Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Near Miss

I recently started making a platter from a beautiful piece of spalted sycamore left over from earlier 4 legged stool project. I noticed a fair sized crack and was hoping it would not interfere with completing the platter project. Unfortunately when I reverse chucked it using a recess, I could hear a creaking sound. The crack was running the full length now.  It looked too dangerous to finish and you can't solve some problems safely with glue!  I took the blank in both hands and smacked it along the crack on the tool rest and it easily split. Although beautiful, it was just too punky for a platter. I had an early warning when the woodworm would not hold the blank since the threads tore out with the tightening. So to finish the video and show how to hollow a platter, I pulled out a very expensive platter blank of Black Limba that I had on the shelf a couple of years. Kiln dried and beautiful. As I finished the back side and was checking the surface I noticed a very small crack starting on the rim. This wood is hard so I put in some thin CA - not to hold it together but to fill the crack. Later after I reverse chucked it and was almost finished, it gave way.  I did not have a catch, was using sharp tools and not pushing that hard. It was exciting. A large piece flew up and shattered a 4' fluorescent bulb above the lathe.  It did not hit me as I was out of the line of fire and fortunately was wearing a face shield. It was a serious reminder to always be alert for danger signs like cracks and strange noises. I had no warning signs of the hair line fracture so the incident was totally unexpected.  And always wear a face shield when doing face grain pieces.  Use it when sanding and don't assume the danger is only there when cutting. Here is the first of the two part video series.

Stay safe!