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Key Mistakes To Avoid When Using A Lathe Machine

Key Mistakes To Avoid When Using A Lathe Machine

22 Dec 21

Lathe machines are heavy, fast-moving pieces of machinery. This makes them incredibly dangerous to use, even by somebody fully trained. Clothing can become trapped within the mechanisms leading to potentially fatal accidents. Suppose tools and materials are not correctly secured to the lathe. In that case, they can come loose and possibly hit the user or their colleagues.

Wood and metal work requires a lot of skill and knowledge of a lathe machine. Lathe machines work by rotating any workpiece around the cutting tool, shaving off excess pieces. Your lathe can help you shape, sand, turn and cut your workpiece in a wide range of materials. It is essential that when using a lathe, you are giving all of your attention and not becoming too comfortable with the process because this is when accidents occur.

There are a few common mistakes made when using a cutting machine. It is essential to be aware of the potential dangers and ways to avoid them to keep you and your workforce safe.


1. Your Machine Setting Is Too Fast

Your lathe machine will be able to operate at various speeds depending on what material you are using. Changing the speed of your lathe can result in your setting being too fast for cutting threads. Maintaining the right speed and feed of your lathe machine is crucial. Like a car, when a lathe is working at an increased rate, it can quickly lose control. This makes the cutting process more difficult and even dangerous.


2. You Are Cutting Too Slowly

Not only will a slow cutting process affect the quality of your workpiece, but it can also increase friction, causing excess heat. Having the correct speed ensures a clean and precise cut, which you aim for when making a high-quality product. Setting the machine too slow limits its performance and potentially damages your work. The added friction also increases fire risk, mainly when working with wood. This puts the safety of the user at an increased risk.


3. Lack of Maintenance

Failure to properly maintain your lathe machine is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. If you use a device that is not regularly serviced and repaired, you will lose your safety certification and put users at extreme risk. Faulty lathes can lead to costly replacements or worse payouts for workplace injuries.

Every machine should be cleaned and maintained regularly to avoid any issues. We offer a full lathe maintenance service at DTS, including repairing machine tools, alignment, and laser calibration. We are accredited by UKAS, MTA and are Safe Contractor Approved, so you can ensure your machines are in the best working order. You can take a look at all of our services here.


4. Incorrect Height Setting

Placing your lathe in the correct position is essential in the cutting process. The material you are working with determines where you should put the lathe. The machine should be positioned to the chuck’s right and at middle height if working with metal. Suppose your lathe machine is set to the incorrect height. In that case, it can affect the dimension of the slashing, affecting cutting accuracy.


5. Loose Tailstock

Your machine’s tailstock is another factor that can affect the quality of your cutting and increase imperfections. You must ensure the tailstock is locked down before feeding your workpiece into the chuck. You can do this by screwing all of the loose bolts tightly shut. This way, you will ensure a clean cut and finish.


6. Not Following Safety Regulations

A lathe machine is an extremely powerful piece of machinery, so you need to ensure those using it are thoroughly trained and aware of its dangers. If you know how to operate your lathe correctly, you must ensure that you are following all the correct safety precautions. This will help you maintain a safe working environment for yourself and your workforce. You must wear all of the mandatory protective workwear to minimise the risk of injury. You also must give your full attention to the machine whenever you are using it. You are at the most significant risk of injury or fatality if you fail to do this.

High-Quality Lathe Machines at DTS UK

Account for all of these common pitfalls when using your lathe machine, and you can be sure it will operate with safety and precision. Find the right one for your work needs by exploring our full range of CNC lathe machines. Alternatively, look for more rotary cutting machines with our range of KNUTH manual milling machines also available. 

We are also pleased to offer installations, maintenance, repair, and removals with efficiency. Our team of industry experts can help you with their extensive understanding of various tool types. So, if you need any more advice on your machine, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our friendly team are on hand to offer advice and more information on our lathe machines and services on offer. 


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Article written by: Mike

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