Before getting into lathe machine parts and their uses, it would help to understand what this type of machine is. In simple terms, a lathe machine removes material from a workpiece with the goal of achieving the preferred size and shape. Ultimately, the machine holds a wood or metal workpiece so that through grooving, chamfering, facing, turning, forming, and so on, the product comes out to the customer’s specifications.
As you can imagine, there are many reasons to use a lathe machine. For example, furniture manufacturers use this type of machine to hold pieces of wood in place. Throughout the lathing process, the once block of wood transforms into a gorgeous finished table leg. The working of a lathe machine also involves metals such as aluminum. In this case, the machine might hold metal that becomes a shaft for the aerospace or automotive industry.
You should also note that there are different types of lathe machines, each used for a particular purpose. Some examples of these include a multi-spindle lathe, CNC lathe, a combination lathe, a turret lathe, and a center lathe. While each machine performs in much the same way, there are differences in parts and uses.
Main Parts of the Lathe Machine
The following are the primary components associated with a lathe machine.
- Apron – Consists of all mechanisms that control and move the carriage
- Bed – Main body of the lathe machine onto which all primary components bolt
- Carriage – Holds and moves the tool post vertically and horizontally on the bed
- Chips Pan – Carries all chips removed from the workpiece
- Chuck – Holds the workspace and is bolted on the spindle that rotates both the chuck and workpiece
- Guide Ways – Handles the movement of the carriage and tailstock on the bed
- Head Stock – Services as a holding device for the spindle, gear chain, driving pulley, and more
- Lead Screw – Automatically moves the carriage during the thread cutting process
- Legs – Carries the load of the machine
- Speed Controller – Controls the spindle’s speed
- Spindle – Holds and rotates the chuck
- Tool Post – Holds the tool at a precise position
- Tail Stock – Supports the job as needed and is used for drilling operations
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