Lathe machine: Main Parts, Operation and Working

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Today we will learn about lathe machine parts, its operation and working. Lathe machine is a basic machine which is used in every metal forming industries. It is combination of many parts which works together to perform a desire function. A lathe machine is used to machine cylindrical work piece which is 360 degree symmetrical form the axis of rotation. It is also use for machining unsymmetrical workpiece. It used to perform turning, chamfering, boring, facing, internal threading, shaping, slot cutting etc. on cylindrical work piece.   There are many types of lathe machine but each machine consist some basic part which are essential for its proper working. These parts are bed, tool post, Chuck, head stock, tail stock, legs, Gear chain, lead screw, carriage, cross slide, split nut, apron, chip pan, guide ways etc. These parts work together to obtain desire motion of tool and work piece so it can be machined.

Lathe machine: Main Parts and Working

The lathe machine works on basic principle that when the work piece rotate at a constant speed and a tool is introduce between its rotation, it cut the metal. This is basic fundamental of it. The working of lathe machine is explained in later section of this article.  

Lathe machine: Main Parts, Operation and Working

We have briefly discussed about parts and working of lathe machine in upper section of this article. Now we will describe it.

Lathe machine: Main Parts and Working

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Parts of Lathe Machine:

The lathe consist following parts.

1. Bed

Bed is the base structure of lathe machine which comprise all other part like guide ways, inner ways outer ways tail stock, head stock etc. All main components are bolted on it. It is the main body of the machine so this part of machine should take up all vibration and forces which encounter during machining. It is usually made by cast iron due to its high compressive strength and high lubrication quality. It is made by casting process and bolted on floor space.  

2. Tool post

It is bolted on the carriage. It is used to hold the tool at correct position. Tool holder mounted on it.  there are many types of tool post like single way tool post, four way tool post, eight way tool post etc.

3. Chuck

Chuck is used to hold the workspace in radial symmetry. It is bolted on the spindle which rotates the chuck and work piece It is mounted on the head stock. Chuck consist jaws a teeth like structure which hold the work piece in radial direction does not allow it to move relative to chuck during machining. According to jaw chuck are four jaw and three jaw according to the requirement of machine.  
Three jaw chuck is used to hold round or hexagonal work piece whereas hexagonal work piece is used to hold square or unsymmetrical work piece.
In modern lathe magnetic or vacuum chucks are also used.

4. Head stock

Head stock is the main body parts which are placed at left side of bed. It is serve as holding device for the speed change mechanism like belt drive or gear box, main spindle, driving pulley etc. This part of lathe machine also under very high vibration and direct force so this should be also have high strength. It is also made by cast iron.  

5. Tail stock

Tail stock situated on bed. It is placed at right hand side of the bed. The main function of tail stock to support the job when required. It is also used to perform drilling operation.  

It consist a feed screw, Reduction gearbox (optional), Body ,Adjustable base, Spindle, Locking Lever etc.


6. Lead screw

Lead screw is situated at the bottom side of bed which is used to move the carriage automatically during thread cutting. It has square thread or power thread which used to provide motion the tool post during turning, boring etc.  

7. Legs

Legs are used to carry all the loads of the machine. It is supporting part of bed which is bolted on the floor which prevents vibration.  It is also made by casting.

8. Carriage

It is situated between the head stock and tail stock. It is used to hold and move the tool post on the bed vertically and horizontally. The worker can move tool post on carriage by hand wheel or by automatically with the use of lead screw and half nut. It slides on the guide ways. Carriage is made by cast iron.  Apron, tool post, cross slide, chip pan, saddle etc. are integral part of carriage.

9. Apron

It is situated on the carriage. It consist all controlling and moving mechanism of carriage.  

10. Chips pan

Chips pan is placed lower side of bed. The main function of it to carries all chips removed by the work piece.  

11. Guide ways

Guide ways take care of movement of tail stock and carriage on bed.  

12. Speed controller

Speed controller switch is situated on head stock which controls the speed of spindle.  

13. Spindle

It is the main part of lathe which holds and rotates the chuck. This is generally driven by a motor with the help of gear mechanism which provide different speed during cutting.  



Lathe Machine Operation & Working:

Lathe machine is used to cut the metal from cylindrical work piece, and convert it into desire shape. It turns the cylindrical work piece, and during turning a sharp edge cutting tool introduce, which cuts the metal. Its working can be described as follow.

Lathe machine: Main Parts and Working


1. A cylindrical work piece fixed to the chuck. A chuck may have three jaw or for jaw according to the requirement. The work piece is at the center or some eccentric according to the process perform.  
2. The spindle starts to rotate and set it at desire speed. The spindle speed plays a huge role during cutting. The spindle rotates the chuck and work piece.  
3. Now check the work piece is turning properly. If it not set the work piece using dial gauge.  
4. Now set the tool at desire feed by moving the tool post and carriage. The feed also play main role during cutting. Large feed may cause unwanted temperature increase.
5. After it tool is introduce between moving work piece at desire feed rate. It cut the metal from work piece. The feed rate is set at the cutting condition.  
6. Now all unwanted metal is removed by moving the carriage form horizontally and vertically as desire according to the job requirement. After complete all process we got a well finished job.  
7. Lathe can perform turning, boring, chamfering, shaping, facing, drilling knurling, grooving as shown in figure.  

Today we have learnt about Lathe machine Parts, Operation and Working. If you have any query regarding this article, ask by commenting. If you like this article, don’t forget to share it on social networks with your friends. Subscribe our website for more informative articles. Thanks for reading it.    

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13 thoughts on “Lathe machine: Main Parts, Operation and Working”

  1. really the function of lathe machine that was given that and want more slide in the relative subject….the describe about the part of lathe machine is also very lovely….

  2. Pingback: Types of Grinding Machine - mech4study

  3. Pingback: Thread Cutting Procedure on Lathe Machine - mech4study

  4. Tomasi Baleitotoya

    I found out an interesting points of the lathe machine.The work that done by this machine is amazing.From a small bolt to a big shaft.

  5. Can u give explanation of welding process and types of welding and brazing and soldering
    “the give information is too nice”

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