Lathe Operations: Facing

Facing Operations Facing is the process of removing metal from the end of a workpiece to produce a flat surface. Most often, the workpiece is cylindrical, but using a 4-jaw chuck you can face rectangular or odd-shaped work to form cubes and other non-cylindrical shapes.

When a lathe cutting tool removes metal it applies considerable tangential (i.e. lateral or sideways) force to the workpiece. To safely perform a facing operation the end of the workpiece must be positioned close to the jaws of the chuck. The workpiece should not extend more than 2-3 times its diameter from the chuck jaws unless a steady rest is used to support the free end. Cutting Speeds

If you read many books on machining you will find a lot of information about the correct cutting speed for the movement of the cutting tool in relation to the workpiece. You must consider the rotational speed of the workpiece and the movement of the tool relative to the workpiece. Basically, the softer the metal the faster the cutting. D…

Taper Turning Attachment

The taper attachment is used for turning and boring tapers. It is bolted to the back of the carriage saddle. In operation, it is connected to the cross-slide so that it moves the cross-slide laterally as the carriage moves longitudinally. This action causes the cutting tool to move at an angle to the axis of the workpiece to produce a taper.

The angle of the desired taper is set on the guide bar of the attachment, and the guide bar support is clamped to the lathe bed. Since the cross-slide is connected to a shoe that slides on this guide bar, the tool follows along a line that is parallel to the guide bar and hence at an angle to the workpiece axis corresponding to the desired taper.

taper attachment


  1. Hello for months I have ceesidnrod buying a milling machine but with the vast amount of products on the market and the varying cost quality I am lost. I'd like a solid, capable, cost effective set-up without having to divert large amounts of money from other projects. What would you recommend I do? I would you the machine for gunsmithing custom parts, building electronic cigarettes (metal, wood, plastics), and possibly for making and/or replacing small parts on my 1967 Kaiser M109A3.


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