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Noted as the most dangerous machine in the lab, the lathe requires that you please pay attention to ALL the information in this tutorial.

This is to ensure the safety of YOU, the machine, and OTHER STUDENTS.

The intro/tutorial is broken into 4 sections: Safety, Lathe Features, General Operation, & Other Notes

Safety & Attire

There are some simple clothing restrictions to consider before using the lathe.

  • If your hair touches your shoulders, it needs to be tied
  • If your beard dangles, it needs a cover
  • Short or rolled sleeves only
  • Loose jewelry removed. This includes rings, bracelets, and necklaces
  • No earbuds or headphones
  • Closed toed shoes
  • And of course, safety glasses

Yes, taking bracelets and necklaces off can be a pain, but better you take them off than the lathe.

"If the lathe CAN grab it, it WILL" - A Wise Machinist

Someone else should always be in the room with you while you are operating the lathe! Should your company step out for a quick bathroom break, at the very least the shop door should propped well open.

If you ever find yourself in a position where you're not comfortable with the machine or are unsure about a potentially risky operation, STOP what you are doing and ask for help from an experienced user! Better to stop and ask for help altogether than to attempt something you're unsure of.

Important Features

You need to be familiar with the different parts of the lathe and know 'What's in the pantry?', so to speak. What are the different parts of the lathe? What do these parts do? When do I use what?

Here, we'll explore answers to these question by discussing briefly, different parts of the lathe.

  1. Emergency Brakes
  2. Head & Tail Stock
  3. Tool Post
  4. Speeds & Feeds
  5. Position Tracker

Emergency Brakes

There are actually two ways to stop the lathe while it is operating. There is the more obvious 'big red button' on the left hand panel of the machine and the less obvious foot pedal located just above the floor.

Both of these options will result in the same outcome of stopping the lathe, however the red button will let the lathe come to its own stop which is less favorable in an emergency situation. The floor pedal is the best option in the event of an emergency since with a quick press of the foot the lathe halts almost immediately.

Head & Tail Sock

The head and tail stock are essentially both ends of our machine. The head stock consists of the three jaw chuck where we support our material [1]. The tail stock can be used for either supporting longer work pieces or for drilling applications [2].

Speeds & Feeds

The front left panel of the lathe is where we change the speeds of the chuck holding our work piece. Bring the central lever to a vertical position so that the chuck is in a neutral state and spins freely. Depending on what metal you're using you'll adjust the left lever so that either the blue or orange arrow point to your desired RPM speed. Once you've got your speed selected you'll bring the central lever over to the side with the desired speed.

Sometimes the lever may not seem to 'catch' on the gears within. If this happens, you can keep a slight pressure on the central lever while also manually rotating the chuck. Once the gears catch inside you'll feel a different resistance on the chuck and your central lever should move into position.

Position Tracker



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