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Thread: Dividing or Indexing head

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    1,122

    Default Dividing or Indexing head

    Updated posting:

    I need some help for those in the know. I've never used either a dividing or indexing head so I know very little about them. I need to buy one for my old Bridgeport and would rather buy used. I simply don't know 'specifically' what to look for and what sort of questions to ask of the seller. I have a 12" Bison RT if that helps.

    https://pbase.com/smokedaddy/image/40371536

    The picture of that Bison RT is several years old. I want to be able to mill grooves etc. in dials, handles, knobs etc. I would also like the ability to make gears and experiment with
    Last edited by Smokedaddy; 08-02-2019 at 04:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Atascosa County, Texas
    Posts
    8,168

    Default

    That RT looks unused. What would you make with a dividing head? In other words, why do you need a DH?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kansas City area
    Posts
    5,696

    Default

    The rotary table can be used as a dividing head. It depends on what project you need one for. A spindex would be an inexpensive way to get an indexer, if that would fit your needs. One with a matching tailstock will give you more options.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Green Bay, WI
    Posts
    3,585

    Default

    "Indexers" are usually parallel to the table , whereas most DH's can be angled from Horizontal to vertical .
    Having a tailstock helps if you do long work ( more than 3-4" )
    Most important probably is the spindle :
    Does it have threads to match one of your chucks ( 1 1/2"-8 for example)
    Does it allow 5 C collets ( most common)- if not, what collets (some are rare ! ie B &S 9) and do collets come with it.
    Rich

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Kelowna BC
    Posts
    2,567

    Default

    Tricky complicated work , gears splines etc use a dividing head.
    Repetitive production work like drilling or milling , get an indexer..
    If your RT is horizontal and vertical, that can get you through a lot of stuff, hope the worm can be disengaged on the RT... if it cant...it will be a lot of extra work.. to use it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    749

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 754 View Post
    Tricky complicated work , gears splines etc use a dividing head.
    Repetitive production work like drilling or milling , get an indexer.
    Dividing heads (usually) have direct indexing modes that allow very fast operation in "repetitive production work."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Somerset UK
    Posts
    2,448

    Default

    A rotary table can do everything that a dividing head can do, but not vice versa. Dividing and indexing heads are intended for repetitive production types of work, they are for saving time and money. I had to produce a dial with 118 divisions per turn, and used degrees and minutes of arc on a rotary table to do it, very likely the only mechanical solution available to me.
    Even if the RT does not have a vertical axis built in, it could possibly be attached to a large angle plate or box.
    Last edited by old mart; 08-02-2019 at 03:36 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Edmonton Alberta
    Posts
    1,591

    Default

    These are pics of my Tos Kurim Indexer or is it called super spacer ,I have tailstock to match it as well.I have matching 12" RT which both are designed to be powered.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Ashburton, near Christchurch New Zealand
    Posts
    6,717

    Default

    I bought both a DH and RT when I set up my retirement workshop and I must say I use the DH by preference, however sometimes the RT is just the perfect fit..



    Milling a wooden auger for a marble handling machine!
    Last edited by The Artful Bodger; 08-02-2019 at 04:51 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Calgary Alberta
    Posts
    1,132

    Default

    Tundra, I get a serious case of tool envy every time you post pictures.

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