Difference between mill and lathe

# Thread: Difference between mill and lathe

1. ## Difference between mill and lathe

What difference does a mill have from a lathe? At my work I am learning how to program a lathe. It is all they have and I am learning everything I can.

Please let me know. I want to know everything I can.

2. A lathe is usually set for diameter programing, IOW if you program a diameter in the X the distance moved by the axis is a radius value. As an actual distance moved in the X results in 2x this removed from the diameter.
Also the canned programs are usually tailored to lathe functions such as complex thread cycles etc.
Another feature a lathe often has is CSF Constant Surface Feed, which will proportionally increase the spindle rpm as the X axis value approaches axis centre, this feature maintains the surface feed under the tool which would normally reduce as the cut diameter decreases.
Al.

3. Originally Posted by Al_The_Man
A lathe is usually set for diameter programing, IOW if you program a diameter in the X the distance moved by the axis is a radius value. As an actual distance moved in the X results in 2x this removed from the diameter.
Also the canned programs are usually tailored to lathe functions such as complex thread cycles etc.
Another feature a lathe often has is CSF Constant Surface Feed, which will proportionally increase the spindle rpm as the X axis value approaches axis centre, this feature maintains the surface feed under the tool which would normally reduce as the cut diameter decreases.
Al.
So in other words a lathe is harder to program huh?

4. Originally Posted by MBG
So in other words a lathe is harder to program huh?
No.

They are different to program. If you learn on a lathe you will find it awkward switching to a mill for the first little while, and vice versa. If you program both after a while you can switch from one to the other without even thinking about it.

5. A lathe is programmed in two planes....X/Z, milling machines can produce 3 dimensional shapes due to the additional 3rd axis...Y, so the primary difference is 2D and 3D programming.

Also, the tool is stationary on a lathe whereas it rotates on a milling machine, so you need to take into account differences in tool paths.

Milling machines are more complex due to these differences.

Obviously, more axes and live tools can be found on a lathe, but these machines are more properly named "Turning Centers". Machining Centers can have 5 axis and produce very complex components.

But, its best to try and understand the basics first.

6. The easiest way to learn to program a lathe is to go out in the shop and observre what is going on . take notes talk to the operators especially the old hats they have been around for a while . ask plenty of questions, become learned on tooling ie. what tool does what?. 90deg vers 55 deg diamonds ar button tools or dog bones
get my drift .look thru the kennametal catalogue learn what to use and where.it just takes time and practice .start simple and then progress
ghostlx

7. Originally Posted by ghostlx
The easiest way to learn to program a lathe is to go out in the shop and observre what is going on . take notes talk to the operators especially the old hats they have been around for a while . ask plenty of questions, become learned on tooling ie. what tool does what?. 90deg vers 55 deg diamonds ar button tools or dog bones
get my drift .look thru the kennametal catalogue learn what to use and where.it just takes time and practice .start simple and then progress
ghostlx

The HARDEST way to learn CNC milling is to buy a mill on Ebay that needs work, knowing nothing about how to work on mills, buy a cad/cam program that you know nothing about and jump in with out help. Dont ask me how I know

8. in outherr words throw a drouning man a 100 pound rock in sted of a flotation device
will give you the sane results
ghost

9. Originally Posted by ghostlx
in outherr words throw a drouning man a 100 pound rock in sted of a flotation device
will give you the sane results
ghost
Yup, it was (is) a steep learning curve but we are cookin with gas now......

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