3+ Lathe Machine Parts: Types And Detailed Explanations About Each Parts

This article discusses about lathe machine parts. Before discussing about different moving components used in lathe we shall discuss what is a lathe machine.

Lathe machine is known as the mother of all machines as it can produce a large variety of other machine components and its the basic industrial machine. In this article we shall discuss about different types of lathe machines, applications of lathe machine and related topics.

What is lathe machine?

Lathe can be defined as a machine tool that will rotate a workpiece around its axis rotation to perform various machining operations like cutting, sanding, drilling etc.

Through various machining operations, we can manufacture many products. The lathe machine has many working components which work in harmony to provide the desired results. The lathe has movements possible in x axis and y axis. Let us discuss more about lathe in further sections.

Lathe machine parts and functions

Lathe is an assembly of many components. These components are arranged in such a way that the user can use them simultaneously or one by one as and when needed.

The main parts of lathe are given in the section given below-


The entire lathe machine rests on the bed. The lathe machine does not have any legs or pillars on which it stands. The bed is made up of cast iron. The bed is bolted to the shop floor such that it holds all the vibrations coming out from the machining process.

Headstock is found at the end of bed. Headstock will provide the power used for rotating the spindle used in lathe machine. The headstock itself is stationary but holds the moving or rotating part of the lathe.


Spindle collects the workpiece and provides it motion for machining process. It is simply a rotating shaft which holds the work piece while it rotates.


Leadscrew is also called as power screw or translation screw. It translates motion form one form to another, it converts the rotary motion to linear motion.

Lathe machine parts diagram

We have discussed about the main parts used in lathe. But addition to these parts there are other small parts too which participate in the working of lathe machine.

The diagram of lathe machine parts is given below-

Image credits: Wikipedia

  • a- bed
  • b- carriage
  • c- headstock
  • d-back gear
  • e- cone pulley
  • f- faceplate mounted on spindle
  • g- tailstock
  • h- leadscrew

Types of lathe machines

According to the application requirements and the mode of working (automated or manual) the lathe machine is divided into following parts-

  • Automatic lathe machines – Automatic lathe machines as the name suggests are controlled using automatic cutting process. These machines are Numerically controlled or computer numeric control.
  • CNC lathes – CNC is one of the types of automatic lathe machine. It is a machine tool that performs cutting operations automatically by the computer. The operator feeds a code to the machine and the machine will keep performing its operation as per the code.
  • Ornamental– Ornamental lathe is used for ornamental turning. This type of turning involves cutting of work piece that is mounted on lathe.
  • Combination lathe – Combination lathe as the name suggests performs various machining processes such as turning, milling, cutting and drilling. These processes are performed on different lathes in conventional machines.
  • Oil field lathes– These type of lathes have very large spindle bores as well as chucks on headstock. The name oil field lathe comes from the fact that these lathes can be used in oil fields because it can handle long workpieces.
  • Turret lathe – These types of lathe are generally used for repititive production of same designs.

Uses of lathe machine

The uses of lathe machine are given in the section given below-

  • Woodworking – As the name suggests, woodworking refers to the machining of wood work pieces. Wood work pieces are mounted on the lathe and special type of tools are used for woodworking. Many kinds of furniture items are produced using the help of woodworking lathe.
  • Duplicating – We can copy or duplicate a shape using a special type of lathe known as copy lathe. This type of lathe is used for replicating objects.
  • Pattern making– Pattern making is also a type of duplicating process. Patterns are made for making moulds that are used in casting process.
  • Metal working – Metal working is simple metal machining process in which the metal surfaces are chipped off to make the desired shapes.
  • Metal spinning– In metal spinning a disc of metal is rotated around a center and a tool that is kept stationary cuts the metal. This is also called as metal turning.
  • Glass working– Glass working as the name suggests is the technique in which various methods are used to cut and make designs from glass.
  • Ornamental turning– In ornamental turning, there is facility to cut the workpiece mounted on the lathe.
  • Reducing– In reducing process, the radius of the workpiece is reduced from the original dimension to the desired dimension. In the operation the workpiece and the cutting tool are kept perpendicular to each other.
  • Watchmaking– Watchmaking is a process of making watches. In watchmaking lathes, the tools are designed in such a way that we can manufacture watch parts on it.

Accessories used on lathes

Accessories used in lathes improve the performance of lathe. These accessories make it easy and convenient for the althe operator to operate the machine.

The accessories used in lathe machine are given in the section below-

  • Faceplate– Faceplate is a holding accessory in a lathe. The faceplate can be used to hold both wood and metal workpieces.
  • Four jaw/three jaw chuck- The chucks are used for clamping the work pieces. Three jaw chucks are commonly used for circular workpiece whereas uneven workpieces can be worked upon four jaw chucks. In four jaw chucks, each jaw needs to be fit manually whereas in three jaw chuck all the three jaws move together.
  • Collet– Collet is also used for holding circular objects by making a collar around it. This collar exerts a strong clamping force on the object.
  • Dead center- A dead center is used to support the workpiece at either the fixed part or rotating part in the machine.


Hi ....I am Abhishek Khambhata, have pursued B. Tech in Mechanical Engineering. Throughout four years of my engineering, I have designed and flown unmanned aerial vehicles. My forte is fluid mechanics and thermal engineering. My fourth-year project was based on the performance enhancement of unmanned aerial vehicles using solar technology. I would like to connect with like-minded people.

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