Convert a Milling Machine to a Turning Machine

Watch this video to learn how to make a milling machine perform turning work.


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One of the most common characteristics of job shops is the imbalance between milling and turning capability. A machining center is less expensive than a CNC lathe, so a small shop is freer to expand its milling capability. But this turns turning into a bottleneck. It’s very common for even an established shop to have only one really good CNC lathe.
Meanwhile, one additional type of machine tool often waits unused in the shop. A programmable toolroom mill might be used only to make odd one-off parts as needed.
Given all of these circumstances, how interesting is the product in this video? The video was produced by Sturges DesignWorks in Portland, Oregon to explain the company’s Turning Head System—a set of devices that opens up the turning bottleneck by temporarily converting that toolroom mill into a programmable lathe.

Here are some other approaches to recruiting a milling machine into perform turning work.