- The lathe bed is a mounting and aligning surface for the other machine components. Viewed from the operating position in front of the machine, the headstock is mounted on the left end of the bed and the tailstock on the right. The bed must be bolted to a base to provide a rigid and stable platform. The bed ways are a precision surface (or surfaces) on which the carriage slides left and right during machining operations. The ways are machined straight and flat and are either bolted to the top of the bed or are an integrally machined part of the bed.
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