Any type of metal lathe, whether new or using metal lathe, all come with instructions for proper use. The instructions are fairly straightforward and should be easy to follow. If the machine does not come with a set of written instructions, there are many instructional posts online for the specific brand of machine purchased.
First of all, be sure not to run the metal lathe cold. Heat it up starting at a speed of around 1000 rpm for ten minutes and lubricate well. Check the tools, prepare them, and make sure they are tight.
Next, locate the tool holder and insert a tool block into it. On the tool block, locate where you can place an insert cutter. Tighten that tool block as tightly as you can. All cutters have inserts that are easy to remove to allow the user to cut on a Z axis, that is, a cut that is made from left to right.
Now locate the queue. This is where the chuck will be inserted. This tail stock is used for drilling holes in metal. To precisely drill down into cuts, locate the crank at the end of the measuring device.
The fourth step is before you set your zero, zero point, stop the axis of rotation. Get a tool holder, put a 0.5 inch block between the tip of your tool and the workpiece. Tighten by sliding it in and out. now bring it towards you, this will pull the tool out on an X axis. Locate the micrometer wheel and set it to zero. Now, start moving towards the workpiece at a distance of 0.5 inches. This will now be your zero point Z.
Fifth, set your X zero point by pulling the Z-axis tool toward the axis and slide a 0.5-inch block between the tool and the workpiece. Take it past the part, set the X-axis micrometer to zero, and turn the wheel 0.5 inches away. Remember, the Z axis was made the exact same way, but that was to turn the wheel towards you.
Sixth, on the Z and X axes, remove the 0.25 tool from the workpiece. Back off a bit before restarting the axis.
Finally, bring the X axis to the desired depth. If you want to remove about 0.5 inch of the material you are working on, the material should lose 0.25 on both sides.
Note: Wear safety glasses, gloves, and other safety protections when using metal lathe machines.