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Thread: My first and hopefully LAST lathe accident

  1. #1

    My first and hopefully LAST lathe accident

    HI All,

    I wanted to post this mostly for some of the new turners out there to point out the need to be on your toes when it comes to safety in the shop however it is a reminder for all of us.

    Friday evening, after turning for about 4 hours while preparing for a show, I had my first accident. I was turning the bottom of a 8" Ash bowl when I had to stop and wipe of my face shield. I turned around, took off the shield and wiped it off with a cloth and then turned around just as the bowl came out of the Cole Jaws and hit me in the forehead. It happened so fast I wasn't even aware of it. I remember thinking, "Why do I feel this way?" and then I looked at the lathe and the bowl was gone and then I felt the trickle of blood along my nose. The first picture below was taken in the hospital about an hour after the accident. They took some CAT Scans and determined that there was no fracture or any damage. I was not dizzy, sleepy, Nauseous nor was my vision blurry. So they sent me home and told my wife to check on me a few times during the night.

    The next day I had no pain at all but the swelling started draining down around my eyes just like the doctor said it would. I was back at work today but looked pretty scary. I little early Halloween present for my coworkers. Below are the pictures. The first one is from the hospital about an hour after the accident and the second on is today.

    The mistakes I made where:

    Turning past the point of being tired so I wasn't making the best decisions.
    Not turning off the lathe when I turned around to clean my face shield.
    Not putting my face shield back on before turning back to the lathe.

    In my wood turning club meeting on Sunday, they asked me to get up and talk about it and then the president said that he challenges everyone to talk about their mistakes to other members. Not to me embarrassed or ashamed about it. And I agree. we need to talk about these things and pass on what we learned to help other avoid the same mistakes and be glad we can share them

    I thank God I am OK and can share this with all my friends here in the Creek. For our new friends out there, Please:

    Always where a face shield when facing the lathe
    Where a short sleeved smock or shirt
    Do not wear any jewelry of any kind
    If your hair is much past your shoulders, put it in the pony tail
    And finally, take your time and do not push yourself past your Physical and Mental limits

    Thank You....Jeff Walters

    Accident 1.jpgAccident 2.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. So glad it was not worse, and in a while you will be all healed up. Thanks for the safety reminders, and take good care of yourself!
    Remember, in a moments time, everything can change!

    Vision - not just seeing what is, but seeing what can be!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    South Carolina
    Ouch! Glad it wasn't more serious, and thanks for the reminder!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Ouch! Thanks for sharing and reminding us to be careful!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Virginia Beach, VA.
    Hope you heal quick, thanks for posting and safety reminders

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Harvey, Michigan
    Jeff - stuff happens so quickly - very happy that it wasn't a debilitating injury! Hope you heal quickly and completely! I also agree that sharing accidents and the situations under which they happen may help prevent future injuries just by alerting others to the hazards.

    “You never know what you got til it's gone!”
    Please don’t let that happen!
    Become a financial Contributor today!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
    St. Francis, Kansas
    Happy to hear you're ok, Mr. Jeff. That looks like it smarted a little! its appreciated to hear about things like this. As a beginner, it makes me more aware of the things that can happen, & how fast they do. Get well quick, Sir!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    "Brownsville", North Queensland, Australia.
    Jeff I hope you heal quickly. Thank you for sharing your experience. I agree - turners do need to talk about these things more often & should not feel embarrassed about sharing their experiences.

    I am so thankful you were not more seriously injured.

  9. #9
    Thank you for having the courage to post this. My experience as an electrician has taught me that it is oftentimes the more seasoned operator who gets hurt because over time they sometimes lose their fear ( respect ) for the potential dangers. I think it is human nature that we get "cocky" or perhaps over confident and hence take chances. Thank God you are okay and best of luck getting back at it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Washington state
    You forgot to include: Keep all factory guards in place when possible.

  11. #11
    That's a very good point.

  12. #12
    Hello guys. 1st post. Thanks Jeff for sharing your experience. Again, good that you are ok. You mentioned cole jaws and I, being a user of them also, wonder what speed you were operating at and why did the bowl come off?

  13. #13
    I was turning a little higher than recomended, 800 RPM. As far as why it came off, I am not sure. I suspect it loosened up and was ready to go anyway. Just my luck that it caught me with my shield off.


  14. #14
    Yessir, that sounds a high. I have the 16 inch Big Easy cole jaws from Easy Tools and have not had it over 400 rpms on my Grizzly GO733. Have never worn a face shield while using it. That might now change.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Great Falls, VA
    Thanks for posting, Jeff. Looks like you're on the mend.

    I'll add another safety point. Wood fibers crush with pressure and move with moisture exchange. So it never hurts to stop from time to time and recheck the tightness of the chuck jaws or Cole jaws on the work piece.

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