AbstractWe present a custom built lathe designed for in operando high-energy x-ray scattering studies of the tool-chip and tool-workpiece contact zones during operation. The lathe operates at industrially relevant cutting parameters, i.e., at cutting speeds ≤400 m/min and feeds ≤0.3 mm/rev. By turning tests in carbon steel, performed at the high-energy material science beamline P07 at Petra III, DESY, Hamburg, we observe compressive strains in TiNbAlN and Al2O3/Ti(C, N) coatings on the tool flank face during machining. It is demonstrated that by the right choice of substrate and coating materials, diffraction patterns can be recorded and evaluated in operando, both from the tool-workpiece and tool-chip contacts, i.e., from the contact zones between the tool and the workpiece material on the tool flank and rake faces, respectively. We also observe that a worn tool results in higher temperature in the tool-chip contact zone compared to a new tool.