View Full Version : Rotary table setups?

12-10-2003, 11:06 AM
Okay, at the risk of getting flamed for not knowing this here goes! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif Is there someplace, a book, a site,or whatever that will show different setups on the rotary table? First off, let me say I bought the wrong size R/T, it being 6 inch with 3 T-slots. I should have held out at least for an 8 inch, with 4 T-slots, which I presume is better. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

12-10-2003, 11:19 AM
First, one isn't better than the other, just different, or bigger.
Unless you want to hold something bigger than 6" diameter, that table will work. Even if you do want to hold something bigger than that, it could be done.
For the most part, clamping to a R/T is no different than to a mill table or faceplate. The only difference might be that you will need to locate the center of the table first.
What are you trying to do? That would help in describing a set up.

12-10-2003, 12:16 PM
If the part I'm working on has a hole in the center, I make a plug with a projection to fit the center hole in the R/T and a larger (or smaller, in some cases) diameter section to fit the ID of the part I'm working on. They are made from bar stock or scrap. To keep them concentric, both important dimensions are turned without removing the piece from the lathe chuck. Some have a hole in the center so the part can be secured with one bolt.

I've got quite an inventory of these plugs, so I design the parts to use an existing plug if possible.


Rich Carlstedt
12-10-2003, 04:05 PM
Winchman has it right.
One of the most valuable things you can have for setup is a center hole that is concentric to the table roation....i say it that way, because i have found some tables that had the hole concentric to the OD and the OD was not concentric !
To solve that, take the table apart and mount it to a face plate. Indicate the rotary "ways" untill dead nuts.
These are usually a shoulder, but I have seen it to be only bushing !
Now, bore out the center to a desired size. this may be a odd ball number, like .550 but if you are doing all your own plugs, it doesn't matter. A round number is nice, but a accurate location is even better!
now make some plugs, including some with holes in them...like the .550 example, i would have bushings with .125 and .375 reamed holes..so you can have posts, or holes !

For small tables, check out the hardware store for stove bolts..they can be easily modified as T bolts fo your collection. have different heights.
make a few clamping bars (1/8 or 1/4 X 1/2) that have holes to match the T slot centers. sometimes you can span over a part with them.
hope this helps

Michael Az
12-10-2003, 07:22 PM
One thing I'm going to do to mine is build a sub table from aluminum about 1" thick with lots of holes drilled and tapped in it. This way you can also end up with a 8" or 10" table instead of a 6".

12-10-2003, 09:59 PM
Thanks guys, never even thought about using plugs...DUH! opens a lot of doors doesn't it? I hope I am not the only one that this info helps.
JC; What brought this on is, I was rounding over ends of square stock with holes, no problem, but how would you line it up if it were without holes and you just wanted to round over the end?
Again, thanks for the help, don't know what I would do without youse. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

12-10-2003, 10:20 PM
Michael, your post brings to mind the rotary tables of a customer of mine. These are probably 10 or 12 inch ones but he has subplates attached that must be 36 inches in diameter.

12-10-2003, 11:28 PM
Ditto on Rick's, and other's suggestions. I locate mu center with Blake Co-axial indicator, but it is easy enough to do with dial indicator IF the hole is truly centered. Plugs with holes are hand for set up as well. Another plug I use is faced with a slightly rounded cutter, leaving a pip on center. I locate that with a wiggler. Crude, but quick & dirty for non critical purposes.
To round the end of a square as described, it would be held in a vise clamped to the table, the center point of the diameter of the rounded end would have be marked and overhang the vise far enough to allow clearance for the milling operation. The center mark would be located with wiggler in spindle & become center of rotation. Rotate the table so long dimension is parallel with x axis if mill table. If end to be rounded is to your right, move table left far enough to clear end mill, install end mill and advance the part & rotate the table to cut to desired radius.

12-11-2003, 12:08 AM
You can mount mounting plates, other rotary tables, vises, chucks, drill chucks, hamsters - whatever to your table. Lots of good suggestions here - use your imagination.

Michael Az
12-11-2003, 12:54 AM
Here is a pic of what I did to my table. My center hole is big, I think it is 1 5/8. So I made a bushing with a light press fit to be semi perminet. Then you can make additional bushings that you may need to fit it. I also milled slots for a screwdriver for any bushing that may get stuck.