Ranking the best types of Lathe Operations

by Stefan

The lathe is a machine that carries out several operations during machining services such as turning, knurling, grooving, taper turning, reaming, thread cutting, and so many more. To carry out any of these operations, it rotates the workpiece around an axis.

There are so many different lathe operations. However, to hold the work, one of two things can be done and they are:

  • Holding the workpiece between centers
  • Holding the workpiece with a chuck.

In order to make this article easier for you to assimilate, the different types of CNC lathe operations for machining services will be categorized into the above two methods of holding the workpiece.

Lathe Operations – the workpiece between centers

Below are the lathe operations that are done using this method.

1. Turning

Turning is done by removing excess material from the workpiece. It is the most commonly used mode of operation and creates a cylindrical surface, depending on the length you want to achieve.

There are, however, five types of turning and they are straight turning, rough turning, shoulder turning, eccentric turning, and taper turning.

2. Facing

This involves the reduction of workpiece length by rotating the perpendicular to the lathe axis. The operation reduces the flat surface on the workpiece end. There are two operations in the method and they are roughing and finishing.

3. Chamfering operation

The chamfering operation has one of the best advantages during the process as it prevents any form of damage or defect from happening to the sharp edges. Chamfering creates a beveled surface at the cylindrical workpiece’s edge.

4. Knurling operation

The knurling operation has a very unique purpose and process. It first creates a diamond shape, which is used to provide a solid gripping surface when the operator uses his hand. The tool is held firmly on the toolpost and comes with a hardened steel roller.

There are several other operations done while holding the workpiece between the center and below are some of them.

  • Thread cutting Operation
  • Spinning Operation
  • Spring Winding
  • Forming
  • Filing Operation
  • Polishing Operation
  • Grooving Operation

Holding the workpiece with a chuck

Below are some of the processes which are done by holding the workpiece with a chuck:

1. Drilling

Almost everyone has to be familiar with the term. It’s simply what it means when it comes to machining services. It involves the etching of a cylindrical hole on a workpiece. To carry it this operation, the driller is held down with a chuck or a faceplate and the workpiece is rotated around it.

2. Boring

This is a little less complicated than the drilling operation. It simply involves the enlargement of the drilled holes.

3. Tapping

Tapping involves cutting small diameter threads using a tap. To carry out the operation, the workpiece is placed on the chuck or faceplate and rotated slowly.

There are several other procedures under this category and they include:

  • Reaming
  • Counter boring
  • Taper boring
  • Undercutting
  • Internal tape cutting.


There are several types of lathe operations to choose from. However, depending on what result is expected, some of these can be combined. Note how some of the operations are particular to each of the categories listed above.

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