View Full Version : Lathe indexer done...almost!

03-24-2005, 12:04 AM
Still have to add a disk brake (thats why the long bolt is sticking out) and I may add a spring loaded lever to pop the pin out. I'll probably need more combinations of holes but these will do fine for now. The plate is all setup to pop onto the rotary table without much setup to drill extra holes.
Oh ya...Thrud...if you see this you will notice that, as promised I never welded a thing on this http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif
I nearly have a lot of hubs made that need different numbers of holes in them so this will be put to use this weekend.

[This message has been edited by torker (edited 03-23-2005).]

03-24-2005, 03:04 AM
Russ, looks very good and I'm sure it will prove useful.


03-24-2005, 03:19 AM
That looks great! Pardon my ignorance, but -- how does it work? It looks like it keeps the spindle from rotating -- but then how is cutting performed?


Jim Caudill
03-24-2005, 03:44 AM
That is correct, the spindle does not turn; it just positions the work in the chuck so that some other operation can be carried out. For example, he could have a live tool such as a drill that would mount to the tool post and allow him to cross-drill in the turned part. He could also put a scribe / engraving tool in the toolpost holder and scribe some reference marks - sort of like making your own handwheel "dials". He may also want to use a live milling attachment and machine a keyway, flat, or splines. Just a few thoughts.

03-24-2005, 07:56 AM
That's good work. I recently finished a similar project, however, I used a piece of aluminum scrap as my index plate, bolted to the back of my three-jaw. I drilled two rows of holes along the side of the aluminum disk - one row of 24 holes and another of 100 holes. The 100 holes were for the purpose of making larger micrometer dials for my Atlas shaper (finished that project last week). One of these days I'll get a digital camera so I can show some pictures.

03-24-2005, 08:49 AM
Thanks guys. Yes that is what it's for. I have a small 1/2 hp drill that mounts in the toolpost. This'll be used for drilling bolt patterns etc. Quick and easy. The common bolt patterns are very easy to find because it doesn't have 4 million holes in it. So far I have 3,10 and 24 divisions. This covers most of what I do except for the weird BP that roots blowers use (one offset hole, five in a regular pattern).

04-19-2005, 08:51 PM
For you guys who asked....heres a few pics of this at work....
Here it is center drilling the bolt pattern
Drilling the holes
Well looky there Martha!!! A perfect bolt circle, quick and easy!
This is a 6 1/2" dia outer hub for the airboat project I'm doing for a guy.
This thing is sooo slick. I really don't want to sell the ol' SB...it's too darn handy!

Mike Burdick
04-19-2005, 09:33 PM

I wouldn’t sell the 9” South Bend! Think about – all you’ll get is money for it and what’s that worth.

By the way, the drill press in the picture looks like it would be handy. Does it fit on the ways? Hmm…I think I’ll make one! Would you mind taking a couple of pictures of it so we can see how it’s made?



04-19-2005, 09:33 PM
Then don't sell it http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif
Nice work!

04-19-2005, 10:07 PM
Mike...the press fits on the cross slide. It doubles as a tool post grinder. I made my mount swivel so I can use it to grind angles also. Have to use the quill for feed but it points up dead centers really fast.
This is Evans invention! Made from a $49 drill press. He posted a bunch of info how to build it some time ago. I'll see if i can find the post.
hoffman...I hear you also! Just wish I had more room is all. I've almost made up my mind not to sell the ol' girl now. This ol' thing is about the most accurate lathe I've ever run. Only thing is...I bet I can easily get $1800 for it. Ha...then I'd have to spend $1800 to buy a new 9X18 import for doing small stuff! Sheesh....life is cruel! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

04-19-2005, 10:38 PM
Mike...I couldn't find Evans post. Too bad...he had some good pics as he built it.
I just ran down and took a few
I'm sure Evan will see this and could repost (hint, hint)
BTW....this has a post in the bottom of it just like the compound. Pop out the compound, set this in and tighten up the setscrews.

[This message has been edited by torker (edited 04-19-2005).]

04-19-2005, 10:45 PM
Looks like a Harbour Freight drill press exploded! Man, that's mighty clever... Friggin' genious...

Deep Sea Tool Salvage

04-19-2005, 10:47 PM
Looks good to me,you need to paint it green thou http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

04-20-2005, 01:01 AM
Here is the thread with the converted drill press:

04-20-2005, 01:02 AM
Hahaha...I agree! Green with a side of poggy! (I like that word...can ya tell?)
Hoffman...it's probably the same drill press. Canadian Tire (our HF) sells these for $49 CND on sale all the time.
Was a lot of fun...buy new drill press....cut new drill press in half with a hacksaw...throw away 50% of new drill press!
Guy at the dump looked at me real funny! Threw out the new box and a bunch of brand new drill press parts went flying beside him. Bet he's still talkin about the "bloody idiot" he saw at the dump! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

04-20-2005, 02:26 AM
torker, I made an indexer just like that(but outboard on the spindle) for making splines 36" long in a mazak lathe(used as a horz. shaper), it worked great, it also works as a fixture in many other type jobs being 10 deg.

the ring has had more holes added and is one killer unit to have in the shop and will work in any mill or lathe.(splines done on a horz. mill)

That ring with holes will do much more now it is done, we still have bushing for a bunch of sizes for the fixure.

once a fixture is made it will do many jobs.

spline guys like 9,11,13,17,21,23,27,31,,,,
any prime number to make it harder.

[This message has been edited by tattoomike68 (edited 04-20-2005).]

Mike Burdick
04-20-2005, 03:16 AM

Thanks for taking the pictures - you went to a lot of trouble for me and I appreciate it very much! Two good ideas in one picture - now that conserving band width! Sorry I missed Evan’s post regarding his idea – somehow it slipped by me.


[This message has been edited by Mike Burdick (edited 04-20-2005).]

04-20-2005, 09:08 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Mike Burdick:

Thanks for taking the pictures - you went to a lot of trouble for me and I appreciate it very much!</font>
Ummm, Mike....I was only returning a favour! Guess you forgot all the info you sent me about the thread dial!

04-20-2005, 10:18 AM
I'll put my pics back on later but Russ's pics pretty well explain it just as well.

Spin Doctor
04-20-2005, 11:40 AM
While it might not be the way I would do the index system (but there are more than one way to skin a cat, even a Wisconsin feral one http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif ) the idea of using the small drill press for live tooling is a very good one. Even better would be a small milling spindle

04-20-2005, 06:03 PM
Man, what a handy device! I was thinking about adapting this little 3/8" inline air drill http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=43672 to my little 8x16 lathe. Not nearly as much torque as yours but more compact and easily adaptable to smaller lathes.

You guys think it'd work for light to medium work?

04-20-2005, 06:40 PM
An air drill like that is really only for drilling aluminum with small bits. They aren't controllable enough and at low rpm have almost no torque. I have drilled more holes than I like to think of with a tool like that, all in aircraft.

04-21-2005, 08:57 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Spin Doctor:
While it might not be the way I would do the index system</font>

Spin...I looked at "The Better Ways" of building an indexer on a lathe. I agree...you could go nuts here and build a complicated system.
This is a purpose built index for drilling the common simple bolt patterns that I use.
I mainly redrill stock car axles and drill bolt circles for roots blower hubs/spacers. I had a fixture before that was attatched to the rear of the spindle. This one is much better because you don't have to move to the back of the lathe for each change.
There simply isn't enough room in behind the chuck to use anything much more complicated than what I have now.
If anyone is going to biuld one of these with the cheap chinese drill presses....
Be warned! You may want to check the spindle slop before you buy it.
Mine wasn't too bad but since I built this, I've seen many of these on display and check the spindles. Some are better than mine, some are REALLY loose!
Another thing.... I mentioned using this at an angle and using the quill for sharpening dead centers etc.
I went through all the usual precautions, covering the ways etc. but I never thought to cover the quill area on the drill press. It does get grit in there and I'm sure that is a contributing factor as to why mine is getting loose so fast. But the beautiful part of that is...now I can rebush the housing! Yes....add another job on the pile, that makes 598 and counting! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

04-21-2005, 05:25 PM
&lt;snapping fingers&gt;
Now I know what to do with that 10x24 Atlas I was about to part out!

Thanks for posting