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Turning Machining
Jan 16, 2018

Custom Manufacturing & Fabricating 


Turning is a machining process performed by a device called a lathe; the lathe spins the given product as the blades cut and scrape away the desired areas. The cutting tools work along two axes of motion to create cuts with precise depth and diameter. Lathes are available in two different types, the traditional, manual type and the automated, computer numerical controlled(CNC) type.

The turning process can be performed on either the exterior or interior of a material. When performed on the inside, it is known as "boring”—this method is most commonly applied to create tubular components. Another part of the turning process is called "facing” and occurs when the cutting tool moves across the end of the work piece—it is typically performed during the first and last stages of the turning process. Facing can only be applied if the lathe features a fitted cross-slide.

Lathes are generally identified as one of three different sub-types -- turret lathes, engine lathes, and special purpose lathes. Engine lathes are the most common type found in use by the general 
machinist or hobbyist.

The term "engine" is used to differentiate it from other lathes that are either foot- or hand-powered. Turret lathes and special purpose lathes are more commonly used for applications that require repeated manufacturing of parts. Turret lathes feature a tool holder that enables the machine to perform a number of cutting operations in succession without interference from the operator.