Difference Between Capstan and Turret Lathe

Before understanding, the difference between capstan and turret lathe let us first understand what is a lathe? and how it is different from the capstan and turret lathe.

A lathe is a machine used to do various operations such as drilling, boring, knurling, thread cutting, facing, etc. on the workpiece to make it a value-added product. In classical lathe machines such as in center lathe, there is only one tool post and only one tool fitted in the tailstock, which usually takes time while changing tools for different operations.

There are certain difficulties that cannot be overcome by center lathes such as the large time involvement while setting and movement of the tool between the machining processes, unsuitable for mass production, less number of speeds, one tool fixation in the tailstock, etc. Thus the center lathe is modified to turret and capstan lathe to overcome all these difficulties.

Difference between Capstan and Turret Lathe Machine

Capstan and Turret lathes are the advancements of the Engine lathes and center lathe, wherein the tailstock is replaced by a hexagonal turret tool head, having 6 different tools in the turret, where turret tool is rotated in each operation according to process requirement. These are used to produce a large number of identical parts in minimum time and are used for mass productions in less time with maximum accuracy and precision. These are the semi-automatic lathes which mean that all the machining process such as boring, drilling, thread cutting, facing, turning, etc. without changing of tools, are to be done automatically and other functions like the setting of tools, clamping of a workpiece, cooling of the process are to be done manually. These machines can be used to machine from small to large workpieces and are costlier than engine lathe because of having complex construction.

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Although capstan and turret lathe appear the same at first sight but they differ in many aspects such as sizes, operation, constructions, etc. So let’s here go through the difference between them.

Difference Between Capstan and Turret Lathe In Tabular Form


Capstan Lathe

Turret Lathe

1 It is a lightweight machine. It is a heavyweight machine.
2 In capstan lathe, the turret tool head is mounted over the ram and that is mounted over the saddle. In turret lathe, the turret tool head is mounted over the saddle like a single unit
3 For providing feed to the tool, ram is moved. For providing feed to the tool, the saddle is moved.
4 Because of no saddle displacement, Movement of turret tool head over the longitudinal direction of bed is small along with the ram. Turret tool head moves along with the saddle over the entire bed in the longitudinal direction.
5 Used for shorter workpiece because of limited ram movement. Used for longer workpiece because of saddle movement along the bed.
6 Its working operations are fast because of lighter in constructions. Its working operations are slower because of heavier in constructions.
7 Heavy cuts on the workpiece cannot be given because of non-rigid construction. Heavy cuts on the workpiece can be given because of the rigid construction of the machine.
8 For indexing turret tool head, the handwheel of the ram is reversed and turret tool index automatically. For indexing turret tool head, the turret is rotated manually after releasing the clamping lever.
9 The turret head cannot be moved in the lateral direction of the bed. The turret head can be moved crosswise i.e. in the lateral direction of bed in some turret lathe.
10 In capstan lathe, Collet is used to grip the Job. In turret lathe, power Jaw chuck is used to grip the Job.
11 Used for machining workpiece up to 60 mm diameter. Used for machining workpiece up to 120 mm diameter.
12 These are usually horizontal lathes. Turret lathes are available in horizontal and vertical lathes.

In this article, you have learned about Difference Capstan and Turret Lathe and  I hope that this article has helped you to differentiate between turret and Capstan lathe more easily and accurately. If you find this information useful then don’t forget to like and share it.

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