The first useful machine tool which was invented to cut and shape metals was the Lathe. The Lathe Machines work by holding a piece of metal between two rigid and strong centers and thus holding the piece of metal to cut it in the required shape. The lathe then revolves to give the desired shape to the metal. It is an extremely useful tool and is used in a variety of operations. All machine tools are said to have invented on the basic framework of the lathe. An individual has to hold the tool while the lathe rotates it. The work has to be held in a place while the cutting tool gives the object the desired shape.
Different types of lathe machines available
To identify them easily Lathe Machines can be divided into three basic categories: engine lathe, turret lathe and special purpose lathes. There are smaller ones also. These are portable and mounted on a bench. Lathes which are large in size are mounted on floor and if needed to be transported they require special transport options. An engine lathe operator needs to be properly trained. Once trained, the machine can be used for a large number of purposes compared to any other machine. This type of lathes can be used for any type of lathe work. On the other hand turret lathes and special purpose lathes are used for mass production of specialized parts. There are also gap or extension – type lathes which can be adjusted to fit longer workplaces.
How to take care and maintain lathes
The Lathe Machines are designed to work accurately and can be used to work continuously throughout the day if operated and maintained properly. The machines should be well lubricated and checked for adjustments at regular intervals. Negligence of the machine can cause serious damage to the machine and create dangerous working conditions. The lathes should be kept on even ground surface and should not be used to keep any other tool on it. Every time before operating the machine it should be checked for any broken parts or loose nuts and bolts or any metal parts lodged in it. Without checking these things can cause serious workplace accidents. It has to be safeguarded from dust and grime and changing environmental conditions and fluctuation on temperatures when sifting from hot places to cold ones or vice versa. If the workplace is too dusty then the machine should be frequently lubricated.
Necessary safety measures
There are certain hazards with using a lathe machine, the operators of the machine should be trained to be aware of them and how to handle them. To avoid accidents and unwanted injuries certain safety measures should be taken at the workplace. Carelessness and ignorance are two potential dangers which should be avoided to enhance personal safety. Appropriate uniform should be maintained. All jewelry should be removed and the fore arms should be free of clothing. It is mandatory to know where the emergency stop button is before starting the machine.