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Dividing Head

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  • Dividing Head

    I have a Jet PDF-18 mill/drill with plans to upgrade to a Bridgeport type mill sometime in the future. I am thinking of buying a dividing head. I see there are all sizes and was wordering what size would be small enough to use on the Jet, but still be large enough to be useful on a Bridgeport? Suggestions are appreciated. JJJ

  • #2
    Depending on what work you want to do, a vertical/horizontal rotary table with dividing plates and a tailstock might be a better choice than a dividing head. Size? A 6" would give you enough room under the quill on the mill drill. An 8" will give a little more room for clamping stuff in rotary table mode -- maybe your best choice. A ten inch unit wouldn't be worth either the cost or the weight for a lot of HSM work IMO, but you'll likely want a larger table to bolt on to either a 6" or 8" unit to better support large pieces.


    • #3
      As said, depending on what you are going to do and the accuracy that you need there are several choices. If you just want to do some down and dirty dividing to make squares, hex and other shapes in the horizontal plane you might consider a spin index with a tail stock. You can use it to divide into 360 degrees with the the vernier. It does not take up much head room and with a little work can be made accurate and easy to mount. Total cost with a 3 jaw chuck is around $150 or so. I have found that you can use the spin index mounted in a 6 inch vice on a Bridgeport type machine for quick work.

      For the Mill/drill head height is small and I have found that only the smallest dividing head really fits and gives enough room to work with. I think mine is a BS-0. It has a 3 or 4 inch 3 jaw chuck.

      The vertical/horizontal rotary table with with dividing plates and tail stock is a good choice for a larger mill but will be a little confining on the mill/dill. PeteM comments are good ones. An 8" is a nice size for home shop.

      Super spacers are also nice for bolt circles and repeat shapes likes square, hex etc. when you have many to do.

      Hope this helps. Where are you located in Alabama? I am in southern Mississippi.



      • #4
        Pete and WJ thanks for the replies. The rotary table sounds like it might be my best bet. I am located about 35 miles south of MonkeyTown(Montgomery). Around here I have to buy off ebay or buy new, there is not much used machine shop equipment in south central Alabama.


        • #5
          Not much used equipment in south Mississippi either. Good luck with your purchase.