View Full Version : Plz explain the difference in a Super Spacer and a Index Head

Bill in Ky
02-07-2008, 07:57 PM
In looking at a new Enco sale paper I saw what they described as a Phase II Super Spacer. It comes with plates and a tailstock. What is the difference
in this and an Index Head or Dividing head, that comes with plated and a tailstock.
Thanks guys,

02-07-2008, 08:37 PM
There are two types of spacers. Both look like a horizontal vertical rotary table, and are about the same size.

The simple Spacer one has a master plate in the rear with a number of detents in it, there are several different ones available. It is moved a notch at a time to index. Masking plates are available to limit the number of detents exposed. The main plate can have a 24 division master plate and masking plates to produce 3, 4, 6 etc indexes. The table can also be freewheeled.

The Super Spacer has this feature for rapid indexing plus the worm and worm gear of a rotary table for precision spacing of features. They usually come with index plates and sectors like a dividing head. They are very versatile and expensive.

02-08-2008, 08:27 AM
:D Short answer is no difference, it's a brand name for a generic piece of kit, like Hoover for vacuum cleaner.
Do they do a Super-Duper Spacer that has compound indexing:D

kap pullen
02-08-2008, 09:16 AM
The Super Dex is a combination of indexer, and rotary table.

The Super Spacer is a simple indexing head like the old "Hartford Heads"
of days gone by.

Both are pricey, but the Super Spacer is worth it's weight in silver if you have lots of bolt circles, or indexed slots like double keyways to do.

An index is quick, and accurate. The venier scale is also accurate for odd jobs but not so quick.

Special index plates can be easily made for special work such as bolt circles
with one hole 5 degrees off location for aircraft seal, and other specialty work (idiot proof assemblies).

These heads eliminated much layout, and calculation by the machinist until the CNC's came (at a much higher price).

Ever watch two machinists, and a machineries handbook, struggle to calculate a bolt circle? That's not an uncommon sight.


02-08-2008, 12:00 PM
:D Short answer is no difference, it's a brand name for a generic piece of kit, like Hoover for vacuum cleaner.
Do they do a Super-Duper Spacer that has compound indexing:D

That is not true, the spacer, super spacer and indexing super spacers are unique tools that include features of index heads and rotary tables and add some of their own. They differ from an index head in many respects.

They were originally made by Hartford, and now several other variations are made. They are usually fitted with a three jaw chuck, but also have a faceplate.

05-08-2011, 08:09 AM
Can division plates be ordered or purchased for 5 or and 7 divisions?? Thanx Mike

05-08-2011, 08:36 AM
Most are furnished with a 24 division master plate with masking plates for smaller increments. There are other master plates available that would give the 5 division increments, but the 7 might be problematical.


I thought I had a link to a maker of master plates and masking plates, but cannot find it. If you have a spacer handy, it is not all that difficult to make up your own master plate in any combination of increments.

05-08-2011, 08:39 AM
A super spacer is effectively a rotary table with at chuck permanently mounted. As with a rotary table, the chuck is supported all the way out to its outer diameter, so it is relatively rigid. With a dividing head everything is mounted directly on the spindle, no outer diameter support, which is much less rigid but more flexible in it range of uses. If you don't know which one to buy then buy the dividing head.


PS: A super Spacer is really about rapid indexing and heavy cuts, so it is mainly directed at commercial use.