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Parts of Lathes

5/2/2012 6:20:25 PM | by Anonymous


A lathe is an equipment used to shape pieces of wood, metal, plastic by cutting, drilling, sanding, knurling, threading, polishing, grinding and other operations. The object being formed is held firmly while rotating against a stationery cutting tool. Lathes come in various sizes. The floor mounted lathes are large and heavy making them difficult to be moved while bench mounted ones are small enough to be easily transported. No matter what the type and size of this equipment, they contain parts allowing them to perform similar functions.


Bed serves as the main platform of the lathe. It provides foundation for the whole machine and keeps headstock, tailstock and carriage aligned. It can be horizontal or vertical. Headstock can be found at the left side of the lathe. It holds the spindle which is responsible for rotating the metal or wood attached to it. Headstock holds mechanisms such as gears and pulleys allowing the turning of spindle changed to different speeds. Tailstock is located at the opposite of headstock or right side of the bed. It has two functions. One is to grasp long material to be formed with the help of carriage and tool post. It also can do certain functions such as drilling, reaming and tapping. Carriage, on the other hand, is situated on the middle part of the machine. It includes the saddle, top, cross slide, tool holder and apron. The saddle sits right on top of the bed while the apron carries the machinery used in moving the whole assembly of carriage left and right.


Lathes are important equipment for engineers. They can form almost any tool of various shapes and sizes needed in their operation. Some objects that can be shape using lathes for consumer use are bowls and even potter’s wheel used in making potteries is considered a lathe.

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