Understanding CNC Turning Terminology

January 5, 2015

CNC Turning Terminology

The basic CNC turning machine knowledge regarding its operations can help you in your decision to outsource CNC turning services. Here are some of the CNC turning terminologies and their definitions to help you understand how this machine works.

Bed – the steel bar that serves as the base of the lathe, it is where the headstock, the saddle and the tailstock are moved back and forth.

Boring – a cutting action that is applied to the internal surfaces of the work-piece. It is the method of expanding a pre-existing hole by utilising a single-point device.

Chuck – a tool that passes onto the spindle to keep a work-piece in its position as it spins. It usually has three to four jaws that may be adjusted to match different sizes.

Cutting feed – the distance that a work-piece travels in one spindle rotation it is measured in inches per revolution (IPR). In cutting feed, either the cutting tool is fed into the work-piece or the work-piece is fed into the cutting tool.

Cutting speed – this corresponds with the speed of the work-piece surface as it connects to the tool during the cutting process. It is measured in surface feet per minute (SFM).

Depth of Cut – the depth of the object that is taken away when the work-piece is being cut.

Drilling – going deep into the surface of the work-piece, this method creates a round hole with the use of a multi-point device.

Feed rate – this is the product of cutting feed and spindle speed. It refers to the speed of the cutting device as it runs to the extent of the work-piece. It is measured in inches per minute (IPM).

Headstock – this is the last part of the lathe which carries the spindle and the drive that turns the work-piece.

Lathe – refers to a device that is frequently used to produce a cylindrical structure of parts.

Radial depth of cut – this is the depth of the tool along the radius of the work-piece during the cutting operation.

Reaming – the method that uses a multi-point tool to polish the internal surface of a hole.

Rotational speed – as its name suggests, it is the speed that the work-piece rotates on the lathe.

Spindle – the tool that is placed in the headstock, the spindle is the part that rotates the work-piece at high speed.

Spindle speed – this is the rotational speed of the spindle and the work-piece. It is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM).

Tailstock – a tool that is placed at the edge of a lathe to support the last part of extensive work-pieces.

Thread – this is a helical ridge that cuts down the length of a work-piece.

Work-piece – refers to the material used for manufacturing a particular output such as machine parts and components. It comes in the form of wood, metal, plastic or the like.


If you want to learn more about CNC Turning, visit the website of HPC or call us on 0115 9323773.