Lathe Tooling

Purchasing a lathe is only the beginning, to actually do any work with it you will need some tooling. These are some of the accessories that you will need to add to your lathe for it to perform certain functions.

Lathe Chucks

Your lathe may come with a chuck, perhaps if you are lucky, a three jaw automatic and a four jaw independent will be included. You can manage with only a 4 jaw independent chuck as it will hold square or round stock as well as irregular shaped objects. The only drawback is that it takes practice to get the stock centered.

If you turn a lot of square stock a four jaw automatic chuck is very handy, it actually holds round stock better than a three jaw as well.

A six jaw chuck will hold round and hex stock better than a three jaw chuck, but because of the extra jaws they will not close enough to hold small diameter stock, 3/16" is the smallest I can grip with mine.

Face Plate

A face plate is used when you are turning work between centers or to mount work in order to turn a flat surface on it.

Steady Rests

There are two types of rests, a travelling steady rest that attaches to the lathe carriage to support thin springy material and a fixed steady rest to support material that is too long to fit between the lathe centers.

Drill Bit Chuck

In order to bore holes with the lathe you will require a drill bit chuck with a tapered tail piece that fits the tail stock spindle.

Before boring a hole a centering bit should be used to accurately determine the center of the stock, a twist drill due to its length may tend to wander and start off center.

Lathe Tools

These are the bits that do the cutting, you will need an assortment of profiles, there are many choices available, high speed steel, fixed carbide tips and replaceable carbide tips. High speed steel works best on small lathes, particularily when working with brass. You will also require a boring bar and a parting tool.

QCTP (Quick Change Tool Post)

With a QCTP (Quick Change Tool Post) the cutting tools are mounted in on individual holder that slides on to the main tool post. Each holder has a locking adjustment so the height does not have to be set each time it is put on.

Measuring Tools

You will need a good vernier caliper, a basic micrometer, dial gauge with a magnetic base as well as a six inch and a twelve inch steel rule.

Tail Stock Tap and Die Holders

Though you can cut threads with the lathe there will often be times when it is easier to use a tap or a die, particularily for small work.

Eye Protection

This is one of the most important items to use faithfully, you only have one pair of eyes so look after them.



Related Pages

Parts of a Lathe

Selecting a Lathe

Interesting Links

Turning & Boring on a Lathe
- Online reprint

Crabfu Steamworks

Little Machine Shop

Make Your Own Tooling

Mini Lathe Knurling Tool