Sometimes, we need a reminder of the risks involved in woodturning projects, particularly when turning a bowl harvested from random sources, sometimes called urban forestry. I harvest wood where ever I can hoping for a big turning blank and fantastic grain and figure. This apricot wood blank was from the main trunk, one of the biggest pieces from the tree. I had grand hopes for it.
But the bark inclusion that I was counting on to enhance the bowl actually extended thru almost the entire blank. Many years ago two limbs were growing almost parallel for many years. Moss invaded the space. After many years, one limb was cut. the tree continued to grow and bridged over most of the gap.
In this case, I did everything right except to lower the guard on the lathe itself. I had my face shield on and had noted to myself several times not to stand inline with the bowl. I was almost ready to remount the bowl into the four jaw chuck and hollow the interior.
Then I removed the last bit of new sap wood holding the bowl together. A big piece hinged over and flew off hitting me and my face shield in the middle of my forehead. Sorry, not a lot of blood but definitely a hard whack.
My new resolutions – Use the lathe guard on all green bowl turnings at least until I can turn the bowl around for the hollowing phase; Keep wearing my face shield no matter what; Avoid standing in line with a spinning bowl.
Always keep safety in mind – Otherwise, it will be knocked into you.