About Metal Turning


Metal turning is the process by which metal is shaped on a lathe while it is being turned. It is called metal turning because of the constant spin that the metal is under. Usually metal cylinders are placed on the lathe and then formed by computer guidance and lasers to create a pre-planned shape. However, older lathes were designed to be used by hand tools, and it was possible for a professional metal turner to create many unique shapes, even geometric ones.


A metal turner looks just like any other lathe. Two grips on either side of the lathe support the metal that is to be shaped. In a computerized version, the lathe is housed inside a cover that allows the lasers and other cutting tools to work in a safe environment. The metal is turned by the two sides of the lathe just like a cooking hot dog at a gas station. The lasers and other cutting tools chip away at the metal until it resembles the original design plan. A metal lathe that is operated by hand has an exposed middle for the worker to supply different tools to the surface of the metal.


The purpose of a metal turning lathe is to create shapes from metal. There are many uses for metal that has been shaped from a lathe. Many tools can be made from a metal lathe. There are at least three types of metal lathes. A center lathe holds the metal still while the cutting heads move around the metal. A bench lathe is a smaller lathe that someone would typically find in a metal workers home workshop. An engine lathe is the type of lathe that is completely automated and is not operated by hand held tools.


There are many effects that metal turning can produce. Most metal lathe projects involve crafting a necessary tool of some kind for a project. The versatility of metal lathes makes it possible to form almost any kind of shape. When the metal is cut down, the chips that fall away from the main project are called chips. These can be collected and melted together to form another metal cylinder to be used on the lathe again.


There are a lot of benefits with metal turning. It is very useful to be able to create metal pieces and tools on the spot. With a computerized lathe this is even easier. Since turning metal is the oldest form of using a metal lathe, it has been responsible for creating some of the original metal lathe creations. Original metal projects included items such as: axles, wheel spokes and gears.


Metal turning was very significant in the industrial revolution. With out the technology that the metal lathe provided, it would be very difficult to have the machinery that we have today. It is said that a metal lathe is the only machine that can make itself. This shows how versatile a metal lathe is and how crucial it is to the world of machines.

About this Author

Ezmeralda Lee is a published writer living in Upstate New York. She has been writing for more than 15 years and has experience with subjects such as business, management, computer programming, technology, horses and real estate, She has expertise in computers, home and garden, law and literature. Lee holds a B.A. in English from Binghamton University.

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