Most Common Conventional Turning Operations You Should Know

13 July 2022

Industries often opt for machining processes to produce their needed parts and products. And one notable machining process that they maximise is the conventional turning.

Conventional turning is a machining process that shears the outside or inside of workpieces. This process is done by a lathe, which is known for being one of the oldest machine tools still utilised today. Turning can generate materials with various shapes such as straight, curved, conical, and grooved.

To date, conventional turning can be further branched out into various operations. Some of the most common conventional turning operations you should know are as follows.

Taper Turning

Taper turning generates a workpiece with a conical surface, which is done by reducing or increasing its diameter gradually. Machine spindles, for instance, are workpieces that can benefit from taper turning as they feature taper holes. The machine spindles then attain taper shank of different work holding devices and tools. This type of turning is often utilised by machine manufacturers.

Step Turning

Step turning, alternatively, creates two surfaces that have a sharp change in the diameters between them. The final output then resembles a series of steps with varying diameters.

Spherical Turning

As its name implies, spherical turning is a turning operation that generates a ball shape on the workpieces. Spherical turning lathes are maximised during this operation, which can be perfect for spherical inner and outside surfaces, and the ball on shafts machining processes.

Hard Turning

Hard turning is a process wherein hard materials are turned. It is carried out on materials or workpieces that have been recently heat-treated. This process is meant to replace the traditional grinding processes, making it suitable for parts that require roundness accuracy of up to 12 micrometres. It is also suitable for parts with a surface roughness of up to 7.0 micrometres. Some workpieces that can take advantage of hard turning are gears, hydraulic components, and injection pump components.


Facing is another conventional turning process that intends to move the cutting tool at suitable angles to the rotating workpiece’s axis of rotation. This turning process is frequently carried out as initial and final operations for workpieces.

Chamfer Turning

Somehow similar to step turning, chamfer turning can generate an angled transition of a square edge between two surfaces. It is intended to bevel the workpiece’s end, making this process a crucial operation after thread cutting is performed.

Contour Turning

Contour turning, ultimately, is done by allowing the cutting tool to move in a trajectory of a toolpath according to the profile of the part. Multiple passes of the tool are needed to effectively generate the desired contours of the part or product.

To know more about conventional turning processes and operations, you can contact us at Aero Spec Engineering. We are the leading industry experts in Precision Engineering and CNC Machining providing accurately manufactured components and assemblies for transport, mining, recycling, automation, food, medical, packaging, automotive R/D, and general industries.

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