Hands On
Safety's Always First

MAR/APR 2003
Volume 46/Issue 2

Project Articles
Classic Rolltop Desk
Keyed Corner Jewelry Box
Colonial Spice Cabinet

Ask Smitty
Owner’s Gallery
Letters from Owners
Academy Notes
Basic Techniques for Faceplate Turning
Service Pointers
MARK V Quill Feed Maintenance
Safety Tips
12 Valuable Lathe Safety Tips

What's New
Wall Mounted Storage System for Tables

Find A Shopsmith Woodworking Academy Near You

National Woodworking Academy in Dayton, OH

Online Accessory Catalog
Request Printed Accessory Catalog
Online Replacement Parts Catalog

Find A Shopsmith
MARK V Demo Near You

Request MARK V Information Package

Links Worth Visiting
Free Woodworking Tips

Contacting Shopsmith

Copyright 2003.
Shopsmith, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Workshop Safety
12 Valuable Lathe Safety Tips
Printer friendly PDF copy of article

  1. If you have to use Brute Force to make the wood do what you want it to do, chances are, the methods and tools you're using are wrong for the job.
  2. If you grasp your lathe tools with an iron grip, you'll quickly fatigue yourself. In the long run, it's also dangerous*.
  3. For best results...and maximum safety...keep your tool rest as close to the rotating workpiece as possible.
  4. Always remove the tool rest before performing any sanding or finishing operations.
  5. Keep long sleeves rolled up above your elbows during turning.
  6. Don't let your apron strings fly into the path of your turning stock.
  7. Tie back long hair.
  8. Always wear Safety Goggles or a Face Shield when working on the lathe.
  9. Sanding on the Lathe can easily turn into a full-scale Dust Storm...and dust can actually be EXPLOSIVE! Wear a dust mask and keep a window open for adequate ventilation during turning operations.
  10. Do your feet a favor ! Since turning often requires long periods of standing, get an Anti-Fatigue Mat and use it when turning for long periods of time. It will save your aching feet, keep you from slipping and help you produce better results.
  11. Avoid prolonged lower back strain. Take a breather when you feel the tension growing in your back muscles. To relieve strain, try squatting with your knees bent and your back against a wall. One orthopedic surgeon claims that Americans would suffer fewer back problems in general if they would make this a daily practice.
  12. Sharp Chisels are far safer to use than dull ones. Keep your Chisels sharp at all times. Even if you're inexperienced at sharpening, special accessories such as Shopsmith's Sharpening Guide or Strip Sander Chisel Sharpening Attachment make easy work of sharpening your Chisels, even if you're a novice.

* Production workers who persist in using a strangle-hold grip on vibrating tools such as Lathe Chisels can easily contract Carpal-Tunnel Syndrome, a debilitating malady that affects the nerves in the wrist, causing numbness and even partial paralysis.