What does a Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setter, Operator, and Tender, Metal and Plastic do?

Set up, operate, or tend lathe and turning machines to turn, bore, thread, form, or face metal or plastic materials, such as wire, rod, or bar stock.

Jobs Roles

  • Inspect sample workpieces to verify conformance with specifications, using instruments such as gauges, micrometers, and dial indicators.
  • Study blueprints, layouts or charts, and job orders for information on specifications and tooling instructions, and to determine material requirements and operational sequences.
  • Adjust machine controls and change tool settings to keep dimensions within specified tolerances.
  • Move controls to set cutting speeds and depths and feed rates, and to position tools in relation to workpieces.
  • Start lathe or turning machines and observe operations to ensure that specifications are met.
  • Select cutting tools and tooling instructions, according to written specifications or knowledge of metal properties and shop mathematics.
  • Crank machines through cycles, stopping to adjust tool positions and machine controls to ensure specified timing, clearances, and tolerances.
  • Lift metal stock or workpieces manually or using hoists, and position and secure them in machines, using fasteners and hand tools.
  • Replace worn tools, and sharpen dull cutting tools and dies using bench grinders or cutter-grinding machines.
  • Position, secure, and align cutting tools in toolholders on machines, using hand tools, and verify their positions with measuring instruments.
  • Compute unspecified dimensions and machine settings, using knowledge of metal properties and shop mathematics.
  • Install holding fixtures, cams, gears, and stops to control stock and tool movement, using hand tools, power tools, and measuring instruments.
  • Move toolholders manually or by turning handwheels, or engage automatic feeding mechanisms to feed tools to and along workpieces.
  • Turn valve handles to direct the flow of coolant onto work areas or to coat disks with spinning compounds.
  • Mount attachments, such as relieving or tracing attachments, to perform operations such as duplicating contours of templates or trimming workpieces.
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