Safety Day 2015

This post contains an image which depicts a woodworking injury. 

In the spirit of posting something safety related on this day, May 15, 2015 dubbed safety day I’d like to share a close call I had in my shop last summer. 

I was learning to use my lathe. I had turned a spindle or two as well as a Harry Potter wand for my son.  Naturally I figured I’d try turning a bowl. The result left me with a bloody forehead.  


This happened because I wasn’t using my lathe safely. I wasn’t supporting the bowl with the tail stock and my tools weren’t sharp. Mostly because I didn’t have a grinder to sharpen them with. Additionally I wasn’t wearing a face mask. Also leading to the injury, I hadn’t properly formed the mortise in the bottom of the bowl for my chuck grab. 

Long story short, my gouge caught the work and it flew off the lathe and hit me in the forehead. You can see in the photo where the bowl was ripped out of the chuck and the catch that caused it. 


It was nearly a year before I touched my lathe again. I regained my confidence after making some carbide lathe tools. After the accident, I still wanted to learn to turn but I needed better quality tools than my harbor freight chisels and something that was easily sharpened. I didn’t want to purchase carbide tools so I made my own. Here is a video I made of the process. My first YouTube video. Check it out if you’re interested in doing the same. 

Since making the tools I’ve learned proper safety technique and how to safely use my lathe. As a result I’ve turned a few more bowls. These ones didn’t leave me with a bloody forehead!


The moral of this story?  Be safe in your shop, know what you’re doing when you use a new tool. Most importantly, don’t let an accident stop you from getting back into your shop!

Thanks for reading!

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