The vertical turning lathe is a diverse and useful tool for cutting and shaping a variety of materials for crafts, hobbies and commercial designs, such as furniture. Some of them are referred to as turret lathes, featuring several tool heads on one assembly for successive cutting, eliminating resets and the necessity for changing heads each time. While turret lathes are more common in large, industrial settings, the common turning model is widespread throughout home workshops and garages. It also used for shaping, cutting, boring and turning materials, such as spindles, legs for furniture and a whole host of applications.
The vertical turning lathes for residential use are compact and streamlined, typically in an upright drill-press style, as opposed to the larger, bench-type lathes used in commercial applications. Although, there are smaller bench-type models available that are similar in function to the industrial models, if that scale is needed, but most situations will be well-suited to the upright models. The same principles apply with both models; the material is secured and turned, while the cutting head moves in and out of the work area, removing material at a predictable and adjustable rate. This is helpful when precise holes, notches and level cuts have to be made with proper symmetry for aesthetics and alignment when joining pieces together. An improper fit will affect the entire design.
The vertical turning lathe is used when working with intricate shapes, for as the piece is rotating, it can be shaped, trimmed or sanded with another a tool or the lathe cutter. The lathe provides a stable and safe platform for turning at a reliable and consistent speed, reducing the potential for mistakes and accidental gouges. The turning lathe also allows for the steady and precise removal of material along the entire plane of a given piece for a smooth, professional cut. Turning lathes for residential uses are useful and produce stunning results, precisely shaping and cutting materials that range from wood and metal to plastics and composite materials.
The abilities of the turning lathe appeal to both craftsmen and artists alike, often lending the skills needed to incorporate a balance of both aesthetics and functionality into various creations. Furniture makers, woodworkers and metal designers produce some of their most complicated works starting with a turning lathe to create an initial shape, then using it to mold and finish the project. Thanks to the variety of models now available, bringing those abilities to a home or commercial workshop is easier and more affordable than ever.