How to Safely use a Lathe Machine
Updated: Aug 5
A lathe machine is a tool that rotates a workpiece about an axis of rotation to perform various operations such as cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling, deformation, facing, and turning. The target object is clamped securely and rotated on an axis while the tools work on it symmetrically. Lathes are used in woodturning, metalworking, metal spinning, thermal spraying, parts reclamation, and glass-working. Lathes can also be used to shape pottery.
You need to be careful when using lathe machines, as carelessness can lead to workplace mishaps.
Wooden or metal chips can often jump out and poke you, this can endanger sensitive organs like your eyes. Make sure to wear industrial safety glasses with side shields to protect your eyesight from all sides reducing any chances of these particles slipping into your eyes.
Only very short lengths or pads of cloth, which are incapable of causing entanglements. This is to ensure that no clothing article gets caught in the machine while operating so that you are not put in harm's way. If wearing overall sleeves, they should be tight-fitting and gloves should never be worn.
SECURING WORK BEFORE OPERATING
Before you begin operating the lathe, make sure the workpiece is centred and tightly clamped. Adjust the cutting tool and rest so that they are just above the centre of the workpiece. Remove the chuck key before you turn on the power. Start with a low rotational setting and gradually increase the speed as you go.
SWITCHING OFF BEFORE ADJUSTING
make sure to turn off your machine before you start making any adjustments. Ensure that the machine is unplugged from the power socket and wait for it to come to a proper halt.
CLEAN UP SAFETY
Thoroughly clean your work area after using the lathe. Sweep up the scraps from the work area with a brush or broom. Do not use your hands to do so as the scraps could be pointy and poke you.
Checking for any damaged components and replacing the worn-out parts when necessary. Regular maintenance of any machine is an important safety measure which is often neglected.