View Full Version : Didn't find it in the FAQ, but dumb question

03-08-2005, 08:33 PM
Another newbie here. I got a mill awhile back, and I've been practicing making small bits of metal out of large bits of metal. Stuff like that.
It's become apparent that a lathe is also in order - maybe I should have gotten that first. Anyway, in looking around, I've come across several different varieties, and wonder if those in the know could straighten me out on which is which and what for.

Turret lathe - guess: no tailstock, instead a multi-tool turret. Maybe the generalized version of a screw machine?
Tool room lathe - guess: A Hardinge HLV is to toolroom lathes what a Bridgeport J-head is to milling machines. Swiss army knife of lathes?
"Chucker" lathe - how is this different from a turret lathe?
Machining center - guess: usually no tailstock, but is CNC, made for volume, fast, highly automated (tool changers, auto material loading, etc)

Apologies if it sounds silly, but like I said, I'm new here. -Mark

Whether it's broken or not, I can probably fix it - if by "fix it" you mean "make it different than it was"

03-08-2005, 09:10 PM
you seem to have answered your own question,mark http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif.the type usually found in home workshops is a "centre lathe",because work can be turned between two centers.I believe it's also known as "engine lathe"in the usa,but i could be wrong about that,since i don't live there! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif.Go forth and create big piles of chips.


03-08-2005, 09:36 PM
Basically you have it right.
There are 2 types of turret lathes, the ram type and the saddle typr. Suffice to say that the ram type is the smaller of the two, the saddle type being for much larger work. The difference is in the way the turret is mounted.
Both types of turret lathe can be either a bar machine or a chucker, but not both at the same time. The bar machine has a collet attachment and, generally, a bar feeder. The chucker has either a 2,3, or 4 jaw chuck mounted on the spindle.
Toolroom lathe is also known as an engine lathe, center lathe, back-geared screw cutting lathe, geared head lathe. At one time "toolroom lathe" had a meaning, but lately the difference has blurred to the point that I really don't think a difference exists anymore.

Jim Luck
03-08-2005, 10:05 PM
A standard engine lathe of adequate size (say 14X36+" min.), and a good assortment of tooling. For a beginner there's some good CD's available cheap on Ebay!. I believe there is a site put on by the Gov. that shows how to operate older SB lathes, but I don't know the address, maybe someone here could find it if you POST for it!. Happy Machining!!! ------

03-09-2005, 05:47 PM
Welcome Mark, looks like you'll fit in here just fine. Smitty