There is no doubt in saying that necessity is the mother of all inventions. All the machines are invented with a single purpose and that is to reduce labour work and get things done quickly. In ancient times, giving shapes to metal was a tedious job and time consuming process. The invention of lathe machine made the job of metal shaping much easier. Basically, It is used to remove the unwanted part from the metals to give it a new shape. The material is rotated against the tool which trims down the material into shape. In olden times, It was operated manually but the machine got many innovative improvements after that. The technological changes brought many versatile changes to a lathe machine. There are many products which we use in our daily life using metals of different shapes and sizes. The production of all these products has been possible only due to a lathe machine. Every other industry is influenced. it can even perform the complicated process of shaping metals. To manufacture any metal product, the basic requirement is to shape it and that is possible only due this tool.
Elements of a Lathe Machine
Generally, it provides a variety of rotating speeds and different features which can enable manual and automatic controls for moving the cutting tool. There are various types of equipment available like light duty, medium duty, heavy duty, extra heavy duty etc. No matter which device you choose, suiting to your job requirements, below are the common elements which are present in every lathe machine as given below:-
Chuck – is used to hold the work piece and can be replaced with Jacobs chuck or centre for alternative work holding.
Tailstock – is used to hold and located the tail centre and can be unlocked and slid towards the chuck.
Tail centre – is used to hold the end of long pieces of work, as the small lengths can just be held in the chuck. Centre can be removed and replaced with Jacobs chuck and drill and the advance wheel rotated to drill the work.
Tool Post – is used to hold the cutting tool in a precise location.
Cross Slide – it runs on the bed rails and has a mounting for the tool post which can be driven forward by the tool post advance wheel to bring the cutting tool on to the work peice.
Cross Slide Advance – It is used to move the cross slide and tool post sideways and hence the cutting tool towards and away from the chuck.
Drive pulleys and belts – are used to achieve various speeds by varying the belt position on the pulleys.
How to Choose a Lathe Machine?
- As you know there are various types of lathe machines available having different features, you need to select as per your job requirements. For example, an average hobbyist would choose a light duty lathe machine which is small in size but if a metal work shop requires, then it would definitely go for an extra heavy duty or a CNC.
- It is very much important to consider the bed capacity before selecting it depends on the material on which you require to work on.
- The core to any lathe machine is the spindle. The spindle comes in standard as well as non-standard sizes. So, you need to choose the spindle size depending on the metal shaping project you are working on.
- Never go for cheap, as you may end up buying consisting non-standard parts which are not going to last longer period of time.