I thought it might be interesting to discuss some of the equipment and machinery that we have in our shop. Being a machinist for 35 years. I take for granted that everybody understands all the different machine shop tools. But having co-op students in our shop. I can see through their eyes that all these things are new and exciting.

The machine tool we’re going to start with is the most basic machine shop tool, the metal lathe. A metalworking lathes is a type of machine design for precisely machining relatively hard materials such as steel. A manual lathe as the name suggests, is used without any electronic assistance to create around metal pieces out of raw material. Lathes vary in size from tiny desktop lathes for jewellers and hobbyists to huge machines that operators need to climb and ride on while machining. Our shop features three lathes, two manual lathes, and a fancier computerized machine. Lathes are sized according to the diameter and length of material they can turn. Our machines range from 16” x 60 to 24 x 120”. Several different operations are performed on metal lathes. These include: turning where the diameter of material is reduced in size, boring where the inside diameter of material is increased, drilling, tapping, which is producing internal threads, internal and external tapering where a diameter is increased or decreased on a consistent basis. Facing where you cut material away from the face of part, internal and external threading using the lead screw of the lathes. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the operations you can perform butt are some of the most common. A lathe is by far my favourite machine tool, perhaps because it is the first one I used in industry.

The main parts of the lathes consist of a headstock where the drive gears for the spindle are located, a bed which makes up the main body of the lathe, a set of ways on top of the bed, a carriage which runs back and forth on the ways, a cross slide, which sits on top of the carriage, a compound rest, which sits on top of the cross slide, a tailstock which sits at the back end of the lathe on top of the ways, a quickchange gearbox used to set the rotational ratio between the spindle of the lathes where the part is located and the feed screw determining the rate of feed. It also sets the number of threads per inch that will be cut on the leadscrew.

Please look at the following:

Parts of an Engine Lathe Video: https://youtu.be/dj64QvvbGXM