Industrial lathes are versatile workshop tools ideal for both wood and metalworking projects. While you generally do not need a heavy-duty lathe to work with wood, it can be a wise investment, especially if you see yourself doing intricate projects or eventually bringing intense metalworking ideas to life.CNC Lathes
CNC lathes are advanced tools used in varying manufacturing processes. These large machines have milling capabilities and can process heavy metal rods. CNC stands for computer numerical controlled, and it achieves such accuracy that it is rapidly replacing older production lathes. You can also repeat settings for high production efficiency, while modern carbide tooling allows them to carve into tough metals like a hot knife through butter. Their easy menu-style interface allows you to configure setup, and you can also see a simulated view what's happening inside the enclosed workspace.Woodworking Lathes
Woodworking requires less power when it comes to lathes so the old-school approach to carving out intricate shapes with hand tools is still the norm for making furniture and other wooden projects. A woodshop lathe is typically hooked up to a motor and employs a simple mechanism to turn the wood. All other advanced lathe designs descended from the simple woodworking lathe and all those advancements are mere requirements for specialised applications. But for a budding woodworker, a simple, reliable woodworking lathe is sufficient for many years' worth of projects.Rotary Lathes
Rotary lathes are production machines used to make veneers and plywood. They work mainly with softwood but also some hardwoods like birch. The lathe engine provides enough power to turn logs against a blade that makes thin, continuous slices to produce the veneer that can be applied to finish certain project surfaces like chipboards.Glass-working lathes
Another specialised lathe is the glass-working lathe. It has similar designs to the basic woodworking lathe but with more intricate chucks to handle the delicate glass material. Two chucks turn in unison and hold the work together; you can introduce a handheld flame to soften the material in certain areas to make it easier to manipulate.