Lathes & Milling Machines

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The manufacture of precision parts requires machines to accurately remove metal from a workpiece, and apart from power drills, the two most frequently used are the lathe and the milling machine. The lathe operates by rotating the workpiece and moving cutting bits against the rotating piece to achieve the desired shape and dimensions. The milling machine normally works by moving a workpiece against a moving cutter head. In some instances, the two operations can be combined. Some industrial machines can be very large, but for precision and hobby applications, much smaller versions are available. There are various lathe accessories and in some cases, it may even be possible to utilise miniature rotary tools as both the motor and the cutter head. In most cases it is necessary to mount both the tool and the workpiece in suitable supports, such as machine vices/tables and milling machine/drill stands. The use of lathes and milling machines is not limited to metal cutting, and various other operations such as grinding and polishing can be carried out. Most offer a range of rotational speeds, the choice of which will be dependent on the nature of the work being carried out and the material being used.