View Full Version : Setting up a mill/drill for rotary table full time

Sandy H
11-15-2004, 09:56 PM
I am nearing the completion of the cleaning/fixing (I hope. . . ) stage on my round ram Bridgeport and decided I would keep my mill/drill, as it is worth more to me than the market. I have tentatively decided to dedicate it to rotary table work, as that would seem to be more in-line with its limitations (i.e. no knee) and would keep me using it and not always switching vises/clamps etc on the BP.

One task I see myself doing a handful of times in the next month or two is adding simple 90-deg radiuses to the corners of aluminum panels. I am building some enclosures and the work is just for appearance, not precision.

Would a good plan for accomplishing an easy set-up be:

1) Index the rotary table in to the quill, bolt a 1/2" aluminum jig plate down and drill /ream a center index hole. I can then use a drill blank to find center quickly again if I flub up and miscount the 0's on the dials. Is there a better plan to keep dead center quickly?

2) Drill/ream holes for 3 dowel pins to be used for locating the plates quickly. I would have 3 different dowels for each radius I chose to cut (probably 1/4"-3/4" in 1/4" increments).

3) Drill and tap the jig plate for studs/clamps to hold the plate in place.

4) Toss the plate to be cut up against the correct set of dowels, clamp, bring the table off center the radius desired and cut 90 deg.

It has been a while since I've used the rotary table and in the past, I found that I usually ended up making a jig plate for each project, even if it was just a 1 or 2 piece run. I had trouble being consistent when indicating in parts for multiple cuts and the jig plates seemed to cure that.

Any suggestions, comments or general thoughts about radiusing the corners of plates would be appreciated.