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Rotary table suggestions for mini-mill?

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  • Rotary table suggestions for mini-mill?


    [This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 03-19-2004).]

  • #2
    I'm certainly pleased with the Sherline R/T I have. Sure, it's small, but I've been able to cope with that. For instance, I make quite a few pieces for my winch drums which are six inches or more in diameter. It's hard to see the index mark for the scale on the handwheel, so I made a second mark on the side of the base. Since I rarely use fractional angles, making the correction in reading the scale is easy.

    The biggest problem is running out of room to use the hold-down clamps. I've been thinking of making some "outriggers" to fit in the T-slots so I can put the clamps a little further out.

    The other thing I have is a piece of 3/8-16 bolt which is tapped 10/32 and has a slot on the end. I can put this in the center hole of the R/T to hold parts which don't have a large hole in the center.

    The Sherline R/T and the sine plate make a good combination. I'd recommend buying both. You'll probably still find them useful if you move to a larger mill.

    Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.


    • #3
      I bought the kit on the second link. I am happy with it - though it is rough like most Chicom tools. It works fine for me. 5" would be nice - but I haven't seen one. I have no connection with this vendor but he has done well for me.


      • #4

        I hit the same problem as you on a slightly larger scale, wanted to use a 8" R/T but needed a 6" for clearance reasons. I made some outrigger clamps by making a long T-Nut (about 2" long), threading a suitable hole close to one end, and another hole slightly in from the other end of the T nut (to allow room for a clamp support), and by using a grubscrew in the inner end of the nut against the table T slot (as a Mitee Bite), this clamped the whole of the nut allowing me to bolt into the overhung outer part. Worked well, and into the bargain they can be used as regular T nuts.



        • #5
          I've got a 4" (from
          It works fine. I understand and agree with the need for a bigger work surface sometimes, but that needn't translate to a bigger RT. I plan to build a 5" diam. plate, basically a milling plate, that will mount via the T slots, and have a pattern of 10-32 tapped holes in it for clamping. This is a pretty quick and easy project, and much cheaper (and MUCH, MUCH lighter) than a 6" table.

          I don't think the extra diameter will block reading of the degree markings on the handwheel; if you wanted to try an even larger milling plate, you could elevate it a bit to make the degree marking around the RT, and the handwheel, more accessible.


          • #6
            I bought a used, but good condition 4 Inch RT. I found a round plate that fits around the table, it bronze, I found it at truck refiting yard. Eventualy I mill it and do what ever to make it work for me.

            5 inch is areally nice size for me also. Can we get a company to run off a bunch of them??



            • #7
              I just bought the *Precision* R/T from Lil. Mach. Shop, supposed to be same as Phase II.
              One vender advised against the 6". for the mini-mill.


              • #8
                On the a mini-mill, you will have two things working against you. If you go with a table with a more usable diameter for clamping (like 6"), it will eat into your vertical room also. You might want to go with the lowest profile RT (small diameter too) and then extend the working area with a tooling plate, attached to the table using the t-nuts and countersunk bolts. The tooling plate would then have an array of tapped holes for clamping. You can also put an extension on the handwheel shaft to get it out from under the tooling plate.

                Of the small RT's, the Sherline looks very nice, and is the most compact.

                Just a thought,

                OH! I just noticed jeastwood's reply above. Yeah, what he said! Jeff

                [This message has been edited by mendoje (edited 12-12-2003).]


                • #9
                  Dan Emco's R/T is only about 1" high, but it is damn expensive. I use a Vertex 6" and am very happy with it. It is one of the few tables out there with a 90:1 ratio. I would have preferred a Mecca but not for what they want for one.

                  Bison make a really nice 8" superspacer that you can take the faceplate off and directly mount a chuck ($1600 complete CDN$)


                  • #10
                    I noticed Sherline has one with stepper for $370... Not really that bad of a price considering it took me all day to mount a stepper on my indexer.



                    • #11
                      For those of you who want a 5" rotary table, well...sounds like a project. That way you get to design it to your own specs, and I'm sure you all need more projects - right?!!