A lathe is a machine tool which spins a block of material to perform various operations such as cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling, or deformation with tools that are applied to the work piece to create an object which has symmetry about an axis of rotation.
Wood lathes come in many sizes, from small pen lathes to huge bowl turning machines. They are designated according to the maximum diameter of material that can be swung over the bed. A lathe capable of turning an 11-inch diameter disk is referred to as an 11-inch lathe.
Parts of a Lathe
Headstock – The drive end of the lathe. Spindle may be hollow or solid, internally tapered, and externally threaded. Material is held using a spur center in the taper or a chuck or backing plate threaded onto the spindle
Bed – The rails on which the tool rest and tailstock sit on. May be flat machined cast or steel, some models use round tubing.
Tool Rest – An adjustable bar used to rest cutting tools on.
Tailstock – Has three adjustments, along the bed, limited movement across the bed, spindle can be projected or retracted. Material is held with a cup center that fits into the tapered spindle.
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