Ace: Needed (Makerhub@georgefox.edu).
Location: Machine Shop
A lathe is a machine tool that rotates the work piece on an axis to perform various operations such as cutting, sanding, knurling ,drilling, facing, and turning. It does this with a stationary tool that is applied to the work piece to remove material. The lathe will create an object that is symmetrical about the axis of rotation it was rotated about. It is useful for creating flywheels and other circular parts. There are two lathes available in the machine shop and there are some small differences between them, namely the start/stop procedure.
- Spindle - The part of the lathe that rotates.
- Chuck - Clamping device that holds the material.
- Tailstock - Adjustable mount that is used to support the material, drill holes, and ream holes.
To begin you will need to a piece of round stock that is at least a quarter inch longer than the final part. The extra material is so that your part will be the correct length after machining the end to a smooth face (facing). Using the chuck key found in the tool holder, place the stock in the chuck and tighten to secure the stock. Always remove the chuck key from the chuck or it can fly across the room once the lathe is turned on. A common difficulty with using these lathes is activation. The images below demonstrate the differences between Lathe 1 and Lathe 2, please refer to the video below for more information. Lathe 1 must be turned on using the power button circled on the left and the spinning is initiated using the activation lever. Note that the activation lever on Lathe 1 needs to be pulled out before being moved up and down. It also has a neutral position. The lever must be in neutral position for the machine to turn on. It is safer to run the machine in forward because the chips will tend to fall down and into the tray rather than fly up and out. Lathe 2 is controlled by an intuitive button panel. The final piece to using the lathe is setting the correct speed. Refer to the speed chart posted on the wall above the lathes to determine the correct speed for your specific material and set the spindle speed to match. Use the control panel to do this on lathe 2 and the left most knob to do this on lathe 1. You can then begin machining. For more details see the video below.
Face a 1” aluminum bar down to 0.75”, drill a hole through the middle, and then ream the hole. Check out the image below to see what this should look like.
This video contains specific information for using the lathe in the Maker Hub as well as a basic overview of what will be expected in your live demonstration.
- Never wear gloves, long sleeves, jewelry, or have long hair down as all of these can get caught in the rotating portion of the machine.
- Make sure to remove the chuck key. Sounds simple but this is probably the most common mistake in the machine shop.
- Not cutting smoothly or Tool is making excessive noise (chattering) - Slow down the feed rate and the amount of material being removed. Check the spindle speed as well. If the problem persists check the tool to make sure it is not chipped and that it is at the correct height. Ask a shop supervisor for help if the tool is damaged.
- A small bump remains when facing the end of the material - Adjust the tool height so it is exactly in the center of the material.
This machine requires minimal maintenance but like all the other machines in the Maker Hub it is important to clean the machine of metal chips and any other debris after each use. Anything more advanced is taken care of by Justin.