Manufacturing Index

Turning/ Lathes etc


The lathe is available in many forms as listed below.  All lathes are based upon the centre lathe as shown in the figure below;
The basic operations that can be carried out on lathes include:-Turning, Facing, Boring, Drilling, Reaming, Counterboring, Countersinking, Threading, Knurling and Parting.

Types of Lathes
  1. Centre lathes

  2.   Engine lathes,
      Bench lathes,
      Toolroom lathes,
      Speed lathes,
      Duplicating lathes,
      Production lathes,
      Vertical lathes,
  3. Capstan/Turret lathes
  4. Automatic lathes

Center Lathes

All of the important features of the lathe are shown on the above figure.
The headstock spindle which is hollow to allow bar stock to be fed through is generally provided with a special male thread to allow chucks etc. to be easily fitted and removed.   Some of the different work holding units which can be fitted onto the headstock spindle are shown below.

Important Centre Lathe Dimensions

Work Holding Devices

Cutting Tool Terms
  • Face surface of cutting tool
  • Cutting Edge ..The part of the cutting tool which actually cuts the metal comprises the side cutting edge and the end cutting edge
  • Flank ..The side of the cutting tool below the side cutting edge
  • Nose ..Point to the tool
  • Nose Radius ..The radius of the nose - 0,4mm for heavy cuts ,0,4-1,5mm for finishing cuts
  • Nose Angle ..Plan angle between the side cutting edge and the end cutting edge
  • Side Cutting Edge angle ..Angle between the side cutting edge and the line of the shank side
  • End cutting edge angle ..Angle between the end cutting edge and a line drawn 90o to the shank side
  • Side Relief/clearance Angle ..The angle between the tool flank and the original side of the tool
  • End Relief/clearance Angle ..The angle between the end of tool and a line drawn 90o to the Centre line of the Lathe
  • Side Rake ..Angle between the tool face and the horizontal Plane parallel to the axis of the lathe
  • Back Rake Rake ..Angle between the tool face and the horizontal Plane 90o to the axis of the lathe

Cutting Speeds

The cutting speed is the speed at which the work surface passes the cutting tool.   This is mainly dependent on the material being turned and the cutting tool material.   The table below indicates some approximate cutting speed for turning on a lathe.

For information on cutting materials refer Cutting Materials.  For information on cutting fluids refer Cutting Fluids

Material Cutting Tool
m/min m/min
Free Cutting Steel H.S.S 35 90
Cast Alloy 75 145
Carbide 125 205
Low Carbon Steel H.S.S 31 80
Cast Alloy 65 130
Carbide 106 190
Medium Carbon Steel; H.S.S 30 69
Cast Alloy 58 107
Carbide; 92 152
High Carbon Steel H.S.S 24 61
Cast Alloy 53 91
Carbide 76 137
Cast Iron Grey H.S.S 24 41
Cast alloy 43 76
Carbide 69 125
Brass / Bronze
Free Cutting
H.S.S 53 110
Cast Alloy 105 170
Carbide 175 275
Aluminium H.S.S 40 90
Cast Alloy 55 115
Carbide 75 185
Plastics H.S.S 30 75
Cast Alloy 45 115
Carbide 60 150

Links Providing information on Turning
  1. Lathes..An archive of pictures and information on machine tools including milling machines
  2. Budget Machinery..Specifications of Modern Turning machines
  3. Turning ..Michigan U. Lecture notes
  4. Library of Manufacturing;.. A complete document providing detailed info on all primary forming processes
  5. Lathes;.. A website containing lots and lots of useful info and good advise
  6. Modern Machine Shop On Line (MMOS);.. Lots of useful articles and links

Manufacturing Index