All About Lathes

Lathe machines are used for shaping and machining various cylindrical pieces made of hard material. They come in many different types depending on what material is being shaped or cut. Lathe machines can be especially helpful when producing pieces according to specifications.

Its main function is to remove material from a work piece through the use of cutting tools. It shapes the material by holding and rotating it as a cutting tool is advanced into it. It can produce many shapes and forms in various sizes and specifications.

The important elements when using a lathe are the rotating speed, cutting depth, and sending speed. These are decided based on the material, size and shapes of the part being made.

  • Rotating Speed: This is the number of rotations of the chuck of the lathe. When it is high, the processing speed is quick and the surface is finely finished. However, starting with a low rotating speed at the first stage can prevent operation mistakes.
  • Cutting Depth: This affects the processing speed and roughness of the surface. When the cutting depth is large, it’s faster but the surface temperature is increased, creating a rough surface.
  • Sending Speed: This also affects the processing speed and roughness of the surface. When the sending speed is high, the processing speed is faster. If the speed is low, the surface turns out better.

Lathe machines come in three general types. These are engine lathes, turret lathes, and special purpose lathes. Each has specific applications and distinctive characteristics.

Engine Lathes

This type of lathe machine is popular because it can be used for various materials. They can also be adjusted to variable speeds for a wide scope of work, and they come in various sizes. The main components of the engine lathe includes the bed, headstock, and tailstock. This setup makes them easier to use.

Turret Lathes

When machining single workpieces sequentially, this is the machine to use. This eliminates errors in work alignment making it extremely efficient. It also saves time, because there’s no need to transfer the piece to another machine.

Special Purpose Lathes

Usually these machines are used for heavy-duty production of identical parts. They also perform functions that standard lathes cannot.

Brooks Associates can find the right lathe for any shop. From installation to training and maintenance, Brooks is there through the entire process.  Visit their machining website to see the various brands and products they offer.

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