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Don't leave the key in the lathe chuck

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Superburban

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Also do not dare think you are stronger then a lathe.

 

Z2V

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Z2V

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4gsr
I take it that video has made its rounds before?
First I’ve seen it, OUCH
 

Superburban

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To get a patent one has to show a significant difference or improvement over the old one. Building a better mouse trap so to speak.

"Billy G"
 

Superburban

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I understand how patents work. I don't see anything new, or better. I think the examiner was asleep when he/she approved that one. Ok, when I went back to see who the examiner is, I see it is still in the application stage.
 
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Not to get off subject, I have three patent certificates hanging on my wall that were issued to me and three others involved. (Really me and one other were the ones involved in the actual design submitted. Other manager/owners had to have their name on the patent, too) One of them, was back in November. Anyways, the first two, we never dreamed we would get them approved and accepted and they were. And like Bill said, it only has to have one minor change to make it different and get issued a patent.
The patent laws are going thru some major changes as we speak. Some of it is law now and some of it is still in work in process. It will make it much harder to get issued a patent on just a minor change in the product. And it gets deeper than that and I'm not up to date on any of the changes being made. And regardless, it takes a patent lawyer who knows the ins and outs to get a application across the line and accepted for review. Oh, and lots of money, too!

Ken
 

epanzella

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I never leave a key in the chuck even when leaving it for a second. I use 2 keys to dial in a 4 jaw but the lathe power is off and the gears in the headstock are disengaged.
 
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Silverbullet

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That machine don't know or care. Not to long ago on a YouTube there was a guy got twisted up in a lathe spun a bit and fell out. Later on he died from the injuries . Really it didn't look like he was hurt that bad must have mangled him inside. It was tuff to even watch . I've been knocked over by forklifts with idiot drivers a solid tire one mashed my steel toe right through the sole on one foot another time. I'm sure glad they were on .. SAFTEY isn't no toy to play with. Bad enough getting hurt , if it's preventable PLEASE BE AWARE AT ALL TIMES.
 

mcostello

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There was a video of a guy caught on an automatic lathe, ducked under a 2" bar that must have been turning at least 500 rpm. Dead on the second revolution, spun till He was a bag of skin. No one there to shut it off, He was working alone at night. The only way they figured out what happened was security camera footage.
 
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Here is an old thread that discussed a solution that one of our members came up with and posted on his website: https://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/how-not-to-throw-your-lathe-chuck-key-through-the-windshield-of-your-porsche.30440/

The short version is this: He made a chuck key holder from a piece of pipe or tubing. Inside the tube there is a microswitch that is wired into the run/stop circuit for his lathe. In order for the late to run, the chuck key must be in its holder, closing the switch.
 

blue_luke

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Done that too, got scaried to die there!
I am an industrial electronic tech.
So all work on my new lathe projecs was stopped immediately to solve this very important safety problem and there is an easy fix for it.
Here goes....
Most machines have an emergency switch or ES "loop" that consist of a circuit comprising the 'mushroom' some limit switches and whatever should prevent or stop the machine if anything is wrong. It is a simple manner to make a chuck key holder where a microswitch will be activated when the key is in the holder. This way, no key? no run!
The idea is just open this loop and add one or two more microswitches in the circuit.
I made mine from wood. The keychuck is inserted in a hole and close the contact when in. I made it to hold both the 3 jaws and the 4 jaws chucks since they are a bit different.
If any of the keys is missing, the lathe will not start, simple, efficient, safe!

I also made a pair of microswitch holders that I can set anywhere on the V-way of the lathe so that when the carriage hits either one (going L to R or R to L) the machine will stop. Guess how I came with this one!
I had once the tool post hit the chuck, this broke the alorris type tool holder.
I also had the carriage bang in the tailstock, this case it broke the shear pins on the drive shaft!
Newbee errors, but dangerous newbee errors!

When I told about tis to my boss at work, he found this quite clever and commissioned me to go around all our machines in the workshop, but also on the production floor to see how I could make the machines safer, more idiot proof.
It took me almost a year to go about the whole plant!

Luc
 

ch2co

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I was a 9 year old when I left a key in dad's drill press and turned it on. Fortunately no one was injured but the chuck (Chuck's chuck?) flew
across the room and smashed into a chemistry experiment that I was working on (a still) consisting of 2 water cooled condensers two
large flasks and a beaker, all glass, were reduced to small pieces as well as cooling water pouring out on the bench and the contents
(very colorful) were smeared all over the wall, bench and floor quite a mess to clean up and financial loss for me. Now almost 70 years later, that same guy still gets a very tight sphincter whenever he hears talk of leaving keys in chucks. My drill press has a short chain on the chuck with a pin that pushes the key out of the chuck when you let go of it. It works quite well and isn't a nuisance to use. My little mill chuck is an Albrecht that doesn't use a key. My lathe came with a chuck key that has a spring wrapped around the square boss but is a pain to use. I use a rube goldberg key consisting of a 10" long 1/2" socket extender with a small ratchet wrench on the one end and the other end fits quite well into the chuck. This works like a charm for my needs. My only other keys fit into the various locks around the house.

Thats how I've stayed grumpy.
 

hman

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I'll start out by saying that I like and appreciate EVERY ONE of the "safety interlock" ides that have been presented here. But I've hesitated doing this. I personally prefer to always be conscious and careful, and not get dependent on external devices. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I'm concerned that I could get complacent, especially if if I'm at somebody else's tool that's not similarly equipped.

My good habits were brought home to me one day at work. I was carrying a cordless drill across the production floor, and happened to notice that I was practicing good gun safety - trigger finger placed along the side of the drill, rather than on the trigger :)

Be safe, everybody!
 
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I have not yet added an interlock switch either. The key for my three jaw chuck is larger in diameter than the key for my four jaw, and the two chucks use different size square drives, so I would need to make two hangers, one for each key. I still stand by the old habit of turning the chuck, faceplate, or drive dog at least one full turn by hand before starting the lathe.
 

TakeDeadAim

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View attachment 252693

This looks safe right??
I cant see how this could go bad at all! I did a similar job where I had welded up some cracks in a spun disk then had to dress down the welds and re polish. Could have held a pin in my backside the entire time. Next time I know its just not worth what I was realistically able to charge.
 

TakeDeadAim

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Saw a classmate cut the tip of his finger clean off when he left the chuck key, which was hanging on a chain, in the drill press. He apparently hit the switch before removing his hand from the chuck. At age 15 that message stuck in my head. To this day I will not hang a chuck key on anything. Keyless drill chucks everywhere in the shop. With the lathe I saw and heard it happen shortly after the drill press accident. Got in the habit of never letting go of a lathe chuck key till its in the rack. Like someone said above its a lesson everyone should get but only if no one gets hurt.
 

Cooter Brown

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That was part of a Father's day present I made in 2017 last minute in under 3 hours. Lawn edger from hell

20170520_133648.jpg
 

TakeDeadAim

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I'm glad I hate lawns, lawn care, yard work, tree trimming etc. If you will run that thing I got some serious edging to be done in spring. Ill have EMS standing by. LOL
 

tjb

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Very first mistake I made when I started running a lathe for the first time. I fired up the lathe and all I heard was something smack the wall about 20 feet away. Come to find out, it was the lathe key. I thought "woah!! if that hit my face I could have been hurt bad" :eek:. Never did that again.
I still consider myself a rookie hobbyist, but in my prior professional life, I worked at valuing risk for large corporations. Over the years, I've found that that training has caused me to subconsciously consider ways to identify and reduce risk in all facets of life - including hobbies. I've never had the pleasure of soiling myself because I inadvertently left a chuck key in a lathe, but I recognized the danger early on. A while back, I bought a Harrison M300 lathe that needed a lot of work. (My philosophy has always been the best way to learn how to 'use' a piece of equipment is to learn how to work on it.). I quickly noticed the hazard of a flying chuck key on that lathe, and it seemed to me a good machining and wiring project for a rookie would be to fabricate a lathe cover/cut-off switch for it. Attached is a picture of the result. I intentionally made it short enough to not cover the business end of the chuck in case I ever wanted to turn an oversized part. Bottom line is I CAN'T make that mistake on this 1979 model M300. It ain't pretty, but it works!

Regards
IMG_1274.JPG
 

tjb

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I'll start out by saying that I like and appreciate EVERY ONE of the "safety interlock" ides that have been presented here. But I've hesitated doing this. I personally prefer to always be conscious and careful, and not get dependent on external devices. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I'm concerned that I could get complacent, especially if if I'm at somebody else's tool that's not similarly equipped.

My good habits were brought home to me one day at work. I was carrying a cordless drill across the production floor, and happened to notice that I was practicing good gun safety - trigger finger placed along the side of the drill, rather than on the trigger :)

Be safe, everybody!
"...I personally prefer to always be conscious and careful..." You must be young.

Regards
 

Dranreb

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Seems to me that if we could all actually rely on habit, muscle memory and self discipline to keep us out of trouble, not one of us would have ever lost our car keys, mislaid our eye glasses, or stood feeling stupid at a checkout with no money in our pocket.
 

hman

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"...I personally prefer to always be conscious and careful..." You must be young.
Regards
Just turned 70 last year. Can't say I was that way (c&c) in years past ... musta been lucky instead :)
 

uncle harry

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I do not get that mag, but remember it thus either on here or youtube or something.
I saw a you tube video recently where the owner of a bench lathe mounted a limit switch below the bench top next to a through hole. It was a small lathe and he wired the limit switch in line with the hot motor lead.
 

Richard White (richardsrelics)

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I actually like the idea of using a magnetic safety interloc that prevents the lathe from starting without the chuck safely stowed....Having been trained by the formerly politically incorrect Navy on machine shop safety practices, they were not kind nor polite, nor politically correct on what they would do during training if I EVER got caught leaving that chuck key in the chuck.... I have little fear over a few things, my Lord, my father and that First Class Petty Officer if he was p'od..
 
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Back in HS shop class, Mr. Bishop (RIP) was quick to expel anyone from shop class for any shop safety violations especially chuck keys left in the chuck. He also had that famous poster of the long haired (hippie idiot as he called it) guy with a large portion of his hair missing after getting it caught in the drill press. Anyone remember that poster from the 70's? Anyway, I was conditioned long ago to never violate shop rules.
On the four jaw scroll chuck, I use mini magnetic keys to dial in stock requiring them to be left in place, but the machine's power is off and in neutral.
I still have all my digits approaching four decades of shop work (I need them for counting;)). Another thing I see in postings are folks wearing open toe footwear in shops:confusion:.
I'm not really judgmental as we're all grown dudes but lets use some common sense and self perseverance to continue to enjoy the hobby we so love and enjoy. I'm not a fan of safety gimmicks like the spring loaded chick key, a interlocking switch maybe but nothing substitutes good practice.
Ok, off my soap box, Turn and Burn fellas (safely).

Paco
 
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