Metal Lathe training

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This is reference material for people interested in using our lathe. This material is collected here in order to assist a workshop on using the lathe as well as for people to teach themselves how to use this machine.



This is a diagram of the parts of our lathe. Please note that this picture was taken before it was restored to full working condition. See that process here: Atlas_Lathe_Restoration.

Atlas TH42 Lathe

Reading Material

Here are some scans from books very much worth reading. First are three chapters from "Machining Fundamentals" on lathes and lathe operations. It's a highly illustrated book which shows many variations in lathes and how to use them.

Next is a complete scan of the manual for this lathe. In addition to covering use of the lathe it also has a lot of info on machining in general too:

I also recommend reading chapter 2 on measuring tools from the Metal Working Handbook, as well as this chapter on turning from the same book:

For additional material on the subject of running and using a lathe use these links. The MIT guide is a single page with a good overview of lathe parts and operations. The WE Williams site contains complete PDF's of older books on using lathes. I have two expensive classroom books which cover lathe work which I will provide to Bloominglabs members in the near future.

Supplementary books

Video Tutorials

These are free MIT videos which are a reasonable introduction to using a lathe. They are part of a 10 video series on machine tools, these are the lathe videos from this series. They are about 45 minutes in length each.

  • [1] - MIT video 1 for the lathe
  • [2] - MIT video 2 for the lathe
  • [3] - MIT video 3 for the lathe

More videos on running a lathe:

  • [4] - Youtube search for "Tubalcain" machining videos, many different videos on different aspects of using a lathe.

Tool Grinding

Tool grinding is just as important as knowing how to use the lathe. You grind a small bar of high quality tool steel down to the correct shape you need for the cuts you need to make. Each of the book downloads in the "Reading Material" section contain good info on tool grinding. However here is some more info on the subject.

  • [5] - Tool grinding video from "Tubalcain"
  • [6] - Various pages on lathe info including tool grinding
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