Women in Woodworking

Woodworking is not just for the boys anymore. I am all girl, but I love to play with hammers and saws. This blog is all about women in woodworking and how we can encourage young girls who are interested in building amazing products with their hands and some power tools, too! Browse through amazing project ideas like make-up tables and jewelry boxes, ideas specifically with girls in mind. Women of all ages will also learn how to make traditional furniture, puzzle boxes, and lamps as well as all kinds of decorative items. Girls and women can be incredible at woodworking. Stick with me to find out how.

Precision CNC Machining: Explaining The Differences And Similarities Of Wood Lathes And Machine Shop Lathes

Industrial & Manufacturing Blog

Lathes, for anyone that does not already know, are machines that spin a raw material on a horizontal or vertical plane while a cutting tool applies force to remove some of the raw material. There are many different kinds and brands of lathes, but the most commonly used types are wood lathes and machine shop lathes. They share some similarities as well as some major differences, and the following information will help you better understand their uses and applications.

Wood Lathes

Wood lathes are commonly used in furniture construction, although they can also be used to create staircase spindles and similar items. Wood lathes are almost always horizontal, or on the "x-axis." Wood shop workers apply chisels to the wood blocks or cylinders that are mounted in between two spikes in the wood lathe. The wood lathe then spins while the worker applies the chisels to the raw wood block or cylinder until the desired depth and shape are reached. More modern wood lathes used in furniture factories have on-board computers, which are pre-programmed to cut a specific design out of the raw wood material. Some even have retractable cutting devices on a cutting arm in place of where the worker would stand with a single chisel.

Machine Shop Lathes

Machine shop lathes are more commonly used in precision CNC machining and metal machining industries. Many of them are vertical in nature, or on the "y-axis." They are almost always pre-programmed for precision cutting on metal or plastic surfaces utilizing information programmed into their onboard computer systems. Rather than have a worker stand by and use a cutting instrument to create products, this type of lathe uses precision cutting instruments to make small and repeated cuts. If you have ever seen metal or plastic screws the size of your pinky fingernail, they might have been turned on a machine shop lathe, although more complex and larger components have also been created on a machine shop lathe.

Similarities and Differences

Both types of lathes have very fast rotating components that hold raw materials for cutting and shaping. Both types of lathes can also have programmable onboard computers, although wood lathes do not always have this feature. All lathes, regardless of type, are used to shape components for larger products.

As for their differences, wood lathes and machine shop lathes carve different raw materials and carve them at different speeds. They also function on different axes; the wood lathe is horizontal while the machine shop lathe is vertical (most of the time). You probably would not find a wood lathe in a precision machine shop, nor would you find a machine shop lathe in a wood shop or furniture manufacturing plant. Finally, the machine shop lathe uses much more precise cutting instruments while the cuts made on a wood lathe require additional sanding and smoothing to get the perfect shape.


30 October 2015