Category Archives: Lathe

Lathe: Lead Screw

The lead screw provides automatic feed and makes thread cutting possible. It is a precision-threaded shaft, driven by gears as the headstock turns. It passes through the front of the carriage apron and is supported at the tailstock end by a bearing bracket.  Controls in the apron engage a lead nut to drive the carriage as the lead screw turns. Continue reading

Lathe: Cross Slide

The cross-slide is mounted to the top of the carriage to provide movement perpendicular to the length of the bed for facing cuts. An additional motion assembly, the compound rest, with an adjustable angle, is often added to the top of the cross slide for angular cuts. The cutting tools that do the actual metal removal during turning are mounted in an adjustable tool holder clamped to the compound rest.

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Lathe: Carriage

The provides mounting and components for tooling. The carriage moves left and right, either through manual operation of a hand wheel, or it can be driven by a . At the of a carriage is a saddle that mates and aligns with the bed ways.

The ‘s cross-slide, compound rest and tool holder are mounted to the top of the carriage. Some carriages are equipped with a rotating to allow a variety of to be used in succession for multi-step operations.

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Lathe: Tailstock

  1. The tailstock supports long work that would otherwise sag or flex too much to allow for accurate machining. Without a tailstock, long pieces cannot be turned straight and will invariably have a taper. Some tailstocks can be intentionally misaligned to accurately cut a taper if needed. The tailstock has a centering device pressed into a shallow, specially ed hole in the end of the work piece.
  2. The center can be either “live” or “dead.” Live centers have a bearing, allowing the center to rotate along with the work piece. Dead centers do not rotate and must be lubricated to prevent overheating due to with the work piece. Instead of a center, a drill can be mounted in the tailstock.
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