Hoping to learn how to use a lathe

Hello I am trying to make a pawn out of some scrap metal, and was wondering if someone could teach/qualify me to use a lathe (I have already completed the online course but am not confident that I know what I’m doing) so if someone has time before the 16th to help guide me I would be very grateful.

The online course is only the lead-in to the machine-side course. Which may be this class:


The lathes in the machine shop will be if little help to your planned project, a5 least at first. When you say a pawn, i envision curved geometry. Metal lathes-are great at making straight linear features and angles, but curves and radii are a more advanced and difficult process. The best option is a CAD design executed on the tormach cnc lathe. That is a bit-further down the training and experience road for you. Also, scrap metal can be a challenge to machine if you do not know its properties or constituent materials. I am not telling you any of this to discourage you, but rather to guve you a clearer expectation of the path. Machine-side training on the colchester lathe is the first step of your journey.


Hello Brendan,
I see you are in the AD group for the class. As @dryad2b mentioned the class is next Saturday before the Machine Shop Meeting. I would highly recommend showing up to the meeting afterwards. The others in the committee do enjoy helping others, generally speaking they are more likely to help you, if you become active in the committee.

To make a chess piece, I’d say you could machine the majority of it out. Then take it to the milling machine to add or technically subtract material to make the features that you want.

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