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Engine Lathe Tail Stock
The tail stock of an engine lathe is used to provide a fixture at the end of the part opposite from the chuck. The tail stock can be used to support a long, thin part so that more radial cutting force can be applied and higher rotational speeds can be attained without a "whipping" instability effect. Below is illustrated another use for the tail stock. Drill bits can be fixtured in the tail stock to cut axial holes in a turned part. These central holes are more accurate than a drill press or mill could provide since the lathe is dedicated to operations in which an axially-symmetric part is rotated about its central axis. The fixturing is more accurate since all fixturing is based upon surfaces of revolution about the central axis, and the machining is more rigidly supported for the same reason.


Boring can be accomplished on a mill or even a drill press, but is most accurate on a lathe. The boring tool is fixtured in the tail stock. Again, since all fixturing is relative to the central spindle axis, boring on a lathe is more accurate than most other boring methods, an exception being jig boring on a dedicated jig boring machine. The length of the boring bar is of critical importance because of its tendency to bend. The figure below illustrates a boring tool which is double-ended so that it is less prone to the cantilever "diving board" effect.

For design guidelines for bored holes in parts, please check the design for boring section.

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