Don’t skip this article! The AltMill is a powerful and fast machine that can cause significant harm if you do not take the safety precautions as necessary. To give you an idea of what could occur, we talked to an engineer who worked on the AltMill extensively about their close-calls with the machine:

“A big hazard is how fast the machine can run, especially during rapid movements. The machine could be moving fairly slowly for a portion of the job, but then suddenly jerk to a different position. This is especially dangerous if you were trying to feel the grain of the workpiece or hold down the workpiece with your hands, even for just a moment… Best scenario is to never put your hands there in the middle of a job, but if you really need to, pause the job or use a push stick to hold things temporarily.”

Below are guidelines we strongly recommend to help prevent injury and protect your ears, eyes, limbs and phalanges for years to come.

Operation Guidelines

  • Do not operate this machine in a compromised state, be alert and ready
  • Do not lean on or rest your body on any part of this machine, especially during jobs

The perfect place to rest your hands… not!

  • Do not leave the machine unattended. The AltMill is a very quick machine, and unexpected motion could result in harm if you reach in or turn your back during operation. 
  • Never wear loose clothing and jewelry while operating the machine. Keep long hair and clothes away from all moving parts so nothing gets caught and wear appropriate footwear. 
  • Wear a good set of over-the-ear hearing protection or ear plugs to prevent hearing damage, since the AltMill on its own or combined with a dust collection system can be quite loud

Essential ear accessories to complete your stylish CNC-ing look

  • A high quality dust mask or respiratory protection is needed to protect from inhaling particulates in the air, especially when using coolant, or when exposed to poor dust collection and ventilation. Some materials could be toxic or generate long-term health problems if inhaled, so look up the MSDS (material safety data sheet) of your material before you start cutting it.  
  • Cutting can kick-up a lot of dust and wood/metal chip, eye protection must be worn while the machine is running

🎵 I wear my safety glasses at night 🎵

  • Carefully handle tools and materials. Cutting tools can shatter or cause damage if they’re not in good condition, and could cut you during handling. 
  • Be aware of safe disposal measures for your cutters and materials. Materials could ignite during cutting, within your dust collection system, or even spontaneously especially if mixed in with other chemicals or oils when disposed. Avoid using dust collection when cutting metals, as the hot metal could ignite existing sawdust in your disposal bin.  

We hope you have a great time with your AltMill while staying safe!