round material, while four jaw
chucks are used for square and
rectangular material. Four jaw
chucks take a bit more know-how
to center your material, and are not
recommended for beginners.
The lathe bed is the next
important feature. This allows a
good working base for the
headstock and tailstock to be
perfectly aligned, and normally will
have hardened and ground slides
for the carriage and tailstock to slide
on. The bed carries everything for
the lathe, and again should be very
robust to minimize chatter so as
not to reduce work quality. You will
also find a rack and pinion gearing
system mounted to the bed; this is
how the carriage is driven.
Since you've already seen the
word carriage appear a few times
here, this is the next important
piece (section G). The carriage is the
whole cutting section of the lathe.
It allows the operator to control
a tool bit for facing (moving
perpendicular across the material)
or turning (moving parallel with the
There are a multitude of tool
holders on the market. Most lathes
from the manufacturer are
equipped with a simple four post
tool holder (section D), but it is
highly recommended to upgrade
to a 'quick change' tool holder. This
will allow you to set up multiple
tools and quickly change them
out without having to take the
individual tool itself out every time.
The carriage is moved by two
handwheels manually or by
engaging an automatic feed system
which allows the carriage to
become power-assisted and give
The amount of movement per
one revolution of the handle
depends on the lathe manufacturer.
One handle (normally larger) will
move the carriage itself, while the
secondary (smaller) handle will
control the cross slide. The cross
slide is used for facing material and
changing the depth of the cut. The
tool post is attached to a compound
rest. It provides a smaller amount
of movement along its axis (which
can be adjusted on multiple angles).
The compound rest is used when
turning tapers or threads.
A) Headstock with adjustment handles;
B) Three Jaw Chuck; C) Steady Rest;
D) Tool Post; E) Tailstock; F)
Feedscrew; G) Carriage and handles.
Courtesy of www.bii1.com.
SERVO 02.2010 25