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Class Red equipment: Do not use without specific training.
(More about equipment classes)

Equipment / WoodLathe
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Our woodworking lathe


We have a woodworking lathe kindly donated to us on indefinite loan by Kim Spence-Jones. It is a quality machine in fair condition but it is capable of causing severe injury so it must only be used by those trained to operate it safely. The 'owners' are responsible for training new users and ensuring that it is maintained in a safe condition.

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Using the woodworking lathe

The lathe is a wood turning lathe capable of machining circular cuts in material up to about 30cm (12 inches) in diameter for bowls (20cm for spindles) and about 125cm (4') long. The lathe is solidly built so with care excellent results can be obtained. We currently have few lathe tools, which should allow most basic woodworking operations to be undertaken.

This lathe has five speeds, it cannot be run in reverse.


To achieve real safety operator attitude is key. Trying to achieve unrealistic goals in limited time is the prime cause of accidents. Please take the time to plan your work and gain sufficient knowledge to perform it safely.

Dust from many woods can cause allergic reactions in some individuals, and some woods have been identified as carcenogenic. There is a book in the library ("Wood for Wood Turners" by Mark Baker) which documents possible health risks for 150 different woods.

The Key hazards are:

• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shall be worn GLASSES ARE MANDATORY! 

• Point of operation – Contact with the tool or cuter head may occur. 

• Contact with moving parts, such as the power transmission, chucks, spindles, and the workpiece. 

• Getting loose clothes, jewelry, or long hair caught in rotating parts:  Entanglement is a serious hazard on a lathe. 
Loose clothes or long hair can become entangled around the rotating parts of the lathe pulling the operator into the cutter or rotating stock resulting in significant injury. 

• Being struck by flying chips or wood splinters thrown by the cutting action. 

• Being struck by a workpiece that has not been adequately secured in the lathe or is oversized or unbalanced. 

• Inhalation of dust and particles. 

• Dropping objects on foot.  
• A visual pre-operation inspection should be done prior to use: 
 - Remove chuck keys, adjusting wrenches and knockout bars. Form a habit of checking for these before turning on the lathe. 
 - Cord should be checked for cracks or worn areas. Remove from operation if cord is damaged or if plug does not have proper grounding (3-prong). 
 - Make sure there is enough tension in the belt


The owners are experienced users who have volunteered to ensure members know how to safely operate the lathe before they become approved users. Their next responsibility is to ensure the lathe is in a safe usable condition. Time permitting, they will advise users on how to make best use of the lathe.

So far the owners are;

You can contact the owner this address

Training and approved operator


To get the required training to become an approved operator please contact one of the owners.

The owners will help users make the best use of the lathe but it must be emphasised that learning to take full advantage of all the capabilities of it takes months of practice. The owners have limited time so members will need to take responsibility for much of their own training. More details about the training can be found at

File:Woodlathe training.pdf

The approved operator are:

Diana Probst (trained by Cadu and Louis 26/08/16)

Robin Sterling (trained by Louis 16/09/16)

Martin Lenz (trained by Louis 16/09/16)

Frody Jones (trained by Louis 22/09/16)

Will Nock

Richie Fosh


Safety Advice

American Association of Woodturners' Safety Advice

Wood Lathe Safety Tips

Useful Links

Cambridge Woodturners

More to be detailed


The maintenance is done by the owners on a regular basis

Checking that all the screws are securely fastened (pulleys, chuck...)

Checking that the tools are still sharp, other wise rotate the cartridge.

Peripheral tools and accessories

Photo-list of current Woodworking lathe accessories.

Running the lathe will require many accessories, a suggested list will be developed

Associated documents

File:Wood Lathe risk assess.pdf

File:Woodlathe training.pdf