Turning Archive 2008

Something to watch out for

Ellis Walentine
>In my 49 years of woodturning, I have never had an experience like the one I had last Sunday. I was hollowing a little cherry pot/vase using a small goose-neck Jordan hollowing tool. I had to swing the tool into the somewhat long neck of the vase because of the curvature of the goose-neck shank, but when I finished my cut, I inadvertently pulled the tool straight out instead of swinging it. This had the effect of jamming the tool in the neck of the vase.

Well, I had never seen a lathe tool go from 0 to 1500 rpm in zero seconds flat, but that's what happened. By the time I could let it go, the rubber-coated handle had already sizzled the crook of my hand. Today I have some dandy blisters to show for it, along with a new respect for this particular danger. It could have been worse.

After reflecting on my experience for a while, I had an even creepier thought: What if I had been using a tool with a forearm clip? A catch like that would have spun my whole arm off in a split second!

I don't mean to sound alarmist; I just wanted to let you know about something that could ruin your whole day.


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