.
The other woodworking class I took wouldn't let you use machinery without
safety glasses with side shields, though they were very casual about dust
Well, dust isn't much of an issue at the lathe except while sanding (when it's
a *major* issue)... but eye protection is mandatory. Safety glasses are a bare
minimum; turners with good sense use full face shields.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
It's always a problem for me. I seem to turn the woods that have thick
bark raided from different places as well different glued exotics I
The bark of mesquite comes off in clouds when you hit a punky area.
Molds? Spores? Fungus? I am sure they are all present along with the
requisite amount of fine dirt that a mesquite will collect in that
rough bark in the windy, dusty areas it grows best.
I personally am scared of the exotics and take great care aound them.
I have had some bad skin rashes caused by exotics, so I can only
imagine what that might do to my throat, lungs and sinus cavities.
And come on Doug.... you mean you don't get those fine wisps that hang
in the air from a properly sharpened scraper or a bowl gouge turned
with the flutes parallel to the cut surface?
Actually.... I only did the bowl gouge thing once while I was being
supervised by a guest turner that uses his bowl gouge for everything.
I can do it with a scraper with a fresh edge anytime. Those wisps are
close enough to dust for me. I have tried the "Dust BeeGone" mask and
liked it, but I really like the good seal of those masks and a change
to a fresh, clean mask (not full of sweat and grime) after turning for
a couple of hours. Also, I didn't like washing it out after I used
I use the booger/mucous test on those dental masks, and they do quite
well. The test of course is in the hot shower after the debris is
cleaned up. Without going into details, they passed with flying
Thank you. If all you fault him on is his briefing, he can't have been too
Some things are so obvious they go without saying. Eye protection being one
of them. Lathe is far less likely to cause problems in that regard than
things that whirl the tool not the workpiece. The real idiot is not the one
who failed to mention, but the one who fails to use. Same with dust. If it
irritates you, protect yourself. If you think it might irritate you
someday, protect yourself. Sort of like wiping, as the DI used to say. He
shouldn't have to tell you that. Perhaps a "D" for personal safety for not
wearing wasn't too harsh after all. Betting there were posted warnings on
The lathe is certainly far down the list of life/limb risking machines.
I've not seen a lathe accident which required my services in twenty-five
years, though the saws and shapers have made some horrible messes. To me
the hot dog hot stop makes perfect sense.
Watch your instructor and see if maybe he's teaching you to stand out of the
way without mentioning it, cut the wood versus stab it, and not use
excessive speed at any time. He may be better than you think. Perhaps what
he meant to say is "no reason for a thinking man to get hurt at the lathe"?
Aww... here we go. It took a while for it to get here, but finally the
inner SawStop has come out from someone.
If you are intelligent enough to think about what you are doing, you
won't get hurt. So what does that mean in your world? The flip side
of your hypothesis is the people that should expect to get hurt are the
ones that won't think, can't think, aren't able to think, or don't know
how to think? Only non-thinkers get hurt at the lathe?
So accidents don't happen, much less bad accidents don't happen to
those that think. All you have to do is "thinking man" and you have
"no reason" to worry about being hurt while using the lathe.
Main Entry: ac·ci·dent
Pronunciation: 'ak-s&-d&nt, -"dent; 'aks-d&nt
1 a : an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance b : lack of
intention or necessity : CHANCE <met by accident rather than by design>
So... can you think your way throught the unforseen? Obviously you
don't believe accidents exist, perhaps only in a word.
What a load.
Mmmmmm....here's my take on that.
Somebody who doesn't use his head and makes a stupid move is more
likely to get hurt than somebody who does use his head and makes
smarter/safer/more thought-out moves.
One is more vulnerable than the other.
One is more likely to get hurt.
Neither will have immunity from a random series of events which lead to
an unforseen event resulting in an accident.
But if I had to place a bet? My money would be on the brighter of the
Smart people can make mistakes too......or so I'm told.
I couldn't agree more with your thoughts. I think it is a sure bet
that careless distraction is certainly a recipe for accidents. And I
think it stands to reason that a prepared person that is focused on the
task at hand, employing available safety protection is less likely to
SUFFER from the results of an accident. However, no amount of thinking
or planning will prevent or preclude all accidents. By definition that
is why the term exists.
In my experience, it is not carelessness or distraction that causes
accidents. I have found that most DIY and "semi pro" (whatever in the
hell that is) suffer at the hands of their own arrogance and over
confidence. And I couldn't have found a better example if I had
interviewed a hundred people: "no reason for a thinking man to get
hurt at the lathe".
My point was simply that sometimes you do all you can to be a safe as
possible, and there are still events that transpire that you cannot
anticipate. Safety gear and focus are the best ways to keep from
having accidents, and to mitigate the results when you have them.
I have never met anyone (maybe I need to get out more) than can
outsmart an (not even a smart "thinking man") accident by simply
thinking about things.
Yabbut, yabbut...(at the risk of belabouring the point).. doesn't a
have an advantage when assessing risk?
Even though I have done a certain routine a bunch of times, I tend to
stop and think and ask myself the following question: "IF this is going
to fark me over, how would it happen?"
That is as natural as ascertaining that I have enough cord to get to
the end of a cut I'm making.
I don't start cutting and then, when 60% through the cut, I run out of
cord...now I have to look at my problem, or try to pull on the
cord...or stop and start things... (I got really close to getting hurt
that way.)... basically losing focus of my activity. It is at times
like that, when shiat tends to happen.
But I think we agree. Working with power tools is no time to be stupid.
Lathes interest me.
Seeming clear to me, I must be obtuse in my explanation. I think we
are saying the same thing, but maybe not.
An accident is an uplanned event. When I said " I think it is a sure
that careless distraction is certainly a recipe for accidents", I meant
that someone that is not paying attention to what they are doing is
more likely to have an accident.
But in my mind, someone that isn't paying attention to what they are
doing (especially when using any kind of tool) is careless. An injury
due to wandering, unfocused mind (distracted?) is an injury due to
carelessness. Maybe from negligent stupidity, maybe just from not
paying attention to what you are doing. If injury happens in those
circumstances, it is not an accident at all, but careless stupidity.
It is injury due to dumbass, of which I have suffered my share.
and there are >still events that transpire that you cannot anticipate. Safety
gear and focus are the best ways >to keep from having accidents, and to mitigate
the results when you have them.
I was agreeing with you, again by saying "sometimes you do all you
can". An idiot doesn't care. A lazy ass won't try or care. Someone
that doesn't think won't wear any safety protection. Only someone
that thinks about the consequences that occur if there is a moment in
the Bahamas while using a tool, or someone that has had an actual
accident will wear protection.
Pertaining to the lathe, we have had numerous injuries reported while
using them, mostly due to improper tool use/bad technique, the wrong
tool for the job, or carelessness. That probably takes in 95% of all
the injuries. These are injuries (not intentional) due to dumbass.
However, we have also had 3 or 4 broken scrapers (Crown, I think) that
shot broken steel out, but only nicked one of the guys. I was turning
a very carefully inspected golf ball sized piece of wood at about 4000
between centers, and the piece loosed a quarter sized piece of wood
(NOT on the end I was working on) that whacked me in the forehead just
above the googles. I had a pretty nasty dent in my head and it bled
like hell. I thought as expressed here that all runaway chunks or
chips had to go away from the turner when using the lathe.... I had
heard that was rule. We even had a really experienced turner in my
group that had a bowl gouge break and had one large piece fly off and
bounce around unitl it just whacked him in the chest (it was Sorby -
cheerfully replaced by Woodcraft). Bowls that break into pieces from
UNSEEN defects, chunks of unseen knots or occlisions can take flight.
If you are 100% focused on what you are doing, if you check and cannot
see potential problems with the task you are going to perform, if you
use the right tool for the right job, if you use the right material for
the job, if you use the right techniques and methods for the task at
hand AND you still are injured without being negligent to due diligence
of your own safety, that is an accident.
Now, was that clear as mud and twice as thick? ;^)
It's just my opinion anyway. In our society today, it is never really
our fault. We are all victims of something. I see people do the most
assinine things and scream about how they had an accident. Because
they didn't anticipate they would pay the price for carelessness, in
their minds, that makes it an accident. Injury by dumbass, says I.
We are on the same page. (CRINGE, I hate that over-used phrase..)
Dumbasses and lazy farks take chances.
If I rip down some cobwebs from the dusty caverns of my memory banks, I
seem to remember
that on the Space Shuttle there are 900+ 'criticality #1' items that on
launch if ONE of them fails.....Kaboom! The other Kabooms that happen,
is when people become careless and arrogant and go beyond what is
considered safe---> taking a chance. Nobody has control of
100.00000000% of all parameters.. and that includes a small tectonic
plate shuffle which will make your gouge go a LITTLE BITTY bit too far
into the bowl. Them's accidents.
'Twas, actually. Thanks for taking the time to respond in such detail.
Yup. Indeed. When you have seen somebody about to do something
dangerous and stupid...did you ever fill your lungs with extra air, so
that you could express a warning "EXTRA loud", just to realize, that a
yell would only startle the stupid fark and make things worse?
I call them 'headshakers'.
I have grown sons, all pretty bright. One of them, perhaps the
brightest, can be a serious space cadet at times. Loses focus on
mundane activities, and puts all around him at risk.
We try really hard not to distract him when he has sharp tools at hand.
Riding with him when he drives is serious business.
On 30 Nov 2006 11:42:05 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
In the vast majority of cases, yes.
Going by the definition of 'accident' that you give, 'unforseen' and
'unplanned' have no meaning to someone who understands the risks and
plans for them. If you're an idiot and don't know what you're doing
and don't plan for safety and failure, then you're going to get
injured a lot more often than someone who approaches the task
intelligently and rationally.
Reminds me of a vo-tech metal shop incident. We were turning 12" long
aluminum bar to various diamenters and then threading each diameter. I
heard "whack - crash" followed by "OH SHIT!" from behind me. An instant
later my position and others were showered with crumbled concrete. The bar
in the lathe behind me left the machine, went straight up and struck a
concrete beam in the ceiling of the old shop building. The bar pulverized
a chunk of concrete about 2" deep and a foot in diameter; then left the
building though a closed window. Ran the tool in a little to fast.
How long has this guy been an instructor? He's never seen a tool catch
or a turning come out of a chuck or break? Perhaps true that lathes
are less dangerous than many other power tools, but people DO get
hurt. and DAMHIKT.
No dumb questions, just dumb answers.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - firstname.lastname@example.org
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