EdApp by SafetyCulture

Lathe Safety

By EdApp
4 Lessons
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This course is free and editable. Yours to re-brand and tailor to your needs!

About this course

Lathes are used for shaping round parts and is an extremely useful tool to have but paired with inexperience and lack of awareness of the hazards it comes with, it's use can prove quite dangerous. This course aims to provide workers with the knowledge on what lathe is and how to use it safely and efficiently.

Lathe Safety Lessons

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  1. Introduction
  2. Types & Usage
  3. Safe Use
  4. General Precautions

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Lathe Safety course excerpts


Lathe Safety Course - Lesson Excerpt


Lathe is a tool that rotates the workpiece on its axis to perform various operations with tools that are applied to the workpiece to create an object with symmetry about an axis of rotation.

Lathes are used primarily for the production of cylindrical or conical exterior and interior surfaces, via cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling, or deformation, facing, turning.

Using Lathe, the workpiece is rotated while the cutting tool is moved (“fed”) into the workpiece in a direction parallel and/or perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the workpiece.

Bed A large horizontal structure or beam that’s used to support other parts of a lathe like the headstock and tailstock.

Headstock Found on the end of the bed and clamped to the end, it provides the rotational power for the lathe’s operations and contains the bearings used by the lathe to rotate the workpiece against the tool bit.

Tailstock Found on the end of the lathe opposite to the headstock, also known as a “loose head”. It features a non-rotating barrel that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as holding tool bits or supporting workpieces while they turn.

Carriage Found nestled between the headstock and tailstock, it's responsible for guiding the tool bit as it cuts or otherwise manipulates the workpiece.

Legs Vertical structures that provide an elevated working surface and usually bolt onto the floor on which it’s placed so it remains stable even under heavy load.

Cross Slide Component found on the top of a lathe that allows the tool bit to slide back and forth.

Saddle Found on the top of a lathe and is technically part of the carriage. Featuring a H shape, it’s responsible for supporting cross slide movements.

Apron Found clamped to the saddle and designed to hold the gears, levers and other components that push the cross slide. It's also a key component of the carriage, which as mentioned, is used to guide the lathe’s tool bit.

Types & Usage

Lathe Safety Course - Lesson Excerpt

Types & Usage

Cross Feed When the tool moves perpendicular to the lathe axis, the movement is termed as cross feed. It is used in **facing operations **and affected by movement of cross slide.

Longitudinal Feed When the tool moves parallel to the lathe axis, the movement is termed as longitudinal feed. It is used in cylindrical turning operations and is effected by movement of carriage

Angular Feed When the tool moves at an angle to the lathe axis, it is termed as angular feed. It is used in **taper turning **and affected by movement of compound rest. Angular feed is hand operated.

Safe Use

Lathe Safety Course - Lesson Excerpt

Safe Use

Lathe operation is **very dangerous **when done by inexperienced persons, extensive training and experience is required to operate lathe without direct and constant supervision

Workers must wear appropriate PPE such as safety glasses, face shield and respirator. Always follow the manufacturer’s operating manual for all procedure.

For your safety, never adjust lathe or setup while lathe is running. Always follow the 4 inch rule.

If machine is malfunctioning stop immediately and report to supervisor.

Before starting the lathe, ensure the spindle work has the cup center imbedded; tail, stock and tool rests are securely clamped; and there is proper clearance for the rotating stock.

Prior to starting the lathe, ensure that small diameter stock does not project too far from the chuck without support from the tail stock center.

All workers must receive basic safety and equipment specific training before using the lathe

Lathes must be inspected for damage, disrepair, or missing parts, including assessing whether any shear pins are broken. Make sure all shields and guards are securely in place

Storage & Maintenance Do not remove metal or wood chips from the table or stock by hand. Use a brush or other tool to properly remove chips or shavings from the table or stock. Do not leave tools, bits or excess pieces of stock on the lathe bed. Disconnect the lathe from power source and follow EHS’s Guideline Lock-out/Tag-out if making repairs or servicing. Only properly sharpened drill bits and cutting tools in good condition should be used. Dull drill bits & chipped or broken cutting tools must be removed from service. All belts and pulleys must be guarded. If frayed belts or pulleys are observed, the lathe must be taken out of service and the belts or pulleys replaced. Never use a file without a handle. If any filing is done on work revolving in the lathe, file left handed to prevent slipping into the chuck.

Which of these are true?

General Precautions

Lathe Safety Course - Lesson Excerpt

General Precautions

Lathes are incredibly effective for cutting metal or wood but if used improperly, can prove quite dangerous and sometimes even fatal.

Some of the most common injuries caused by lathe accidents are broken fingers, cuts to the hands and hot shrapnel in the eyes

It's important to take safety precautions such as wearing proper protection, following the correct procedure and maintaining safe usage and techniques when using lathes

Maintain a safe and clean work environment to prevent machine parts damage

Clean metal chips off the lathe. Use a vacuum or compressed air hose for blowing the chips away.

Clean spindle tapers using a soft cotton cloth when changing tools.

Lubricate all the oil buttons, the lead screw and the ways. Make oiling the first thing you do when starting and the last step you perform after cleaning up.

To protect the machine from rust, cover the machine when it isn’t in use.

Once lathe has been started, begin on a high rotational setting and gradually decrease the speed as needed.

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Lathe Safety


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