News & Events

What is a CNC Lathe?

CNC Lathes

What is a CNC Lathe?

A lathe is a machine tool that rotates a workpiece about an axis of rotation to perform various operations such as cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling, deformation, facing, and turning.

Lathe machines are typically used for shaping the material into the desired form by removing the excess material from a given workpiece to produce a symmetrical object. The workpiece is usually held in place by either one or two centers, at least one of which can typically be moved horizontally to accommodate varying workpiece lengths. Other work-holding methods include clamping the work about the axis of rotation using a chuck or collet, or to a faceplate, using clamps or dog clutch.

Main Parts of a CNC Lathe Machine

  • Bed: Almost all lathes have a bed, which is almost always a horizontal beam. Although CNC lathes commonly have an inclined or vertical beam for a bed to ensure that swarf, or chips, fall from the bed. As the name suggests, the bed of a lathe serves as the base of the whole machine where the different components are mounted.

    While single-bed lathe machines are quite popular, lathe also get two-three pieced beds, pieces bolted together to meet the desired length. The beds have a high damping capacity to absorb the vibrations produced by the working machine.
  • Carriage: Used for mounting and moving the cutting tools, a carriage moves the tool horizontally and vertically on the bed for a smooth cutting process. It carries an apron, saddle, compound rest, cross slide and tool post.
  • Chuck: A chuck is responsible for holding the workpiece. This component is attached to the spindle that rotates both the chuck and workpiece. It rotates with the spindle and also rotates the work piece. In the lathe machine we generally use three jaw or four jaw check.
  • CNC Control Panel: The storage center of the machine, CNC control panel stores all the CNC programs and instructions. The CNC expert operates the machine by controlling the keys on the panel, instructing the machine to produce the desired results.
  • Headstock: This part functions as a holding device for the other components of the lathe like gear chain, spindle, driving pulley and more. The headstock is made up of cast iron and is present at the left hand side of the lathe.
  • Main Spindle: The main feeding center of the machine. A stock is fed via the headstock.
  • Main Drive Motor: The drive motor helps rotate the chuck, thus driving the entire machine.
  • Tailstock: A tailstock is usually used to conduct drilling operations and is used to provide support to the workpiece.
  • Tool Turret: A tool turret is used a tool carrier for the machine. The shape and the size of the turret are determined by the number of tools that’ll be mounted on them.
  • Horizontal vs Vertical Lathes

    CNC Lathes come in either vertical or horizontal machines.

    Horizontal Lathes – These machines rotate a workpiece cylindrically, while tooling shapes the piece by cutting away excess material. Since workpieces have to lie vertically, horizontal lathe machines tend to have a larger footprint or take up more total space. Because of this, horizontal lathes are best reserved for use on smaller or midsize workpieces. Workpieces are also usually lighter materials, since the chuck on these machines hold the piece vertically against the gravitational pull of the object.

    Vertical Lathes – In comparison to horizontal lathes, vertical lathes rotate the workpiece upright like a pottery wheel, allowing the spindle to cut at hard to reach angles. This makes it ideal for manufacturing super large and heavy workpieces because vertical lathes have a naturally smaller footprint than horizontal lathes. The smaller footprints also allow for the option of dual-spindles to work on a piece without compromising floor space, and makes them a good choice for pinch turning operations. Gravity also works in favor of vertical lathes, which allows for steady spindle movements and more accurate cutting.

    Like other CNC machines, CNC lathes have become a major part of the manufacturing industry in recent years. So, it is expected that the operations of such machines will continue to improve and carry significant weight in this field.

    If you’re interested in buying a CNC machine please look through our inventory, or contact us today and we’ll guarantee that we can help you find the right machine that’s perfect for your application. If you’re looking to get rid of any type of used CNC machine like vertical or horizontal lathes, sell us your machine today!

    Vertical Machining Center Features For Improving Productivity

    A Vertical Machine Center is a spindle with a vertical orientation. With a vertically oriented spindle, tools stick straight down from the tool holder and often cut across the top of a workpiece. It improves metal removal rates and reduces parasitic non-cutting time and eliminates unnecessary interruptions to production. The difference between a Horizontal Machine […]

    History of Haas

    Haas Automation, Inc started in 1983 by its founder Gene Haas. Eugene “Gene” Francis Haas (born November 12, 1952) is the founder, president, and sole stockholder of Haas Automation, a CNC machine tool manufacturer. The company also has a presence in motorsports, having founded NASCAR team Haas CNC Racing (now known as Stewart-Haas Racing) and […]

    Product Overview of DMG Mori Seiki CNC Machines

    CNC Milling Machine – Milling is a process performed with a machine in which the cutters rotate to remove the material from the workpiece present in the direction of the angle with the tool axis. DMG Mori has 7 types of CNC milling machines, and as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of machine tools, […]

    History of Mazak

    Mazak Corporation started in Nagoya, Japan in 1919 founded by Sadakichi Yamazaki. The company started as a small company making pots and pans. In the 1920s the company elevated from mat-making machinery to woodworking machinery, then to metalworking machine tools. It was one of the companies that were part of Japan’s industrial build-up before WWII. […]

    History of Doosan and The Puma Turning Center

    What is the history of Doosan? How did they become successful in their field? Who founded it and what’s its vision? We answer these questions as we dive into the history of the company. Doosan is a combined word of “doo” (unit of grain) and “san” ( mountain). If combined means “little grains of sand […]

    Machine Tool Tips Every Machinist Should Know

    Having the right tools makes all the difference in getting the job done quickly and correctly. No one wants to start a new machine shop or a new job as a machinist without the proper equipment, knowing the maintenance routine, and even without the help of the internet. Here are some Machine Tool tips for […]

    Buying Guide For Used CNC Lathes

    We’ve previously covered what CNC Lathes are, but now you want to buy one. You can save a fortune when buying a used CNC Lathe machine, often it’s a smarter and more economical choice. So what should you consider when buying used CNC Lathes? We need to make sure that it is worthy of the […]

    Different Types CNC Lathes

    Standard 2-Axis 3-Axis With Milling Multi Axis (Sub spindle/Dual Turret) Chucking (No Tailstock) Flat Bed Big Bore/Oil Country/Hollow Spindle Axis Definitions STANDARD 2-AXIS CNC LATHE/TURNING CENTER A standard lathe is used for removing material from a part by using a variety of tooling and cutters depending on the specific result the operator is looking to achieve. Standard […]

    What is a Vertical Machining Center

    VERTICAL MACHINING CENTERS A 3-Axis CNC Machining Center/Mill is used for creating various industrial parts. This is achieved by using a wide-range of tooling and cutters depending on the type of material being cut and the end product being manufactured. A 3-axis CNC Mill works on three separate axes: X-Axis: Moving longitudinally or “left-to-right” Y-Axis: Moving laterally or “front-to-back” […]

    History Of CNC Machinery

    In the 1950s a new era and manufacturing was born for the first time in the history of manufacturing. A number of large production machines electronically controlled were functioning simultaneously as an integrated production line virtually unattended. These machines were drilling, boring, milling, and passing unrelated parts from machine to machine. End products were processed […]

    Top Reasons To Buy A Vertical Machining Center

    In the metal fabrication industry, milling is one of the most popular processes being used today. offering operators a method for expertly cutting and shaping rolled steel. After careful studies by shop owners, they believed the only way to survive and stay competitive in the industry aside from bringing the cost down is to have […]

    What are CNC Machines used for?

    CNC (Computer Numerical Control) is a technology where computers control the movements of machines. This technology is used in the manufacturing industry. The first CNC Machines were developed around 1940 using a common telecommunication data storage technology called “punched tape”, and quickly transitioned to analog then digital computer processing in the 1960s. Widespread use of […]

    Section 179 Tax Deduction

    What is Section 179?  Most people think the Section 179 deduction is some mysterious or complicated tax code. It really isn’t, as you will see below. Essentially, Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. That […]

    What is a CNC Lathe?

    CNC Lathes What is a CNC Lathe? A lathe is a machine tool that rotates a workpiece about an axis of rotation to perform various operations such as cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling, deformation, facing, and turning. Lathe machines are typically used for shaping the material into the desired form by removing the excess material from […]

    Stay Safe Around Your CNC Machines with These Tips

    Technology has advanced to create much more safety in the workplace. CNC Machines protect operators through new and incredible approaches. But, there are still safety steps you or your staff should continue to take to avoid accidents. CNC Machine Safety Tips Training Before Touching CNC Machines each have a unique function and process, so each […]

    When to Sell Your CNC Machine

    With the ebbs and flows of work orders, it can be challenging to choose the best time to sell your CNC machines. By focusing on your business goals, you can make decisions about your machine inventory that will help push your company toward its potential.   Align Goals You may have found your shop has […]

    Workplace Safety Tips For CNC Machinists

    No matter how large or small your CNC machine is, it’s important to remember that it’s still a machine. Many hazards come with operating these machines such as sharp edges, rotating shafts, fast-moving components such as belts, and more. If not used properly, these machines can cause serious harm. Here are a few tips to […]

    Simple Maintenance Tips For Your CNC Machines

    Technology has had a major impact on the production and manufacturing industry over the past few decades. A variety of advancements have allowed production to be more efficient and far safer than ever before. One type of machine that is continuing to provide many benefits to those in the manufacturing industry is a CNC machine. […]

    Buying Guide For Used CNC Machines

    It is true that buying a new CNC machine can be quite costly. This is the primary reason why you should consider buying a used CNC machine, especially if it is your first time. Once you make up your mind that you are going to purchase a used CNC machine, it is always critical for […]

    How to Cut CNC Machining Costs With Used Machinery

    Do you work with CNC machines? With CNC machining, planning is important. The high level of automation can lead to people new to the process assuming it will result in cheap, quick, and easily producible parts. However, the cost of running a CNC machine can be high if one is not careful. Here are a few […]