CNC Lathes Are the Workhorse of Any Machine Shop

Posted on Jul 15, 2020

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CNC Lathes Are the Workhorse of Any Machine Shop

Lathes can be divided into three types for easy identification: motorized lathe, turret lathe and special purpose lathe.

Types of CNC lathes

CNC Lathes can be divided into three types for easy identification: motorized lathe, turret lathe and special purpose lathe. Some smaller ones are bench-mounted and partly portable. Larger lathes are mounted on the floor and may require special transport if they need to be moved. Field and maintenance workshops usually use a lathe that can be adapted to many operations and which is not too large to move from one workplace to another. The engine lathe is ideal for this purpose. A trained operator can perform more machining tasks with a motor lathe than any other machine tool. Turret lathes and special purpose lathes are usually used in mass production or workshops or specialized parts, while basic motor lathes are usually used for all types of lathes. Further references to lathes in this chapter will apply to various motor lathes.

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Engine Lathes

Different Sizes
The motor lathe size is determined by the largest piece of material that can be machined. Before machining the workpiece, the following dimensions should be taken into account: the diameter of the workpiece that will fluctuate above the bed and the length between the centers of the lathe.

Categories              
Slight differences in various motor lathes make it easy to group them into three categories: light table lathes, precision tool and slot lathes, also called extended lathes. Different manufacturers may use different categories of lathes.

Lightweight
Lightweight table lathes are generally small lathes with a 10-inch swing or smaller, mounted on a bench or table top. These lathes can perform most machining tasks, but may be limited due to the size of the material that can be rotated.

Precision
Precision tool lathes are also known as standard production lathes and are used for all turning operations, such as turning, boringdrilling, reaming, threading, tapered turning, knurling and radial forming, and can be adapted to special milling operations with a suitable device. This type of lathe machines can process workpieces up to 25 inches in diameter and up to 200 inches in length. However, the overall size is about a 15-inch swing from 36 to 48 inches between centers. Many lathes in tool rooms are used to produce special tools and dies due to the high accuracy of the machine.

Gap or extension type lathes
Slotted or extended lathes are similar to tool lathes, except that slotted lathes can be adapted to larger diameter machine tools and longer workpieces. The operator can increase the swing by moving the bed a distance from the head, which is usually one or two feet. By moving the bed away from the headstock, you can use a crevice lathe to rotate very long items between centers.

Lathe components
All motor lathes have the same general functional parts, even if the specific location or shape of one part may differ from one manufacturer. The bed is the foundation of the lathe working parts for the other.The main feature of its construction are the ways which are formed on its upper surface and run the full length of the bed.

Ways provide means for keeping the tailstock and trolley that slide on the ways in line with the permanently attached headstock.

The headstock is located on the left end of the operator lathe bed. It includes main spindle and oil tank, and a gear mechanism for achieving different spindle speeds and for transferring power to the feed and threading mechanism. The headstock mechanism is driven by an electric motor connected either to the belt or belt system or to the gear system. The main spindle is mounted on the headstock bearings and is hardened and ground to suit various lathe clamping devices. The spindle has a hole along its entire length to accommodate long objects. The spindle nose hole usually has a standard Morse taper that changes depending on the size of the lathe machines.

The tailstock is at the opposite end of the lathe relative to the head. It supports one end of the work during machining between centers, supports long pieces held in the chuck and holds various forms of cutting tools such as drills, reamers and taps. The tailstock is mounted on guides and is intended for crimping at any point in the aisles. It has a sliding spindle, which is operated by a knob and fixed in position by a spindle clamp. The tailstock can be adjusted laterally (towards or away from the operator) using adjusting screws. Before making any lateral adjustments, release it as this will allow the tailstock to move freely and prevent damage to the lateral adjusting bolts.

The carriage includes the apron, saddle, compound rest, cross slide, tool post, and the cutting tool. It sits across the lathe ways and in front of the lathe bed. The function of the carriage is to carry and move the cutting tool. It can be moved by hand or by power and can be clamped into position with a locking nut. The saddle carries the cross slide and the compound rest. The cross slide is mounted on the dovetail ways on the top of the saddle and is moved back and forth at 90° to the axis of the cnc lathe by the cross slide lead screw. The lead screw can be hand or power activated. A feed reversing lever, located on the carriage or headstock, can be used to cause the carriage and the cross slide to reverse the direction of travel. The compound rest is mounted on the cross slide and can be swiveled and clamped at any angle in a horizontal plane. The rest of the compound is widely used for cutting steep cones and angles in the centers of lathes. The cutting tool and tool holder are attached to the tool post, which is attached directly to the folded base. The apron contains gears and power couplings that transfer movement from the rod or lead screw to the carriage and transverse slide.

The rest of the compound is widely used for cutting steep cones and angles in the centers of lathes. The cutting tool and tool holder are attached to the tool post, which is attached directly to the folded base. The apron contains gears and power couplings that transfer movement from the rod or lead screw to the carriage and transverse slide.


Care and Maintenance of Lathes

CNC lathe machines are very accurate machine tools designed to work around the clock, if properly operated and maintained. Lathe machines must be lubricated and checked for adjustment before starting. Incorrect lubrication or loose nuts and bolts can cause excessive wear and unsafe working conditions.

CNC lathe machines are precision-ground surfaces and cannot be used as tables for other tools and should be kept clean of sand and dirt. The lead screw and gears should often be checked for metal chips that could be embedded in the gear mechanisms. Check each lathe for missing parts or broken shear pins before starting up. Read the operating instructions before lifting the lathe. Newly installed lathes or lathes transported on mobile vehicles should be properly leveled before each operation to prevent vibration and rolling. All lathes transported out of the normal shop environment should be protected from dust, excessive heat and very low temperatures. Change the grease often if you work in a dusty environment. Be careful in hot work areas to avoid overheating the engine or damaging the seals. When operating at low temperatures, the lathe should be operated at lower speeds than usual.

:: Read more : A CNC lathe machine might be the only machine you need!


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