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Old 02-18-2019, 04:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Long Island, N.Y.
Posts: 70
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Angry My First Turning Injury !

I'm not sure where this post belongs, however I thought that by placing it here, newcomers to "our" craft might benefit from my experience, and hopefully save themselves some grief...

I've been woodworking for about a year. Set up my shop with the safest equipment I could afford, including the "standard" newbie lathe, a 10x18 one from Harbor Freight (Item 65345). Generally, I have no issues with safety whether that be flying objects of dust, as I tend to be meticulous about visualizing my processes and desired end results, as well as trying to anticipate what could go wrong with any of the tools I use, be it the table saw, band saw, drill press, or lathe.

Over the past few days, I've been researching buffing and sanding systems that can be run on the lathe, and after looking at Rick Herrell' s excellent items, and placed an order for his sanding jig and tool rests.

Can't use the jig without a sanding disc to mount the sandpaper on, right ? Right! So I decided to turn a simple 5" disc that could be mounted on the faceplate. I mounted a 6" round piece of 1/2 " oak stock securely on the faceplate, and went to work, turning it to 5" so it would fit my sanding discs.

Unfortunately, the oak stock that I used was one that was end glued from 4 separate pieces, and within 20 seconds of spinning it up and applying the skew, it disintegrated into 4 razor sharp pieces that flew at my face as it separated from the faceplate.

Fortunately, the only pieces that made contact were one that hit me squarely on the chin, opening a nice cut, and a second one that put a nice 2 inch slice in my left thumb.(I'm left-handed).

It could have been my mouth, nose or eyes, and I consider myself very fortunate that the injury was relatively minor.

So... Please think before you turn on any of your tools! I consider myself conservative, level headed, and cautious in most things I do, and also feel very foolish that I permitted a momentary lapse of judgement to result in what could have been a very serious shop accident....

Perhaps the purchase of some armor would be in order ????

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Old 02-18-2019, 05:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Saskatoon SK., Canada.
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Glad you are okay.

A face shield is a good thing to wear even with safety glasses.

Skews are for spindle turning. Not end grain or faceplate turning.

Good quality plywood or MDF is better for making sanding discs.

You never stop learning in the shop.
Proud to be the support staff and enabler of Marla Christensen.
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Boise, Idaho
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I’m glad you are okay, relatively speaking, and appreciate the post as a safety reminder to us all. You were wearing eye protection, but not a face shield, I take it?
Thank you for posting.
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Glad you are OK!

(agree with Pete)

- Bob
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Wolf Creek Montana
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I agree with the above statements. A face shield is a must on a lathe. Over my 40 years of turning and wood working I've bounced enough stuff of my chin and chest to learn. I've also launched stuff across my shop when it got "hung up" on a buffing wheel or whatever. As Pete said, know your tools and how they're used. I'm glad you're okay and every time you see that scar you'll remember. Gives me the hebe gebes just thinking what might have happened to you. Glad you're alright!
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ed the guys haven't said it but we all know it does take a strong person to publicly confess they had an accident.

Now aren't you happy you won't appear on Botched to have a chunk of Oak removed from your nose?
Proud to be the support staff and enabler of Marla Christensen.
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: West Henrietta, NY, USA.
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Glad you are OK and the injuries weren’t more serious.

A good faceshield is a MUST when turning. I always wear one even with small pieces.

Also, as already mentioned, you should not have been using a skew on that piece of wood.

Thanks for posting your (unfortunate) experience so others can learn from it.
West Henrietta, NY
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well you have already have had plenty of advice. Glad you are still standing and can see.
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My question is why do you need to turn a face plate when you have one to turn with already. To me those sanding jigs are over kill. You have everything already. I use the faceplate already and what i first did was cut a piece of plexiglass to the shape of it but have since gone to a piece of flat steel and used carpet tape to adhere it to the faceplate. I use the stuff that is outdoor rated and has nylon running through and this stuff is a tough and a bear to get off when stuck on anything. So I use it for those high stress jobs. I then use the drill chuck in the tailstock and use various transfer punches according to tube size. I use stickyback sandpaper on the disk. I move the sandpaper around to get to all parts of the sandpaper. When one area is worn I just move sandpaper over to a new spot. Have been doing this for years and is an inexpensive way to sand on the lathe

The one thing you do not want to do is use velcro backed sandpaper. It gives too much and when pushing on with the blank you are rounding the edges of the blank and sanding then further than the face that is needed. Just my 2 cents on this subject.
John T.

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Last edited by jttheclockman; 02-18-2019 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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A face shield, respirator and ear protection is all necessary when turning. Glad that you were not hurt worse.
You transform all those who are touched by you.~ Rumi
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