The Lathe is one of the oldest machine tools and came into existence from the early tree lathe which was then a novel device for rotating and machining a piece of work held between two adjacent trees. A rope wound around the work with its one end attached to a flexible branch of a tree and the other end being pulled by a man caused the job to rotate intermittently. Hand tools were then used. With its further development a strip of wood called “lath” was used to support the rope and that is how the machine came to be known as Lathe. This device continued to be developed through centuries and in the year 1797 Henry Maudslay, an Englishman, designed the first screw cutting lathe which is the forerunner of the present day high speed heavy duty lathe, a machine tool which has practically given shape to our present day civilization by building machines and industries.
Function of Lathe:
The main function of lathe is to remove a metal from a piece of work to give it the required shape and size. This is accomplished by holding the work securely and rigidly on the machine and then turning it against cutting tool which will remove metal from the work in the form of chips. To cut the material properly the tool should be harder than the material of work piece, should be rigidly held on the machine and should be fed or progressed in a definite way relative to the work.