Hello everyone,I thought I'd put in something a little shorter and save the next time for more involved subjects and information.Basic "shop" safety,a no brainer,right?I'm guessing that most of us in here are pretty on the ball when it comes to "safety",even though its a hobby for most of us,we don't want to be losing fingers,eyes,clumps of hair,burning ourselves or anything like that.I don't want to repeat myself,and if you know most of these basic "shop" safety rules,then just take these as a refresher or reminder of "what not to do".There really isn't any flexibility here,you run the risk of inflicting unsurpassed amounts of pain and misery upon yourself,so do yourself a favor and"just don't do it".Think before you do something,check once,check twice,check it again to be sure you are free and clear.
1. Never operate a machine if you are sick or tired.One lapse of judgement could cost you not only your part and machine,but you might lose something else.What is the difference between a machine shop injury and wood shop?In machine shop if you lose a finger,eye or whatever it may be is,"you don't get it back."Unlike some if not "most" wood shop injuries when in the ER room they might be able to flush out the severed digit with saline solution and clean it real good then re-attach it.Not so in mill and lathe work.Tear injuries are extremely difficult to repair,things are severed and torn off,often ground/chewed up beyond recognition.Even if it is a "clean cut",there are too many contaminants to re-attach a lost finger,hand or eye.Its just a fact of life in the shop,be alert,be aware,check your set ups.
2. Do not wear loose,baggy,long sleeved shirts/clothing, any low hanging jewelry, open toed shoes(leave the birken stocks at home).Tennis shoes are OKAY,but you are better off with some good steel toed shop boots.Do not have "long hair".If you really must,tie into a TIGHT BUN and TUCK it in well under a hat.If you want your hair yanked out in large pieces or to scalp yourself,go right ahead and have your long hair dangling around turning stock in a lathe,a spinning quill on a mill or drill drill press.Do not wear any rings or wear gloves.Tuck in your shirt,roll up your sleeves,keep anything loose or dangling away from moving machine parts.
3. Wear SAFETY GLASSES.If you wear shatter resistant prescription glasses,that is "OKAY" but I'd still wear the safety glasses over them.
4.DO NOT wrap a shop rag around your hand and clear metal chips out of the way while the machine is running.I have a little story about this I may indulge later if asked about what happened to someone in my shop class while doing that.So,just DON'T DO IT.Use an old paint brush you might use for dabbing on cutting oil,better yet...just turn the machine off and clear the chips out.
5.DO NOT leave the chuck key in the lathe chuck or a spanner wrench(or open end wrench) on the draw bar nut of a mill.Get in the habit of removing it EVERY TIME and placing it to the side somewhere where you are working.
6.DO NOT HANDLE ENDMILLS IN YOUR BARE HANDS! These are sharp tools made to cut steel,you will cut yourself.Place a rag in your hand,then handle it if you must.If you are just placing and holding the end/tip with your finger tip in a collet while tightening it down,that is different,but I'd still use a rag.DO NOT put sharp tools in your pockets like endmills,twist drills,screw drivers,hand files(whatever).That one time you forget it is in there is when you sit down and you put the business end of it into your thigh or worse..."your A%$#@!".
7.Be sure that your "machine set ups" are SOLID and clear of hitting anything before you turn the machine on such as running your tool holder into your lathe chuck,or your endmill into your mill vice.Keep your machine clear of loose tools or anything before turning it on.Be certain your power feed on your lathe(if your lathe has power feed,most do) is not engaged before turning it on.
8.If "breaking edges" on a turning part in your lathe using a hand file,BE CERTAIN you have a wooden handle on the end of it.Do not do this with a file missing its handle,the *tang*.If you miss/slip you will put the tang right through your hand.DO NOT STORE hand files on top of/with other loose tools/files,you will dull it.Keep it separated and stored in a wood case,or keep it wrapped in a clean shop rag.
9. Do not lay a file on the ways of your lathe.You will ruin your lathe.Also,if you are using an abrasive to polish a part in the lathe,lay a rag over the ways to catch the abrasive grit to keep from destroying the way surfaces.If removing a chuck(if you own a larger lathe than a hobby model),place a piece of plywood on the ways,disconnect your chuck,place it on the wood board,then put it someplace safe out of the way,then install/change over to whatever other tooling.
10. Remember, "cleanliness is next to godliness."Keep your work area clear with needed/required tools/tooling nearby.You can keep some tools on your mill table(far out of the way).Always oil your machine before use(read your owners manual and follow the instructions on maintenance).Thoroughly clean your machine after use and oil all the bearing surfaces(way surfaces),re-fill oil cups and any other openings requiring oil.Use the correct oil,don't use motor oil or detergent oils. Do not not use an air hose to remove/blow metal chips,you will blow them into places that they will never be from from,this can(over time) hinder the accuracy of your machine,plus you could blow metal chips into your eyes.