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  • Spindexer flip around

    I'm sure that those of you that have a spindexer are like me and you've found that the indexing wheel gets in the way for some smaller detail jobs. For a good long time I've intended to flip my own indexer around so the collet was on the end away from the indexing wheel. About a week back I was doing another little tooling job for my shaper and I wanted to use the Spindexer for making a new auto advancing wheel for the shaper. But the indexing wheel was in the way....AGAIN ! ! ! ! So that was the final straw......

    A quick CAD session later and I was back in the shop drawing in hand and hogging down a lump of 3" round bar. Nice big boy chips were coming off the Amazon sourced TCMT inserts that I was "trying out" for about 6 months now. These being used on the cheap kit of holders that I bought about 10 years ago. They original inserts were horrid things but these new ones are working well as long as I do things the way that carbide needs them to be done. This handful is a 100 thou DOC so 0.2 off the diameter. The motor was grunting deeply during this. I would like to have gone with a faster feed rate and got the chip breaker thing going but that would have dimmed the lights and stalled the motor. Still, I'm happy enough with this sort of swarf coming off a 3" bar....

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    The result of all this carving was this ring.

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    Next up was centering the indexing wheel to bore it out to fit the adapter ring. I didn't get pics of the setup because it had me going. I centered up the middle hole then started to run the lathe only to notice that the ring of indexing holes was running wobbly. So things got complicated as I had to use a dial gauge with an ID adapter and zero up the ring of holes. That ring after all being the important feature. Anyway it got done and the center was bored out and a score line marked for drilling to mount the plate to the adapter ring.

    And here's a sneak peak towards the finish.

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    Chilliwack BC, Canada

  • #2
    Next up was the pinching ring. I turned it with the center hole offset so the wall was wider to take the locking screw. Then I decided to use the rotary table to cut into the fairly heavy ring section so it would flex a little more evenly. I think it helped because when I pinch the clamping screw with the short end of the allen wrench it already pinches in the petals of the adapter ring well enough that I have a tough time making it slip. And with a little more torque it locks solid as one could wish for on something like this.

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    Oh, and the pretty useless aluminium locking screw was replaced with a steel screw and brass disc. Now I can more positively lock the quill in place and know it won't slip.

    My one regret is that I didn't make the clamping screw hole another .02 towards the inside so the thread didn't break out as you can see in the upper right pic above. There's still lots of good thread but it looks less than ideal.
    Chilliwack BC, Canada

    Comment


    • #3
      This is a nice job on a mod that all these indexers could benefit from. I have one and need to do it some day. Thanks for this which is supplying a lot of encouragement to do it.

      I have a question. The row of Vernier holes (0-9) seems to still have the original numbers. Does this work or do you need to use reversed ones: 9 for 0, 8 for 1, 7 for 2, etc? But then, you have turned both the body and the main disk with the 36 holes around so a double reversal means the original numbers on the Vernier on the base are still correct? So it seems that the rotating spindle is what is really turned around and nothing else. How did that work out?

      In any case, thanks for the post.
      Paul A.
      SE Texas

      And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
      You will find that it has discrete steps.

      Comment


      • #4
        The numbers on the plate still face towards the body as originally. I had to keep that arrangement as it turns out the holes in the plate are actually tapered to match the taper on the nose of the pin. So I could not have turned it around even if I wanted. At least not without a lot of extra work. And as you say this would have led to the vernier numbers needing to work in reverse. And that would have been FAR too much thinking to keep it all sorted. I'd rather just have to do some contorting or use a mirror (which might well be a whole other challenge ) to see the numbers.

        The way it fits on my mill has the plate numbers facing to one side anyway. It's only the shaper where the numbers will face towards the ram. And since the operator's primary place to run the shaper is on the left side so they don't get punched by the ram it's easy enough to see and use the plate and pins there as well. So there's no down side to doing the flip.

        The first job with the new setup is to make 40 notches .070 wide at 9° increments into a new indexing cog for the shaper. So I'll certainly be getting the use out of the 0-9 vernier.

        If there's some interest in this I'll doctor up the rough sketch I used just to get some dimensions and post it. Or rather I'll give the dimensions I used with *'s beside the items that each of you would need to measure and confirm. I suspect there's a little variation from batch to batch over the years.

        It's now 1:30 am and time to bed down.....
        Chilliwack BC, Canada

        Comment


        • #5
          Super excellent project.
          Makes me wonder why
          "they" never designed it
          like that from the beginning.
          And why it was just copied
          (ripped off) so many times
          without any thought of
          improving its function.
          Lots of followers that don't
          question anything and few
          leaders who do. I question
          everything. People think I
          am a dick and a non conformist.
          They are half right.

          -Doozer
          DZER

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          • #6
            Great job! Mark me down as another one that has one, that also needs to do that.

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            • #7
              Well done BCRider! A very handy tool and great mod!
              Ontario, Canada

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                Super excellent project.
                Makes me wonder why
                "they" never designed it
                like that from the beginning.
                And why it was just copied
                (ripped off) so many times
                without any thought of
                improving its function.
                Lots of followers that don't
                question anything and few
                leaders who do. I question
                everything. People think I
                am a dick and a non conformist.
                They are half right.

                -Doozer
                Very good point about this same design having been perpetuated and copied for so long without an improvement in functionality.

                Big well deserved dope-slap for the rest of us too BCR. LOL
                Thanks for the heads-up and great execution of this much needed improvement.
                Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                Location: British Columbia

                Comment


                • #9
                  Very nice solution!

                  I had a similar situation a while back for a one-time job. In that case, I didn't even need the index disks.

                  Ed

                  Last edited by ed_h; 04-13-2022, 10:55 AM.
                  For just a little more, you can do it yourself!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It's been on my project list since I saw a YouTube video from Yuchol at Woods Creek Workshop, which was in turn inspired by a project by jhe.1973 in this very forum.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Randy View Post
                      It's been on my project list since I saw a YouTube video from Yuchol at Woods Creek Workshop, which was in turn inspired by a project by jhe.1973 in this very forum.
                      That was one of the videos that I used for hints and inspiration for my version. Oxcotools' video was another. I didn't know there was a thread with a similar project on here. Not that I'm surprised. I'm clearly not the first by a long shot to have the same idea.

                      Ed_h, that's a very clever and inventive use of the two spindexers. I like it ! ! ! !
                      Chilliwack BC, Canada

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I reversed mine years ago. Tool stick out isn't nearly so much of an issue anymore. I can get right up to the collet face even with a 1/8" endmill. I never did understand why those things weren't designed that way from the start.
                        If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Those have always puzzled me.

                          They are only capable of dividing in degrees, and whole degrees at that. So while there are a lot of possible numbers of positions, there are many numbers not included in the series of possibles.

                          I get that they are a lot easier to use in some ways than dividing heads. But, because they are in degrees, for instance,16 is not included (8 is, if you want to re-position).

                          For me, having to work everything in degrees only is like being forced to use fractional inches only. ( although, apparently, everyone in the US still does that)
                          Last edited by J Tiers; 04-14-2022, 02:21 PM.
                          CNC machines only go through the motions

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                          • #14
                            These are basically a quick indexer. WAY faster than cranking a dividing head around for simple circle dividing. Same reason they have the larger indexers like Super Spacers etc. For hole patterns and simple shapes they are plenty accurate enough and a heck of a lot faster to use. One still needs a dividing head for irregular stuff and things like gears IMO though.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              In my case the spindexer came before the rotary table by about 2 years or so. And the spindexer with this flip around will be able to do things which can't be easily done on the rotary due to clearance issues. Before the flip? There was little to offer which the rotary table up on the vertical mode could not do just as well or better due to the similar access issues. But now? The spindexer has a new life ahead of it thanks to the greater clearance around the nose of the spindle.

                              And besides, there's lots of jobs where a 1° increment will be just fine. For example this one is getting 40 notches at 9° increments. I could go with less but not more. The next step down would be to 36 notches at 10°.

                              Here's the rotary with the 5" chuck fresh off the mill from making the cuts on the spindexer adapter's clamping ring. The large face diameter makes it tough to deal with small parts held close to the noses of the jaws due to the nature of the tool holder. Perhaps later on when I make a slotting tool for doing internal keyways? But for now the spindexer flip will serve me for most things.

                              .....Or....... I was just about to hit the Post button when I thought about those cheap import 5C collet chucks. One of those mounted to my table and centered up would give me a 5C option plus the nose on those is not far off in size to the flipped spindexer.... Hmmmm....... I know that they don't have a great reputation for centering but that could be trued up what with mounting to the RT table.




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                              Here is the new flipped spindexer with the blank for the new auto feed cog which will give me 40 teeth and a .004'ish inch step over compared to the original 20T and a roughly .008" stepover per notch. The positioning shown is simulating the end of something close to the deepest stroke for doing a notch. It clears where the same with the rotary would not. Another thing that this pic tells me is that I need to ditch the top mounted locking screw and go with a low mounted cross body split cotter locking setup. Those work a lot more effectively with less pressure anyway. And that would give me an additional 1/2" of free clearance over the top of the main body.

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                              Chilliwack BC, Canada

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