What Angle should a Cutting Tool be on a Lathe

What Angle should a Cutting Tool be on a Lathe? Read this Before Using your Cutting Tools.

Which angle to hold the Cutting Tool on a Lathe?


There are a few different ways that you can hold the cutting tool on a lathe. 


The most common way is to hold it at a 90-degree angle. However, you can also hold it at a 45-degree angle or even at a 30-degree angle.


You would want to hold the cutting tool at a different angle because it will allow you to cut the material in a different way.


For example, if you are trying to cut something very thin, you might want to use a 45-degree angle to get a cleaner cut.


However, if you are trying to cut something thicker, you might want to use a 90-degree angle to get a deeper cut.


It all depends on what you are trying to cut and how deep you want the cut to be. Experiment with different angles and see what works best for you.


Visual Explanations:

The 03 Key Planes to Determine the Angle of a Lathe Cutting Tool


  1. Cutting Plane:


It is the plane that is perpendicular to the workpiece surface and intersects with the cutting tool edge. This is the first and foremost plane to be considered while setting up the tool angle.


  1. Base Plane:


The base plane is the most important of the three planes. It is used to establish the relationship between the work and the tool. The base plane is always perpendicular to the spindle axis.


iii. Orthogonal Plane:


The orthogonal plane is the third and final key plane to determine the angle of a lathe cutting tool. 


This plane is perpendicular to the workpiece and is used to ensure that the tool is at the correct angle to the workpiece. The easiest way to find this plane is to use a protractor or a combination square.


Cutting Areas of a Lathe Cutting Tool


– Tool Tip:


The tooltip is the small, pointed end of the cutting tool that comes into contact with the workpiece.


– Main Cutting Edge:


The main cutting edge is the part of the tool that does the cutting. It can be either straight or curved, depending on the shape of the workpiece being cut.


– Main Flank Face:


The main flank face is the primary cutting surface of the tool. It is located at the bottom of the tool, just above the shank.


– Secondary Flank Face:


The flank face is the main cutting edge of the tool. It is typically set at an angle between 10 and 20 degrees to the workpiece.


– Secondary Cutting Edge:


The secondary cutting edge is used to support the main cutting edge and help it stay sharp longer. It is usually located at the back of the tool.


– Rake Face:


The rake face is the sloped surface of the cutting tool that extends from the nose to the heel. Its purpose is to provide support for the cutting edge and help keep the cutting tool from digging into the workpiece.


How does Lathe Cutting Tool Angle Affect Cutting Process?


As anyone who has worked with a lathe knows, the cutting tool angle is vitally important to the success of the overall cutting process. But what exactly does this angle do? And how does it affect the finished product?


In order to understand the role that the cutting tool angle plays in lathe work, it’s necessary first to have a basic understanding of how a lathe works.


A lathe is a machine that rotates an object against a fixed cutting tool. The cutting tool removes material from the rotating object, shaping it into the desired form.


The cutting tool angle refers to the angle between the cutting edge of the tool and the perpendicular line drawn through the centre of the workpiece. This angle can be adjusted to suit the specific needs of the job at hand.


A smaller cutting tool angle will result in a shallower cut, while a larger angle will produce a deeper cut. The depth of the cut is important as it will determine the final shape and size of the object being cut.


In addition to affecting the depth of the cut, the cutting tool angle also plays a role in determining the amount of material removed from the workpiece. A smaller angle will remove less material, while a larger angle will remove more material.


This is important to keep in mind when setting up a lathe operation, as it will help to determine how long the overall process will take. If too much material is removed too quickly, it can cause the workpiece to become misshapen or damaged.


The cutting tool angle is an important factor in lathe work, and it’s important to understand how it affects the overall process. By taking the time to learn about this angle, you’ll be able to produce better results with your lathe projects.


Types of Main Lathe Cutting Tools (Chisels Tools)


– Parting Tool:


A parting tool is a type of chisel that is used to create a groove or channel in wood. It is also sometimes used to cut, trim, or shape awkward corners and areas where other tools might not be able to reach. 


Parting tools come in various shapes and sizes, depending on the specific application.


The most common type has a straight cutting edge with a rounded end, but there are also variations that have a curved cutting edge or even multiple Cutting edges. 


When using a parting tool, applying steady pressure and using long strokes is important for the best results. It’s also important not to apply too much pressure, as this can cause the tool to dig into the wood and create an uneven or jagged surface.


– Skew Chisel:


A skew chisel with an angled blade used to create decorative edges on woodworking projects.


The angle of the blade relative to the handle can vary but is typically around 30 degrees. Skew chisels are also often used to hollow out small areas or shape curves. 


Most standard woodworking chisels have a bevelled edge on one side and a flat edge on the other. A skew chisel has two bevelled edges (upper and lower), meeting at a sharp point.


Despite its advantages, the skew chisel can be more difficult to use than a standard chisel. This is because the cutting edge is angled, meaning that it can “catch” on the wood if not used correctly. 


– Finger Nail Gouge:


A fingernail gouge is a type of chisel that is used for carving wood. It has a long, thin blade with a U-shaped profile and a sharp point. This type of chisel is ideal for removing small amounts of wood quickly and easily.


Finger nail gouges are also called V-gouges or U-gouges. They can be used to carve letters and designs into wood or to create decorative details on furniture and other wooden objects.


– Bowl Gouge:


A bowl gouge is a cutting tool used to shape the inside of a bowl. The bowl gouge has a long, curved blade with a sharp point at the end.


The blade is held in place by a handle attached to the blade with a ferrule. The handle can be made from any material but is typically made from wood or metal.


The blade of the bowl gouge is angled so that it cuts into the wood at an angle of about 45 degrees.


This angle gives the bowl gouge its cutting power and makes it easier to control. When using a bowl gouge, you will need to use both hands; one hand on the handle and one hand on the blade.


– Spindle Gouge:


A spindle gouge is a type of chisel designed for detailed work on small, cylindrical surfaces.


It has a U-shaped cross-section with a rounded, spoon-like blade that tapers to a point. The blade can be rotated in the handle to change the angle of attack, making it versatile for creating different shapes and textures. 


Spindle gouges are often used for shaping woodturning projects such as bowls, puppets, and other small objects.


They can also be used for detail work on furniture parts like chair legs and table legs carvings and other fine woodworking projects.


A spindle gouge can produce very precise cuts and smooth finishes when sharpened properly.


– Roughing Gouge:


A roughing gouge is a type of chisel used to quickly remove large amounts of wood. It has a U-shaped cross-section with a wider and thicker blade than a standard chisel.


The blade of the roughing gouge is also slightly curved, making it more efficient at removing wood than a straight-edged chisel. Roughing gouges are typically used for shaping the outside of a bowl or other rounded object.


They can also be used for quickly removing excess wood from a turning blank or carving project. Roughing gouges are not typically used for detailed work or for finishing cuts.


Visual Explanations: 


How to hold a Lathe Cutting tool?


A lathe is a machine tool used in the manufacturing industry for machining cylindrical parts.


The lathe cutting tools are used to remove material from the workpiece to create the desired shape. The cutting tools are held in hand and are rotated at high speeds to create the desired cuts.


There are different ways to hold the lathe cutting tool depending on the type of cut you want to make.


The most common way to hold the tool is with your index finger pointing towards the workpiece and your thumb pointing away from the workpiece. This grip gives you good control over the tool and allows you to make precise cuts.


Another way to hold the lathe cutting tool is with your thumb pointing towards the workpiece and your index finger pointing away from the workpiece. This grip is not as common as the first one, but it can be used for certain types of cuts.


When holding the lathe cutting tool, it is important to keep your hand close to the workpiece. This will help you make cleaner cuts and prevent the tool from slipping.


It is also important to use the right type of lathe cutting tool for the material you are working with. For example, if you are working with softwoods, you will need to use a different type of tool than if you were working with hardwoods.


Finally, when using the lathe cutting tool, always make sure that the cutting edge is pointing in the direction of the rotation. This will help to prevent the tool from becoming dull and will also help to keep the cuts clean.


How to Care a Lathe Cutting Tool?


You must understand how to care for your lathe cutting tool properly. This will ensure that it lasts for many years and can be used repeatedly. Here are some tips on how to care for your lathe cutting tool:


  1. Keep the cutting tool clean and free of debris. When not in use, wipe down the tool with a clean cloth to remove any dirt or grime.


  1. Inspect the cutting tool before each use. Check for any nicks or damage that could cause the tool to break during use.


  1. Always use the correct size and type of cutting tool for the job at hand. Using the wrong tool can damage both the workpiece and the tool itself.


  1. Use cutting oil when necessary. This will help to prolong the life of the cutting tool and prevent it from overheating.


  1. Store the lathe cutting tool in a safe place when not in use. This will protect it from damage and keep it ready for its next project.


By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your lathe cutting tool will last for many years to come. Proper care and maintenance will keep it in top condition and allow you to get the most use out of it.


Safety Precautions to follow when using a Lathe Cutting Tool


When using a lathe cutting tool, certain safety precautions should always be followed in order to avoid injury.


Lathes are powerful tools that can quickly spin a piece of metal or wood, and if the operator is not careful, serious injuries can occur.


Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when using a lathe:


  1. Always wear protective gear. This includes eye protection, gloves, and earplugs or headphones to protect your hearing.


  1. Make sure the workpiece is securely clamped down before beginning to cut.


  1. Feed the material into the cutting tool slowly and evenly to avoid kickback.


  1. Keep your hands away from the cutting area.


  1. Use the proper size and type of cutting tool for the material you are working with.


  1. Keep the lathe area clean and free of clutter to avoid accidents.


  1. Inspect the lathe and cutting tools before use to make sure they are in good condition.


  1. Be aware of your surroundings, and do not use cutting tools by turning on the lathe if you are tired or distracted.


Following these safety precautions will help to ensure a safe and successful experience when using a lathe cutting tool.


Related Matters


  1. How do you select the proper cutting tool for lathe operations?


The proper cutting tool for lathe operations depends on the diameter of the material to be cut and the type of operation to be performed.


For example, a standard turning tool is used to cut a round or cylindrical piece of material. A parting tool is used to cut a groove in the material or to separate it into two parts. And a threading tool is used to create a threaded hole in the material. 


  1. What is the importance of different angles in a single point lathe cutting tool?


There are a few reasons why different angles are important in single point lathe cutting tools. 


First, different angles produce different results. A shallower angle will result in a more shallow cut, while a steeper angle will result in a deeper cut. 


Second, different angles can be used to cut different materials. Some materials are easier to cut with a shallow angle, while others require a steeper angle. 


Third, different angles can be used to produce different finishes. A finer finish can be achieved with a shallower angle, while a rougher finish can be achieved with a steeper angle. 


  1. How do you make a smooth cut on a lathe?


You can do a few things to make a smooth cut on a lathe.


First, use a sharp tool bit. Second, make sure the tool bit is exactly ‘on centre’ when starting the cut. Third, keep the lathe speed slow (around 500 rpm or less).


And fourth, use light pressure on the tool bit while cutting. If you follow these steps, you should be able to make nice, smooth cuts on your lathe.