“New” Metalworking Lathe

Even the best designs are useless if you can’t build them, so we place a major focus on finding the right tools for every task we need to accomplish. Eta Prime involves a lot of custom rotating components. To make these components, we needed a lathe that could handle the size of our parts while maintaining a high level of accuracy. Thanks to our faculty advisor Prof. Nogami and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, we now have what we need.

 

Despite it's worn appearance, this lathe functions very well.

Despite it’s worn appearance, this lathe functions very well.

Deep in the Engineering quadrant of U of T’s downtown campus, in a building few even know to exist, our “new” lathe waited to be found. Estimated to be at least 25 years old, this machine has been idle for much of that time – but no longer! Like many old-but-well-built tools, this lathe works great despite its worn appearance.

For those of you who don't do this sort of thing, a lathe functions by spinning the workpiece - typically a bar of metal - while the operator uses several adjustment knobs to slowly move a cutting tool against it.

For those of you who don’t do this sort of thing, a lathe functions by spinning the workpiece – typically a bar of metal – while the operator uses several adjustment knobs to slowly move a cutting tool against it. Here, you can seen chips of aluminum being cut off of a cylindrical bar by the tool on the left.

Over the next weeks and months, our Mechanical Systems Group will be producing a variety of bearing shells, spindles, and hub components for Eta Prime. Check back soon for more info!

Calvin Moes, Team Captain

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