The assignment was to make a “doo dad” on the metal lathe.

The properties of the machined piece were given to us as follows –

  • No shorter than 1″ in height, no taller than 2.5″ in height
  • Max diam 2″
  • Must have at least partial flat ends
  • Must have a drilled through hole of 5/16″
  • It must be at least faced, turned, and drilled.

I used an aluminum piece for creating the doodad

Learning the lathe controls and being extra precautions while dealing with the safety was a critical step. Securing the material and knowing how much passes to take while facing and turning was very important.

Our course instructor Ben helped me in understanding these components and I am pretty confident using the lathe now. Turning was great as it was fascinating to see the aluminum piece getting different depths at varied levels. Drilling was a critical and time consuming activity. It took a lot of time to make a 5/16” hole as I started with the smallest drill bit and gradually proceeded to the larger hole. I could manage to create only quarter of the entire depth of the machined piece on the lathe. I then used the bench press to drill the hole in the door dad which was very tricky as the material was not getting secured in the clamp easily.

I am pretty confident in using the metal lathe now and I think the wood and metal lathe have been my favorite machines so far.

I would love to explore new materials on these machines.