What Are The Operations Carried Out On A Wood Turning Lathe?

What Are The Operations Carried Out On A Wood Turning Lathe

Are you thinking about getting yourself a wood lathe? A wood lathe is great if you want to turn your woodworking projects into a high-quality one. 

Woodturning is the act of turning blocks of wood or timber into objects like a wood spindle. It is done using a wood lathe. A wood lathe is a multi-operational machine. In this article, you are going to learn all about the things that can be done on a woodturning lathe. For more information, you can visit woodenuknow website.

What Is A Woodturning Lathe?

Before we get into its operations, what exactly is a wood lathe? It is a motor-driven tool that rotates the woodblock at its axis at high speed. During this rotation, cutting tools like chisels slowly carve the workpiece into the user’s preferred shape.

Be it to make a wood spindle or even a bowl; a wood lathe can be used for a lot of different purposes. That is exactly what you will be learning about in this article. So without any further ado, let us get to it!

1. Turning Operation

This is the process of turning the wood piece into a cylindrical shape by eliminating the excess wood from the piece itself. It is the most common operation, and it can be subcategorized into four types.

Straight Turning

During this method, you mount the woodblock between centers and rotate it about its axis. It is the process of reducing the diameter of the workpiece to a cylindrical surface.

Here, the plane is kept parallel to the axis while the tool chips away the excess material from the piece. This makes sure that there are no variations in the working diameter.

Shoulder Turning

Whenever a work contains more than one diameter in its length, the surface forming an abrupt step or the place where they meet is called the shoulder. The process of machining this part is what is known as shoulder turning. For this, the workpiece is mounted on the chuck and turned shoulders into the desired shape.

Rough Turning

You can use the rough turning operation when the material is in excess and needs to be removed. So, you can remove the material by working the machine at a high rate and placing a heavy depth of cuts.

Taper Turning

Whenever you have a workpiece, which has a diameter that changes constantly, it is said to be tapered. What the taper turning operation does is that it slowly reduces the diameter from one point of the cylindrical piece to the other. When using a lathe, the taper is attained by feeding the tool at a certain angle to get a bit by bit, increase or decrease in its diameter.

Eccentric Turning

A workpiece is machined by the operation known as eccentric turning whenever a cylindrical surface has two individual rotational axes, where the first axis is offset to the other one. Here, the machine drills three center holes on the surface. It is done by holding the piece at these three centers.

2. Facing Operation

This operation is carried out by feeding the perpendicular to the axis of the lathe, to reduce the length of the wood piece. What this does is that it reduces the flat surface at the end of the object. You can use either a facing tool or a turning tool for this operation. This operation itself can be categorized into two sub-operations.

  • Roughing- Where the cut is made 1.3mm deep
  • Finishing- The cut lies 0.2-0.1mm deep

3. Chamfering Operation

Chamfering can be very useful in woodworking. If you have a cylindrical workpiece and you want to give it a slanted edge, this operation is just the thing to achieve that. Using this, you can effectively eliminate the sharp edges of the piece. Here, the machine makes a small cut of 45o to get rid of the 90o edge.  

4. Knurling Operation

With the Knurling operation, you can give a piece a better grip by shaping it like a diamond.  This ensures the surface can provide a stronger grip when using hands. The lowest speed setting you can use for the lathe is used for knurling. A knurling tool is used for this process, and it requires about two or three cuts.

5. Thread Cutting Operation

The thread cutting operation allows you to give your woodblock threads or helical grooves. There are two types of thread cutting, external and internal.

With external thread cutting, the tool forms the helical grooves on the outer surface of the piece. As such, when the threads are formed on the inner surface of the workpiece, it is called internal thread cutting.

6. Filling

After the turning is done, the filling operation is carried out. If there are any sharp edges or feed marks on the piece, you fill to make sure that they are removed. Here, the workpiece revolves at a very high speed, while a single flat cut is made over it.

7. Polishing

This comes in after you are done with filling. Polishing greatly enhances the quality of the piece. For a sleek and shiny surface, it is best to polish with fine grades of emery cloth. In this case, the wood lathe runs at high speed that can range from 1500m to 1800m per minute.

8. Forming

Forming is the operation of turning objects that have irregular shapes like concave or convex. For this procedure, a forming tool is used, the cross and longitudinal feed are combined, and a template is traced or copied. With a forming tool, you do not remove too much of the material.

9. Drilling

You hold the work by a chuck for this operation. Here, you drill to make a cylindrical hole in the piece. A rotating tool is used, and the workpiece revolves in the chuck while you hold the drill in the drill holder.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it. These are the operations carried out on a woodturning lathe. Wood lathes are a must-have for anyone doing woodwork. We hope that this article has cleared things up for you a bit!

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