Parts and Diagram of the Lathe Machine


Previously we discussed about what is lathe machine and what are its tools. Now we would concisely observe the main parts and diagram of the lathe machine in details.

There are several parts in a lathe machine. These parts can be organized in a hierarchy for better understanding.

Different types of lathe machines are designed to serve different purposes.

We are going to observe a conventional lathe machine and its essential parts that are going to be present in almost every lathe machine. Note that every other type of lathe machine can have its own arrangement of parts and tools however the basics remains the same. Different lathe machine types contains more and better features than other but all the lathe machines works more or less the same way.

The topmost parts in the hierarchy of a lathe machine are as follows


The main purpose of the Head Stock is to rotate the (workpiece). The head contains a heavy motor and gear system which rotates the workpiece. Headstock also contains several tools and knobs.


Chuck is situated at the headstock. The headstock rotates the chuck and chuck rotates the workpiece. Basically the main function of the chuck is to strongly hold the workpiece. There are several types of Chuck available.


Bed is basically a platform where several tools and parts are assembled. As the name refers, bed is the resting place for all components in a lathe machine. The sub-parts of the Bed can be organized for better understanding. On the top of the hierarchy lies the Carriage and Tailstock.


Tailstock provides support to the job (workpiece) from the other end so the weight of the job do not solely dependant on headstock. Tailstock is attached to the bed.


Carriage is the heart of a lathe machine. All the necessary tools to create or shape the workpiece are attached and controlled through carriage. Carriage holds the cross slide.

Cross slide holds the compound rest. Compound rest holds the tool post and tool post holds the required working tool (turning tool, facing tool, knurling tool etc).

Carriage moves along x-axis on lead screw and feed rod. Carriage can be moved using electric motor and is also moved manually using the handle wheel.

Now we will see each sub parts of the carriage in detail.


Apron is situated at the carriage and holds several buttons and knobs that control carriage.


The main role of the cross slide is to provide movement to compound rest and everything attached to it. Cross slide can only move in z-axis (near and far).


There are two functions of compound rest. To move in x-axis (horizontal movement) and it can also rotate against its y-axis. Compound rest holds the tool post.


The main purpose of the tool post is to hold the working tool in a robust and efficient way.

About Zaighum Shah 90 Articles
Zaighum Shah is a mechanical engineer having more than 20 years of experience. Zaighum is specializing in product development in Sugar Mill industries. Zaighum has gone through all phases of mechanical engineering and it’s practical implementation. Zaighum has been solving most complex problems, designing new systems and improving existing models and systems.

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