The lathe is an ancient tool, dating at least to the Egyptians and known and used in Assyria, Greece, the Roman and Byzantine Empires.
Brief introduction of the lathe machine

The origin of turning dates to around 1300 BC when the Egyptians first developed a two-person lathe. One person would turn the wood work piece with a rope while the other used a sharp tool to cut shapes in the wood.

Industrial Revolution:

mechanized power generated by water wheels or steam engines was transmitted to the lathe via line shafting, allowing faster and easier work. The design of lathes diverged between woodworking and metalworking to a greater extent than in previous centuries. Metalworking lathes evolved into heavier machines with thicker, more rigid parts. The application ofleadscrews, slide rests, and gearing produced commercially practicalscrew-cutting lathes. Between the late 19th and mid-20th centuries, individual electric motors at each lathe replaced line shafting as the power source. Today manually controlled and CNC lathes coexist in the manufacturing industries.

Parts at conventional lathe machines

Parts
Description
stand (or legs) sits on the floor and elevates the lathe bed to a working height
bed a horizontal beam
headstock high-precision spinning bearings
Spindle Rotating within the bearings is a horizontal axle, with an axis parallel to the bed
Spindles are often hollow, and have exterior threads and/or an interior Morse taper on the “inboard”
tailstock counterpoint to the headstock
referred to as the loose head, as it can be positioned at any convenient point on the bed
toolpost holds a cutting tool which removes material from the workpiece
leadscrew moves the cross-slide along the bed
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