A Beginner’s Guide On The Use Of The Metal Lathe Machine

A metal lathe machine is a lathe that is designed to shape hard materials. When you buy a new lathe go through the instruction manual very carefully. These manuals are quite easy to follow. Even on the internet a lot of information is available regarding the usage of this equipment.

Tips to follow while using a Metal Lathe Machine:

  • A metal lathe is not a small so for the first few days work under an experienced metal worker and take his guidance. If you are not careful it can lead to injury.
  • Warm up the machine for about 10 minutes at a speed of 1000 rpm, never run the device cold. It should be well lubricated.
  • It has either 3 jaw chucks or 4 jaw chucks. These move at different speeds, up to 6500 rpm. A 4 jaw chunk should be used to hold an irregular material.
  • Check and prepare the tools and make sure they are tightly placed. Insert the tool block in the tool holder, insert the cutter and tightened it properly.
  • Insert the drill chuck in the tail stock. This is used to drill holes in the metal piece. The crank is located at the end of the measuring tool.
  • The turning spindle should be stopped before setting the zero point. With a tool holder keep a half an inch wedge between the tip of the tool and the piece of work and tighten it.
  • Create an X axis by pulling the tool towards yourself finding the micrometer wheel and setting it at zero point.
  • Next move towards the work piece at a distance of 0.5 inches. This is the Z zero point.
  • Wear protective eye equipment while working with metal or the splinters can damage your eyes. Keep the hair tied tightly.
  • Wear gloves and other safety guards while using it. Wear tight fitting clothes, remove any jewellery or the ┬átie.
  • Take care while moving around the workshop, do not move it alone as these are heavy equipments. Never lean on the it.
  • The area around the machine must be kept clear, and free from any oil spills. The bed must be kept clean as the cast iron dust can damage it
  • Support the device with a clamp or a holder, this reduces the strain on the lathe and prevents the cutting from chatter.
  • Clean the center carefully before inserting it in the headstock or the tailstock.
  • Once in a while open and clean the gear teeth of the accumulated fine particles of metals. Use pliers or a brush to remove chips of metal.
  • Always stop the tool and then make adjustments and let it stop completely before changing spindle speed.
  • Before operating it remove the chuck keys and wrenches. Never leave the key in the chuck.


Always take care to choose a good quality metal lathe machine, which is of superior class. One must be aware of the safety risks associated with using a metal lathe and understand the precautions in order to avoid accidents.

Written by Yash Shah

This blog written by Mr. Yash Shah is about machine tools including workshop machinery, wood working machines, sheet metal machinery provided by Bhavya Machine Tools, a leading distributors of machine tools in India.