What is a metalworking lathe?
A metal lathe or metalworking lathe is a large class of lathes designed for precisely machining relatively hard materials. They were originally designed to machine metals; however, with the advent of plastics and other materials, and with their inherent versatility, they are used in a wide range of applications, and with a broad range of materials. These rigid machine tools remove material from a rotating workpiece via the (typically linear) movements of various cutting tools, such as tool bits and drill bits. Common parts made with a metalworking lathe are couplings, flanges, shafts and threaded parts.
CNC Lathe with Live Y-Axis Tooling
Precision Grinding’s CNC turning center with live tooling and Y-axis increases its arsenal of custom steel manufacturing equipment. The new Yama Seiki CNC Turning Center greatly expands the company’s machining production capacity. The addition of this state-of-the-art metalworking lathe broadens Precision Grinding’s complex and accurate machining capabilities.
This CNC lathe has a turning capacity of 18.11” diameter over the carriage and 115.0” in length.
The CNC turning center features a 12 station live tooling turret to allow true multi-tasking and allows multiple operations to be performed without removing the component from the lathe. This improves accuracy and repeatability. With live tooling and Y-axis machining capabilities, this new CNC turning center greatly expands the capability of Precision Grinding to manufacture a wider variety of custom steel parts.
When a cylindrical part needs to be machined, grooved or cut, the process is accomplished using a metal lathe. There are various types of metalworking lathes for various purposes and tolerances.
In very basic terms, a stock piece is mounted in the spindle of the lathe and is rotated at a set speed. Pre-selected cutting bits made of carbide or other hardened material, are held rigidly in place by the toolpost. The bits, positioned and controlled by the carriage mechanism, are automatically set against the rotating material to begin cutting. The rotating stock is suspended inside the bed and may be moved back and forth by the feedscrew and leadscrew as the machining bits are engaged, disengaged and repositioned by the cross slide and the compound rest.