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• A lathe is a large machine that rotates the work, and
cutting is done with a non-rotating cutting tool. The
shapes cut are generally round, or helical. The tool is
typically moved parallel to the axis of rotation during
• Head stock - this end of the lathe contains the driving
motor and gears. Power to rotate the part is
delivered from here. This typically has levers that let
the speeds and feeds be set.
• Guide ways - these are hardened rails that the
carriage rides on.
• Tail stock - this can be used to hold the other end of
the part.
• Bed - this is a bottom part of the lathe that
catches chips, cutting fluids, etc.
• Carriage - this part of the lathe carries the cutting
tool and moves based on the rotation of the lead
screw or rod.
• Lead screw - A large screw with a few threads per
inch used for converting the rotational motion of
spindle into linear motion of carriage. It has ACME
threads with included angle of 29o for easy
engagement and disengagement of half nut.
• Lead rod - a rod with a shaft down the side used
for driving normal cutting feeds.
Types of threads
GATE - 2002
A lead-screw with half nuts in a lathe, free to
rotate in both directions has

(a) V-threads

(b) Whitworth threads

(c) Buttress threads

(d) ACME threads

General classifications used when describing lathes
• Swing - the largest diameter of work that can be
• Distance Between Centres - the longest length of
• Power - The range of speeds and feeds, and the
horsepower available
Head Stock
• Acts as house for keeping transmission system
and also provides support to work piece at one
end through chuck and spindle.
• Spindle: Hollow shaft used for transmitting
energy from transmission system to chuck or
work piece.
• Chuck: is a work holding device used for holding
workpiece during machining operation.
• 3 jaw or self centering: used for machining
cylindrical w/p
• 4 jaw or independent : used for non circular jobs
Number of Spindle Speed
• Number of spindle speed is in a geometric progression.
• If n number of spindle speed is required with N1 is the
minimum speed then
N1 , N1r , N1r 2 , N1r 3 ,.............N1r n 1
n 1
N1  N min and N1r  N max
 N max  n 1
Therefore, Step Ratio  r    
• The values of step ratios are 1.06, 1.12,
 N min1.26,
 1.41, 1.58
and 2
IES - 2001
The spindle speed range in a general purpose lathe is
divided into steps which approximately follow
(a) Arithmetic progression
(b) Geometric progression
(c) Harmonic progression
(d) Logarithmic progression
Split Nut or half Nut
• Is a two halves of nut hinged at one end and
connected to lever so that if lever is kept in
disengaged condition the split nut gets open
even though the lead screw is rotating no
movement will take place on the nut. If the
lever is kept in engaged condition the nut gets
closed and whenever lead screw is rotating
the nut is moving.
• Is a device mounted on the guide ways and is
connected to split nut so that whenever the split
nut is moving the carriage also moves.
• Carriage is used for carrying the tool globally ie
from one end of the lathe to another end.
• Slide ways: On carriage two small guideways are
provided called as slideways.
• Saddle: on slideways another small size carriage is
mounted called as saddle. The saddle is used for
localised movement of tool.
• Compound rest: The compound rest is
mounted on saddle so that it can be rotated
for rotating the tool.
• Tool post: on compound rest a tool post is
mounted for holding the tool.
Tail Stock
• Is used for:
• Supporting the work piece at other end
• For drilling the axial hole in w/p by placing
drill bit in place of dead centre.
• By offsetting the tailstock dead centre the
taper turning operation can be carried out.