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Machines - Lathes - Safety

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If you run across a sure fire cure for leaving the chuck key in the chuck when you turn on the lathe.  Think of me and let me know.  (Ralph Moon)

    The one my father taught me, and I use today on my portable 1/2 inch drill, is to use electrical tape to tape the chuck to the power cord about 6 inches from the plug.   In order to change bits, you have to unplug the drill...  Probably takes an extra 5 seconds, but there's no way the drill will accidentally start when I'm changing bits.  (Claude Freaner)

    I just ran downstairs and tried an idea that I've had, but never tried. I have a small bungee cord that came in an assortment pack. It's about 10" long and has enough strength to pull the chuck key out of the chuck and allows it to  hang high enough from the lathe to be out of the way. I have a 7x12 mini lathe that sets under the basement stairs. I hooked one end on a nail in one of the stair runners, the other on the key. The bungee cord pulls the key up and to the left out of the way. I know my toes will like this!! Too bad all lathes don't have electronic speed controllers! It's nice to be able to start out slow!  (David Dziadosz)

    Keep the chuck key on a short piece of bungee cord on your wrist so you can't leave it in the chuck.  Then take it off before you turn the lathe on. Not perfect, obviously . . . .  (Brian Creek)

    Rig a "Safety Switch" where you have to insert the chuck key into the "Safety Switch" to be able to turn the lathe on. A Micro switch attached to a block of wood with a hole in it for the key works for me. The key has to be inserted far enough to activate the switch or else the lathe won't come on. Same for Drill Press.  (Dick Fuhrman)

    There was a fella on the 7x10 mini lathe list that came up with a solution for that.  He drilled a small pilot hole on the end of the chuck key, then fitted a spring and a pin into it.  Kinda like the chuck keys for drill presses and such.  Once you take the hand pressure off the chuck key, the spring loaded pin pushes the chuck key up out of the chuck.  (Mark Wendt)

    Just use a spring loaded chuck key. The aligning stud is spring loaded. If you don't apply pressure it cannot be left in the chuck, it just falls out!  (Bill Tagye)

    The problem of the chuck key left in the lathe when turned on is one of the easy easy problems to solve:  You can either buy or make a safety chuck key.  This type of key has a spring loaded plunger in the tip that goes into the chuck.  To insert the key you have to put some light pressure on chuck key to depress the plunger so that the chuck key will 'go home' - the nifty part is that without the pressure, the plunger will kick the chuck key out of the chuck all by itself!!  (Mike Shaffer)


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