How to Use a Lathe

A tool used to turn wood or metal pieces to be cut or grooved with chisels is a lathe. A large part of getting the full use of this device is to know how to properly use a lathe. There are two popular types of lathes: woodworking that uses a tail stock and face work lathe that leaves the piece free to spin on one end.

Things you will need

  • Wood
  • Safety Equipment
  • Blank Stock
  • Awl
  • Gauges and Chisels
  • Lathe


  1. Put on all safety gears.
  2. Remove all form of jewelery
  3. Carefully lubricate the spinning parts of the lathe with oil.
  4. Start up the lathe.
  5. Carefully and Periodically clear beds of debris, sawdust and wood pieces.
  6. Firmly grip the piece of wood.
  7. Begin working.
  8. Cautiously increase pressure.
  9. Continue until work is complete.


  • Allows sharpen and oil your tool before beginning to work.
  • Use safety gears or equipment at all times when using the tool. This will assure your safety so be sure to follow the general woodwork safety practices.
  • Ensure that the wood is fastened correctly as if it can move sideways when spinning.
  • Ensure that the wood is not too far off the center as if it is you will have to greatly pare it down when you are finished hence becoming much thinner that you initially wanted.
  • Periodically remove sawdust, beds of debris and wood pieces from the work area as the lathe tends to fill up with these items and may inturn become damaged.


  • Never use a lot of pressure on the wood as this can cause the machine to ‘buck’ and throw you off balance.