There are many lathe accessories provided by the lathe manufacturer along with the lathe, which support the lathe operations. The important lathe accessories include centers, catch plates and carriers, chucks, collets, face plates, angle plates, mandrels, and rests. These are used either for holding and supporting the work or for holding the tool. Attachments are additional equipments provided by the lathe manufacturer along with the lathe, which can be used for specific operations. The lathe attachment include stops, ball turning rests, thread chasing dials, milling attachment, grinding attachment, gear cutting attachment, turret attachment and crank pin turning attachments and taper turning attachment.

Lathe centers

The most common method of holding the job in a lathe is between the two centers generally known as live centre (head stock centre) and dead centre (tailstock centre). They are made of very hard materials to resist deflection and wear and they are used to hold and support the cylindrical jobs.

Carriers or driving dog and catch plates

These are used to drive a job when it is held between two centers. Carriers or driving dogs are attached to the end of the job by a setscrew. A use of lathe dog for holding and supporting the job is shown in Fig. Catch plates are either screwed or bolted to the nose of the headstock spindle. A projecting pin from the catch plate or carrier fits into the slot provided in either of them. This imparts a positive drive between the lathe spindle and job.


Chuck is one of the most important devices for holding and rotating a job in a lathe. It is basically attached to the headstock spindle of the lathe. The internal threads in the chuck fit on to the external threads on the spindle nose. Short, cylindrical, hol1ow objects or those of irregular shapes, which cannot be conveniently mounted between centers, are easily and rigidly held in a chuck. Jobs of short length and large diameter or of irregular shape, which cannot be conveniently mounted between centers, are held quickly and rigidly in a chuck. There are a number of types of lathe chucks, e.g.

(1) Three jaws or universal
(2) Four jaw independent chuck
(3) Magnetic chuck
(4) Collet chuck
(5) Air or hydraulic chuck operated chuck
(6) Combination chuck
(7) Drill chuck.

Face plates

Face plates are employed for holding jobs, which cannot be conveniently held between centers or by chucks. A face plate possesses the radial, plain and T slots for holding jobs or work-pieces by bolts and clamps. Face plates consist of a circular disc bored out and threaded to fit the nose of the lathe spindle. They are heavily constructed and have strong thick ribs on the back. They have slots cut into them, therefore nuts, bolts, clamps and angles are used to hold the jobs on the face plate. They are accurately machined and ground.

Angle plates

Angle plate is a cast iron plate having two faces machined to make them absolutely at right angles to each other. Holes and slots are provided on both faces so that it may be clamped on a faceplate and can hold the job or workpiece on the other face by bolts and clamps. The plates are used in conjunction with a face plate when the holding surface of the
job should be kept horizontal.


A mandrel is a device used for holding and rotating a hollow job that has been previously drilled or bored. The job revolves with the mandrel, which is mounted between two centers.

It is rotated by the lathe dog and the catch plate and it drives the work by friction. Different types of mandrels are employed according to specific requirements. It is hardened and tempered steel shaft or bar with 60° centers, so that it can be mounted between centers. It holds and locates a part from its center hole. The mandrel is always rotated with the help of a lathe dog; it is never placed in a chuck for turning the job. A mandrel unlike an arbor is a job holding device rather than a cutting tool holder. A bush can be faced and turned by holding the same on a mandrel between centers. It is generally used in order to machine the entire length of a hollow job.


A rest is a lathe device, which supports a long slender job, when it is turned between centers or by a chuck, at some intermediate point to prevent bending of the job due to its own weight and vibration set up due to the cutting force that acts on it. The two types of rests commonly used for supporting a long job in an engine lathe are the steady or centre rest and the follower rest.

Source A Textbook of Basic Manufacturing Processes and Workshop Technology by Rajender Singh.

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