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Lathe Turning – An Essential Process in Metalworking

Lathe turning is a process whereby a work piece is rotated and a cutting tool is traversed to produce particular depths and diameters on the work piece. Turning is the process of rotating a piece of material on a lathe and using cutting tools to create specific shapes in work pieces. The work piece is held and rotated by the lathe and a tool bit cuts into the work piece, and this can be done using a manually operated or computer controlled CNC lathe. A lathe is used by turners to shape their work.

There are three main types of lathe turning, namely taper turning, straight turning and profiling. In each of these processes, different types of shapes of work pieces are created, namely, conical, straight, curved. A unique set of suitable tools are used in each of these processes. During the turning process, the work piece is mounted on the chuck, which in turn rotates relative to the stationary tool.

There are three main types of lathes, that is, Engine lathe, Turret lathe and special purposes lathe.  Engine lathes can be used for many types of operations, and they can be transported from one site to another. On the other hand, Turret lathes and special purpose lathes are typically used for mass production and for producing specialized parts. There are also small and portable lathes which can be mounted on a bench and transported easily.

During a turning operation, there are three important forces, namely cutting force which supplies the energy for the cutting procedure, axial or feed force which push the tool away from the chuck and radial force which push the tool away from the work piece.

Lathe turning is primarily done in the metal working industry. However, the lathe turning has become very popular in the wood working in recent years. With many people now getting involved in the Do It Yourself (DIY) industry, many people are doing lathe turning at home, as a hobby or as a small money making business, to create a wide range of work pieces.

Whether you have a small factory or a home workshop, in order to achieve the best results in lathe turning, you will need to have the necessary skills and good quality lathe turning machines.

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