Much like a woodcutter’s workbench is used to cut wood into different shapes, you can think of a lathe as a fancier word for cutting. Lathes are machines that are used to shape and cut metal into different shapes, to shape that metal into cones or curved shaped, or to drill openings.
They are extremely important for any industry that wants to cut metal, and they can be powered either by hand or manually. A variable speed metal lathe can be found in various workshops and in any other industry that works with metal. It works by holding a piece of metal in place before the metal is rotated and carved into pieces.
Several types of lathes are found in use today, with engine lathes being common. They are the smallest, can be adapted to cut various metals and woods, and are usually mounted on workbenches and can be portable. Other lathes such as turrets and special purpose lathes are generally floor mounted and are used for one purpose only.
Depending on the size and weight of the metal that is to be worked, then different lathes can be suited for the job. However, most lathes have the same basic set of parts. The headstock is the electrically powered mechanism that connects to the cutting mechanism, while the tailstock is the support to keep the metal in place while it is being cut.
Regardless of what lathe you have, maintenance and safety are highly important, and always be sure to keep the lathes lubricated, check for broken parts, and ensure that the machine won’t be overheated. In addition, handle everything with care and wear protective gear.
A lathe can be dangerous if used improperly, so if your job requires one then be sure you know how to be safe around this metal cutting machine.