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THE CENTRE LATHE

V. Ryan 2003 - 2009

 

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The Centre Lathe is used to manufacture cylindrical shapes from a range of materials including; steels and plastics. Many of the components that go together to make an engine work have been manufactured using lathes. These may be lathes operated directly by people (manual lathes) or computer controlled lathes (CNC machines) that have been programmed to carry out a particular task. A basic manual centre lathe is shown below. This type of lathe is controlled by a person turning the various handles on the top slide and cross slide in order to make a product / part.

 

The headstock of a centre lathe can be opened, revealing an arrangement of gears. These gears are sometimes replaced to alter the speed of rotation of the chuck. The lathe must be switched off before opening, although the motor should automatically cut off if the door is opened while the machine is running (a safety feature).
The speed of rotation of the chuck is usually set by using the gear levers. These are usually on top of the headstock or along the front and allow for a wide range of speeds.

However, sometimes the only way to set the lathe to a particular speed is to change the gear arrangement inside the headstock. Most machines will have a number of alterative gear wheels for this purpose.
   

QUESTIONS:

Draw a simple diagram of a typical centre lathe and label the important parts.

 

 

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