It is probably the oldest machine tool, stemming from the early tree lathe, which was turned by a rope passed around the work a few times and attached to a springly branch overhead. The work was supported by two dowels struck in adjacent trees. The operator’s foot supplied the motion, which was intermittent and fluctuating. The tool was held in the operator’s hand. Later a strip of wood called a “lath” was used to support the rope and hence named as lathe. Lathe was actually the first machine tool which came into being as a useful machine for metal cutting, because it permits a large variety of operations to be performed on it.
Working principle of Lathe.
Lathe removes undesired material from a rotating work piece in the form of chips with the help of a tool which is traversed across the work and can be fed deep in work. Lathe machine holds the work piece between two rigid and strong supports called Centers, or in a chuck or Face plate while the latter revolves. The chuck or the face plate is mounted on the projected end of the machine spindle. The cutting tool is rigidly held and supported in a tool post and is fed against the revolving work. While the work revolves about its own axis the tool is made to move either parallel to or at an inclination with this axis to cut the desired material. In doing so it produces a cylindrical surface, if it is fed parallel to the axis or will produced a Tapered surface if it is fed at an inclination.Also read :- Types of chips
Operations which can be performed on Lathe.
The most common operations which can be performed on the lathe
- Taper Turning
- Eccentric Turning
- Scroll Cutting
With the help of special attachment, operations like following can also be performed
- Key-way Cutting
- Cam and Gear Cutting
Specifications of a Lathe
- Swing the largest work diameter that can be swung over the lathe bed.
- The shape of bed ways and horse power of the driving motor sometimes taken into specifications.
- Distance between head stock and tail stock center.
- Some manufacturers designate the lathes by the swing and length of the bed.