Course Descriptions & Syllabi

Course Descriptions & Syllabi

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Note: some or all of the courses in the subjects marked as "Transfer" can be used towards a transfer degree: Associate of Science and Arts or Associate of Engineering Science at DACC. Transferability for specific institutions and majors varies. Consult a counselor for this information.

Areas of Study | | MFRG161 syllabus


This course is an introduction to the engine lathe. Students are taught the fundamentals of shop safety and skills associated with the operation of the lathe engine for metal removal processes.



Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Process Improvement and Troubleshooting: To improve a process one must first understand the process. A competent machinist should be able to identify the root cause if a straight cut between centers measures as a taper. Measuring a taper (when a straight cut is intended) and moving the tailstock the proper amount based on the measurement is another skill needed to effectively and efficiently engage in turning operations. Other skill sets include the proper way to take the first cut on cast iron and hot roll steel, the root cause of lathe center runout, properly turning hard material and the effect of having the lathe tool above or below center.
  • Turning Safety: Safety knowledge and practice is an important component for lathe operations. The operator must know the basic personal protective equipment needed to effectively operate a lathe safely. Proper lifting techniques, learning how to find MSDS and HMIS information and some basic personal first aid are essential knowledge for all machinists. Other safety components involve the safe installation of chucks and collets as well as chip control and chip removal.
  • Lathe Controls: An understanding of basic lathe control mechanisms enables the machinist to utilize the lateh in an efficient and productive manner. Knowing how each control works and its function is imperative to any safe turning operation. Kow how to use the feed reverse lever, half nut lever and the proper method to change speeds and feeds is imperative knowledge. Each manufacturer of lathes has unique methods of implementing lathe controls. It is the job of the machinist to become familiar with each particular set of lathe controls.
  • Single Point Threading: Single point threading is one of the fundamental skill sets needed to operate a lathe. The machinist must be familiar with thread angles, helix angles, thread pitch diameter, lead and different families of thread forms. Proper alignment of the threading tool as well as proper location of the compound rest are essential setup steps needed to turn threads with a single point tool. A machinist must be able to calculate the proper infeed to prevent the thread from either being cut too deep or too shallow.
  • Tapping, Fits, and Allowances: The turning process is often used to size shafts and holes for certain fits. Knowledge of the definitions of a fit and an allowance is essential prior to machining. The machinist should have a basic knowledge of the types of fits and be able to reference the Machinery’s Handbook to determine the size of each component. Planning the sequence of operations is essential to prevent ruining a fit due to burrs and poor surface finish.
  • Measurement: Choosing the proper measuring instrument is an important facet of proper inspection. The best choice is dependent on the accuracy and reliability of the measuring instrument. The tolerance as well as the application will determine the choice. A machinist must also know how to read the measuring instrument properly. An example would be comparing a depth micrometer, outside micrometer and a dial indicator. Thread measurement and surface finish are also important factors when measuring features produced by the turning process.
  • Process Control: Monitoring the process with process control techniques results in quality parts and customer satisfaction. The first step in any process control endeavor is knowing when the part is accepted or rejected. Basic knowledge of process control techniques such as inspection sheets, Pareto charts, capability studies and X bar/R charts are effective means of process control. The most common method of process control, besides the inspection sheet, is SPC (statistical process control) utilizing the X bar/R chart. The machinist must understand the definition of range, mean, upper control limit, lower control limit and sample size.
  • Tooling and Lathe Setup: Many lathe applications use tooling with carbide inserts. However, some lathe applications use high-speed steel tools that must be ground to the desired shape. The machinist should know the proper sequence for grinding the surfaces of the lathe tool applying the proper rake angles. Knowledge of the various methods of aligning the lathe centers and the degree if accuracy of each method depends on the tolerance of the work piece dimensions. Proper setups for facing and compound rest fundamentals are other essential skill sets included in this area.
  • Layout Procedures: Layout is the initial step in any machining process. Understanding the concepts and proper utilization of semi-precision and precision layout techniques is important for every machinist. The machinist should know the function of a scriber and the types of layout instruments used with surface plates.

  1. Shop Safety
  2. Mills
  3. Milling and Squaring
  4. Locating and Drilling
  5. Counter Boring
  6. Channels, Slots, and Key Ways
  7. Grinders
  8. Surface Grinding

6" pocket rule, safety glasses, shop towels, calculator, note pad, and pencil
Precision Machining Technology, 2nd edition (ISBN: 9781285444543)

See bookstore website for current book(s) at

Student will be evaluated on the following:
Tests and Quizzes
Workplace Ethics (attendance, tardiness, class contribution, classroom etiquette, safety)


93-100% = A
86-92% = B
79-85% = C
70-78% = D


Membership in the DACC community brings both rights and responsibility. As a student at DACC, you are expected to exhibit conduct compatible with the educational mission of the College. Academic dishonesty, including but not limited to, cheating and plagiarism, is not tolerated. A DACC student is also required to abide by the acceptable use policies of copyright and peer-to-peer file sharing. It is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with and adhere to the Student Code of Conduct as contained in the DACC Student Handbook. The Student Handbook is available in the Information Office in Vermilion Hall and online at:

Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Testing & Academic Services Center at 217-443-8708 (TTY 217-443-8701) or stop by Cannon Hall Room 103. Please speak with your instructor privately to discuss your specific accommodation needs in this course.

Fall 2019

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