Workpieces are either held on both ends ("between centers") and supported by the motor-driven headstock (Spindelstock) and the passively rotating tailstock (Reitstock). The tailstock can be moved along the lathe bed as the length of the workpiece dictates.
We have two different lathes at the CoMakingSpace:
- a metal lathe, used with precisely positionable tool bits and gears for semi-automatic turning
- a wood lathe, used with handheld woodturning tools in a more freeform approach
Many lathes have tailstocks with Morse taper fittings - a quick-change conical connection that provides very good holding force by its large surface contact area. 
Drill chucks and collets are among the accessories one could mount using this taper.