Lathe Machine, Important Part for Engineering Workshop.

  • What is Lathe Machine?

In this article we will study what is lathe machine – main parts, operations and working. Almost every industry of manufacturing lathe machines is used. It is used to perform various operations to give the desired shape and size to the job. If an engineering student thinks of doing a job in any manufacturing industries, then he or she must have a piece of great knowledge about the lathe machine. In this post, we will discuss the lathe machine, its main parts, working principle, operations, advantages, and disadvantages with diagram and video tutorial. A lathe is a machine tool which is used to rotate a workpiece to perform various operations such as turning, facing, knurling, grooving etc., with the help of tools that are applied to the workpiece.

  • Parts of Laith Machine.

Today we will learn about lathe machine parts, its operation and working. Lathe machine is a basic machine which is used in every metal forming industries. It is combination of many parts which works together to perform a desire function. A lathe machine is used to machine cylindrical work piece which is 360 degree symmetrical form the axis of rotation. It used to perform turning, chamfering, boring, facing, internal threading, shaping, slot cutting etc. on cylindrical work piece.

1. Bed

It is the main body of the machine. All main components are bolted on it. It is usually made by cast iron due to its high compressive strength and high lubrication quality. It is made by casting process and bolted on floor space.

2. Tool post

It is bolted on the carriage. It is used to hold the tool at correct position. Tool holder mounted on it.

3. Chuck

Chuck is used to hold the workspace. It is bolted on the spindle which rotates the chuck and work piece. It is four jaw and three jaw according to the requirement of machine.

4. Head stock

Head stock is the main body parts which are placed at left side of bed. It is serve as holding device for the gear chain, spindle, driving pulley etc. It is also made by cast iron.

5. Tail stock

Tail stock situated on bed. It is placed at right hand side of the bed. The main function of tail stock to support the job when required. It is also used to perform drilling operation.

6. Lead screw

Lead screw is situated at the bottom side of bed which is used to move the carriage automatically during thread cutting.

7. Legs

Legs are used to carry all the loads of the machine. They are bolted on the floor which prevents vibration.

8. Carriage

It is situated between the head stock and tail stock. It is used to hold and move the tool post on the bed vertically and horizontally. It slides on the guide ways. Carriage is made by cast iron.

9. Apron

It is situated on the carriage. It consist all controlling and moving mechanism of carriage.

10. Chips pan

Chips pan is placed lower side of bed. The main function of it to carries all chips removed by the work piece.

11. Guide ways

Guide ways take care of movement of tail stock and carriage on bed.

12. Speed controller

Speed controller switch is situated on head stock which controls the speed of spindle.

13. Spindle

It is the main part of lathe which holds and rotates the chuck.

  • Types of Laith Machine.

1.Speed Lathe/ Wood Lathe

These are some of the products which can be easily made on wooden lathes or speed lathes. As name suggest,there is a high speed spindle which can be operate in 3 to 4 varying speeds ,near 1000 to 2100 rpm,by shifting the position of the drive belts on the pulley system.

Yes it is very simple in design because the components like gearbox ,feed rod, leadscrew, carriage, are not the part of these lathes which make it more simple and easy to operate in any condition. the major components of these lathes are headstock, tailstock, tool rest, and bed.


It is all started during the 19th and 20th century when the Engine lathes were considers as the ‘KING’ of all machines. It was one of the most common machine set up in every blacksmith shop. The usage of word “engine” is little confusing here. During its early days it was operated on the steam engines, as steam engines were the major invention and power source during the industrial revolution, and with the advancement of time it shifted its power source to the motors (concerning eco-friendly environment).

Due to availability for low and high power operation these are widely used in industries and available in many sizes which can vary up to 60 feet.

Now come to its major mounting parts like headstock, tailstock, carriage, compound rest, cross slide, lead screw, feed rod etc. All are mounted on the machine in which headstock and tailstock are mounted in the longitudinal direction of machine with gear selector, rpm selector, feed selector in the former and barrel in the later one. More importantly, similar to speed lathe, headstock contain spindle which has a wide range of speed ratios in the presence of gearbox.

Carriage travels in the longitudinal direction of the bed for the turning operation.

Compound rest and cross slide are mounted on the top of the carriage to provide angular movement and cross or transverse movement.

Lead screw is used to make threads on the work piece and feed rod is used to give the linear moment to the carriage in the longitudinal direction of the machine.


Some products like metal die, precision tools, jigs and fixture require more precision and accuracy to work; in that case tool room lathe machines are used. Unlike engine lathes, these are much more precise and accurate.
These are also well-known as the standard manufacturing lathes and are used for various operations such as boring, drilling, turning, reaming, producing screw threads, knurling, taper turning, and sometimes adapted for the special milling operations with the appropriate fixture.

These have gearbox attached in the head-stock which provide wide range of speeds ratios, can vary from a very low speed to a very high speed, and extended range of thread pitches.

  • Abstract

The lathe, probably one of the earliest machine tools, is one of the most versatile and widely used machine tool, so also known as mother machine tool. An engine lathe is the most basic and simplest form of the lathe. It is called so because in early lathes, power was obtained from engines. The job to be machined is held and rotated in a lathe chuck; a cutting tool is advanced which is stationary against the rotating job. Since the cutting tool material is harder than the work piece, so metal is easily removed from the job. Some of the common operations performed on a lathe are facing, turning, drilling, threading, knurling, and boring etc.

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