APT International and Machine Station sell secondhand lathes. These vendors also sell borers, grinders, drills and many other kinds of used metalworking and woodworking equipment.
Lathes are spinning machines used for cutting and shaping wood and metal. When a loaded lathe is turned on, it rotates the item clamped into its chuck. The user then shapes the object by pressing a sharp cutting tool against it.
There are three types of lathes. Lightweight lathes are portable and attach to the work surface with clamps. Due to their compact size, these machines cannot accommodate very large pieces. Precision lathes are larger and more versatile. These models accommodate workpieces up to 200 inches long and 25 inches in diameter, according to American Machine Tools.
The largest type of lathe is the gap lathe, often called the extended lathe. These allow users to machine extremely large objects by adjusting the length of the lathe bed.
Lathing requires specialized cutting tools in a variety of shapes. Each produces a different effect on the workpiece. The most common cutting-tool bits are angled roughing bits, angled finishing bits and rounded-nose finishing bits. More specialized cutting tools have square, round and triangular bits.
Cutting tools withstand tremendous forces during use, as stated by American Machine Tools. Consequently, many manufacturers produce bits made from resilient materials, such as tungsten carbide and titanium carbide. Diamond-tipped cutting bits are also popular.