Popular Woodworking 2004-10 № 143, страница 12

Popular Woodworking 2004-10 № 143, страница 12

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Dept.04PW10BE

CIRCLE NO. 166 ON FREE INFORMATION CARD.

Letters

Gloves at Heart of Lathe Safety Debate

Reader Argues that Hand Protection Is Too Dangerous - Author Disagrees

I was glad to see the start of the recurring column on woodturning - "At The Lathe" (August 2004) - until I saw the turner wearing a glove. I noticed that she was shown using a few common-sense safety devices (such as the facemask and earplugs) but thought it quite ironic and irre sponsible that a glove was being worn, especially considering the article was geared toward new turners. The American Association of Woodturners recommends not wearing gloves in the third section of its safety guidelines (woodturner.org/resources) and for very good reason.

I've heard all kinds of justifications for wearing gloves while turning - protecting the user from heat and bark flying off, reducing vibration, using fingerless or tight-fitting gloves isn't as dangerous and, of course, saying "I haven't had a problem yet." None of them justify the enormous risk of getting that glove caught on just the slightest bit of wood and pulling it (and the rest of you) into the spinning piece. The turners, experienced or novice, that I know who have had injuries sustained by wearing gloves at the lathe don't think the risk is worth it anymore, either.

If you feel you need to wear a glove to protect your hand during turning, you're doing something wrong. Don't use the glove as a crutch to overcome deficiencies in your technique or proj ect planning. For example, you can adjust the tool position or your hand position to keep the hot shavings or sharp bark off your skin.

This isn't a situation where a blade guard is taken off the table saw for photographic purposes. A number of pictures in this article show the glove in close proximity to the spinning wood. This is a serious and dangerous practice that must not be perpetuated in your magazine by having pictures of it being practiced. At the very least, I implore you to make mention of the danger of wearing gloves near

a lathe in upcoming articles. Let the public know of the risks involved.

Andrew Hilton Springfield, Missouri

Author Judy Ditmer responds: I often use a glove while turning to protect my hands from injury. If the gloves fit well and the turner's hands are kept entirely on the near side of the toolrest at all times — as they should be in any case — wearing a glove should present no hazard. (Note that in the photo on page 77 at left and on page 78 at top-left, I moved my hands so the tool's position can be seen.)

It is essential (whether you're wearing a glove or not) to keep both hands away from the piece while the lathe is on. It's not distance, but rather a positive orientation of the upper hand to the toolrest that ensures this. Some part of this hand is placed against the rest in a way that prevents the hand (or the tool itself) from being pushed or pulled into the piece.

Without this positive connection to the toolrest, there is no way to control the in-and-out movement of the tool. It is the leverage and control this contact affords that keeps your hands, gloved or not, safely on your side of the toolrest.

continued on page 12

WRITE TO US

Popular Woodworking welcomes letters with comments about the magazine or about woodworking in general. We try to respond to all correspondence. Published letters may be edited for length or style. All letters become property of Popular Woodworking. How to send your letter:

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10

Popular Woodworking October 2004

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