When discussing lathes, it’s essential to understand what they are. A lathe is a tool whose primary purpose is to cut and shape either metal or wood. Lathes are of different types, and mostly, they are found in the workshops to aid in carpentry or metalwork. In this article on metal lathe vs. wood lathe, we will discuss the benefits and features of each.
Wood lathes are traditionally used for cutting, polishing, and shaping wooden materials. The turner looks forward to a perfect finish upon using the tool. However, this is contrary to a metal lathe which is adaptable in both metal and woodcutting.
Here is the recommendation of best metal and wood lathe
There are several differences between the two as detailed below.
Comparison between Metal Lathe and Wood Lathe
As stated earlier, lathes are of different types. When it comes to a wood lathe, there are simple ones that are portable enough to move from one workshop to another in a bid to complete the projects. They are used for carrying out simple projects which include leisure projects.
Amongst the projects include shaping jewelry items for a gift, home improvement décor. These are simple tasks and you can be do them at any place you desire.
But still, most of the lathes remain in the workshop because of their weight and configuration which demand that they are stationed in one place. The case of a metal lathe is a perfect fit for a stationary tool, and projects can only be completed from one station.
In such a case, the tuner gathers the contracts and forwards them to the workshop to complete the job from there.
A good example is in industries where orders are made, work is completed, and the client picks up the finished job from the workshop.
Since both of the lathes can work effectively in woodturning, there still exists a difference.
A metal lathe does more accurate and accurate work than a wood lathe.
For one, a metal lathe does not rotate as fast as a wood lathe due to the nature of the size and the work it’s intended to handle.
With such an idea in mind, precision becomes more effective than that of a wood lathe.
This goes to the extent that one can make tiny cuts and get the desired design all because of the speed required.
A wood lathe being a simple tool becomes easy to operate, and one can make a variety of designs because of its flexibility.
On the other hand, a metal lathe is a hardy machine, and it’s mostly electronic. This is why it’s primarily used for industrial purposes. The result is more accurate and precise compared to that one of a wood lathe.
Costs vary significantly in that a wood lathe is readily available and affordable. Any person can buy it for home use.
A metal lathe is more expensive and mostly recommended for high-end projects. Still, it requires prerequisite training before handling any project.
While rotating a wood lathe, it emits out dust which is a potential hazard mostly to the eyes. It’s therefore paramount to wear protective glasses to avoid eye contact with the dust emitted while the spindle rotates.
A metal lathe has thousands of flying objects, such as dust, which is a health hazard to the eyes. The spinning that takes place when the parts are moving is also dangerous to untrained personnel.
As such, always ensure to train and wear proper clothing before signing into the workshop to minimize dangers and injuries.
Cutting and Designing
Metal lathes, being simple tools can polish and shape metals. It’s important to note that they can manage to cut off heavy metals but can shape chair legs, stair banisters perfectly.
On the other hand, the best metal lathes are strong enough to cut both metal and wood and with precision. An example is making a machine part that could only be shaped by a more substantial machine than what is being worked on.
However, as we compare the two lathes, there is a need to dig deeper and get to know why to buy the specific lathe. Below are some key pointers to keep in mind while shopping for the same.
- Weight- The weight of the tool is critical while choosing the best lathe. For instance, no one would enjoy the experience of continuous vibrations while working.
If the lathe has hefty weight, then the vibration rate will be lower, and this will add comfort while working.
As such, it’s essential to buy a cast iron lathe which is heavier than other makes. But on the other hand, it’s more costly because it offers more comfort and flexibility.
- Understanding your needs- Imagine buying a metal lathe to keep in in the backyard workshop in a home. Very little work is required of it, yet it’s an expensive machine.
Consider your project needs and ascertain how much power and speed it requires paying back the cost of purchase.
If you are interested in smaller projects, then you should consider a wood lathe.
It’s because it can handle simple projects that do not demand a lot of power.
- Uses of the Lathe-While researching for the best lathe machine to settle for.
It is the desire of every person to get great workpieces either for resale or for fun. The use of lathe machines would be taken with ultimate care, and every part of it should be well understood before operating it. Because it is designed to perform a specific function, you should know how to use each of the mentioned lathes for a perfect job,
It’s wise to go through the reviews and experience from people who have already used them before. This will act as a guide to measure what you want to use the lathe for and something that does not suit the purpose.