Turning Archive 2005

A lesson learned the hard way

Duane C.Leach
>I learned to listen to my inner voice again yesterday. The lesson learned was speed and turning don't mix.

Sunday at our club meeting I agreed to hold a contest. The contest-- Three teams of two turners each would get twenty minutes per team to turn a piece to as near to completion as possible. The wining team would be the team that turned the best piece.

The problem-- Some of the contestants had never turned on this large of lathe before ( a Jet 1642).They were used to turning on a midi lathe. Some were un familiar with this lathe, the speed control, the on off switch, the chuck. And worst of all. Each of the turners were in to big a hurry. Trying to get as much done in the time limit. And to many people to close to the lathe trying to see better.

What happened.-- The second team started. They mounted the 10" wet bowl blank to the lathe and turned it on. At 1800 rpm the unbalanced and poorly secured blank came flying off the lathe. At this point it is un clear wither the turner had a catch or the bark came loose. The blank flew up and back, over our heads, hit the wall some 8' behind the lathe, and bounced off the wall and hit me on the head. Knocked me unconscious. It left me with a concussion and 7 staples in my scalp. Thank God for those who helped stop the bleeding and get me up.

The lessons learned.
1. Turning is not an activity where speed of anything but the lathe rpm should be of importance.

2. Take the time to know the lathe and tools you are going to work with.

3. Take all efforts to secure the blank to the lathe.

4. By standers should be kept at a safe distance from the running lathe at all times.

5. If you have any doubts then don't it, turning or leading.

I don't blame anyone for this accident but myself. I new better than to hold a compition of speed. But wanted to keep other folks happy.

I hope this will help you with your next demonstration,club meeting, or at home.

Turning is fun, hospital emergency rooms are not.

Thanks for reading.

Duane Leach

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