Instrument Lathe Explained

The lathe is a basic horizontal machine tool.

In general, lathes are typically used to machine workpieces with a diameter of 250mm or less.

Instrument Lathe

Introduction to instrument lathe

The lathe machine is a straightforward horizontal machine tool.

Typically, the lathe is used for machining workpieces with a maximum diameter of 250mm or less.

Lathes can be classified into several types, including conventional, hexagonal, finishing, and automatic.

Working principle

The instrument lathe is secured quickly by a spring collet, the motor directly drives the main shaft, and the large and small discs are operated manually. The vertical and horizontal positioning control the turning.

Some instrument lathes come equipped with flanges, tailstocks, and die-and-threading devices.

The lathe can perform various machining operations, including outer circle turning, inner circle turning, cutting, end face machining, slotting, taper turning, drilling, reaming, tapping, milling, and grinding.

The lathe is widely used in the production of small parts for industries such as electrical appliances, fasteners, automobiles, motorcycles, instruments, hardware, cultural and educational supplies, film and television equipment, mechanical and electrical products, plumbing fittings, valves, bearing rings, shafts, etc.

It is considered an ideal and efficient machine tool in the hardware machining industry.

Thanks to the push-type feed mechanism, quick-clamping spring collet, and easy-to-use limit device, the motor directly drives the spindle for efficient operation. The precise positioning control during turning also enhances productivity.

Continuous processing of the same type and shape of workpiece can increase work efficiency by over 10 times compared to a conventional lathe.

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The lathe is especially suitable for machining large quantities of small parts, and can even replace other machine tools to conserve energy.


Axle box overheating

(1) Overheating of the Spindle:

The spindle may become overheated if it is used for an extended period of time.


To resolve this issue, adjust the bearing clearance, reduce the spindle speed to within the design parameters of the machine, and apply high-speed grease to the bearings.

(2) Tight Spindle Bearing Clearance:

If the bearing clearance is too tight, it can cause overheating of the spindle.


To resolve this issue, adjust the bearing clearance of the spindle.

(3) Rusty or Worn Spindle Bearings:

The spindle bearings may become worn or rusted if the machine is used for an extended period of time or in a humid environment. If the machine is stored for a long time, the bearings may also become rusted.


To resolve this issue, clean the bearings and adjust the grease or replace the bearings as necessary.

Bed deformation

Improper installation of the machine tool can result in twisting and deformation of the machine bed, which can cause the large carriage to become too tight or become stuck.


To resolve this issue, loosen the anchor bolts, level the machine feet and work surface, and then reinstall the bolts to ensure proper installation. This solution is typically performed during the installation of a new machine.

Rail feeding

To remove the large pallet guard, follow these steps:

  • Loosen the screws that secure the large pallet guard and remove the guard and the guard pads.
  • Next, loosen the screws that secure the large pallet pressure plate and remove the pressure plate.
  • Clean the carriage and guide rail with kerosene.
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It is important to replace the size of the guard pad (made of wool felt) to prevent iron filings from entering. This process may take a while.

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