My First Turning Injury !

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EdM

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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 ????

Regards,
EdM
 
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Curly

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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.
 

Sly Dog

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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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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!
 

Curly

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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? :beat-up:
 

JimB

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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.
 

jttheclockman

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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.
 
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thewishman

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A friend turned a chunk of MDF and added a face of 1/2" corian for the sanding discs to stick to. I have been turning on the lathe for 13 years and I don't know to turn anything but a spindle.

Glad you survived. It's easy to picture me doing the same thing.
 

jttheclockman

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Let me ask you, what did you do wrong? People are telling you to wear a face mask. Can you list the multiple things you did wrong and lets see if you learned a few things. :doctor::doctor:
 

EdM

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I appreciate your advice here....
The face plate that comes with my lathe is only 3" wide, which doesn't provide a decent surface for sanding IMHO. That's why I was turning a larger disc to attach to it.

I was planning to use velcro to secure the sandpaper to the disc...
I will now use only self adhesive sandpaper.......

I believe that the sanding jig will offer a higher degree of control and precision, and the three positions available will ensure that most of the sandpaper surface can be used.
 

Woodchipper

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Full face mask, dust mask and ear plugs are a must. Don't turn without them. Like a smock to keep shavings from sticking to my clothes; keeps SWMBO happy. Heard of a turner who wore an umpire's chest protector while turning.
 

jttheclockman

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I appreciate your advice here....
The face plate that comes with my lathe is only 3" wide, which doesn't provide a decent surface for sanding IMHO. That's why I was turning a larger disc to attach to it.

I was planning to use velcro to secure the sandpaper to the disc...
I will now use only self adhesive sandpaper.......

I believe that the sanding jig will offer a higher degree of control and precision, and the three positions available will ensure that most of the sandpaper surface can be used.
As I mentioned I believe you have just as much control if using a drill chuck in the tail stock because you are basically doing the same thing except that jig just moves the transfer punch from hole to hole. What I suggested you move the sandpaper around and the transfer punch stays centered. Just an option for others too.

You choice to not wear a face shield has been discussed already and hope you adhere to that in the future.

Your choice of wood was not at all good. The fact you used wood that was glued and end grained glued to be more specific is a bad choice for doing lathe work. It is the poorest glue joint you can have even in flat work but sometimes necessary. Solid piece of hardwood is a better choice. Stay away from MDF. The dust is tremendous and not worth the effort.

Tool choice. Skew is not the tool. Bowl gouge or roughing gouge would have been a better choice.

I do not know how you chucked the piece up and if you used the tailstock for support or how your tool rest was set up but check these when working on a lathe.

Good luck and stay safe.:)
 

SteveG

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Your thread title suggests that you anticipate future injuries, this being the first. Lots of good safety inputs found in this thread. The strongest safety tool you have is located between your ears. If your mindset is proactively that this will be your LAST injury, you will likely succeed, even when some stuff in the future does not go as planned. I had my First, and Last, shop injury in my 60 years of woodworking. Make this your last. :):)
 

RSQWhite

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Let me ask you, what did you do wrong? People are telling you to wear a face mask. Can you list the multiple things you did wrong and lets see if you learned a few things. :doctor::doctor:


I agree with it. Knowing what causes these incidents leads to prevention. While smart and maybe necessary glasses face shields and etc. are protection from mistakes not prevention. We should learn from our mistakes, instead of just trying not to be injured by them.
Thanks for posting your accident it just might prevent prevent an injury to someone else like me.
Tim


Sent from my iPad using Penturners.org mobile app
 
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Full face mask, dust mask and ear plugs are a must. Don't turn without them. Like a smock to keep shavings from sticking to my clothes; keeps SWMBO happy. Heard of a turner who wore an umpire's chest protector while turning.
Mine wasn't an Umpires chest protector but I used to use something similar. My wife made it and it stopped a lot of bruises I'm sure.
 

MTViper

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As a 30 year safety professional, I have to add that a facemask is designed to protect you from CHIPS not CHUNKS. Even Airshield has put a warning on their site that they are not a helmet and will not protect you from large pieces coming off the lathe.

Most of the replies focused on PPE and that is important, but I have a couple more questions:

1) what speed were you turning?
2) did you have the tailstock up to support the disk?

Most 3 jaw chucks have a speed limit for turning without the tailstock supporting the blank. Faceplates generally do not do that, but if you've got a thin disk, especially one that's laminated like this one, speed contributed to the blank coming apart.
 

EdM

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As a 30 year safety professional, I have to add that a facemask is designed to protect you from CHIPS not CHUNKS. Even Airshield has put a warning on their site that they are not a helmet and will not protect you from large pieces coming off the lathe.

Most of the replies focused on PPE and that is important, but I have a couple more questions:

1) what speed were you turning?
2) did you have the tailstock up to support the disk?

Most 3 jaw chucks have a speed limit for turning without the tailstock supporting the blank. Faceplates generally do not do that, but if you've got a thin disk, especially one that's laminated like this one, speed contributed to the blank coming apart.
I was turning at 1800 rpm, way too fast for what I was doing.
The work was tightly screwed to the faceplate with four wood screws.
 
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