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Setup and Features
Lathe Tools
Holding Lathe Tools
Planning the Design
Lathe Safety
Lathe Speeds
Spindle Turning
Faceplate Turning
Other Special Techniques

Lathe Turning
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Lathe Speeds

Before you mount stock on the lathe be sure the speed is set at “Slow.” After the stock is mounted, turn on the machine, set the speed dial to the proper speed and let the lathe come up to speed.

The operating speeds for lathe turning are determined by the size of the stock you're turning and the operation you're performing-whether you're rounding the stock, shaping it, or finish sanding. Generally, you can use slightly faster speeds as you progress from rounding to shaping to sanding. You can also use slightly faster speeds with smaller stock. The larger the workpiece, the slower the speed should be for each operation.

To help determine the right speed for the job, use Table 12-1.

Table 12-1: Lathe Turning Speed Chart
Size of Stock Rounding Shaping Sandin
Up to 2" dia.
2" to 4" dia.
4" to 6" dia.
Over 6" dia.
C (950 RPM)
B (850 RPM)
A (750 RPM)
Slow (700 RPM)
F (1300 RPM)
E (1150 RPM)
D (1050 RPM)
A (750 RPM)
K (2050 RPM)
J (1900 RPM)
H (1600 RPM)
B (850 RPM)
NOTE: These speeds are for 60 hz. operations.

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