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Chapter 1.

Basic Machining and Tips

Machining Flowchart
Thinking about Machining
Let us consider the steps involved in creating a mechanical device to solve a given problem (Fig. 1). The first step is conceptual development (the design stage). Next we lay out an assembly plan and draft the plans for each part (the drawing stage). Then the individual parts are machined. Finally, the device is assembled.

Fig. 1. The Overall Process Please note that the entire process is far more than just working with machine tools! After reviewing the plans, we must consider how we will machine each part. Then we must prepare materials, tools, and jigs and fixtures, if needed. We begin by cutting the material to rough size. Then we machine the pieces on the cutting and shaping tools (the lathe and mill). Finally, we add the finishing touches, such as drilling holes or cutting threads. The most important step is to plan the machining of each individual part. Naturally, the process differs from part to part. The shape of the part, the material used, and the accuracy required all contribute to the plan. Efficient Machining In machining, it is important to make an accurate part. In industry, it is also required to make a partquickly. It is clear that an expert will take less time than a beginner. But the operating time of a machine tool is not so different between the expert and the beginner, because the machining time is bounded. For efficient machining, it is important to plan your work operations ahead of time. Please note that a beginner should not rush a machining operation, as rushing increases the chance of making a mistake. Mistakes have to be corrected, or the piece abandoned, taking more time rather than less.

Fig. 2. Details of Machining

Cutting Process and Die-Casting Process

Cutting and die-casting are typical machining processes. The cutting process uses a sharp blade to remove a portion of the material. One of its characteristics is that metal waste is generated. The lathe and the mill are typical cutting machines. We can make various parts using a cutting machine. They are thus suitable for making one-time items such as experimental equipment. On the other hand, the die-casting process makes use of the ductile properties of metals. It produces no waste, and thus it is suitable process for mass production. However, a given diecasting pattern can produce only one specific part. It is not suitable for one-time items. (The contents of this web site describe only the cutting process. The author is not knowledgeable in die-casting and mass production.)

Removal of Burrs
Removing of Burrs
The burrs are rough edges which are generated as a result of the cutting process. It is often called a flash in English. There are the visible burrs as shown in Figure 1 and the invisible burrs, which are confirmed by touching the edge. In order to make an accurate part, it is very important to remove the burrs with a file. We must remove them carefully after the cutting process. Fig. 1, Visible Burrs Why we need to remove burrs? (1) In most cases of the machining process, the material is set to a chuck of a lathe or a vice of a milling machine as shown in Figure 2. If the burrs are remained, the material can not be accurately set. And as a consequence, the piece will be mounted at an askew or off center as shown in Figure 3. Also, small amounts of waste can become trapped and as a result can also cause askew or off center work pieces.

Fig. 2, Setting a Material

Fig. 3, If There is a Burr...

(2) If the burrs are not removed, the size of the part can not be accurately measured. It is therefore imperative to remove the burrs before the measurements are taken. (3) Another reason for removing burrs is that the can cause injury to personal due to sharp edges. (4) Also if burrs are not removed, they can seriously affect the assembly process of the parts.

Fig. 4, If a Burr is Remained...

Removiing a Burr using File and a Wooden Surface

It is advisable to use a wooden work surface to aid in the removal of a burr as the timber surface provides a good support while at the same time it does not damage the file if it comes into contact with the timber. Not that the file is "Pushed" along the edge and not "Pulled".

Fig. 5, Using a board to Facilitate the Removal of a Burr

Lathe Process and Removal of a Burr

A burr can also be generated during the lathe process. It can be easy removed by applying a file to the burr on the rotating material. Be careful to not touch the rotating part with your finger.

Fig. 6, Removal of a Burr after Lathe Process

Remove a Burr after Drilling Process

A burr generated during a drilling or tapping process is removed using a bigger drill. A little burr can be easily removed by rotating the drill bit by hand. Larger burrs may need to be removed by mounting the drill bit in a drilling machine.

Fig. 7, Removing a Burr by Hand after Drilling

How to Use Vernier Callipers In the machining process, we use vernier callipers or a micrometer for taking measurements. General analog vernier callipers as shown in Figure 1 can measure

with the minimum unit of 1/20 mm. Several types of digital vernier callipers as shown in Figure 2 can measure with the minimum unit of 1/100 mm.

Fig. 1, Analog Vernier Callipers

Fig. 2, Digital Vernier Callipers

Examples The vernier callipers can measure a side length, an outer and inner diameter, and a depth as shown in Figures 3 to 6.

Fig. 3, Measurement of an Outer Diameter

Fig. 4, Measurement of a Side Length

Fig. 5, Measurement of an Inner Diameter

Fig. 6, Measurement of a Depth

Keep a perpendicular position in measuring! The vernier callipers must be kept the perpendicular position in measuring. Typically, when a beginner measures the size of a complex shaped part, the result can be inaccurate as the measuring device is often not maintained parallel to measured piece.

How to Use a Micrometer When close tolerances are required, measurements are taken with a micrometer due to its superior accuracy over a vernier calliper. The micrometer as shown in Figure 7 can measure with the minimum unit of 1/1000 mm.

Fig. 7, Micrometer

Fig. 8, Measurement with a Micrometer

Which do you use the vernier callipers or the micrometer? The "For & Against" of using micrometers and vernier callipers are: Vernier Calliper:

For: A large range of measurements can be made using the one measuring device. Against: The majority of vernier callipers do not provide sufficient accuracy for close tolerance measurements. Micrometer: For: The micrometer provides a greater degree of accuracy for close tolerance work. Against: Due to the limited size range for a given micrometer, it is necessary to have a number of micrometers to cater for the full range of measurements you may encounter.

Dimensional Tolerance
Necessity of Dimensional Tolerance It is almost impossible (and sometimes uneconomical) to maintain the strict degree of accuracy as listed on a plan. To accommodate this, it is normal to display measurements with a plus or minus (+/-) tolerance which allows for some margin of error. Care needs to be taken however when determining such +/- tolerance, particularly where there are mating parts. For example, a shaft which is machined to its maximum tolerance may not fit a gear center that has been machined to it minimum tolerance or an unsatisfactory loose fit would result from the shaft being machined to its minimum tolerance with the gear center machined to its maximum tolerance. Usually, the dimensional tolerance is decided at the design stage and a Machinist must take care to apply the required dimensional tolerance and to ensure that discrepancies are not introduced as a result of poor workmanship of measuring techniques. Dimensional Tolerance of a Shaft and a Hole Figure 1 shows the plans of a fish robot's joint. In the plan, a shaft is inserted in the holes of Parts 1 and 2. The diameter of the holes are required to be on the plus-side of the dimensional deviation, and the diameter of the shaft is required minus-side of the dimensional deviation. Part 2 is inserted a slot of Part 1. Then the slot of Part 1 must have a plus-side dimensional deviation, and the size of Part 2 must have a minus-side dimensional deviation. Additionally, holes of many "commercially available" mechanical parts, such as gears

and couplings, are already finished to plus-side dimensional deviations.

Dimensional Tolerance of a Reamer When an accurate hole is required, we often use the hand tool called 'a reamer'. A diameter of a general reamer has plus-side dimensional deviation. Therefore, when a hole is made by a reamer that has 12 mm of nominal diameter, the hole is finished plus-side dimensional deviation than 12 mm.

Fig. 1, Dimensional Tolerance of a Shaft and Holes Installation of a Bearing

Many machines have bearings that support a rotating shaft. Various standardized bearings are commercially available and easily obtained. Generally, the outer diameter of a bearing has a minus-side dimensional deviation. The hole for the bearing must be finished to a plus-side dimensional deviation. On the other hand, the inner diameter of a bearing is a plus-side dimensional deviation, then the shaft to be inserted into the bearing must be finished to the minus-side dimensional deviation.

Fig. 2, Installation of a Bearing

A Slot for an O-ring

An O-ring is a mechanical component which is used as a seal device for various fluids. In order that it should work correctly, a slot of the O-ring must be finished to required dimensional tolerance. The values of the required dimensional tolerance are shown in typical Oring catalogues.

Fig. 3, A Slot for an O-ring

Installation of an One-way Clutch

In some special cases, as exampled below, a minus sided dimensional deviation is required: Figure 4 shows a one-way clutch fitted with bearings and a shaft. In order to obtain the correct operation, the outer ring of the one-way clutch must mate firmly with it mating hole. To achieve this, the hole needs to be finished on the minus-side of the dimensional deviation. In this case, the hole was finished with a hand reamer of 11.98 mm diameter, though the nominal dimension of the one-way clutch is 12 mm.

Fig. 4, Installation of an One-way Clutch

Which is the Dimensional Deviation Plus- or Minus-side? Much care and consideration needs to be given to this issue and the results of the determination needs to be clearly stated on the plans.

Surface Finish

In the case of general machining, we do not measure the surface finish in the machning process. However, when we consider the order of the machining process, it is very important that we know the required surface finish. For example, the seal surface for an O-ring must have a high degree of accuracy of the surface finish as shown in Figure 5(a). If it has a rough surface, the O-rings are damaged during the assembly stage. Also the sliding surface as shown in Figure 5(b) must have high accurate surface finish. In order to obtain a high surface finish with a lathe or a milling process, a slow movement of a tool and high blade speed gives better results.

Fig. 5, Examples of a Flat Surface

The Standard Surface As described above, we cannot always finish the actual size to the same as that stated in a plan. In order to achieve the required degree of accuracy, we need to determine a "standard reference point" and plan the measurements from this point for an example of mating parts. In the case of mating parts (see Figure 6), these are where the parts mate is often used as the reference point as this provides a common reference point on both parts (see figure 7). Care needs to be taken when planning reference points as any errors can be accumulative resulting in parts not fitting together. The reference point varies from job to job as the complexity of shapes provide many challenges to accurate measuring and setting-out. Then it is important to decide the standard surface for measuring of the length or the machiningof the location. If the decided standard surface is not suitable, errors are piled up, and the completed parts often cannot be constructed as the completed machine. First, see the part plan carefully, and consider where is decided the standard surface. The deciding of the standard surface of a part is different by the shape or how-to-use. When several boards are constructed, the surface touched other parts is very often decided as the standard surface (see Figure 6). When the we make holes in a circumference, the center of circle is very often decided the standard point (see Figure 7).

Fig. 6, Holes Inserted a Shaft

Fig. 7, Holes of a Flange

Marking-off Tools Marking-off is the process of drawing lines on the raw stock corresponding to the dimensions on the plan. Figures 1 to 6 show the tools used for the marking off.
Determining the Need for Accuracy In the case of preliminary cutting or "roughing-out" it is satisfactory to mark-up using generally accurate measurements however, when finishing or high precision is needed, then it is essential that utmost care be taken to mark-up the work piece with extreme care and attention to detail. When working in a commercial environment, there needs to be a balance between achieving the desired quality of workmanship with that of the time taken to complete the work.

Fig. 1, Marking-off Scribe

Fig. 2, Steel Rule

A marking-off scribe is used for drawing lines on material. Its point is sharp, and is tempered to ensure that point is maintained.

The steel rule is used for measuring-out and drawing lines. A good quality steel rule is a good investment in achieving accuracy.

Fig. 3, Steel Compas A compas is used for drawing circles or an arc. Its points are also sharp and hardened.

Fig. 4, Center Punch and Hammer A center punch is used for marking an "indent" before a hole is bored with a drilling machine. The point is usually set to the point of intersection between two marking line.

Fig. 5, Block and Flat Table Generally, the marking process is done on a flat table, called a marking-off table. The block with a V-shaped slot, as shown in the above photograph useful when marking our round or irregular objects.

Fig. 6, Height Gauge The height gauge as shown in the above photograph can measure with the accuracy of 1/100 mm. The point of the gauge is also a marking scribe, so that it can be used for drawing accurate lines by sliding the gauge on the flat table while at the same time scribing along the work piece.

Marking-off and Drilling

The procedure of making holes in a simple mechanical process and is presented as follows.

(1) Drawing of the Horizontal Center Lines Touch the material to the block, and slide the hight gauge.

(2) Drawing of the Vertical Center Lines Rotate the material to 90 degrees. And draw the vertical lines.

(3) Set the Point After marking the center point with the center punch, set the drill.

(4) Drilling Drill a hole with the drilling machine.

(5) Drilling It may be necessary to withdraw the drill from the work piece to remove any swarf that may otherwise clog the drill bit

(6) Completion When drilling is completed it is usually necessary to remove any burrs as previously discussed.

Fig. 7, Flow of Markings and Drillings

How to Use a Drill A drill is one of the most useful and most often used tools. Generally, a drill bit that is used metal work, has two edges with angles of 90 or 120 degrees. Various drill bits, that have from less than 1 mm diameter to more than 40 mm diameter, are available. However, the chuck of the general drilling machines can use only shaft sizes of less than 13 mm diameter. However, for larger drills and milling machines, drill bits are designed with a "Morse" taper as shown in figure 2.

Fig.1, Drills Machines for Milling and Drilling Figures 3 to 5 respectively pictures a drilling machine, a milling machine and a hand drill. Hand drills are only advised when a high degree of accuracy is not required or it is not practical to mount the work piece in the drilling machine.

Fig.2, Taper Drill

Fig.3, Drilling Machine

Fig.4, Milling Machine

Fig.5, Hand Drilling Machine

Wheting of Drill

To achieve accuracy of drilling, the drill bit must be sharp. The bigger drills, such as 6 mm diameter plus, can be wheted (sharpened) using a bench grinder. However, it can be a very difficult process and much practice is needed for the beginner. Fundamentally, in the wheting process, two edges of the drill have to touch the grinding medium at the same time. The first step in the whetting proves is to grind the two sides of the drill to an equal angle as shown in figure 7(a). Note, if the angle of both each side is not even as in figures 7 (b) and (c), the drill will not provide a satisfactory cut. The second step involves grinding to make an "angle of relief" as shown in figure 8(a). Note that if a drill bit does not have an angle of relief, than it is not possible for the drill to drill a hole in the work piece. An example of incorrect angles of relief can be seen in figures 8 (b) and (c).

Fig.6, Edges of a Drill

Fig.7, Angles of Edges

Fig.8, Angle of Relief

Basic Operation of a Lathe

Let's Use a Lathe!
A lathe is a machine tool which turns cylindrical material, touches a cutting tool to it, and cuts the material. The lathe is one of the machine tools most well used by machining (Figure 1). As shown in Figure 2, a material is firmly fixed to the chuck of a lathe. The lathe is switched on and the chuck is rotated. And since the table which fixed the byte can be moved in the vertical direction, and the right-and-left direction by operating some handles shown in Fig. 3. It touches a byte's tip into the material by the operation, and make a mechanical part.

Fig.1, Appearance of a Lathe

Fig.2, Chucking of Material Fig.3, Handles of a Lathe CAUTIONS! When we use a lathe, the following things must take great care. (1) Don't keep a chuck handle attached by the chuck. Next, it flies at the moment of turning a lathe. (2) Don't touch the byte table into the rotating chuck. Not only a byte but the table or the lathe are damaged.

Three Important Elements In orger to get an efficient propcess and beautiful surface at the lathe machining, it is

important to adjust a rotating speed, a cutting depth and a sending speed. Please note that the important elements can not decide easily, because these suitable values are quiet different by materials, size and shapes of the part.
Rotating Speed It expresses with the number of rotations (rpm) of the chuck of a lathe. When the rotating speed is high, processing speed becomes quick, and a processing surface is finely finished. However, since a little operation mistakes may lead to the serious accident, it is better to set low rotating speed at the first stage. Cutting Depth The cutting depth of the tool affects to the processing speed and the roughness of surface. When the cutting depth is big, the processing speed becomes quick, but the surface temperature becomes high, and it has rough surface. Moreover, a life of byte also becomes short. If you do not know a suitable cutting depth, it is better to set to small value. Sending Speed (Feed) The sending speed of the tool also affects to the processing speed and the roughness of surface. When the sending speed is high, the processing speed becomes quick. When the sending speed is low, the surface is finished beautiful. There are 'manual sending' which turns and operates a handle, and 'automatic sending' which advances a byte automatically. A beginner must use the manual sending. Because serious accidents may be caused, such as touching the rotating chuck around the byte in automatic sending,. Fig.4, Three Important Elements A beginner of a lathe must operate with low rotating sopeed, small cutting depth and low sending speed.

Cutting Tools for Lathe There are vrious kinds of the cutting tools for a lathe. We must choose them by the materials and shape of a part. Three typical cutting tools are introduced in follows. Then we consider what is an easy process or a hard process. Form of Typical Cutting Tools

Figure 5(a) shows the most well-used cutting tool called a side tool. It can process to cut an outside surface and an edge surface. Since the material is set at the right of lathe, then this tool can only cut the right of the material. The cutting tool shown in Figure 5(b) is used at parting and grooving processes. Its pointed end is slim, then it is too weak. Don't add a strong side-force to the tool. This tool must send vertical direction only. The cutting tool shown in Figure 5(c) is called a boring bar. It is used to cut at an inside surface. It can make a big hole, which cannot be process by a drill, and an high accurate hole.

Fig.5, Typical Cutting Tools

Easy Processing and Hard Processing

The general cutting tool, shown in Figure 5(a) is the most easy hangling. Then the shape, which can be make using only the general cutting tool, has easy processing. In the case of the parting or prooving, The process becomes hard with decreasing of the width of a alot, and increasing of the depth. In the case of using of the boring bar, the process of a penetrated hole is not so hard. But the process of nopenetrated hole is somewhat hard. Because we cannot see the bottom surface in during process. In such cases, we decide the location of the tool with the sound or the scale of lathe. Moreover, the process of a small hole (less

Fig.6, Easy Processing and Hard Processing

than 10 mm) or a depth hole is too hard. Of course, there are impossible shapes as shown in Figure 6(c). In such case, the part must be divided or have any contrivances. Hearing the Sound In the case of the lathe process, sharpness is known from scraps of the material or a processing surface. In addition, it is also important to hear the sound. For example, when the sound is too high, the processing is not suitable. It is caused by the bad edge of the tool, too higher rotating speed of the lathe, or vibrating of a thin material.

Setting of a Cutting Tool

In case a cutting tool is fixed to a table, thin metal plates are put between the tool and the table, and the height of the edge is adjusted to the center of material. In the case of using the general cutting tool, when the edge is higher than the center of material, the edge of a blade does not hit the material, and it cannot cut at all. Conversely, if the edge is low, it becomes impossible to cut the center of material. Moreover, the scale of a handle does not have correct value, then accurate processing becomes impossible. If it says which it is ... Though the height of the cutting tool is adjusted in careful, we cannot unite with the center of material completely. Therefore, we have to set the tool to the direction, that the edge is easy to touch the material. The general cutting tool and the parting tool have to be set a few low position. The boring bar has to set a few high position. Fig.7, Height of Edge

Outline of Welding
Kinds of the Weldings Welding is processing which melts the metal materials with hot heat, and ithey are joined. There are various kinds of the welding depending on how to give heat. An arc welding is used most often as a welding process of steel material. For welding of a comparatively thin plates, it is easy to treat a gas welding. A TIG welding is used for welding of stainless steel or an aluminium alloy. A soldering is the joining method similar to the weldings, without melting the material itself, it melts only a solder. And it joins to metal materials. The soldering. has a low temperature at the processing compared with the weldings, then it is easy processing.

Fig.1, Arc Welding

Fig.2, Gas Welding

Fig.3, TIG Welding Difficulties of Weldings

Fig.4, Soldering

Generally, the weldings are more difficult than cutting processes. The metal materials are changed by giving heat, and it becomes difficult to make an accurate size. Moreover, it cannot judge whether the welding is well, because a processing portion is hard to see during welding. Furthermore, a beginner cannot understand whether it has melted to sufficient depth. It seems that therefore, sufficient experience of the procedure (turn of a welding part), setup of a welding equipment, is required in order to perform suitable welding.

Arc Welding
Outline of Arc Welding
The arc welding makes arcs between a material and a welding rod. And it is a well used welding method. In the arc welding, we use a torch with a welding rod as shown in Figure 1. And both of the material and the welding rod are ment in the arc. The arc welding is very high speed, and if the welding is very well, the strength is very high. But the arc is very light, then we cannot see the welding processes. A beginner may be often failed the welding. All weldings, including the arc welding, need higher technique than cutting processings, because we do not have the same conditions.

Fig.1, Hand Torch for Arc Welding

Actual Arc Welding

As shown in Figure 2, An arc welding machine is connected to electric cables to the electric source, the torch and the material (earth). After switch on the machine, the welding rod is touched to the material, and the arc occures. The basic handling of the arc welding is in follows. Fig.2, Arc Welding System

Angle of Welding Rod In the arc welding, it is important to set the angle of a welding rod (coated electrode). As the most fundamental welding, the case where two griddles (mother material) are welded in the shape of [ of a transverse direction ] a straight line is considered. It welds laying down about 45 degrees of wedding rods in the direction of the right (in the case of a right-handed person) from the left, as shown in Fig. 3 (a). And it is the foundations which are maintained at the same angle (90 degrees) to two griddles. 2 3(a) 45 2 90 As shown in Fig. 3 (b), when a wedding rod is leaned, a material opposite to the leaned side becomes easy to melt. Welding is advanced checking that both of material melts uniformly using this. 3(b)

Fig.3, Angle of Welding Rod

Distance between the Welding Rod and Material You have to keep constant the interval of a wedding rod tip and mother material during welding. As a standard, the distance is about 3-5mm. If an interval approaches too much and a wedding rod and mother material contact, an arc stops Fig.4, Distance between the Welding Rod and Material occurring and a wedding rod and mother material will adhere depending on the case. Moreover, if an interval separates too much, an arc will be distributed and suitable welding cannot be performed. Since a wedding rod becomes short as it advances welding, it warns to keep the interval of a wedding rod and mother material suitable. 3 5mm Movements of Welding Rod What is necessary is generally, just not to necessarily move a wedding rod straightly. The wedding rod is buried in the meantime, checking that two mother material has melted firmly. The rhythm which leans (1) wedding rod and melts the material of one side as an image and which melts (2)

Fig.5, Imagine of Arc Welding

another material of pushing in (3) wedding rod will be repeated. 2

Adjustment of Electric Current In the arc welding, the adjustment of an electric current is very important. If the electric current is too low, the materials are not melted enough. Also the arc does not often birth, and the welding rod fixes to the material easily. Oppositely, if the electric current is too high, the materials are melted excessively, and a hole is often made at the welding point. Examples of Arc Welding When an equipment is made by constructed channel materials, we can make it with bolts and nuts. However if we can handle the arc welding, the processing has more shorter time and easy building. Figure 6 shows an example of the experimental equipment using the arc welding.

(a) Cutting of the materials

(b) Completed Waving Table

Fig.6, Waving Table for Model Wheelchairs

Lathe (metal)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Center lathe with DRO and chuck guard. Size is 460 mm swing x 1000 mm between centers

A metal lathe or metalworking lathe is a large class of lathes designed for precisely machining relatively hard materials. They were originally designed to machine metals; however, with the advent of plastics and other materials, and with their inherent versatility, they are used in a wide range of applications, and a broad range of materials. In machining jargon, where the larger context is already understood, they are usually simply called lathes, or else referred to by more-specific subtype names (toolroom lathe, turret lathe, etc.). These rigid machine toolsremove material from a rotating workpiece via the (typically linear) movements of various cutting tools, such as tool bits and drill bits.

1 Construction

o o o o

1.1 Headstock 1.2 Bed 1.3 Feed and lead screws 1.4 Carriage

o o

1.4.1 Cross-slide 1.4.2 Compound rest 1.4.3 Toolpost

1.5 Tailstock 1.6 Steady and follower rests

2 Types of metal lathes

o o o o o o o o o o o

2.1 Center lathe / engine lathe / bench lathe 2.2 Toolroom lathe 2.3 Turret lathe and capstan lathe 2.4 Gang-tool lathe 2.5 Multispindle lathe 2.6 CNC lathe / CNC turning center 2.7 Swiss-style lathe / Swiss turning center 2.8 Combination lathe / 3-in-1 machine 2.9 Mini-lathe and micro-lathe 2.10 Wheel lathe 2.11 Brake lathe

3 Feed mechanisms 4 References 5 Bibliography 6 External links

The design of lathes can vary greatly depending on the intended application; however, basic features are common to most types. These machines consist of (at the least) a headstock, bed, carriage, and tailstock. Better machines are solidly constructed with broad bearing surfaces (slides or ways) for stability, and manufactured with great precision. This helps ensure the components manufactured on the machines can meet the required tolerances and repeatability.


Headstock with legend, numbers and text within the description refer to those in the image

The headstock (H1) houses the main spindle (H4), speed change mechanism(H2,H3), and change gears (H10). The headstock is required to be made as robust as possible due to the cutting forces involved, which can distort a lightly built housing, and induce harmonic vibrations that will transfer through to the workpiece, reducing the quality of the finished workpiece. The main spindle is generally hollow to allow long bars to extend through to the work area. This reduces preparation and waste of material. The spindle runs in precision bearings and is fitted with some means of attaching workholding devices such aschucks or faceplates. This end of the spindle usually also has an included taper, frequently a Morse taper, to allow the insertion of tapers and centers. On older machines the spindle was directly driven by a flat belt pulley with lower speeds available by manipulating the bull gear. Later machines use a gear box driven by a dedicated electric motor. A fully geared head allows the operator to select speeds entirely through the gearbox.

The bed is a robust base that connects to the headstock and permits the carriage and tailstock to be aligned parallel with the axis of the spindle. This is facilitated by hardened and ground ways which restrain the carriage and tailstock in a set track. The carriage travels by means of a rack and pinion system, leadscrew of accurate pitch, or feedscrew. Types of beds include inverted "V" beds, flat beds, and combination "V" and flat beds. "V" and combination beds are used for precision and light duty work, while flat beds are used for heavy duty work.[citation needed] When a lathe is installed, the first step is to level it, which refers to making sure the bed is not twisted or bowed. There is no need to make the machine exactly horizontal, but it must be entirely untwisted to achieve accurate cutting geometry. A precision level is a useful tool for identifying and removing any twist. It is advisable also to use such a level along the bed to detect bending, in the case of a lathe with more than four mounting points. In both instances the level is used as a comparator rather than an absolute reference.


and lead screws

The feedscrew (H8) is a long driveshaft that allows a series of gears to drive the carriage mechanisms. These gears are located in the apronof the carriage. Both the feedscrew and leadscrew (H7) are driven by either the change gears (on the quadrant) or an intermediate gearbox known as a quick change gearbox (H6) or Norton gearbox. These intermediate gears allow the correct ratio and direction to be set for cutting threads or worm gears. Tumbler gears (operated by H5) are provided between the spindle and gear train along with a quadrant plate that enables a gear train of the correct ratio and direction to be introduced.

This provides a constant relationship between the number of turns the spindle makes, to the number of turns the leadscrew makes. This ratio allows screwthreads to be cut on the workpiece without the aid of a die. Some lathes have only one leadscrew that serves all carriage-moving purposes. For screw cutting, a half nut is engaged to be driven by the leadscrew's thread; and for general power feed, a key engages with a keyway cut into the leadscrew to drive a pinion along a rack that is mounted along the lathe bed. The leadscrew will be manufactured to either imperial or metric standards and will require a conversion ratio to be introduced to create thread forms from a different family. To accurately convert from one thread form to the other requires a 127-tooth gear, or on lathes not large enough to mount one, an approximation may be used. Multiples of 3 and 7 giving a ratio of 63:1 can be used to cut fairly loose threads. This conversion ratio is often built into the quick change gearboxes. The precise ratio required to convert a lathe with an Imperial (inch) leadscrew to metric (millimeter) threading is 100 / 127 = 0.7874... . The best approximation with the fewest total teeth is very often 37 / 47 = 0.7872... . This transposition gives a constant -0.020 percent error over all customary and model-maker's metric pitches (0.25, 0.30, 0.35, 0.40, 0.45, 0.50, 0.60, 0.70, 0.75, 0.80, 1.00, 1.25, 1.50, 1.75, 2.00, 2.50, 3.00, 3.50, 4.00, 4.50, 5.00, 5.50 and 6.00mm).


Carriage with legend, numbers and text within the description refer to those in the image

In its simplest form the carriage holds the tool bit and moves it longitudinally (turning) or perpendicularly (facing) under the control of the operator. The operator moves the carriage manually via the handwheel (5a) or automatically by engaging the feed shaft with the carriage feed mechanism (5c). This provides some relief for the operator as the movement of the carriage becomes power assisted. The handwheels (2a, 3b, 5a) on the carriage and its related slides are usually calibrated, both for ease of use and to assist in making reproducible

cuts. The carriage typically comprises a top casting, known as the saddle (4), and a side casting, known as theapron (5).

The cross-slide (3) rides on the carriage and has a feedscrew that travels perpendicular to the main spindle axis. This permits facing operations to be performed, and the depth of cut to be adjusted. This feedscrew can be engaged, through a gear train, to the feed shaft (mentioned previously) to provide automated 'power feed' movement to the cross-slide. On most lathes, only one direction can be engaged at a time as an interlock mechanism will shut out the second gear train.

[edit]Compound rest
The compound rest (or top slide) (2) is usually where the tool post is mounted. It provides a smaller amount of movement (less than the cross-slide) along its axis via another feedscrew. The compound rest axis can be adjusted independently of the carriage or cross-slide. It is used for turning tapers, to control depth of cut when screwcutting or precision facing, or to obtain finer feeds (under manual control) than the feed shaft permits. Usually, the compound rest has a protractor marked in its base (2b), enabling the operator to adjust its axis to precise angles. The slide rest can be traced to the fifteenth century. In 1718 the tool-supporting slide rest with a set of gears was introduced by a Russian inventor Andrey Nartov and had limited usage in the Russian industry.[1] In the eighteenth century the slide rest was also used on Frenchornamental turning lathes. The suite of gun boring mills at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, in the 1780s by the Verbruggan family also had slide rests. The story has long circulated that Henry Maudslay invented it, but he did not (and never claimed so). The legend that Maudslay invented the slide rest originated with James Nasmyth, who wrote ambiguously about it in his Remarks on the Introduction of the Slide Principle, 1841; later writers misunderstood, and propagated the error. However, Maudslay did help to disseminate the idea widely. It is highly probable that he saw it when he was working at the Arsenal as a boy. In 1794, whilst he was working for Joseph Bramah, he made one, and when he had his own workshop used it extensively in the lathes he made and sold there. Coupled with the network of engineers he trained, this ensured the slide rest became widely known and copied by other lathe makers, and so diffused throughout British engineering workshops. A practical and versatile screw-cutting lathe incorporating the trio of leadscrew, change gears, and slide rest was Maudslay's most important achievement. The first fully documented, all-metal slide rest lathe was invented by Jacques de Vaucanson around 1751. It was described in theEncyclopdie a long time before Maudslay invented and perfected his version. It is likely that Maudslay was not aware of Vaucanson's work, since his first versions of the slide rest had many errors that were not present in the Vaucanson lathe.

The tool bit is mounted in the toolpost (1) which may be of the American lantern style, traditional four-sided square style, or a quick-change style such as the multifix arrangement pictured. The advantage of a quick change set-up is to allow an unlimited number of tools to be used (up to the number of holders available) rather than being limited to one tool with the lantern style, or to four tools with the four-sided type. Interchangeable tool holders allow all tools to be preset to a center height that does not change, even if the holder is removed from the machine.


Tailstock with legend, numbers and text within the description refer to those in the image

The tailstock is a toolholder directly mounted on the spindle axis, opposite the headstock. The spindle (T5) does not rotate but does travel longitudinally under the action of a leadscrew and handwheel (T1). The spindle includes a taper to hold drill bits, centers and other tooling. The tailstock can be positioned along the bed and clamped (T6) in position as required. There is also provision to offset the tailstock(T4) from the spindles axis, this is useful for turning small tapers. The image shows a reduction gear box (T2) between the handwheel and spindle, this is a feature found only in the larger center lathes, where large drills may necessitate the extra leverage. The tool bit is normally made of HSS, cobalt steel or carbide


and follower rests

A steady rest

Workpieces often need to be supported more than the chuck and/or centers can support them, because cutting metal produces tremendous forces that tend to vibrate or even bend the workpiece. This extra support can be provided by a steady rest (also called a steady, a fixed steady, a center rest, or sometimes, confusingly, a center). It stands stationary from a rigid mounting on the bed, and it supports the workpiece at the rest's center, typically with three contact points 120 apart. A follower rest (also called a follower or a travelling steady) is similar, but it is mounted to the carriage rather than the bed, which means that as the tool bit moves, the follower rest "follows along" (because they are both rigidly connected to the same moving carriage).[2] Follower rests can provide support that directly counteracts the springing force of the tool bit, right at the region of the workpiece being cut at any moment. In this respect they are analogous to a box tool.

A follower rest


of metal lathes

There are many variants of lathes within the metalworking field. Some variations are not all that obvious, and others are more a niche area. For example, a centering lathe is a dual head machine where the work remains fixed and the heads move towards the workpiece and machine a center drill hole into each end. The resulting workpiece may then be used "between centers" in another operation. The usage of the term metal lathe may also be considered somewhat outdated these days, plastics and other composite materials are in wide use and with appropriate modifications, the same principles and techniques may be applied to their machining as that used for metal.


lathe / engine lathe / bench lathe

Two-speed back gears in a cone-head lathe.

A typical center lathe.

The terms center lathe, engine lathe, and bench lathe all refer to a basic type of lathe that may be considered the archetypical class of metalworking lathe most often used by the generalmachinist or machining hobbyist. The name bench lathe implies a version of this class small enough to be mounted on a workbench (but still full-featured, and larger than mini-lathes or micro-lathes). The construction of a center lathe is detailed above, but depending on the year of manufacture, size, price range, or desired features, even these lathes can vary widely between models.

Engine lathe is the name applied to a traditional late-19th-century or 20th-century lathe with automatic feed to the cutting tool, as opposed to early lathes which were used with hand-held tools, or lathes with manual feed only. The usage of "engine" here is in the mechanical-device sense, not the prime-mover sense, as in the steam engines which were the standard industrial power source for many years. The works would have one large steam engine which would provide power to all the machines via a line shaft system of belts. Therefore early engine lathes were generally 'cone heads', in that the spindle usually had attached to it a multi-step pulley called acone pulley designed to accept a flat belt. Different spindle speeds could be obtained by moving the flat belt to different steps on the cone pulley. Cone-head lathes usually had a countershaft (layshaft) on the back side of the cone which could be engaged to provide a lower set of speeds than was obtainable by direct belt drive. These gears were called back gears. Larger lathes sometimes had two-speed back gears which could be shifted to provide a still lower set of speeds. When electric motors started to become common in the early 20th century, many cone-head lathes were converted to electric power. At the same time the state of the art in gear and bearingpractice was advancing to the point that manufacturers began to make fully geared headstocks, using gearboxes analogous to automobile transmissions to obtain various spindle speeds and feed rates while transmitting the higher amounts of power needed to take full advantage of high speed steel tools. The inexpensive availability of electronics has again changed the way speed control may be applied by allowing continuously variable motor speed from the maximum down to almost zero RPM. (This had been tried in the late 19th century but was not found satisfactory at the time. Subsequent improvements have made it viable again.)