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Is this "Dividing Head" any good?

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  • Is this "Dividing Head" any good?

    I was thinking about buying a dividing head and was looking at one listed in the 2003 Enco master catalog. It's on page 141 and is model 203-4000.

    Is it worth it or is it made so badly that it's a waste of money? If anyone has one like this or has some suggestions I would sure appreciate your replies. This will be used in a home shop (hobby)........Mike

    Added Later:

    What is meant by "Simi-Universal" and "Universal" regarding this item?

    [This message has been edited by Mike Burdick (edited 02-02-2003).]

  • #2
    Well, personally, I'd never buy an Enco anything, but I may be biased....

    You might want to check the used machinery dealers who advertise in HSM (Sobel, Meridian, Plaza, etc.) to see what they might have. You may be able to get a quality used dividing head for about the same price as that import.

    You may also want to take a look at an article I wrote about building a dividing head from a lathe headstock that's scheduled to appear in the Feb/Mar issue of Machinist's Workshop. Aside from probably saving a little money, doing so can give you a dividing head with a spindle nose that exactly matches your lathe, which is handy.

    Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
    Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
    There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
    Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
    Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


    • #3
      I learned my leeson with Enco last year when I ordered multiple sets of 1-2-3 blocks for use in multiple set-ups. I really didn't mind the slight variation in sizes as that's easy enough to fix. They advertise them with five 3/8-16 tapped holes. You would think that that either the manufacture or Enco would of specified that the other drilled holes would be over 3/8". No they had to make them .365. A real PITA to open up to 3/8+ due to all of the cross holes and being hardened.
      Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.


      • #4
        You get what you pay for.

        If you don't like waht Enco sells you they'll take it back.

        I have a bunch of those 1-2-3 blocks myself and I simply ran a 3/8-16 carbide tap through them to size the holes. For $11 a pair that's hard to beat. I can't make them myself that cheap.

        I've bought a fair amount of stuff from Enco and in general been happy with the price if not quite as happy with their QA. I've sent a few things back and they promptly credited my Visa. Try the dividing head and see if you like it with the understanding you get a refund if dissatisfied. Then if you're not happy you can send it back no questions asked.

        As for the dividing head it's not a primo piece of toolroom apparatus. It's good enough for low speed gears and jaw clutches but not for work requiring close tolerence indexing.


        • #5
          Same here, I've ordered maybe $2,000 worth of stuff from them (ENCO) in a years time and don't have a problem. I've got things off eBay and learned my lesson that not all imports are the same.

          I do try to buy Made in USA items when I can, such as milling cutters and drill bits. B.G.,
          Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Fine Line Automation CNC 4x4 Router


          • #6
   doesn't sound too good! I suppose the ones listed in J&L and Travers are the same quality as Enco, only more expensive.

            Maybe someone would recommend a good one for me. I wanted one so that I could learn to make gears....Mike


            • #7
              I buy cautiously from Enco. They come out with some good sale prices and I stick to name brands. I recently bought an 8" Set-Tru Bison chuck that is great and you couldn't beat the price.



              • #8
                Regarding the second part of your query, I'm no expert on the subject, but I gather that the difference between a universal and a semi-universal dividing head is that the former can do differential indexing and spiral milling while the latter can't.

                The universal dividing head has an input shaft for rotating the index plate which may be externally driven (e.g. for spiral cutting) or driven by a set of change gears from the spindle to effect differential indexing.
                Don Kinzer
                Portland, OR


                • #9
                  Very good explaination. Also the universal, because of the differential gearing can do all divisions as opposed to the semi-universal that would require more index plates and/or special indexing methods.

                  The universal heads were used with horizontal mills to create drills, spiral reamers, endmills and lots of other amazing operations that today would require CNC machines or a crusty master machinist on an old mill!

                  SpinDoctor, Forrest

                  Had the same problem with B&S Ultra Precison 1-2-3 block set - CRAP (Nice storage box though!)