Turning Archive 2004

Gloves revisited... Have to wade in on this one...

John Cotten
>I have been turning since 8 years old. I am now 43, 35 yeras. In that time I have had numerous cuts, abrasions, nicks, tears, and a very very few burns.

I have also seen Rude Osolnik turn, and would not advise most people to follow Rudes lead on nearly anything regarding safety and the wood lathe (those that knew him are chuckling at this statement for good reason)

I have also twice in my woodworking career seen two severe accidents which were caused by a turning wearing gloves. One young man had the skin stripped off his bone on his middle finger of his left hand when the tight fitting leather bikers glove was caught by a large splinter that stabbed into the back of the glove, drawing it into the tool rest and the spinning wood.

The second involed a guy who was complaining about his tools getting hot wearing welding type gloves while roughing out a large bowl. The glove got caught by a loose piece of wood, and broke three fingers and two of the bones in his hands.

The bottom line, wear gloves if you want. I won't.

If your tool is getting hot, it is time to dunk it. Keep a container of water beside your lathe to dip the tool in routinely. Not only will it preserve the edge longer, but if you are getting hot chips off the lathe, green or dry wood, you are burning the temper out of the tool, and reducing the ability for the tool to hold an edge.

As far as your skin is concerned, toughen up. If the chips are getting that hot coming off the wood green or dry, you are case hardening the surface, and creating a likely hood of the wood splitting or cracking from heat expansion. Same reason you should sand at slower speeds.

The heating of the wood will cause destortion, which is why sometimes when you have a perfectly round rim turning the outside, then change to the chuck to start the inside you suddenly have an oval shaped piece.

If you are turning without gloves and feel this heat, it is time to back off the lathe for a few moments, and let the tool and the wood cool down.

As far as the splinters etc. Thats woodworking.

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