View Full Version : Off-the-shelf kit for motorizing 8" rotary table?

10-26-2013, 08:25 PM
Somehow, I often end up using my mill/drill like a vertical turret lathe :) That is, turning down excessively large OD pieces with a milling cutter. Does that make it a mill/lathe? In any case, I am just plain worn out tonight. I have been cranking that darned 8" rotary table of mine, and it is giving me hand cramps! Does anyone know of a simple attachment to power the feed? I found a video of someone driving their table with a simple hand drill. I might go that route unless someone has a better solution. I saw that Tormach makes a 4th axis bolt-on kit for my RT (Phase II). I don't need CNC, though, and don't have any controlling software to attach it to. I'm just longing for a simple motor attachment with a potentiometer like I have on my X-axis. Does such a thing exist?
http://i771.photobucket.com/albums/xx357/Arrak_Thumrs/Widgets/DSCN7652_zpsb3e78370.jpg (http://s771.photobucket.com/user/Arrak_Thumrs/media/Widgets/DSCN7652_zpsb3e78370.jpg.html)

10-26-2013, 09:04 PM
I use my Ryobi variable speed drill motor to turn the RT for long periods. I also use it as a poor man's drive for making tapers on my lath with the compound slide. I can't turn that dinky little wheel smoothly without the drill. The drill will hold speed quite well. But to answer your question, I've seen kits for RT conversions but I'm building one from scratch. Give Google a try.

10-26-2013, 09:16 PM

While I throughly read your post and acknowledge your lack of need for a CNC approach, maybe a dedicated Arduino (or equivalent) might be a viable approach. A simple continuous stepping option in concert with other division increment stepping might be far more desirable in the end? A thought......

Rich Carlstedt
10-26-2013, 10:25 PM
Get a 1/8 HP Bodine Gearhead motor and mount it on a plate.
Remove the RT handle and put a pulley on it.
Fasten the motor plate down with T bolts and keep the belt tight and away you go.
I used this setup year ago to make 12" round stainless plates on my 12" RT


10-26-2013, 11:07 PM
Yep.. what Rich says. No need for a "kit". If you want to go crazy ;) put a tiny VFD on the motor, or DC controller to suit.

brian Rupnow
10-27-2013, 09:41 AM
May sound strange--but--An excellent and inexpensive solution to what you are after can be made using the flywheel ring gear from an automobile and the mating pinion from the starter motor. This gives, I believe, about a 20:1 gear reduction. the pinion gear can be mounted to a conventional 1/4 HP motor, or even better, a variable speed motor with a speed controller. I used to have one using that particular gear train to twist 1/2" square mild steel bar into spirals for making "wrought iron" stair railing.

10-27-2013, 12:50 PM
There is a "CNC" type controller that just came up here not long ago. I ordered from www.worldofward.com and the controller was here within about a week. Added a Chinese 24v power supply and a spare stepper that I had laying around. total price was around $100CAD, and it will do degrees, divisions and continuous rotation plus a little extra, at 5 different speeds that are programmed in. Setup is easy and you don't need a computer to run it.

10-27-2013, 12:58 PM
Why not go cheap and dirty. I got a window motor from Princess auto for about $2.00 (can get 12 or 24V ones) and use that with a cheap $5.00 PWM. I use this on my mill X feed and they are surprisingly powerful, and with the PWM you can slow it to a dead crawl while it still has good torque

loose nut
10-27-2013, 03:54 PM
He's in Chicago, Princess Auto isn't much of an option.

10-27-2013, 08:14 PM
Shortly after I took this pic, I was using the R.T. and the light bulb came on. The motor is mounted on an 'L' shaped bracket, a toe clamp or 2 to fasten it to the mill table and I was in business. I tried the flat belt (auto serpentine belt spliced with a Clipper lacer) on the turned down part of the crank handle, and on the rim. Worked great both places, with more speed reduction on the rim.


It's a DC motor w/speed control, I think it's 1/8 Hp. Seems to have enough torque, but I wasn't pushing it.

Alistair Hosie
11-09-2013, 02:18 PM
You guys are brilliant. I wondered since I recently purchased a flamefast brazing station with built in fan etc and also shortly thereafter a 12 inch rotary welding table whether it might work on that .No I prefer some of your ideas keep them coming I got the whole sheebang for under a tenner gloat or what? Alistair