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Machining is a subtractive manufacturing process where the material and cutter are moved precisely relative to each other, either manually or via computer numerical control (CNC). As Quinn Dunki put it, "a machine tool removes shavings from metal stock with a cutting edge made of a harder metal. It’s just like shaving cheese with a grater, but several times more bad-ass." Ithaca Generator now has a South Bend Lathe and a Mini Mill. Some of the information on this page also applies to use of the drill press and other tools, especially for cutting metals and plastics.

Instructional Videos


Quinn's series of concise beginner-oriented instructional videos on machining subjects. She also has the great blog linked above.

Metal Lathe Tutorial 1 : Theory

Metal Lathe Tutorial 2 : Tool Bits

Metal Lathe Tutorial 3: Facing

Metal Lathe Tutorial 4: Tail Support

Metal Lathe Tutorial 5: Turning

Metal Lathe Tutorial 6: Chatter

Metal Lathe Tutorial 7: Turning To A Shoulder

Metal Lathe Tutorial 8: Concentricity

Metal Lathe Tutorial 9 : Four-Jaw Chucks

Metal Lathe Tutorial 10: Drilling

Metal Lathe Tutorial 11 : How To Buy And Use Indicators

Metal Lathe Tutorial 12 : Surface Finish

Metal Lathe Tutorial 13 : How To Pick Metal

Tom's Techniques:

Turning a Diameter to Size on the Lathe

Facing on the Lathe

Center Drills and Center Drilling

Parting on the Lathe

Cutting Speed and RPM on the Lathe and Mill (For the lathe, use the diameter of the work instead of the tool.)

How to Safely Use a File on the Lathe

Thread Cutting on the Lathe

Taking the Mystery out of the Threading Dial

This Old Tony:

Making A Lathe Chuck Back Plate (Examples of various operations, including boring tapers)