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Addis Ababa Science and Technology

College of Mechanical and Electrical
Manufacturing Engineering I
Report: Lathe operation

Group members------------ID No
Mekdim--------------------------ETS 1080/07
2-Wudineh Dilnesaw------------------------ETS 1070/07
3-Yeabsira Molla-----------------------------ETS 1079/07
4-Yirdaw Abebe------------------------------ETS 1093/07
5-Yohannes Sintayehu----------------------ETS 1110/07
6-Yisak Ayele----------------------------------ETS1094/07
7-Yonatan Tsegaye--------------------------TETS 156/07
8-Natnael Mirco-----------------------------ETS 0843/07
9-Biruk Wondimu---------------------------ETS 0297/07
10-Tinsae Gulema---------------------------ETS 1037/07
11-Tsegaw Zewdu---------------------------ETS 1047/07
12-Tekle Boka--------------------------------ETS 0989/07

Submitted to- Abreha Meressa (M.Sc. MEng)

We have made this report file on the topic Lathe Machine and have tried
our best to elucidate all the relevant detail to the topic to be included in the
report. While in the beginning we have tried to give a general view about this
topic. We also have written the things we have seen during our machine
shop visit. Our teacher and shop assistant have shown us what the different
lathe machine parts are and how the lathe machine operates. In this report
we have included those things and tried to come up with other general
details including the history, working principles and the like.
A lathe is a tool that rotates the workpiece on its axis to perform various
operations such as cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling, or
deformation, facing, turning, with tools that are applied to the work piece to
create an object with symmetry about an axis of rotation.

Lathes are used in woodturning, metalworking, metal spinning, thermal

spraying, parts reclamation, and glass-working. Lathes can be used to
shape pottery, the best-known design being the potter's wheel. Most suitably
equipped metalworking lathes can also be used to produce most solids of
revolution, plane surfaces and screw threads or helices. Ornamental lathes
can produce three-dimensional solids of incredible complexity. The workpiece
is usually held in place by either one or two centers, at least one of which
can typically be moved horizontally to accommodate varying workpiece
lengths. Other work-holding methods include clamping the work about the
axis of rotation using a chuck or collet, or to a faceplate, using clamps
or dogs.

Examples of objects that can be produced on a lathe

include candlestick holders, gun barrels, cue
sticks, table legs, bowls, baseball bats, musical instruments
(especially woodwind instruments), crankshafts, and camshafts.

Lathe is one of the most important machine tools in the metal working
industry. A lathe operates on the principle of a rotating work piece and a
fixed cutting tool. The cutting tool is feed into the work piece, which rotates
about its own axis, causing the work piece to be formed to the desired
shape. Lathe machine is also known as the mother/father of the entire tool
The lathe is an ancient tool, dating at least to ancient Egypt and known to be
used in Assyria and ancient Greece. The lathe was very important to
the Industrial Revolution. It is known as the mother of machine tools, as it
was the first machine tool that lead to the invention of other machine
tools. [1]
The origin of turning dates to around 1300 BCE when the Ancient Egyptians
first developed a two-person lathe. One person would turn the wood work
piece with a rope while the other used a sharp tool to cut shapes in the
wood. Ancient Rome improved the Egyptian design with the addition of a
turning bow. In the Middle Ages a pedal replaced hand-operated turning,
allowing a single person to rotate the piece while working with both hands.
The pedal was usually connected to a pole, often a straight-grained sapling.
The system today is called the "spring pole" lathe. Spring pole lathes were in
common use into the early 20th century.
An important early lathe in the UK was the horizontal boring machine that
was installed in 1772 in the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich. It was horse-powered
and allowed for the production of much more accurate and stronger cannon
used with success in the American Revolutionary War in the late 18th
century. One of the key characteristics of this machine was that the
workpiece was turning as opposed to the tool, making it technically a lathe
(see attached drawing). Henry Maudslay who later developed many
improvements to the lathe worked at the Royal Arsenal from 1783 being
exposed to this machine in the Verbruggen workshop.[2]
During the Industrial Revolution, mechanized power generated by water
wheels or steam engines was transmitted to the lathe via line shafting,
allowing faster and easier work. Metalworking lathes evolved into heavier
machines with thicker, more rigid parts. Between the late 19th and mid-20th
centuries, individual electric motors at each lathe replaced line shafting as
the power source. Beginning in the 1950s,servomechanisms were applied to
the control of lathes and other machine tools via numerical control, which
often was coupled with computers to yield computerized numerical control
(CNC). Today manually controlled and CNC lathes coexist in the
manufacturing industries.

The lathe machine is one of the oldest and most important machine tools. As
early as 1569, wood lathes were in use in France. The lathe machine was
adapted to metal cutting in England during the Industrial Revolution. Lathe
machine also called Engine Lathe because the first type of lathe was
driven by a steam engine.

Working Principle
The lathe is a machine tool which holds the workpiece between two rigid and
strong supports called centers or in a chuck or face plate which revolves. The
cutting tool is rigidly held and supported in a tool post which is fed against
the revolving work. The normal cutting operations are performed with the
cutting tool fed either parallel or at right angles to the axis of the work.

The cutting tool may also be fed at an angle relative to the axis of work for
machining tapers and angles.

Uses of lathe machine

Wood Lathing
o The most traditional use for a lathe is in the field of woodworking. A lathe
can be used to shape raw wooden posts into ornate columns, railing supports
and table legs. An artisan will use a specialized set of knives and gouging
tools to shape the wood as it rotates at high speeds on its axis.
o There is a danger associated with wood lathing in that choosing a piece of
wood with a hidden knot can sometimes knock the piece of wood loose from
the lathe or the knife from the hand of the woodworker. Choosing a quality
piece of wood for lathing is therefore a prime safety concern.

Metal Lathing
o Metal lathing has been a key element of the industrial revolution because a
lathe is needed for creating the common screw, a fastener without which
other high technology might not exist.
o The lathing of metal isn't limited to screw making though; another common
use of the metal lathe is in making pots and pans. Aluminum is a particularity
ideal materiel for lathe shaping items such as pots, as it is relatively
malleable, compared to steel and far less expensive than copper. Metal
lathes also are used in a plethora of other automated production scenarios.

Acrylic Lathing
o Acrylic ingots can be shaped with a lathe into a variety of useful items, the
most common of which are the grips on budget-model hand tools. Acrylic
lathing is also used to shape trophies and awards.
o Often times a piece of clear acrylic, or even occasionally other plastics, is
cast to contain a metal figure in the center having something to do with the
award in question, then spun on a lathe and changed from its cubic shape
into a rough sphere. The rough sphere then is polished to make a typical
globe trophy.
Operations of Lathe Machine
(i) Facing: This operation is almost essential for all works. In this operation,
as shown in fig., the work piece is held in the chuck and the facing tool is fed
from the center of the work piece towards the outer surface or from the outer
surface to the center, with the help of a cross-slide.
(ii) Plane Turning: It is an operation of removing excess amount of
material from the surface the surface of the cylinder work piece. In this
operation, shown in fig., the work is held either in the chuck or between
centers & the longitudinal feed is given to the tool either by hand or power.
(iii) Step Turning: It is an operation of producing various steps of different
diameters of in the work piece as shown in fig. This operation is carried out in
the similar way as plain turning.
(iv) Drilling: It is an operation of making a hole in a work piece with the
help of a drill. In this case as shown in fig., the work piece, by rotating the
tail stock hand wheel. The drill is fed normally, into the rotating work piece,
by rotating the tail stock hand wheel.

(v) Reaming: It is an operation of finishing the previously drilled hole. In the

operation as shown in fig., a reamer is held in the tailstock and it is fed into
the hole in the similar way as for drilling.

Parts of lathe machine

Construction: The main parts of the lathe are the bed, headstock, quick
changing gear box, carriage and tailstock. But it also has other equally
relevant components.
It is used to install the lathe machine permanently. A selected soil type,
corrugated base with concrete filling. It helps the machine to firmly stand on
the ground and provide the operation with increased surface finish and
The Headstock Component
The upper end of the spindle is held in place and anchored by the headstock
on the lathe machine. It also houses the motor that rotates the wood. The
way in which you adjust the speed of the spindle is to use a number of
pulleys you can find in the back of the headstock. The wood piece stays in
place even while the spindle spins due to a chuck or high-tension spring that
steadies it.
The Tailstock unit
A lathe machine is a centered mechanism that is attached to the piece of
wood, and that is held in place by a tailstock. The center can turn with the
wood or stay in one place. Within the rotating device or live center are
bearings that permit movement.
Carriage Component
The lathe's cutting tool is steadied by the carriage, giving the craftsmen the
freedom to do his work. The carriage consists of five different components,
which include the compound rest, cross-slide, apron, tool rest and saddle.
These components function in conjunction to allow the cutting tool to be
used to slide into place.
Spindle mechanism
There is a trio of configurations for lathe spindles. The threaded, tapered and
cam-lock configurations are the three that mainly concern us here. Attaching
the chuck to a threaded model is complex, as the threaded model's
configuration is old and the model doesn't have taper Cam-lock spindles
slides into a ring of similar holes and contain cam studs on one end. When
you turn the chuck key, the studs will be locked into place. The third
configuration, the tapered spindle, narrows at the tip and has a threaded
collar with a built-in chuck key.

Lead screw

Provides automatic engagement for thread making and other helix profiles. It
is powered by a set of gears from the head stock.
Figure 1.3- Parts of a lathe machine

Advantages of lathe operation

o The CNC machine was invented by John T. Parsons in the late-1950s and
revolutionized the manufacturing industry by creating parts with pinpoint
accuracy. Because the cutting tools are controlled by a computer, you can
within .0001 inches as long as your tooling is sharp and the conditions of the
spinning material on the lathe are set to optimize the cutting process. A CNC
lathe can cut many parts before the tooling will need to be change and each
one will be identical.
o The only possible errors are related to human interaction. If the program is
off or the tooling is set improperly, damage and inaccuracies can occur. The
machine will only do what it is told through the control unit, so if the material
is not properly set up by a human, the CNC control will not be aware of that

o CNC lathes are not only accurate but can be run very fast. This leads to
increased efficiency and more parts per hour. Humans have limited feed rate
ability on manual lathes. Because CNC lathes often have 12 or more tools in
a turret, they can change to another tool rather quickly.
o Most manual lathes have one tool that can be used at a time, severely
limiting the speed of the machining process if more than one tool is
necessary to complete the part. The CNC lathe can also change tools in a
fraction of a second and can feed into the parts fast thanks to power motors
seen on modern CNC lathes.

Cost Effectiveness
o Although CNC lathes can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, their
overall speed and accuracy make them a very cost effective choice, as many
operations can take place within them. Whereas you may need two or three
manual lathes and a manual mill to get a part done, you can do all of those
operations and more in a well-equipped CNC lathe. This leads to a substantial
savings on cost per part over manual machines.
o Also, the accuracy contributes to less waste through human error. Your
labor costs may seem higher due to the high cost of trained CNC lathe
programmers and machinists, but if you break it down by part, it could be
substantially lower.

After conducting this machine shop experiment, we have seen the different parts of a lathe
machine and also seen how it operates. We have also done a simple turning and cutting
operation. We have seen the relevance of lathe machine and its development has made real
impact on the manufacturing industry.

Introduction to manufacturing engineering textbook