go to the page above this one

Lathe – repetitive work using stops

Though using a capstan is the obvious way to make many parts of the same design there is another way of doing this just using stops on the lathe. The idea is that if the lathe has stops in both the in/out and left/right directions each pair of stops defines a part of the workpiece to be removed.. It is assumed in all of this that the stops are marked and are rotated together.

4347 left right stop

4347 left right stop

fig left/right stops

4334 in out stop

4334 in out stop

fig in/out stops

With two sets of stops like this it is possible to make quite complicated shapes. It is still possible to have one or more tools held in the tailstock.

If the tool in the toolpost has to be changed it will be found that some stops will have to be of very different lengths. However it is quite easy to use any ordinary tool to be used as a set to length stop.


In this example the work is done in a series of steps. For each step there are one or two stops in use. At any time other actions using the tailstop can happen. These could include center drilling, drilling and tapping. It is also possible to cut a thread using a die in the tailholder.

In all these cases the current step is the letter on the top of the stop though the actual stop position is somewhere else.

The first step is to set the workpiece to length.

The left/right stop sets the position of the cutter. For the first piece the cutter might cut right across the end to set the start point. There is no need to use the in/out stop.

.2494 turning using stops

2495 turning with stops 2

2496 turning with stops

Step B – first cutting operation

2497 turning with stops

fig 2497 step B left/right stop

2498 turning with stops

fig 2498

2499 turning with stops

fig 2499 position of cutter after first cut

Step C – second cutting operation

2500 turning with stops

fig 2500

2501 turning with stops

fig 2501

2502 turning with stops

fig 2502

Step D – parting off

2503 turning with stops


2504 turning with stops


2505 turning with stops


Doing this using DRO’s

It might appear this could just as well be done using DRO’s instead of stops. There is a video on Youtube doing this.   See.  But it is far quicker setting a position using stops than by doing this using DRO’s.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: