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The turret lathe is a form of metalworking lathe that is used for
repetitive production of duplicate parts, which by the nature of their
cutting process are usually interchangeable. It evolved from earlier
lathes with the addition of the turret, which is an index able tool holder
that allows multiple cutting operations to be performed, each with a
different cutting tool, in easy, rapid succession, with no need for the
operator to perform setup tasks in between, such as installing or
uninstalling tools, nor to control the tool path. The latter is due to the
tool path's being controlled by the machine, either in jig-like fashion,
via the mechanical limits placed on it by the turret's slide and stops, or
via electronically-directed servomechanisms for computer numerical

When mass production is the required, this type of lathe is the most
efficient choice for producers. The settings for each type of tool can
be stored.
Can work on heavy, large workpiece
Used to make screws of all thread sizes
Metal routings,
Process metal sheets and
Has application in aerospace, metallurgy and mining

There are many variants of the turret lathe. They can be

most generally classified by size (small, medium, or large); method of
control (manual, automated mechanically, or automated via computer
(numerical control (NC) or computer numerical control (CNC)); and bed
orientation (horizontal or vertical)

The archetypical turret lathe: horizontal, manual


Horizontal bed
Manual turret lathe
Used in 1840 to 1860


Semi automatic turret lathe



Turret lathe with power feed, and

Automatic turret indexing at the end of the return stroke
Developed in 1860s

Vertical turret lathe


Allows the headstock to sit in the floor

The faceplate is like a horizontal rotating table
Also known as Boring mills


Automatic turret lathe and CNC turret lathe


Bar machines formerly were called screw machines, and they may be
either hand controlled or automatic. A bar machine is designed for
machining small threaded parts, bushings, and other small parts that
can be created from bar stock fed through the machine spindle.



These machines work on parts that (as a rough guide only) are usually
less than 80 millimeters (3.1 in) in diameter and less than 300
millimeters (12 in) long. Screw machines almost invariably do bar
work, which means that an entire length of bar stock (anywhere from 1
to 4 m (3.3 to 13 ft) in length) passes through the spindle and is
gripped by the chuck (which is usually a collet chuck). As the part is
being machined, the entire length of bar stock is turning with the
spindle. When the part is done, it is "parted off" from the bar, the
chuck un-clamps, the bar is fed forward, and the chuck then closes
again, ready for the next cycle. The bar-feeding can happen by various
means, including pulling-finger tools that grab the bar and pull or roller
bar feed that pushes the bar from behind.


Chucking machine is a general name for any lathe that uses a chuck to
hold the part. An operator must load and unload each individual
workpiece. A chucking machine is designed primarily for machining
larger parts, such as castings, forgings, or blanks of stock that usually
must be mounted in the chuck manually.