Lathe Machine Operations and Lathe Cutting Tools

Lathe Machine Operations

A lathe is a machine that rotates the piece on the axis in order to perform various operations like cutting, facing, knurling, deformation, and more. Metal spinning, thermal spraying, woodturning, and metalworking are the common operations performed with a lathe machine.

The general operations done with the lathe are grooving, turning, cutting, grinding, sanding, etc. In order to operate the lathe first, you must know the feed rates, cutting speed, depth of cut, and how the tool is used. Each lathe operation has its own factors that must be considered before starting work.

The factors should be used properly so that mishandling and mishaps are avoided in any type of lathe operation. With every cut desired the speed, depth, and feed of the lathe are changed for reasons of precision.

Types of Lathe Operation

The working of the lathe machine changes with every operation and cut desired. There is a lot of operation used for using the lathe machine. Some of the common lathe operations are:

Lathe Machine Operations
  • Facing: This is usually the first step in a lathe operation. The metal is cut from the end to fit the right angle of the axis and the markings removed.
  • Tapering: Tapering is to cut the metal to nearly a cone shape with the help of the compound slide. This is something in between the parallel turning and facing off. If one is willing to change the angle then they can adjust the compound slide as they like.
  • Parting: The part is removed so that it faces the ends. For this, the parting tool is involved slowly to make perform the operation. For to make the cut deeper the parting tool is pulled out and transferred to the side for the cut and to prevent the tool from breaking. 
  • Parallel Turning: This operation is adopted in order to cut the metal parallel to the axis. Parallel turning is done to decrease the diameter of the metal.
  • Contour turning: In this operation of the lathe machine, the tool is not fed in a straight path. Instead, the tool follows a contour. A contoured form is created in the turned part. Feed: Contoured feed. Not parallel to the axis of w/p rotation.
  • Rough turning: It is a process of removal of excess material from the workpiece in minimum time by applying a high rate of feed and heavy depth of cut. The depth of cut is around 2 to 5mm and the rate of feed is 0.3 to 1.5mm/revolution.
  • Form turning: In this method, a specially shaped tool is used. The tool is inserted radially. Feed for forming: Radial. Diagram for lathe machine operation which involves facing, forming, and contour turning.
  • Chamfering: Only the cutting edge is used at the corner of cylindrical shapes which is used for stress relieving of the workpiece.
  • Boring: A single point tool head is fed linearly to the end of the workpiece (on the inside diameter). Feed: Linear.
  • Drilling: Drilling and reaming are done by feeding the lathe tool along the axis of the rotating job part.
  • Knurling: It is a metal forming method that creates a regular cross-hatched pattern. It is not a machining process. It does not involve any cutting of the metal.
  • Reaming operation: Reaming is the operation for sizing or finishing a drilled hole to the required size by a tool called a reamer. This tool is fitted on tail-stock.
  • Spinning operation: In this operation, the job of this sheet metal is held between the former and the tail-stock center rotates at high speed with the former. The long round nose forming tool rigidly fixed on a special tool post presses the job on the periphery of the former. So, the job is taken exactly the shape of the former. This is a chipless machining process.

Lathe Cutting Tools

A lathe is a machine that rotates the workpiece about an axis of rotation to perform various operations such as turning, undercutting, knurling, drilling, facing, boring, and cutting, with lathe cutting tools that are applied to the workpiece to create an object with symmetry about that axis.

For general purpose work, the tool used is a single point tool, but for special operations, multipoint tools may use. Watch the below-mentioned video to get understand lathe machine operation.

In lathe machine work, different operations require different types of lathe cutting tools, according to the process of using the lathe cutting tools. which are as follow,

Types of Lathe Cutting Tools

There is a wide range of lathe tools that can be classified according to materials, structures and purposes or uses.

Lathe Cutting Tools
  • Turning Tool: Turning tools are designed for removing the materials from the stock, a rough turning tool is used to remove the maximum amount of material and the finishing turning tool is serve for good surface quality, just remove a small amount, to make the piece more accurate.
  • Boring Bar: A boring bar is required when you want to make an existed hole bigger, a boring bar can easily bore into the hole that is already drilled, and widen its diameter. It can enlarge the hole quickly and process it in the proper size to fit other components correctly.
  • Chamfering Tool: Chamfer is a transitional edge between two faces of an object, also defined as a form of the bevel. The chamfering tool is used to create a bevel or furrow on the part. A chamfer can be used to smooth sharp or hazardous edges on a workpiece.
  • Knurling Tool: Knurling tools are used to produce knurled lathe parts, through creating or pressing a pattern onto a round section, used as a grip for a handle, also usually created on fasteners like nuts. A knurling tool is designed with a specific pattern.
  • Parting Tool: A parting tool refers to a narrow-bladed tool used in turning or planing or for cutting a piece in two, or defined as a tool used for cutting off pieces from the main body of stock being machined, it is manufactured in many forms.
  • Thread Cutting Tool: Thread cutting tools are used to cut a thread on the lathe part. In external thread cutting, the piece can be held in a chuck or mounted between two centers, in internal thread cutting, the part is held in a chuck, the tool moves across the part linearly, taking chips off the workpiece with each pass.
  • Facing Tool: A facing tool is used for facing operation on the lathe to cut flat surface perpendicular to the piece’s rotational axis, the tool is mounted into a tool holder that rests on the carriage of the lathe, during the process, the facing tool will feed perpendicularly across the rotational axis of the part.
  • Grooving Tool: A grooving tool is usually a carbide insert mounted in a special tool holder, it’s designed to an insert with multiple tips, often ground to the dimensions and shape required for a particular job, including cutting a slot and complete other work.
  • Forming Tool: Forming tools are made flat or circular in shape when used in the lathe. Simple forming tools have cutting edges ground to the shape of the groove, undercut, or thread to be cut.
  • Shoulder Turning Tool: A square shoulder is turned by a knife-edge turning tool or facing tool. A beveled shoulder may be turned by a straight turning tool having a side cutting edge angle and zero nose radius. A filleted shoulder is turned by a straight turning tool with a nose radius corresponding to the fillet radius of the work.
  • Counterboring Tool: The counterboring operation can be performed by an ordinary boring tool. The tool cutting edge is so ground that it can leave a shoulder after turning. A counterbore having multiple cutting edges is commonly used.
  • Undercutting Tool: Undercutting or grooving tool has a point and form of the cutting edge exactly similar to the form of the required groove. Clearance angle is given at all the sides of the tool. For the recessing groove cutting edge, the longitudinal feed is employed. The front clearance angle depends upon the bore of the work.