Selecting Your Spindle Type and Gears

Wood turning machines, sometimes also called woodturning lathes or just woodturners, is a specialized motorized machine which rotates wood at very high speeds to add round shaped elements to a wood based furniture piece. There are many choices to consider when getting a wood turning lathe in your shop. They come in different sizes and price ranges. It is important to know what you are looking for before you start shopping.

Before buying a lathe machine you need to consider the size and type of turning you want done. Do you want just a small round workpiece done? Are you looking to turn small circles into very large bowls? A small to medium sized circular work will work just fine. If you are looking for large bowls or circles, then a larger lathe machine will be necessary. The size of the workpiece you will be turning will determine the type of lathe machine you need.

Other factors to consider when buying a wood turning device include what type of accessories you would like to have on it. If you plan to do a lot of printing and cutting, then you will want a computerized feed system with a variety of accessories. CNC wood lathe machines use a variety of accessories to give users more control over their projects. These may include wood balusters, fences, and grooves.

Another thing to consider is how much space you have available for a machine tool. Some wood lathes are so small they will not fit on a table. Other designs, such as metal lathes, have to be mounted on stands. If your shop is very large, then it might be more practical to purchase a stand alone machine tool instead of using stand mounted wood lathes.

You also have to decide between “plug-in” or “plug-in-a-wall” designs. Wood turning cnc lathes come in both of these designs. Plug-in designs allow the user to plug in a power cord from the side of the lathe to perform chip removal machine tasks. Plug-in-a-wall designs require the user to run an electrical current through the entire length of the wall in order to attach a cord to the spindle at the end of the tool. These lathes are great for home offices that do not have the room for a full size lathe or a printer.

A final decision you will need to make is whether you will be using a vertical or horizontal spindle with your wood lathe machines. Lathes that are vertical run through a piece of stock while horizontal run along a vertical surface. The benefit of using a vertical machine is that the user can change tools without having to completely alter the height of the lathe itself. The horizontal spindle is easier for most woodturners to use as it requires less physical effort to change tools.

One last decision you will need to make concerns the type of headstock or tailstock you will be using. Typically, wood lathe tool sets include a pair of horizontal feeder bars as well as a vertical light bar. The benefit of the horizontal feeder bars is that they allow users to turn heavier and more complex grain sizes on the same machine. The vertical light bar is used for lightening and sharpening grain as well as to remove nicks from tools.

After making your selections regarding spindle type, headstock type, and tailstock type you are now ready to select your main shaft and the type of gearing on your transmission unit. In general, the main shaft is what connects your spindle and your work piece and the gear train on your cnc lathe machine. The gear train consists of helical pinion drive gears, which are mounted on either side of the main shaft. The gears are meshed together by a series of rings and rollers. With the transfer of mechanical force between the pins, rollers allow the gears to spin and ultimately turn the workpiece. When selecting a CNC lathe machine transmission, you must take into consideration the type of main shaft that is being used in your machine.