The wood lathe mandrel is an important feature in any machine-operated wood lathe work. Mandrel is a general term to describe any object or tool that shapes, grips, or clamps materials or machine-component tools in place while the machine is in operation. Wood lathe mandrels are necessary for their precision and accuracy in performance and help create a uniformity in design that creates a clean and polished look in any finished machine-created products.
The mandrel dates back to the Egyptians and has been used throughout history in wood lathe work for a variety of purposes. Introduced in 1700 A.D., the traversing mandrel is a lathe mandrel that slides axially in bearings and was commonly used by clockmakers and ornamental turners, such as glassmakers, to create ornamental designs in work pieces. The traversing mandrel later evolved into the leadscrew, which is used to train gears that are changed while the work piece is being turned. Despite its primitive beginnings, the mandrel continues to be used on machines for better precision and accuracy.
The wood lathe mandrel works in three very important ways. The mandrel can grip or clamp work pieces or raw materials onto machines while the machine performs a number of different operations, such as wood carving, on it. But a variety of mandrel also holds or locks machine-component tools, such as saw blades, in place while the machine operates or performs a variety of functions at once. More commonly, the mandrel shapes and designs materials.
The wood lathe mandrel performs these three different functions in very specific ways. One function includes operations performed in glassworks or jewelry design. A metal bar is used to shape molten glass or jewelry while on a wood lathe. Another function is a clamp which holds pieces of wood, metal, or plastic on lathes as a machine also performs woodwork operations onto the materials. The third function of a wood lathe mandrel holds a variety of machine tool components, such as a circular saw blade, buffing wheels and sanding discs, onto drills, saws, or other power tools.
The purpose of wood lathe mandrels provide factory-made lathe work with a clean, professional design look in a variety of materials that are manufactured for consumer or commercial use. They enhance the precision of the machine work and create a greater degree of accuracy in shaping and designing crude materials. Wood lathe mandrels can be used on any type of material, whether it be sheet metal, jewelry, molten glass, or any other type of easily manipulated materials.
The wood lathe mandrel can come in a variety of features, depending on the type of work that is being performed and the type of materials that are being performed on. The more common mandrel used, particularly in glasswork or jewelry designs, is the metal bar. Though these bars can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, they are significant in creating greater precision and control in factory or amateur glasswork or jewelry design. The pulley-driver is another version of the mandrel which is often found on lawn tractors. Generally known as a clamp, this type of mandrel holds moving or operating machine-component tools in place.