When Bad Things Happen

Nobody is perfect, least of all me. I try to be very careful around my power tools because they are inherently very dangerous. I have had a few close calls bust I still have all of my fingers and toes, eyes and ears and handsome face. Knock on wood! Sometimes things just happen on the lathe. Sometimes it’s because I loose concentration or I get careless or sometimes it’s just a mystery to me.

I always wore heavy duty safety glasses until last month. Then I was attending a turning demo and the instructor told us of his best friend who got hit in the face on two separate occasions by rocketed pieces of wood coming off the lathe at ninety miles an hour. You can’t react fast enough to get out of the way of that. His friend had plastic surgery two times. I now wear a full face shield every time I turn on the lathe.

This bowl was turning at about 750 rpms. I was stepping away from a cut and relaxed my arm before removing the tool from the tool rest. I was careless moving my bowl gouge off of the tool rest and it moved forward just a hair. The tip caught the wood and pulled the tool down and into the wood. The tool did not give, nor did the tool rest. All of that kinetic energy was transferred into the wood. BAM! Scared the stuff out-a-me. Now I will have to make a mid project correction to save all of my work I put into this bowl.


Being inexperienced can also make for some interesting failures. My most common is misjudging the thickness of my walls or the bottom of my work. When you really misjudge, the inside of your piece meets the outside of your piece. As you can imagine this happenstance is not desirable. This cherry bowl is what happens when you go too far trying to get really thin walls.cherry

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