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Glossary of Terms

Bar lathe – Lathe with a metal bar used to support the headstock and tailstock.

Bearers – The ways or bed of the lathe that support the headstock, tailstock, and slide rest. Made from wood on early lathes and iron on later or more expensive lathes.

Engine turning – A type of engraving that utilities a rose engine lathe or straightline engine turning machine to produce precise intricate repetitive patterns or designs in metal or other dense materials. Also known as guilloche. 

Iron bearer – Lathe with metal ways, as opposed to the earlier wooden ones.

Iron work – Denotes a lathe for use in the metals industry.

Popit head – A cylindrical mount in the tailstock that holds the tailstock point.

Rose lathe – Also called rose engine lathe, differs from a regular lathe in that the headstock contains a series of patterned discs (called rosettes) that rock back and forth on a pivot as the work is slowly rotated.

Screw mandrel – A spindle capable of moving horizontally within the headstock, used in conjunction with hobs of various pitch to cut threads for screws, chucks, etc.

Screw cutting lathe – Lathe capable of cutting threads for screws, chucks, etc.

Traversing screw mandrel ­– See "screw mandrel."

Tri. bar – Lathe with a triangular metal bar used to support the headstock and tailstock.