WOOD LATHE

The wood lathe allows one to be easily creative.   It can be used for a wide variety of very precise

operations that allow you to turn almost any thing from a table leg, a chair leg, to a railing post, light
post or even a candle sconce. This machine allows you to hand cut the most amazing things out of
plain stock.
The controls on the wood lathe in the materials processing laboratory consist of the follow:

·    Magnetic on\off switch

·    Speed control wheel
·    Hand wheel
·    Tool rest lock
·    Base plate lock



 1.     Be sure that the stock that is to be turned on the wood lathe is fairly round or square.

 2.     Check the stock for any cracks, loose knots, metal of any sort, paint, or defects before securing it.
 3.     Find the center of the stock by drawing a line from the opposite corners.
 4.     Using a back saw cut slits on the lines.
 5.     Make sure stock is secure and the faceplate turnings are securely fastened.
 6.     Be sure stock clears all machine parts using the hand wheel.
 7.     Adjust tool rest to correct position for the tool.  Usually no farther than1/4 of an inch away from
 8.     Find out correct operation of all the hand tools before using this machine.
 9.     Be sure to know all the operations correctly be before use.
10.    Run all stock at low speeds until the stock is rounded off.
11.    With power off , readjust tool rest as the stocks diameter is reduced .
12.    All large stock must be run at low speeds.
13.    Be sure to have a firm grip on the cutting tools before resting them on the tool rest.

Note: There are several other operations that can be done using the wood lathe.
Ask your instructor and refer to one of the many references for those procedures.

Top: Note that the tool rest is set in place only
a ¼ inch from the spinning stock and locked.
Bottom: Note that  the guard is in place, and
heís wearing eye protection.
Potential hazards:
Due to the spinning stock these are the potential hazards.
    -Cutting tool could kickback if held improperly.
    -Loose clothing or other dangling articles could get entangled in the rotating stock.
    -The work piece can be thrown violently from lathe if not secured properly.
    -Small pieces of the work piece and saw dust can be thrown out at the operator.
Safety practices:
Because of those potential hazards the following safety rules must be followed.
1. Be sure to perform only operations you know how to do safely.
2. Always wear safety glasses.
3. Never wear cloths or other articles that dangle and could catch on the stock.
4. Be sure to have firm footing.
5. Check the wood lathe to be sure it is in good working order.
6. Make all adjustments with the wood lathe off.
7. Put appropriate guard in place when possible. (most operations can be done with the guard).
8. Adjust the tool rest to 1/4 inch away from the stock.
9. Check the stock for foreign objects.
10. Turn off the lathe to readjust the tool rest.
11. Avoid distractions, never look away during an operation.
12. Do not allow others to crowd around the lathe.
13. Turn the lathe off immediately if it does not sound right.
14. Never let go of the tool during the operation.


Hammond, James J., Donnelly, Edward T., Harrod, Walter F., Rayner, Norman A. (1972). Woodworking Technology. McKnight and McKnight Publishing Co. Bloomington, IL.

ITT 252 - Materials Processing
Department of Technology
University of Southern Maine
Prepared by Thomas Carpentier 9/24/01