eTools Home : Woodworking Safety and Health Topic Page | Credits
Wood Products: Woodworking Wood Products: Woodworking eTool
slide show>> Woodworking eTool
  Rough Mill   Production   Assembly   Finishing/ Chemicals Packaging/ Shipping
    >>Production

Production > Lathes
Lathes are used for shaping round parts, such as table legs. Two types of lathes are used in the woodworking industry: automatic-feed and manual-feed. In an automatic-feed lathe, the stock, mounted on a carriage, is moved into contact with a multiple-knife cutter head that runs the entire length of the stock. The stock rotates at a low speed, while the cutter rotates faster. Using a feed lever, the operator feeds the stock into the cutter head and maintains the proper pressure for effective cutting.

In a hand-fed lathe, the stock, mounted between two centers, rotates rapidly while the operator applies a single-point tool to the wood. The operator holds the tool on a tool rest and advances it along the length of the tool rest to shape the stock as desired.

The primary hazards of lathes are contact with rotating parts and contact at the point of operation. Operators' hands, clothing, or jewelry may be caught on the rotating parts and pulled into the machine. The danger is greater with hand-fed lathes, because the operator works in such close proximity to the rotating stock and the cutting tool. With automatic lathes, the operator can contact the rotating parts if he or she reaches into the work area to adjust components while the machine is running. Flying chips are also a hazard on lathes.



>> Production Machines/Tools
> Wood Dust
> Noise
> Vibration
> Electrical Hazards
> Machine Maintenance
> Fire and Explosion
Point of Operation Top
Potential Hazard: Possible Solutions:

Engineering Controls
  • For automatic wood-turning lathes with rotating knives, cover the cutter head with a metal shield or hood that completely covers the knives and material, except at the contact points, when the machine is in operation [29 CFR 1910.213(o)(3)]. A hinged shield permits adjustments when needed.

  • For manual lathes, cover the cutter heads as completely as possible with a hood or shield [29 CFR 1910.213(o)(2)].

  • Cover lathes used for turning long stock with long curved guards extending over the top of the lathe [29 CFR 1910.213(o)(4)]. Such guards prevent the stock from being thrown from the machine, should the stock come loose.
  • On hand-fed lathes, guard the tool and point of operation with a plexiglass tool guard, as shown in Fig. 1.

  • Enclose the power transmission with a fixed guard [29 CFR 1910.219].
Work Practices
  • Make sure the tool rest is set close to the stock. Work only in the area covered by the tool rest; do not attempt to support the tool with your hands. Adjust the tool rest when the lathe is not running.
 
Plexiglass guard on lathe
Fig. 1 - Plexiglass guard on lathe

Top


Rotating Parts Top
Potential Hazard:
  • Rotating parts - Clothing, hair, or hands may be caught by and pulled into the cutter or the rotating stock.
Possible Solutions:

Engineering Controls
  • For manual lathes, cover the cutter heads as completely as possible with a hood or shield [29 CFR 1910.213(o)(2)].

  • Cover lathes used for turning long stock with long curved guards extending over the top of the lathe [29 CFR 1910.213(o)(4)]. Such guards prevent the stock from being thrown from the machine, should the stock come loose.

  • Install a brake for bringing the stock to a complete stop after the power is shut off.
Work Practices
  • Never permit operators to wear loose clothing, long hair, jewelry, or gloves.
Top


Flying Chips Top
Potential Hazard:
  • Flying chips - Wood splinters and chips may be thrown by the cutting action.
Possible Solutions:

Work Practices
  • Make sure tools are properly adjusted and used in a proper manner.

  • Do not use stock that has checks, splits, cracks, or knots.

  • Allow glued joints to dry before working on stock.
Top


Kickbacks Top
Potential Hazard:
  • Kickbacks - The work piece may be thrown out.
Possible Solutions:

Engineering Controls
  • Cover lathes used for turning long stock with long curved guards extending over the top of the lathe [29 CFR 1910.213(o)(4)]. Such guards prevent the stock from being thrown from the machine, should the stock come loose.

  • Install a brake for bringing the stock to a complete stop after the power is shut off.

  • On hand-fed lathes, guard the tool and point of operation with a plexiglass tool guard, as shown in Fig. 1.
Work Practices
  • Make sure tools are properly adjusted and used in a proper manner.

  • Do not use stock that has checks, splits, cracks, or knots.

  • Allow glued joints to dry before working on stock.

  • Hold tools firmly in both hands.
Top
 
Home | Rough Mill | Production | Assembly
Finishing/Chemicals | Packaging/Shipping | Additional References
 
eTools Home : Woodworking Safety and Health Topic Page | Credits