Chuck Key

Discussion in 'Mistakes, Blunders and Boo Boos' started by roadrage17, Jun 11, 2009.

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  1. Jun 11, 2009 #1

    roadrage17

    roadrage17

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    First time i have dont this left the chuck key in the lathe and turned it on . :eek: Scared the living daylights out of me!!!!!!!!!
    Not going to do that again.
     
  2. Jun 11, 2009 #2

    Maryak

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    RR17,

    I'm happy that's all it did and not take you out. ;D :eek: It's one of the reasons it's call a CHUCK key. ::) A good rule is don't start the lathe drill etc if the key is not in your hand. ;)

    Hope this helps ???

    Best Regards
    Bob
     
  3. Jun 11, 2009 #3

    vlmarshall

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    There's a story running around the shops here about a guy a few years ago that was killed by a chuck T-handle. Be careful.

    I never let go of the t-handle until I've removed it from the chuck, either back in a holder, or laying somewhere safe.

    Also, watch out for stuff laying on top of lathes, where they could vibrate off and fall into a spinning chuck.

    I've hit my knuckles on the chuck enough times, I don't want it THROWING things at me, too. :D
     
  4. Jun 12, 2009 #4

    zeeprogrammer

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    When I started this hobby a few months ago and was telling my friends about it...the first thing those who had any experience at all said was..."don't leave the chuck key in the lathe"...Kinda of scared me after the 3rd person in a row. Didn't stop me...but made me real careful.

    But yes...it's not just about the chuck key... look around...and look up...anything on a shelf that might vibrate off? Even nearby...anything that might fall and scare the "..." out of you? Make you jump?

    That's what worries me. Right now I'm used to being alone. When my wife comes home (she's on assignment in Europe)...it's going to change things. It'll surprise me when the door suddenly opens.

    The other aspect...my lathe key has a spring on it. It's hard to leave it in place. Gives a false sense of safety. I might be less thoughtful when I use the mill key. Worse, if the happy day comes when I can upgrade my lathe and it doesn't have the spring!

    As has been mentioned (less than often enough)...think before turning on the switch.

    This isn't directed at you roadrage17. It's as useful (if not more) so to talk about the boo-boos as the successes. This serves to remind me for one...and hopefully others. So thanks for reminding us.

    Maybe I've had one too many tonight...(and no...I don't drink and machine).




     
  5. Jun 12, 2009 #5

    mklotz

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    Well, if you want to get really anal about it, make a chuck key holder - basically a tube into which the arm of the key fits. At the bottom of the tube mount a microswitch and series wire it into the lathe power circuit (a relay may be required). Now the lathe can't be started unless the key is in its holder.

    Personally, I would find such a system a massive PIA. But, if you're worried about your ability to concentrate, maybe it's the way to go.
     
  6. Jun 12, 2009 #6

    rake60

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    I've been a career machinist for about 30 years now.

    Rule #1 is NEVER take your hand off a chuck key!!!

    I know that rule very well.
    However at least once a year I'll get distracted by something and
    do exactly that same thing. By luck, I've never been injured.
    I have damaged a few machines with those little lapses of
    attention.

    Most of us have done it.
    The worst scared will be the safest in the future.

    Rick
     
  7. Jun 12, 2009 #7

    kustomkb

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    I have been machining for 15 years.

    About three years ago, for some reason, (rushing), I took my hand off the key and it shot straight into the ground about 3 inches from my foot.

    It was a variable speed motor and I think it was the instant acceleration that saved the machine from damage.

    Parting off a 3 inch dia. 1 inch thick doughnut, slipped out of my hand, hit the 12 inch chuck jaw. shot straight up, tapped a 20 foot ceiling, before I could see where it went, straight back down, between the ways, into a soft pile of chips, without a sound.

    Nobody saw, I was new, lucky to be alive.

    Be careful.

    PS don't polish bores with emery wrapped around your finger.
     
  8. Jun 12, 2009 #8

    speakerme

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    Hello Friends,

    BTDT, Been there done that. I was going to take a pictire of the fractured key, the square part nearly completely bent and separated from where the key transitions to round, but the digital camera batteries are flat. The square part that fits in the chuck hangs on by a few thous of metal to the shaft.

    I keep it around the shop as a reminder.

    My check list is now:

    Turn the chuck manually to make sure that everything clears...
    Observe where the key is... (not in the chuck)
    Set the speed
    Check feed direction
    turn the lathe on....

    Best Wishes and be safe


    Chuck M

     
  9. Jun 12, 2009 #9

    vlmarshall

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    Too true, I've had an emery paper strip that I was using double up on itself, tighten like a strap wrench, and instantly wind around the part I was polishing. The emery strip was just long enough to catch the tip of my thumb and give me a good scare, and an abrasion as a reminder. Now I never use a piece of paper long enough to wrap around the part.
     
  10. Jun 12, 2009 #10

    itowbig

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    Now there is a good idea. i dont think it would be anal but rather smarter. especially for those of us that have problems remembering to remove the dang thing.
     
  11. Jun 12, 2009 #11

    SignalFailure

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    I ****ALWAYS**** use the speed control knob to start up my mini-lathe, usually allowing a few turns at about 20 RPM to ensure that:-

    1 I haven't left the chuck key in
    2 The toolpost isn't locked to the leadscrew if I don't want it to be (it gives time to unlock it)
    3 A tool or the toolpost isn't fouling the work or the chuck
    4 The workpiece is securely held

    If anything is going to go belly up i'd rather it happen at 20rpm than 2000 rpm.

    The worst I've had so far is the chuck key falling out and making a little dent on the bed. It's the one and only time I've left the key in (it was about 3 years ago when I first set out on this road) and I can safely say I much prefer a little dent in my lathe to a chuck key embedded in my face.

    I've seen a fair few people hit the on/off button on serious size lathes with the speed set at lots-of rpm - it scares the crap out of me!
     
  12. Jun 13, 2009 #12

    thefishhunter

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    I was working in a drafting dept, and we could use the shop equipment after hours.

    The very first time I ever TOUCHED a lathe, I chucked up some bit of aluminum, and turned the thing on...

    Smack! right square in the chest.

    I turned ti off, put the key back where it went, and walked right back in the office. I didn't touch that machine for a week, and I'm still terrified of leaving a chuck key in.

    I still think that old man that ran the shop got a big kick out of that (pissed at havinbg one of the young office Sh&^% in his shop) he never gave me so much as one word of advise messing with his machines out there...
     
  13. Jun 13, 2009 #13

    Tin Falcon

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    When I was in USAF tech school for machining it was at an army post and the labs were shared One row of lathes belonged to the air force One row for the army etc. When one of the army guys left the chuck key in everyone knew it . he had to carry a 2 1/2 foot long aluminum chuck key everywhere for the next day or so. I did have a leather strap I think it sat next to him while running the machine but I saw a guy in the latrine with that thing slung over the shoulder.
    Tin
     
  14. Jun 14, 2009 #14

    Kermit

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    When a 5 inch naval gun is fired, right outside your workspace(Firecontrol/Radar) you 'jump'. When this happened the first time for me, I had my head and part of my body squeezed inside the case of the CFA. I cut my scalp on the metal around the access panel and was bleeding like a stuck pig. Lots of blood for such a tiny scalp wound.

    Loud noises no longer make my body twitch or jump. My body learned from the pain inflicted that first time. I still jump on the inside, my heart speeds up and feels like it will jump out of my chest, but no outward sign is shown of the scare.

    Bugs my kids to no end. They think they can't scare daddy :D They scare me plenty, it just doesn't show on the outside.
     
  15. Jun 24, 2009 #15

    bearcar1

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    Let us all also be reminded of not turning the mill on with nothing attached to the drawbar. (for those that have a power DB, you may ignore this) Without anything to hold it in the spindle, and the machine running, it will walk itself up and throw itself in what ever direction it feels like traveling, and at a fairly high velocity.


    BC1
    Jim
     
  16. Jul 5, 2009 #16

    websterz

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    I have a bell hanging outside the shop. Just loud enough to get my attention over the loudest machine in the shop but not so loud it scares the bejeezes out of me. There is a sign asking folks to ring the bell before entering, and the bell is far enough from the door to give me a good 5 second warning. I have not been startled since installing it.
     
  17. Jul 8, 2009 #17

    Carteacher

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    Machining is a new hobby for me. We have a very dusty Bridgeport and lathe at my high school that I have started to toy around with. For home I bought one of those Chinese Harbor Freight lathes. One (only?) nice thing about the lathe is the a cover over the check. To use the check key you have to lift the cover up. If the cover is up the lathe will not run. A simple but great idea. They also had a spring on the key that would push the key out if you let go of it, but it got annoying and feeling it was redundant I took it off.
    To prevent a similar problem on the Bridgeport (students may mess with it) I cut off the box end of the wrench.
     
  18. Jul 8, 2009 #18

    Blogwitch

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    This is how I got over my problems with chuck keys.


    In just over 3.5" x 3", I have managed to squeeze in all my generally used tools on the lathe. I positioned it for natural reach of my left arm, when sitting on my chair or standing in my normal position at the lathe, and no, it doesn't get in the way, and I don't keep bumping into it with delicate body parts.

    Back to front, the key for removing the chuck from the lathe, Allen key with fitted handle that locks up my cross slide, the normal chuck key, and at the front, air blower and swarf rake, which has a pvc handle fitted that doubles as a precision persuader when setting jobs up, rather than me having to use a plastic handled screwdriver.
    The holder has shallow grooves that the chuck key handles drop into, and keeps them in position. All made from a piece of 1/2" thick pvc with all corners rounded off. A bit of ply would do the same job.
    After you have used a tidy for a day or two, it becomes automatic to drop the tools back into the holder, without having to think about it.
    It also stops them being launched into orbit when they fall off the top of the head onto a spinning chuck, because there is no need now to put them on the top.

    [​IMG]


    But this is my main chuck shifter. Because I have little use of my right arm for tightening things up, I needed something to assist me.
    Because all my chucks on the lathe use a 3/8" / 10mm key, I fitted a normal 3/8" extension onto an el cheapo 3/8" air powered ratchet. This allows me to tighten up or slacken off at the flick of a switch.
    It is a real bonus when fitting and removing collets, as it takes an age to wind them in and out by hand.

    [​IMG]


    Let go of it, and it automatically lifts up well out of the way, but still within easy reach, by use of a pre-tensioned tool hanger.

    [​IMG]


    Blogs
     
  19. Jul 11, 2009 #19

    justlesh

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    Not a chuck key but plenty dangerous. Tool post grinders, I stayed late to finish I.D., Boss comes in early, sets up for O.D. but doesn't change pulleys. He never got around to fixing holes in wall before he died, not from shop accident.
     
  20. Aug 13, 2009 #20

    websterz

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    ??? ??? ???
     

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