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Promoting the art and craft of wood turning in the greater Cincinnati area



WARNING:Woodturning is a potentially dangerous activity. Improper use of tools and/or equipment, products or materials as well as not following recommended safety guidelines can result in serious injury or death. It is your responsibility to make sure you are properly educated in all aspects of woodturning and to follow recommended safety guidelines and manufacturers recommendations regarding the proper use of products to ensure your safety.


Please observe and follow these guidelines while using the Learning Center. The goal is for everyone to have a fun and safe experience while in the Learning Center. It is your responsibility to operate equipment in a safe manner. Remember, there are other people around you. Safety is everyone’s Job.


For additional woodturning safety information, go to the AAW website.


1. Know Your Equipment and Yourself: Never operate a lathe or use a cutting tool, chuck or other accessory without first understanding its operation and limitations. Read and know the instruction manual of any lathe that you use. Never perform a procedure or technique that you are unclear about or uncomfortable with. If you are in doubt, stop and ask for instruction. Know your personal limitations.

2. Police Your Environment. Keep your work area clean. Store tools safely. Don’t allow cords to run across circulation ways. Don’t start your lathe if people are in harm’s way. Ensure that there is adequate light and ventilation. If you are observing someone else, don’t place yourself in harm’s way.

3. Dress for Safety. 
Pull back long hair from the face and secure it so it cannot get tangled up in the machinery or obscure vision. It is recommended that no clothing, jewelry or watches be worn below the elbow. Gloves are not recommended, however, if you do, insure they are tight fitting. It is recommended that Necklaces and loose clothing that could be caught by rotating pieces not be worn. Wear clothing that is well fitted since baggy clothing may get snagged on equipment. Men should never wear ties as they can get caught by rotating pieces. Smocks featuring Velcro sleeves and collars prevent snagging and keep dust out while providing unrestricted movement of the upper body. Heavy and sharp tools can and will fall on the feet. Avoid wearing open toe shoes or sandals

4. Inspect Your Lathe. Inspect the lathe for damaged or missing parts before operating it. Before you start, check to ensure that the speed is appropriate, the drive belt is tight, all locking devices are secure and all chuck keys and adjusting wenches are removed.
            a. Always spin the wood at least one full turn before turning the lathe on every time.
            b. Always stand to the side when starting up a lathe.
            c. Always unplug the power supply before adjusting the belts or touching parts that spin.
            d. Never leave a spinning lathe unattended.

5. Wear Safety Equipment. To operate a lathe or stand near an operating lathe, you must wear eye protection; full face shield is highly recommended. Dust masks are highly recommended.
Anyone under the age of 18, must wear a full-face shield.

6. Secure the Wood. For details on securing your work, reference
“Approved Safe Mounting Practices for Learning Center Events”. Ensure that the wood is securely held. There are many tools / methods available to secure your wood. Select the proper one for your wood piece. Each method has its advantages. Choose the best for your work piece. If you are unsure, ask a monitor for help. Always use a tailstock when possible for additional support. Use a slow speed when first roughing out a piece. Never use wood that is cracked or has other serious defects or significant protrusions.  Additional reference information is the AAW, and a book titled “Fixtures and Chucks for Woodturning” by Doc Green.

7. Practice Safe Techniques.
            a. Keep your tools sharp. Don’t force a tool or use it for an unintended purpose. Reposition the tool rest frequently to keep it close to the work.
            b. Keep your balance and don’t overreach.
            c. Always turn the lathe off and allow it to come to a complete stop before adjusting the tool rest.
            d. Always keep your hands behind the plane of the tool rest. Always keep the tool firmly against the tool rest. Always hold the tool firmly with both hands.
            e. When using a shear cut, rub the bevel. When using a scraping cut, always keep the angle between the wood and cutting edge at less than 90 degrees.
            f. When finishing, always remove the tool rest. Use only paper towels, never woven fabric. On exterior surfaces, apply the towel to the underside of the piece with the wood spinning counterclockwise. On interior surfaces, apply the towel in the lower left-hand quadrant also with the wood spinning counterclockwise.

8. Focus on Your Work. You may not operate a lathe if you have drunk alcohol or taken medication that carries an equipment operations warning. Don’t operate a lathe if you are tired or emotionally upset.


9. Information Location. Familiarize yourself with the location of any medical related information, phone numbers or first aid kits.