Metal Lathe Introduction

From CoMakingSpace Wiki

This is the content required for an introduction to our metal lathe - reading this does NOT replace the mandatory session with a tutor! It will make it a lot quicker though ;-)

If you need this introduction, please reach out to the following tutors: Patrick, Johannes, Luzian


Personal protection: Protection - goggles.svg Protection - face shield.svg Protection - no gloves.svg

Dangers Precautions
Danger - draw-in.svg
exposed, rotating chuck - can easily catch loose clothing, jewellery or hair
  • wear short sleeved clothing or tight fitting sleeves
  • tie long hair together
  • don't wear any kind of jewellery (e.g. rings) as they may get caught in the chuck or trap shavings
  • wear personal protection but not gloves, as they might get caught in the rotating parts
  • keep transmission covers closed during operation
loose workpieces can be thrown at high speeds
  • make sure to secure the workpiece properly in the chuck
    • use the appropriate chuck for each workpiece
  • make sure the tool bit is secured properly in its holder
  • never leave the chuck key stuck in the chuck!
small debris can be thrown towards the user a face shield in addition to goggles is recommended
cluster of shavings ('rats nests') can be caught by the chuck => very sharp; quickly rotating object... regularly remove shavings around the chuck (with the machine turned off)
autofeed will cause a crash if left unattended! never leave the machine unattended, especially when working with autofeed
belt drive will crush your fingers if the motor is tuned on while changing the transmission ratio to be safe at least turn off the main switch AND the motor-circuit switch if not unplugging the machine
shavings (especially steel) are very sharp & hot, parts of the machine/workpiece can become hot Don't try to remove shavings by hand. Stop the machine and use a pair of pliers or brushes.
Danger - sudden start.svg
no prevention of turning on after loss & restoration of power (keine Anlaufsicherung)
if the power has been lost for whatever reason, always turn the switch "off" before restoring it!


The tutor will show you these steps in detail:

Function of Dials

  • compound slides move 0.2mm per 1/10 of a revolution (1 indent)
    • radius reduces twice as much

Change Gearing

Change and Secure a Workpiece


Turning a Piece with and without Autofeed

  • turn a part to size
    • outside diameter
    • inside diameter
  • drill a hole

Cleaning up

  • loosen the belt tension
  • unplug the machine
  • remove the chips
  • cover up the lathe

Waiting List

This introduction takes longer than many others and usually can't be done spontaneously during regular opening times. If you would like to receive it, please add yourself to >> this list << and we will find a good time once a few members are on it!