In machine tools, a spindle is a rotating axis that typically has a shaft at its center. On the shop floor, the word “spindle” is widely used as a metonym to refer to the entire spinning unit, including the shaft itself, its bearings, and anything connected to it. The word “spindle” refers to the shaft itself.
A machine tool may have numerous spindles, two examples of which are the headstock and tailstock spindles on a bench lathe. The primary spindle is often the largest spindle. The primary spindle is presumed when the spindle is described without further explanation. Some machine tools made for high-volume mass ᴍᴀɴufacturing may include a group of four, six, or even more main spindles. These are what are known as multispindle machines. For instance, gang drills and various screw machines are examples of multispindle machines. A bench lathe, despite having several spindles, only has one main spindle and is not regarded as a multispindle machine.
In rotating-cutter machines, the spindle is the part to which shaped milling cutters are attached to cut features into moldings and other millwork. In rotating-cutter metalworking machine tools, the spindle is a shaft to which the tool is mounted. There are ᴍᴀɴy different kinds of spindles, including grinding spindles, electric spindles, machine tool spindles, high-speed spindles, and more.
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