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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am (or was)in the early stages of turning a center piece for my daughter's dining room table...I guess that goes on hold for 4 to 6 weeks now as I can't hold my tool very firmly .HAHAHA
I had the base platter mounted on a base and a waste block. I wanted to rough turn it to basic round so I could glue on some accent wood on the top edges before starting turning final.The base platter was to be 14 3/4" in diameter.

I had trued up the OD on the base itself and decided to do a little work on the bottom side of the platter before removing from lathe and finishing the glue up.

I was working on the backside between the headstock and platter, I had a 5" tool rest in place 1/4" away and parallel to the platter underside. I had made three cuts putting a small upward taper to the platter underside when I decided to go on and roll the cut surface into the rough turned base...............

BANG,POW, AW CHIT MAN !!!!!!!!!!!!and I'm standing there with the gouge in my right hand, blood spewing forth from the left with each heartbeat , hey didn't get any blood on the wood , didn't break the tool.The tool rest had moved to the right and jammed into the platter underside and stalled the lathe motor. I layed down the gouge , turned the lathe off and grabbed a clean rag from the rag box and went crying to the War Department, "saying let's go to the Emergency Room",Thats her 3rd trip in the last 4 weeks and she said she was sure tired of that place and was putting me on a no entry to the shop status.

I tried to reconstruct the mishap in my mind at the ER while the extended wait (as usually is the case)was taking place and just could'nt get it to work out..........anyway after all was said and done and I got back to the house. I went out to the shop to have a look at the setup ,it was quite readily apparent what had or must have happened.

I was moving the gouge along the tool rest( note here that the tool rest is parallel and 1/4 " away from the platter underside and the end of it is 1/4" away from the platter base) making a shearing cut to the underside of the platter. I remember nearing the base while making the cut and I took a little firmer hold on the gouge handle and eased it into the base...Boom!!!! Thats where and when the next few seconds of finger destuction took place. I can only assume that the gouge slipped off the back edge of the rest causing the catch, my left hand must have slid down the tool handle onto the shank and my two fingers where pulled into the 1/4" gap between end of tool rest and base,with the base turning it kind of worked like a feeder. The gap of course being small something had to give and the fingers got the nod. The middle finger had about a 3/4 inch cut on top starting at the cuticle and going back towards the knuckle, the index finger had two cuts 1 1/2 " long each I'd guess,they were really more like tears as they were quite jagged in appearance. They were located on opposite sides off the finger on the sides, Picture this as if a knife was stabbed into the finger passing below and next to the bone and exiting the other side, this is the area where the fracture was as well ,so the finger was close to being torn off at this point.The two knuckles at the hand are swollen quite a bit and have more pain than the fracture does....I guess they had a pretty good twisting force as the fingers went though the gap.

I have a follow up with a bone guy Dr. today but all that has been done is all that is going to be done. If the bones are not alligned to his satisfaction then he will have to live with how I like it because he is not going to move anything around. They are positioned just like I like them right now.Who cares if a crooked finger is the result ,at least it is still attached.

I think I'm going to change the design approach to this centerpiece so I can get all the turning done from a more comfortable location.

The moral of this story must be...."When it starts to become uncomfortable or just doesn't feel right , DON'T DO IT". I remember that situation being present just before I said @@xx*^%$#!!!!


I guess one shouldn't tell on themselves but maybe my screw up will help you.This happened many years ago in my rookie days of yore.

dick
 

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Great war story dick. I like to do my learning this way, from others mishaps. Looks like you healed up good enough to type this story, unless you're an index finger kind of typer...tap, tap, tap.
 

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While turning one of the old time wood bowling pins into a table lamp in my high school shop lathe it came flying out of the lathe and struck me in the forehead...Out cold was i ....laying on the floor...Should have seen the knot on my head....lol
 

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El Viejo
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"I was working on the backside between the headstock and platter"

Man...you got my skin crawling just reading the post, Dick.. I think the quote above might give a little hint... "Between headstock and platter' don't give ya much wiggle room...

I've had a few tools snatched from me, tried to wedge fingers between tool rest and wood..and had a couple of chucked pieces come flying out..one where the chuck AND the bowl come off together...but been lucky enough to dodge major 'dings' from most of it...

Glad ya came out of it with most 'pieces' still hooked on...

Good post...A friendly reminder don't hurt any of us from time to time.. Them whirling thangs do have a mind of their own....:cheers:
 

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Dick, Sorry about the "wreck" on your lathe. Thanks for sharing it with us. I think the most important thing you stated was: "If it don't feel right don't do it" As I get older and wiser I have found this to be true. I am curious about what kind of wood the "glueblock" was? As I see this from your description....It appears that you were making a proper cut on the bottom of the platter, but because of the limited movement you had, when the cutting edge got to the glueblock, it "dugin" and somthing had to give. Worse yet you finger were injuried. Hopefully we can all learn from this experience.

MB
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gosh Mr Bill thats been a few years back so am not 100% sure but I suppose it was a plain old SYP 2 X 6 turned down and round,thats what I usually used.

dick
 
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