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lathe how to?


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hello Rod,
here are some helpful links
Page Title
Machining & Metrology Unit - Handout (0102)
recommend learn about s.f.m , this will be real helpfull
rigidity is one very key to succesfull machining .
start off easy by making a bushing you probally need for a grinder or something{everyone needs one for some reason}

place some stock in the lathe chuck sticking out about 1.5 longer than bushing with
at least this much in the chuck {more preferred}
#1 center drill stock to about a dia of about the same size as finished hole size
#2 drill thru about .032 under finished hole size
#3 face part off
#4 finish turn part about .1875 past finished length
#5 put chamfer on front of part on turned dia.
#6 finish bore dia about .0625 past finished length and chamfer bore
#7 part off be sure part off blade is perpendicular to part and parrallel to face of chuck
and leave about.032 long for finsh face
#8 remove remnant from chuck , chuck bushing with part off side out finish face
to length put chamfer on od and id of part.

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Lathe basics are not real complex, but care is in order... It would be best if you had someone local that could kind of guide you through the basic operations of facing, turning, center drilling, drilling, boring etc.
Most people use a self centering 3 jaw chuck to hold the stock in, though there are other means. A 4 jaw independent chuck is a necessity for very precise work as it allows you to precisely center the workpiece, even irregular shape pieces. Face plates and lathe dogs are also used in combination with a center placed in the tail stock. While none of these setups are difficult if you know how to go about it, it helps to have someone walk you through the process a time or two.
A purchase that you will be very glad to make is "The Machinery Handbook" Used models can sometimes be had for a few bucks, while a new runs about $80. Super great book that gives direction for any number of operations and calculations.
You will also need to learn how to make and sharpen your own cutting bits. If you search the internet there are a few good sites that will show you the desired profiles and walk you through the process
A final word of caution! When doing setup in the lathe if you have any doubt about the setup, do not turn on the lathe! I REMEBER THE TIME THAT I WAS PRESSED FOR TIME AND DID A MAKESHIFT SETUP. Everything worked fine until the second cut which was a bit more aggressive. It was like a bomb going off! By the grace of God, I was completely uninjured. I did have to replace the bit, and repair a rather large hole in the far wall...

Attached are a few links: How To Use a Lathe from American Machine Tools Corp.

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Only use chuck key when securing or loosening workpiece, NEVER leave chuck key in chuck and walk away !

Remember when you are removing metal on the outside diameters, you are removing twice the amount of material eg 1/4" cut makes bar 1/2" smaller

Small diameters, need a higher speed than large diameters.

Make sure cutting tool is on a level with centre line of chuck to tailstock

Make sure cutting tool is held securely, and that the cutting point is ground to allow tool to cut, not rub.

Use heavier cuts and coarse feed to rough down to near size then lighter cuts and finer feeds to finish.

Use cutting fluids if you are not using carbide tipped tools if possible

Enjoy playing with it, its amazing what you can produce on a lathe, use your imagination, one of the pieces we used to make for fun was a cube in a cube in a cube in alloy, easy when you know how, and eassy to figure out how to, when you are conversant with the versatility of the machine.

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Lots of internet info out there. What kind of metal lathe did you get? Here are lots of how to do simple things on my yahoo group if you are interested. I would be glad to drive down to SC and show you, its a lot warmer than Ohio, well maybe not tonight its 60 here...Bob southbend10k : SouthBendLathe10k and lathe projects.

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I was never a big "BOOK" type of guy. I always did better when someone could show me. SO I went to local J.C. and sign up for an introduction to basic machine shop practices class! BIG HELP for me!!! I did end up with a book and it's of some help, but the big push was from this class! My $0.02 anyway, Good Luck!

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  • 1 month later...

As a lifelong machinist I wish you the best of luck with your lathe. It is said that a lathe is the only machine tool capable of reproducing itself. I can also say that after operating lathes (and all the other industrial machine tools) for nearly 40 years myself, even I am still learning new tricks.

Like any other type of metal cutting equipment a lathe is designed to remove metal (or many other materials); life & limb / flesh and bone are no exceptions. Learn the fundamentals and always BE safe!

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My son is home on leave from the US Army. He is a machinist. He said they have a great program. The only thing is it takes about one year to get your training, then four years to pay it back. Already he has served one tour in Iraq and is due to go back early this summer.
He feels that there are other ways to get your training that may be more advisable.

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