Lathe Machines 101

Lathes are among the oldest machining tools and, in some ways, one of the simplest. However, despite these characteristics, lathes are also one of the most versatile and useful types of tools. They can be found in almost every machine shop and across numerous industries. Many teams have used CNC with lathe machines to achieve incredible results.

If you think that a lathe machine may be right for you, the information below will help you to understand them better. Then, you can get started with an affordable used CNC lathe from Premier Equipment.

What Is a CNC Lathe Machine?

A lathe is a type of rotary machining tool. It is primarily used for shaping metal or wood but can be used on other materials. Unlike many other tools, lathes rotate the workpiece while cutting and shaping it using a stationary tool. Additionally, a lathe is oriented horizontally with the workpiece spinning around the longitudinal axis of the machine.

This design offers impressive flexibility compared to other common machines. The functions of mills, drill presses, sanders and more can be replicated with a lathe. While it primarily excels at turning, the lathe is a force to be reckoned with in other functions as well.

Many people use manual lathes with hand tools for cutting. However, in factories, machine shops and other setups requiring a fast rate of work, high precision and/or repeatability, CNC lathes are preferred.

The Parts of a Lathe Machine

There are five major parts of any lathe machine. These provide the main functions of the lathe:

  • Head Stock: This part is on the left side of the lathe and transmits power to the other parts. It holds the bearings that allow for smooth rotation. Additionally, it houses the control mechanisms.
  • Tail Stock: This part sits opposite the head stock. It can be used to hold drill clamps and similar tools for supporting longer workpieces.
  • Carriage: Sitting between the head and tail stocks, the carriage provides support for the tool. On a CNC lathe, it is also used to automatically position the tool.
  • Bed: The horizontal structure of the lath provides the overall structure of the lathe machine. It also catches shavings and chips from the workpiece.
  • Feed Rod: The feed rod is used for precise carriage movements along the longitudinal axis. Not all lathes have a feed rod. Those that don’t, can adjust movement with the lead screw.

Other important parts of the machine can include the chuck, saddle, main spindle, legs, tool post and cross-slide. These all aid in the adjustment of tools and rotation so that the lathe can provide effective material cutting.

How Can You Use a Lathe Machine?

Traditionally, workers have used lathe machines for cutting and turning. However, they have many other applications. For example, they may be used for drilling, sanding and facing. In fact, almost all rotary machining operations can be achieved with a lathe thanks to its flexible design. With the benefits of CNC, lathes become even more flexible. Many of our used lathe customers report being unable to ever return to not using a lathe in their shops.

Get a Great Deal on a Used CNC Lathe

If you are interested in getting started with CNC lathe machining, Premier Equipment can help you find the perfect machine for your needs. We specialize in used CNC lathe machines and other used items. A used lathe machine is a great way to get high-quality equipment at an affordable price. Contact us to learn more.

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