Lathe Machine Information – Lathe Working with Applications and Types

A Lathe is a Machine tool which rotates the workpiece on its axis to perform various operations. The lathe machine is used in various operations like cutting, turning, deformation, facing, etc. with the tools that are applied to the workpiece.

However because of latest technologies, the lathe machine has allowed man to become an important asset in developing and machining many precision components needed to operate and function in many areas of our industrial complex. Rajkot city in Gujarat is said to be the hub for Lathe Machine industry.

Here we are describing the types of Lathe machines, its working, applications and more.

Lathe Machine Types/Categories :

Here are the types of Lathe Machines used in the industry with its basic description.

Woodworking Lathes-

Woodworking Lathe is the simplest Lathe machine and oldest one. With wood, it is common practice to press and slide sandpaper against the still-spinning object after shaping to smooth the surface made with the metal shaping tools. The woodworking Lathe machine is also used for making bowls and plates.

MetalWorking lathes-

Metalworking Lathe machines are used to remove the metal from the workpiece using hardened cutting tool. The cutting tools for remove unwanted metal comes in various shapes and sizes like diamond, round, square and triangle. Some lathes may be operated under control of a computer for mass production of parts and manually controlled metalworking lathes are also used.

Watchmaker’s lathes-

Watchmaker lathes are precise metalworking lathe machines. In Watchmaker’s lathe, handheld tool called a graver is often used in preference to a slide mounted tool. The original watchmaker’s turns was a simple dead-center lathe with a moveable rest and two loose head-stocks. The workpiece would be rotated by a bow, typically of horsehair, wrapped around it.

Ornamental Turning Lathes-

The ornamental turning lathes are used for making decorative object. By using accessories such as the horizontal and vertical cutting frames, eccentric chuck and elliptical chuck, solids of extraordinary complexity may be produced by various generative procedures.

Glass-working lathes-

Glass-working lathes differs from other machines in a way it modifies the workpiece. Glass working lathes slowly rotate a hollow glass vessel over a fixed or variable temperature flame. The source of the flame may be either hand-held, or mounted to a banjo/cross slide that can be moved along the lathe bed.

Cue lathes, Namental Turning Lathes, Reducing lathe, Rotary lathes, Transcription or Recording lathes are also other types of Lathe Machines but the above described Lathe machines serves major industries.


Lathe Machine Working :

The Lathe Machine is consisting of parts like Lathe Bed, Headstock, Tailstock, Gearbox, Carriage, Cross Slide, apron, Tool Post and Legs.

The lathe machine tool holds the workpiece between two rigid and strong supports called centers or in a chuck or face plate which revolves. The cutting tool is rigidly held and supported in a tool post which is fed against the revolving work. The normal cutting operations are performed with the cutting tool fed either parallel or at right angles to the axis of the work.

As the lathe machine is available in many types for different uses, Lathe Machine working differs in some context but the above given description shows the common working principle of Lathe Machine.

Lathe Machine Applications :


Used to make wooden objects such as ornate table legs, baseball bats, wooden bowl, and platters; operators use a variety of tools to form


Used to create precision parts; most often associated with a multistep process requiring different tools for each step

Metal Spinning

A process where metal spins on a spindle, while the operator works it with tools; an automated process

Acrylic Spinning

Involves spinning acrylic on a spindle to form items from acrylic; most often used in the making of the top pieces for trophies

Thermal Spraying

Combines the rotating spindle with the painting process; the paint sticks to the stock via processes involving heating the paint materials


By using a potter’s wheel, artisans can make a variety of pottery pieces; though formed mainly by hand, craftspersons also use tool

Safety Precaution for Using Lathe Machine :

  • Correct dress is important, remove rings and watches, roll sleeves above elbows.
  • Always stop the lathe before making adjustments.
  • Do not change spindle speeds until the lathe comes to a complete stop.
  • Always wear protective eye protection.
  • Never lay tools directly on the lathe ways. If a separate table is not available, use a wide board with a cleat on each side to lay on the ways.
  • Use two hands when sanding the workpiece. Do not wrap sand paper or emery cloth around the workpiece.

Why Rajkot in Gujarat is called Hub for Lathe Machine ?

Rajkot district in Gujarat is having many automobile and mechanical industries. Rajkot industries are making parts for Automobile industry and also active in casting processes where Lathe Machines are very useful. So we can say that Rajkot is a hub for Mechanical Industries and also for Lathe Machines.

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