Lathe Cutting: Centering Your Cutting Tool

What You'll Need
Lathe machine
Cutting tool
Center gage
Your work piece

Lathe cutting is a fairly rewarding hobby to be hooked on. Operating a lathe can be a fairly complicated procedure. However, once you have turned your first piece, it can be a very rewarding experience.

Step 1 – Set the Cutting Tool

Ensure that your cutting tool is set square to your work piece. A scrap or sample piece may be turned while the tool is being centered. Make sure that the point of the tool bit is at the lathe’s center height.

Step 2 – Make Use of the Center Gage

The center gage should be used to check the accuracy of the 60 degree angle of the tailstock and headstock centers. If either center is not at 60 degrees or is deeply scored, it must be machined to true while being clamped in the headstock spindle.

Step 3 – Aligning and Securing the Cutting Tool

Align the tool bit with the point of the headstock center. Next, secure the tool bit to its post using the machine screws provided.

Step 4 – Testing

To test, advance the tool bit until the point reaches the surface of the work piece. Next, set the cross slide dial to zero, hold the feed handle and manually rotate the graduated dial.