Subtraction – Week #6 Metal lathe

This week we got familiar with the metal lathe in our shop. It’s the most accurate machine in our shop and can produce object really quickly. Using the lathe on a material is called “turning”, but turning also means cutting away from the diameter of the material.We can use it also to face material – cutting from the end of a material, and keep the surface straight, Parting is to cut straight in the material to part it away from the rest of the material that will stay in the lathe. Drilling and tapping can be done with the tail of the machine, with regular drill bits, and we should use it from small diameter to the desired one. We must use oil when we use this machine.

I started with just trying the machine, from Ben’s works, this is the most dangerous machine in the shop, and we should pay extra attention while using it..He also mentioned horror stories about people nit using it properly so I just wanted to get it out of my way and see what it’s all about. I decided to start with getting all the parts together:


After setting uo the material on the lathe, I locked the jaws, and started with the turning tool.


Then the facing tool:



After using facing and turning tool, I put the parting tool in order to create line cuts in  my material.
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The parting process took the longest, but give really nice touch if you’re not using it to actually part it away…

Next I started the drilling part, with detecting the center with this special bit.

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Gradually getting the size that you need is the only way to drill a hole:

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After the hole was drilled I set up the parting tool and started to cut away the part:


I made this part only to try the lathe and see how I can manage the machine. Overall it seems like the lathe have really good potential to bring small objects to life.. I didn’t measured dimensions this time, but I can check with calliper how far my cutting goes if I need accuracy.

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