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Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/02/2014 2:25 PM

I would be interested in your views on this question. Is it against health and safety laws to turn wood in a metalworking lathe? We have been hit with this one from a H&S officer who says it shouldn't be done. It involved kids occasionally turning small jobs at low speed in a dry lathe ( no coolant) to make wheels for toy trucks. They would use a three jaw chuck with roughly rounded short blanks of hardwood if necessary with a running centre support. They would turn to dia, face off and then saw off on the bench before facing the other side. Is it any more dangerous than turning nylon or other plastics which are often machined like this. Lathe is a small Boxford. Lathe tools only used with no chisels etc. Sometimes I think H&S people go too far or am I wrong?

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#1

Re: turning wood in a metalwork lathe

12/02/2014 2:31 PM

The safety issue is that wood can be compressed and can also be unstable where it could split or crack and fly out.

There are experienced craftsman who do use chucks on intricate work, evaluate your risks.

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#2

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/02/2014 3:10 PM

"Sometimes I think H&S people go too far" is probably a feeling held by everyone, except H&S people.

I see no difference between this and turning it on a wood lathe.

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#3

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/02/2014 3:23 PM

There are a lot of companies that use metal working machines to work wood. The people here are not the one you have to convince. I also don't know what your position is to argue with your H&S officer. That is a battle you may not win. As it may not have nothing to do with the use of the equipment but who is using it. And the liability it involves for the company.

I myself use metal working machines when there is a necessity. As long as all the guards are in place and safety precautions are followed. I see no problem with using metal working machines to work wood.

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#4

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/02/2014 3:36 PM

"involved kids" how old?

Search for "Lathe accidents".

Either tool can hurt the operator. The other concern is the wood dust inhaled into the lungs. This can be just as bad as asbestos.

I don't trust kids, teenagers being the dumbest.

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#5

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/02/2014 4:14 PM

A metal lathe might not turn as fast as ideal, but it will work. What would an H&S "officer" ever really know about such topics?

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#16
In reply to #5

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/03/2014 2:18 AM

Agreed. Bunch of knowledge wannabees and just waste good oxygen most of the time.

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#6

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/02/2014 4:32 PM

If there are no specific provisions covering a scenario, a H&S officer can rule either way, but the idea behind its decision is largely "will insurance cover this case if something nasty, however improbable happens?" You can't blame him for that.

Now I've turned wood numerous times on my prototyping, VFD controlled motor metal lathe, and the reason I regret it every single time is the wood chip cleaning I have to do afterwards.

But I know for a fact that it is LESS dangerous to turn wood in a metal lathe than on a wood one, ON ONE CONDITION, spindle acceleration is also controllable not only speed, something that may not be the case for a clutch operated metalworking lathe for example. That could prove lethal.

A metal piece tightly attached to a chuck doesn't care much about spindle acceleration. Can you say that for a marginally attached unbalanced, heavy log? S.M.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/02/2014 5:21 PM

Thanks for everyone's comments so far and I can see there is a lot of sympathy out there we have all come across instances like this. To be clear I am talking about 14 to 16 yr old students, wheel dia up to 60 mm no logs, length max 125 mm, speed <250 rpm, chuck guarded with interlock, small roughing tools, sandpaper finish, time served engineer and degree level educated teacher 25 years in DT and engineering, dust extraction available via vac extractor. Also any chuck will throw metal or plastic or wood if used unsafely e.g. keep check on chuck jaw tightness and running centre adjusted. I am sure I've seen chuck attachments for wood lathes and to be honest as an engineer the first time I used a wood turning lathe scared me to death, hand held tools, tool rest gaps that grow, high speeds I feel much more in control on a metalworking lathe any day.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/02/2014 6:05 PM

Ask the HSE officer what his specific concerns are. List them out as a risk assessment and work with him to mitigate the risks to an acceptable level. Sounds like you already have the controls in place.

Size limits on workpiece, controlled speed, interlock, supervised by qualified personnel, dust extraction etc. etc.

HSE guys concerns are often valid, just work with him to risk assess them out.

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#18
In reply to #8

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/03/2014 3:47 AM

A very reasonable and considered response...

However, all this discussion, risk assessment etc, takes time resources and has a cost.

For every one person actually doing useful work there are a host of hangers on, auditing, accounting,regulating and certifying the viability out of industry.

I'm not anti-HSE I'm just anti irrelevant bureaucracy and idiots.

Del

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#22
In reply to #18

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/03/2014 9:47 AM

I agree. Corporation do such worthless processes in order to protect stakeholders as they say, not minding in engineering sense, a process oriented corporation spends a lot of expenses, waste of time additional delays of process, customer's hanging for a speedy actions so on and so forth.

I've been there inside a corporation once, I distaste the approach so as the managers seem to be by the book performing their best, losing sales in the other side of it. it does not make sense to thermodynamics, entropy production is directly proportional to the number of processes in the system. The more process the more the losses.

Process Oriented corporation is like a computer who is infected by a worm. Worm creates new folder from time to time until there were many and the system becomes slower and slower gradually.

Some corporation has a stinky customer feedback because of this.

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#23
In reply to #18

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/03/2014 10:37 AM

"I'm not anti-HSE I'm just anti irrelevant bureaucracy and idiots."

Well, the 'irrelevant bureaucracy' the HSE is bringing up is exactly the thing needed to protect the organization if something goes wrong and the Insurance Company wants to storm in swinging the Golden Finehammer of Thor(1) two-handed.HSE's job is to make sure that nothing being done will attract the 'undue attention' of the Insurance Adjuster(2) or the OSHA Inspector.

Yes all the rules, regulations, safety interlocks, shields and guards might cut into Sacred Productivity (and the company bottom line) but not as much as a single accident will, once you realize that the equipment will need to be shut down until the OSHA inspector and Insurance Adjustor get a good look at it, the injured employee will not be able to contribute at 100% productivity until he recovers (if he will recover), as well as the direct costs from the injury lawsuit (and there WILL be one, those injury lawyers can smell a fresh case like sharks smelling blood in the water.(3)

Notes:

1) Similar to the Golden Banhammer that forum moderators use to smack unruly participants out of the forum with, except the Finehammer hurts more than the Banhammer. The Banhammer only injures your Pride and Reputation, the Finehammer hits you square in the coin purse.

2) Why don't we just call them Insurance Inflators, they seem to only adjust rates UP, no matter what happens.

3) I'm sorry, that simile fell flat, since i was describing the exact same thing on both sides, like saying 'that apple is red like an apple.' I apologize.

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#9

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/02/2014 7:39 PM

I wonder if he is the same guy who did the inspection for the company I work for that told us we could no longer store our pallets of bottled water in our main furnace room due to the potential flammability of the plastic bottles.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/02/2014 7:53 PM

Did you explain to him that they were furnace fuel and you were going to burn them??

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#13
In reply to #10

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/03/2014 12:25 AM

No. But I was planning on mentioning during our next company safety meeting when we are being reviewed by our H & S people that several of our crew gotten severally sick over the last year or more due to direct exposures to a volatile mix of ethyl alcohol and hydrogen hydroxide to see what sorts of concerns that bring up!

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#11

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/02/2014 9:03 PM

Kind of overkill, but...

The downside is the sawdust sticks to the oils left over by the metalworking and tends to gum up the ways, too. Makes cleanup a bitch.

Same goes for a milling machine.

The best thing to do is to rig up a shop vac to suck up the wood dust before it spreads around.

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#12

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/02/2014 10:44 PM

I would suggest that your OHS guy is over-stepping the bounds of reality

Having used both metal and woodworking lathes for many - many years, I can attest to the fact that turning wood on a metal lathe is far safer than doing so on a wood lathe, this is especially the case for beginners.

The main concern is the relative control of the cutting tool.

On a metal lathe it is secured in the tool post, but on a wood lathe you generally have the business end of the tool sitting on a tool rest and the rear end is in your hands.

Even a slight over exuberance with the plunge rate and the tool will jam in the wood with the result that the free end is torn from your hand and embedded in your face or elsewhere. Broken arms have happened!!

The only real concern with using the wood lathe is cleanup, as wood shavings certainly adhere to oil and cutting fluids.

As has been stated, a dog chuck does have the disadvantage of coming loose over time as the wood compresses, but exactly the same items are used all of the time on wood lathes by professional wood turners.

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#14

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/03/2014 12:59 AM

No difference, I built a Bass using my machine shop using a couple lathes, and Bridgeports to build an electric Bass. You can view this on

http://www.fretlessbass.com/cgi-bin/bizdb-search.cgi?template=fretless-detail.html&dbname=fretless1&key2=000364&action=searchdbdisplay

Took this on tour in 1986, not long after Steinberger came out with his line. I wasn't trying to create a line , I just wanted what I wanted to make. I still have this and my Fender Precision. All wood.

So you can do wood work on metal machine equipment.

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#15

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/03/2014 12:59 AM

Is that an internal H&S officer or a public employee?

Find out what the concern is and mitigate or demonstrate that the problem is not realistic.

On any lathe, face shields, guards, and dust control is a must.

I have turned wood on the wood lathe and on the metal lathe. However, I use very high speed on the metal lathe, to be closer to the wood lathe operation. I use a very sharp carbide tool that is meant for aluminum, and the "knife" edge it has takes off a beautiful shaving. On the metal lathe it is easy to hold 10 or 20 thou on the finished piece. (be careful hand sanding in the lathe - it can catch your paper and clothing in a blink of an eye.) I have found the metal turning jaws hold the pieces far better than the wood turning setups. You can also adapt a wood turning spur for turning between centers. But it sounds like you are turning a wheel and parting it off. Personally I can't distinguish between turning wood, micarda, plastic, etc. My old lathe manual for a Sears metal lathe has an entire chapter on turning wood in the metal lathe.

Cleaning the sawdust off the ways after is a bother - it blots up the oil, and tends to get under the slides. But some creative shields can mitigate the problems ( look up grinding on the metal lathe).

(As an anecdote: At one plant we asked the press operator to cold form polycarbonate (Lexan) - He could not distinguish it from acrylic and plexiglass, and those are forbidden to cold form - eventually we got around the issue by educating, and clearly marking all Lexan supplies.)

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#17

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/03/2014 3:38 AM

The H&S guy is an idiot, it's about cutting speeds, holding the work piece, appropriate tool etc... hey, that's just the same as cutting any material!

Ask him for an exhaustive list of what is ok to turn. Presumably he's happy for you to turn plastics, what about resin impregnated cloth (tufnol?) etc.
That will keep him busy for a while... then when he's finished say to him... ah, but what about horn? When he comes back with an answer for that ask, what about antler? etc etc.
Del

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I use my small lathe for tapering arrows, turning up points etc and have used it on a variety of woods, horn and antler

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#21
In reply to #17

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/03/2014 7:27 AM

Exactly...it's like asking if an electric drill is suitable for drilling both wood and metal.

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#19

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/03/2014 4:34 AM

Maybe the H&S guy has just studied the subject but never experienced the difference between working on a wood-turners lathe and a machinist lathe. That experience would lead the risk acessment to different results.

Fine wood dust can really be a big concern - different wood are causing lung cancer! To protect against this dust management with a shop vacuum is not enough.

On the other hand youngsters in this age have to learn that safety should also be their own concern for life and they have to start with first - here well controlled - risks and assess the impact of their own actions to their person. So it is mandatory to give them a harsh run-down of the safety measures (in the 6th we were presented a film of a scalp drawn into a drill press and the skin of the person after a multi$$ treatment). Youngsters have to hair covered, to wear eye and hearing protection. And also important is work-wear which can not entangle with the machine - no long sleeves , work shoes and then you have to teach them how to work safely - but without a lathe, a drill press?? You can get hurt even when working on a vise with a file - but everybody has to get this experience to be able for life - H&S guys should know that too...

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#34
In reply to #19

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/10/2014 12:59 AM

On the long sleeves, one morning I was turning a piece in the lathe using the screws, as time went on I felt this drag on my right shoulder, next thing I knew my shirt was wrapped around the threads and was pulling me into them. I had .5" left on my left arm to put the lathe in neutral, I was able to reverse from that point and unwrap my shirt and body from the lathe. Never let any more loose clothing near the lathes or Bridgeports. Welding , whole nother story. Can't escape upside down I lost the bead, caught my shirt on fire under the machine. Knocked it out finished welding then bandaged up the burn. That was belly scar 1978. I have many more.

Last major issue, severed tendon left hand middle finger while inserting a 1400 amp circuit internal panel in the back box. Schneider back box had such an edge, cut right through tendon. Now 4 years later, I can still play my Bass!! Your fingers have extra tendons in case of the main tendon being cut. Human body is an amazing machine.

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#38
In reply to #34

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/11/2014 3:22 AM

maybe bass players have extra tendons...not too sure about the rest of us!

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#35
In reply to #19

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/10/2014 2:30 PM

It's currently 40* F in the room that has my lathe. You bet I have long sleeves on. Also a closely fitting coat! Long sleeves are at times a necessity, but common sense and snug cuffs can remove the threat of injury. We learned in grammar school shop classes to either roll up your sleeves or keep them buttoned. In that era, ties were worn in school and tucked inside your shirt. We never had injuries if those requirements were met. As far as lathe chisels are concerned, your fingers should always be on the handle side of the tool rest where they won't be 'bit' by a sharp edge, or caught between the rest and the work. If a wood turning chisel gets a 'catch', it is most likely to either be dragged under the workpiece or tossed out on the far side of the lathe, one reason lathes are usually not set up in the middle of a room.

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#20

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/03/2014 7:18 AM

A lathe is a tool and you can use it in any appropriate manor whether for cutting metal wood plastic, or whatever. I once used a lathe to drive a suspect faulty car alternator to test the output voltage and current at various speeds.

Unfortunately we have moved into an area of blame culture and you risk being heavily sued for trivial errors traceable to non-compliance, however unlikely they might be.

Your H&S officer needs to be pinned down on record (an audit trail) for the decision to abandon training, buy woodwork lathes, or take the risk.

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#24

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/03/2014 3:39 PM

Pretty much, just go ahead and shut the whole class down, and have the youngsters sitting on their thumbs for one hour.

Then when the complaints start pouring in, and they will, just point the protesters to the H&S dude - and tell them he said so.

Or teach the kids how to tie a ball bearing inside a monkey fist, and show them how to sling a bow line. (Actually, the Navy may have outlawed using steel inside a monkey fist (1)too many head knockers on the shore personnel, (2) too many longshoremen in the hospital (on the civial side of the coin), and (3)Navy guys were winning all the bar fights.

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#25

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/04/2014 12:18 AM

A lathe is a lathe is a lathe. Yes, there are differences, but for what you are doing the only real difference is in the clean-up. I worked in a fiberglass fishing rod factory years ago and we used metal lathes for turning wood parts all the time. The true safety issues are more what safety clothing and accessories your students are using; i.e. dust masks, hearing protection and face shields. I still do wood turning, on a wood lathe now, and I occasionally turn softer metals on that!

BTW One of my on-line mentors insists that no cloth should ever be used on a spinning part. It's too easy to catch the cloth and pull a hand into the work. Also, no loose clothing and no rings. I've seen a ring strip the meat off finger bones. (A newly wed whose wife insisted he wear it. Should have heard what he said-after the fact!)

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#26
In reply to #25

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/04/2014 7:35 AM

Thanks Bluebelly and all the other sensible contributers to this discussion. I think you hit the nail on the head. The term metalworking lathe is wrong, in fact its a lathe and we only use that term when referencing it so as not to confuse it with a woodworking lathe. This set me thinking and I looked through Boxfords online pdf manuals and saw this.

http://www.pulse-jets.com/boxford/boxford_know_your_lathe.pdf

check out page 28.

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/04/2014 8:35 AM

Excellent... I suggest that table should be printed, rolled up and shoved up the H&S guy's.....

Del

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#28
In reply to #26

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/04/2014 11:23 AM

Thank you greatly for that link! I never had a good lathe class, but learned from watching sometimes at my brother-in-law's place of employment (he was oil-rig welder) in their rather nice machine shop. My uncle wanted to "adopt" me for a time, and teach me high large horizontal mill, etc. in his barn, but I stayed in school, and now look at me. The lathe I own is a micro from Taig Tool in Chandler, AZ. It is a nice machine for small items.

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/04/2014 4:51 PM

For any who want a good insight into how to use a machinist lathe, there are 2 very good books on the subject that I would recommend.

The first is called "The amateur's lathe" By Lawrence Sparey. It was first published in 1948 and is still in print - which says quite a lot about the quality of the information. Good value for around $20.

A bit over 200 pages of really good tuition with an excellent index. Although there is nothing in there about woodcutting, he covers just about everything else you may need to know about how to use and care for a lathe, marking and setting out the job, sharpening and using twist drills and reamers, screwcutting, using the lathe as a Mill, parting off, etc.

Not much in there about more modern equipment such as carbide inserts etc, but that is a minor negative as once you can use HSS cutters with confidence, the carbides are a breeze.

Google the book's name and you should get some excellent book reviews.

The second book is called " Lathework, a complete course" by Harold Hall. Not nearly as good as Sparey's book in my opinion as it deals with specific projects, but it still has a wealth of information for the beginner.

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/04/2014 5:21 PM

I was lucky enough to be paid to learn how to use a mill and lathe, by a master machinist who was also paid to teach us.

Tool grinding (aside from math) is the most critical, and difficult, part of learning to be a machinist.

Unfortunately, real machinists are a dying breed. They are being replaced by CAD operators and programmers.

And <he turns head, spits on floor> rapid prototyping.

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#31
In reply to #30

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/04/2014 5:43 PM

So, you have a rather low opinion of additive manufacturing? I understand they now know how to do additive AND subtractive. They used to call that a welding/machine shop.

The first time I attempted wood cutting on my (metal) lathe, I got a nasty surprise when it tossed a chunk of broom handle at me. That stuff is way soft to chuck up. I was making a fire starter or something like that. Later on a managed a thin culinder of wood (I think this was poplar I had shaped from an approximate square) to fit between a metal rod and a piece of tubing with a snug fit (not press fit). Later on, the wood was to be soaked in electrolyte for a "battery" test, and it swoll up enough I will never get all that apart again, other than total destruction. By the way, I was the kid in shop class that was always embedding chisels in the opposing wall.

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#32
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Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/04/2014 5:54 PM

Not really. Just like a self pointing car, it takes the human element out of the equation.

Not all bad unless your an old man like me.

Actually, if I had room I might get a

MakerBot Replicator® Mini

.

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#33

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/09/2014 11:09 PM

Having been the EH&S guy for part of my career and always indirectly responsible for safety, yours is a very incompetent one.

During my wilder days I made BEER CAN lamps, table and floor models. It was always safer to use the metal lathe than the wood one. The bases were turned round pieces of 1" mahogany. With the wood lathe I was holding a very sharp gouge that could get caught and do a good job of piercing my hand completely through it. On the tool rest my hand was only a couple of inches away,

With the metal lathe my biggest problem was safe boredom. When set up the metal lathe would give a smooth surface which only needed light sanding as it rotated in the lathe. Make it even safer by also using a live center. With guards in place there was no hazard to my hands or my eyes or hay fever. Standing 5' away and not touching anything as it rotates is much better Mr EH&S man. How do you do your risk evaluations?

Finish wise the metal lathe does a far superior job. Cut is consistent and can be set to have a small travel of the tool as the piece rotates. Looks great that way! Have your EH&S guy contact me and I will show him how to turn wood on a metal lathe and also how to do a Risk Evaluation based on common sense.

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#36

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/10/2014 8:03 PM

To say the least, I am impressed with the consciousness of most of the contributors for safety when operating a lathe and other machine shop machines. This and the past Sunday being the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941, brought to mind an icon of the WWII home front war efforts, "Rosie the Riveter". Some of the older CR4 members may remember the pictures of "her" or known someone by that nickname. Those in the "middle age group" remember seeing still hanging posters encouraging women to join the effort. Unless they have looked in the history books or who had a grandmother or Great-grandmother who was one they probably never heard of her.

When you see her she always has her hair tied up with a bandana to keep it from being pulled into a lathe chuck or a drill press. Her sleeves are always short or has them rolled up to prevent them from being caught in something. If she is welding she has the proper gloves on, long sleeves and sometimes leathers, and a welding shield. The riveter has her goggles on under her face shield and leather gloves. Rosie was safety conscience and set an example for the working force and safety.

Rosie was able to keep herself safe, why can't we? Follow her example and keep yourself safe. During the EH&S part of my career, I had seen some pretty ugly pictures of people hurt in accidents. Please don't be one of them, stay safe and contribute to CR4!

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/11/2014 12:11 AM

I was born in '46 so missed the war, but Rosie was still around well into the 50's. Remember Herman? He was the opposite of Rosie. Always getting into trouble and being a great 'horrible example.

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#39

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

12/21/2014 11:29 PM

Here is my answer. There are a few issues that could cause concern. The kids must be supervised while using the equipment. All persons using the machine have been trained. Make sure the chuck is tight and checked frequently as wood has a tendency to compress an loosen in the chuck. And now for the most important difference. Metal chips tend to be larger and fall into the chip tray. Machining wood will raise a lot of dust. Make sure you have dust extraction and the kids are wearing the properly rated dust masks. Be vigilant around the kids and machinery, accidents happen and they happen quickly. Now for your H&S person. They have higher authority than you and are looking out for everyone's Health & Safety. It is your responsibility to inform / teach H&S of the actions taken to reduce the perceived violation and why you believe it is safe to continue as you were doing.

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#40

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

01/30/2015 2:06 PM

If the lathe is going to be dedicated to wood, then there is no problem.

The thing that gets the H&S people upset is seeing 'Large Tools' being swapped between wood and metal cutting. The reasoning is as follows:

  1. Large Tools, such as bandsaws, table saws, and lathes have several nooks and crannies that are difficult to clean.
  2. If those tools are used on wood, the fine sawdust (and almost every machining operation done on wood will generate various 'grades' of chips and dust) can accumulate in those nooks and cranies.
  3. If a 'wood contaminated' Large Tool is used on metal, it can produce sparks, which could reach the fine sawdust and cause a fire or explosion.

No, the word explosion is not hyperbole. Sawdust is flammable, and in the right concentrations in a (semi)enclosed area can become a Dust Bomb. This is also why Dust Collection is Serious Business in woodshops these days. At least in the woodshops that don't want to explode.

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#41
In reply to #40

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

01/30/2015 5:17 PM

Hi adreasier

Sounds a bit contrived to me I reckon you would have to do some pretty serious high speed ceramic chip turning to get any where near a spark and to be honest have never seen sparks produced in general use. as for setting fire to a steel bed lathe I think that is also unlikely. I would even say I bet you couldn't do it if you tried hard to.

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#42
In reply to #41

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

01/31/2015 12:19 AM

I saw an interesting fire in a paper machine winder. Cast frame 20 feet high, lots of paper dust accumulation, a little dribble of hydraulic fluid, so you end up with oil soaked paper dust a couple inches thick (poor house keeping!).

A bright spark lights a torch to cut off a bracket above all this, without following wet down procedures.

It went off like a chimney fire - the cast iron frame was OK, but it kind of messed up the wiring and hydraulic hoses, so the maintenance day took a couple more days to clean it all up.

Now if you can manage that in your lathe (a half dozen years of 24/7 dust accumulation) - you may have a problem. Clean up after each shift and I doubt you could cook a marshmallow.

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#43
In reply to #42

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

02/02/2015 9:44 AM

Perhaps I've just run into the wrong kind of 'machine shop workers' (I'm deliberately avoiding the word 'machinist,' as that implies training, and I've seen many who act as if they've never had a day of training on ANYTHING in their lives), but from my experience, it would seem that 'poor housekeeping' is more the norm than the exception in machine shops. The 'tool room' (machine shop) at the plant I work at is a notable case for clenliness, but that's because the whole plant follows the SQF regulations. Most of the other machine shops I've seen make me want to get a Tetnus shot just looking through an open door into the room.

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#44
In reply to #43

Re: Turning Wood in a Metalwork Lathe

02/03/2015 6:24 PM

http://globalnews.ca/news/1604346/16x9-investigation-what-was-behind-the-deadly-b-c-sawmills-explosions/

Just your average saw mill

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