Lathe Machinery – Introduction, Working, Parts & its Roles

Brief Introduction

big-bore-lathe-machine-500x500A lathe machine is a basic machine tool which is used in all industries across the world. This is used to hold, to rotate and to remove a work piece while performing operations like cutting, drilling, turning, facing, knurling, grooving etc. Basically, lathe machinery is used to give the shape and size to the metal with the help of other machine tools which are being applied to the given work piece. It is the basic machine that every engineering student studying in manufacturing stream learns first.

Working of lathe Machinery

The lathe machine works on the very simple mechanism, it holds the workpiece between centers and makes it get rotated on axis for the operations like cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling, turning, but all the operations like cutting, turning sanding etc. are performed with the help of other machine tools. Lathe machinery is like a supporting infrastructure for all operations needs to be performed on work pieces in metal and wood.


Let us see in brief the various steps in a simple way.

  1. A work piece is fixed at the centre of the chuck. A chuck may have three to four hold as per requirement.
  2. The spindle is started and the required speed is fixed. Here, the speed of spindle plays a very important role since speed impacts the operation of tool used to give the desired shape to the workpiece.
  3. It is the time to introduce required tool for performing operations like cutting, turning etc.
  1. After introducing the tool it is the time to feed a workpiece. It is also important and worth mentioning that the feed rate is also required to set while performing operations.
  1. Not it’s the time for action and when required action is performed on the workpiece in metal or wood. Here all the extra stuff is removed by tools.

Parts of Lathe Machinery and Its Roles in the Operations


  • Bed

The main body of machine is called a bed; it is the base of all the components fixed on lathe machinery. It is like a frame on which all the main parts are arranged and is made of cast iron due to its required strength.

  • Headstock

The headstock is mounted on the left side of a bed in inner ways. It is a one of the main body party and is made of cast iron. It is used for holding the chain, spindle etc. It is also made by cast iron.

  • Tailstock

The tailstock is also the main body part and fixed on the right side of a bed, it is again made of cast iron. It supports the present at right hand side of the lathe. It is used to provide support to the work piece from right end side.

  • Spindle

It is the part of the lathe which is responsible for holding and rotating the chuck. It is a hole through which stock is fed.

  • Carriage

The carriage is placed between the headstock and tailstock and work assigned to the carriage is to hold and move tool post on a bed. It is again made of cast iron.

  • Tool Post

It is fixed on the carriage and mainly responsible for holding and moving tool to the correct position while operating.

  • Hand Wheel

The hand wheel is operated with hands to move carriage, tailstock and other parts.

  • Gearbox

Gearbox is used to controls the movement of the carriage through the levers attached.

  • Lead Screw

The lead screw is placed on the bottom of the bed is used for thread cutting.

  • Apron

It rests on the carriage and controls the movements of the carriage.

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