A metal lathe or metalworking lathe is a large class of lathes designed for precisely machining relatively hard materials. These rigid machine tools remove material from a rotating workpiece via the (typically linear) movements of various cutting tools, such as tool bits and drill bits.
With the advent of technology, these lathe machines have also been modernized. They can now be controlled by a computer to perform the desired operation; these are termed CNC Lathe (Computer Numerical Control))
Metal Lathe – Gears
The primary component of a lathe is the cast iron bed. All the other components of the machine sit on this element. The component which holds the workspace is termed as a Chuck. This is fastened on the spindle which rotates the chuck thereby rotating the workpiece.
The other major element of a lathe is headstock which is positioned at the left side of the bed. This cast iron component is the gripping device for gear chain, spindle, the driving pulley and so on.
Another component that is placed on the right of the bed is tailstock. This is purposed for work support when needed. Boring the metal piece can be done using this component.
With so many uses for this machine one can find numerous dealers for new and used metal Lathe on the market.
What to look for in a Metal Lathe?
When buying a used metal lathe machine whether used or a new one, look for these details:
GO for the biggest lathe in your budget.
When buying a used lathe check for the bed near to the chuck, this is the prime component that wears easily. If it is worn the repair cost is expensive so better don’t go for such lathes.
Get a gear driven head when you can manage cost. The belted ones are difficult to handle rpm changes.
For a novice worker, belted ones could be a blessing. If the machine slows down due to an improper handling the belt only slips without causing much damage to the costly equipment.
Do a proper research before you zero on a lathe. Don’t just look at the budgetary aspects but also the purpose of the machine. Is it being used for home projects or any small scale industry?
Lathe – Maintenance
These highly accurate machine components operate round the clock with proper maintenance. Operating a lathe requires a professional for better performance. There is always a chance of excessive wear if the lubrication is not done properly or the nuts and bolts are loosened. This may lead to some dangerous situations.
Make sure that the precision surface of the machine is clean from dirt. Proper checking of the parts before operating the machine is highly recommended.
Manufacturer’s instructions are to be followed strictly before attempting any lift operation. Proper lubrication safeguards the metal components of the machine thereby increasing the longevity of the machine.