Engine Lathe Set Up Operator

Set up and operate engine lathes.
picture of Engine Lathe Set Up Operator

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$23,000 – $52,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Engine Lathe Set Up Operators do?

Sets up and operates engine lathes to machine metallic and nonmetallic workpieces according to specifications, tooling instructions, and standard charts, applying knowledge of machining methods: Reads blueprint or job order for specifications, such as dimensions and tolerances, tooling instructions on holding devices, feed rates, cutting speeds, depth of cuts, and cutting tools. Positions and secures tools in holders, using wrenches. Lifts workpiece manually or with hoist, and positions and secures workpiece in holding device, machine table, chuck, centers, or fixture, using clamps and wrenches. Sets specified rotation speed, feed rate, and depth of cut, and positions tool in relation to workpiece. Starts machine, turns handwheels to feed tool to workpiece, and engages feed. Turns valve handle to direct flow of coolant against tool and workpiece. Observes cutting action of machine to detect excessive wear or malfunction. Verifies conformance of machined workpiece to specifications, using micrometers, calipers, and fixed gauges. May scribe reference lines on workpiece, using scale, or template and scriber, to lay out interrelated surfaces, lengths, and depths of cut. May compute unspecified dimensions and machine settings, using knowledge of metal properties and shop mathematics. May set up tracing attachment that guides cutting tool to follow movement of tracing stylus along template to duplicate template profile on turned workpiece and be designated Tracing-Lathe Set-Up Operator. May be required to have experience with custom or production work, or with particular material, product, level of precision, or size, type, or trade name of machine.

Should I be an Engine Lathe Set Up Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Engine Lathe Operator

    How to Become an
    Engine Lathe Set Up Operator

    Most Engine Lathe Set Up Operators have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9ycaaa&chl=no+college+%2854%25%29|certificate+%2844%25%29|associate%27s+%282%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,54,54
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