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Alistair Hosie
08-04-2004, 04:13 PM
I have a small milling machine my shop will be finished soon I dealy I would like to buy a rotary table, and or, a dividing head,
but will start out with just one,as there is no rush as yet.
You guys who use them all the time
(A GENERAL QUESTION NOTHING TO DO WITH MY SITUATION REALLY)other than curiosity.
If you were starting out which would you rather have looking back or perhaps a different indexing device .I would love to know.Alistair

jfsmith
08-04-2004, 04:29 PM
Alistsair,
I have 4 inch R table and a nice 8 inch R table. I use the 8 inch one on occasion and the 4 inch one not very much. But when I need them I have them.
The 8 inch one uses all of the hold downs that my mill does, while the 4 inch one needs the 6mm set from LMS.
Neither of mine are able to use all of fancy indexing stuff, some day I will buy one capable of that when I need it.


Jerry

ibewgypsie
08-04-2004, 04:41 PM
Rotary table..
I prefer the large one I have, a 16" model I have put a stepper on.

I bought a 4" RT to mount a tool post on my lathe, to turn balls.

David

Joel
08-04-2004, 04:53 PM
Unless you happen stumble across a great deal, I recommend buying tooling on an -as needed- basis. When you foresee a project that requires one or the other, you will have your answer.

If you get a rotary table, consider a horizontal/vertical type. It may reduce your need for a dividing head. Give the "super spacers" a look as well.
A cheap spin indexer can be a simple solution to many basic indexing situations, as can an inexpensive pair of collet blocks.

Rustybolt
08-04-2004, 04:58 PM
I was faced with the same dilemma. I bought a horizontal/vertical eigh inch rotary table. The logic being; I could always clamp a chuck to the face of it, or make tooling to fit the center hole.

Allan Waterfall
08-04-2004, 06:26 PM
Alistair,

I've got both,the RT gets used the most.I built it from a kit.It helped me to learn a bit about machining and provided me with a useful tool.

www.lawm.freeserve.co.uk (http://www.lawm.freeserve.co.uk)

I made an adapter for my chucks, the dividing head already fits my chucks.The DH is good for silly divisions(not that I've ever done any) and indexing for hexagons etc. The RT does horizontal and vertical and is very handy for rounding things like flat bar ends.

All in all the RT is the easiest to set up and use for me.

Allan

jeastwood
08-04-2004, 06:49 PM
Unless you are doing lots of gear cutting, definitely the rotarty table. I use mine a lot, and I use it for gear cutting too. I agree, do get one that can be oriented both horizontally and vert.

Also consider what kind of clamps it will hold, and the center hole; straight bore or MT taper? Mine has just 4 radial T slots; I found making a milling plate for it with lots of threaded holes came in very useful.

SGW
08-04-2004, 07:08 PM
Horizontal/vertical rotary table, as big as is reasonable for your milling machine. If need be you can figure out the deg-min-sec values for any number of divisions -- these days, with computers, it's not that hard -- and do dividing with a rotary table, but there is no way to get rotary table capabiliity with a dividing head.

Arcane
08-04-2004, 07:53 PM
I have an 8" H/V RT and a semi-universal dividing head. Both are cheapies and the quality is reflected in the price of course but they are adequite for the level of work I do. Here`s a link to the dividing head. http://www.houseoftools.com/product.htm?pid=169903 I figured it was quite the bargain considering what it came with. If I had to choose one over the other, I think I would go with this particular dividing head. The faceplate from my 9" SB(Model A) fits it, too.

JCHannum
08-04-2004, 08:12 PM
Most of us don't use them all the time, but probably more than the swivel base for our vises.
A horizontal/vertical rotary table with tailstock would be my first choice. For most work, 8" is probably sufficient. Weight increases rapidly with size, 6"=30-40#, 8"=50-60#, 10"=80-100#, 12"=150-180#.
Rotary tables can be purchased with index plates, or they can be added to most later giving most of the functions of a dividing head.

PSD KEN
08-04-2004, 08:57 PM
I have the basic H/V, 4" rotary from LMS, great for my limited usuage.

wierdscience
08-04-2004, 09:14 PM
Alistair,I have two dividing heads,tailstocks and plates collecting dust.

I also have an 8"RT,with tailstock and dividing plates,I use it exclusivly,even for the occasional gear,much more versitle.

I would shoot for a new Vertex,or Bison maybe even a good Taiwan unit,but not China or India.

And yes a super spacer would be excellent to,they carry a chuck as standard that is removeable so it can double as a rotary table,plus dividing plates and tailstock are availible too.

WJHartson
08-04-2004, 10:30 PM
I have a small indexing head with tail stock, 8" rotary table and an 8" super spacer. Bought them in that order.

Use them in the reverse order.

If I were just starting out I would buy the rotary table with a tail stock as large as your mill will comfortably handle. As pointed out weight is a factor. The older you get the heavier they get, don't know why.

Joe

Excitable Boy
08-05-2004, 12:03 AM
Great thread as I've had the same questions. Sounds like Alastair and I have something in common as I have been kind of looking for one or the other to make sure I have it when I need it instead of waiting till I need it to find one. It sounds like an 8" H/V will probably fill my needs best. Now to keep an eye out for the right deal...

John

------------------
Pursue Excellence and the rest will follow.

Paul Alciatore
08-05-2004, 12:05 AM
I won't advise on which to buy but I did discover one very handy feature on my rotary table. The center hole is a 3MT and that matches my SB 9 lathe. It is very handy to be able to buy a unhardened center or Jacobs adapter and turn it to the shape needed for a job. I made one with a 9/16" stud and drilled and reamed the inside out to 0.4". I can use the inner bore with a standard edge finder to center the table under the spindle and the outer diameter to instantly center work with a 9/16" center hole. So the tip is to match the center bore to your lathe spindle if you can.

Paul A.

Alistair Hosie
08-05-2004, 03:53 AM
Ok boys where does this fit into the equation? look at this ebay is this a good idea better than or not worth whil you see I think this is a slick idea but hey thta's only me http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif Alistair.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=633&item=3819823643

Alistair Hosie
08-05-2004, 03:54 AM
Ok boys where does this fit into the equation? look at this ebay is this a good idea better than or not worth whil you see I think this is a slick idea but hey thta's only me http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif Alistair.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=633&item=3819823643

Alistair Hosie
08-05-2004, 03:54 AM
Ok boys where does this fit into the equation? look at this ebay is this a good idea better than or not worth whil you see I think this is a slick idea but hey thta's only me http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif Alistair.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=633&item=3819823643

John Stevenson
08-05-2004, 04:09 AM
You only need to buy one,
three's going it a bit too much

Mike W
08-05-2004, 04:10 AM
Alistair, are there three of you? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Alistair Hosie
08-05-2004, 04:20 AM
John I think your wearing your overhead projector glasses again ,I only wrote once dont know what happened there http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif Alistair

Allan Waterfall
08-05-2004, 04:34 AM
Alistair,

Another chuck or three is always handy http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Allan

Alistair Hosie
08-05-2004, 04:36 AM
OH hell why not make it four http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif after all I have four eyes http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif Alistair

Mike W
08-05-2004, 04:44 AM
Yeah, so do I. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Mike W
08-05-2004, 04:46 AM
It's 2 am in Kalifornia. You guys must be awake over there. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Alistair Hosie
08-05-2004, 04:53 AM
10.06 am here buddy http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif Alistair

Allan Waterfall
08-05-2004, 05:01 AM
Alistair,
Shouldn't you be doing some painting. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

JCHannum
08-05-2004, 07:33 AM
That item is a super spacer. It will index 24 positions, and can be manually set at any position. It is faster than a rotary table for simple indexing to 24 positions, but not as accurate or flexible for other operations. It also lacks a tailstock.
I believe Vertex is Chinese, similar to Phase II.
Is there an echo here?

John Stevenson
08-05-2004, 07:38 AM
Vertex is Taiwanese and one of the better quality manufacturers.
They do some very nice high $$$ CNC dividing heads.

John S.

Michael Az
08-05-2004, 09:24 AM
Alistar, I don't think that item is set up with a worm gear and crank so it would lack the feature to mill a radius. I think you need a rotary table and indexing head both.
Michael

lynnl
08-05-2004, 03:06 PM
Alistair wants one for each of his pattern vises.