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Rotary Tables/Indexers

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  • Rotary Tables/Indexers

    I am anticipating the purchase of a rotary table/chuck for use on a Jet mil/drill. I understand the use of the rotary table but I am very confused by the terms "spacers and super spacers" refered to in various catalogs. Could someone explain to me what they are (what they do or don't do ) as compared to the standard rotary table ? I have no plans or desire to cut gears.
    Also would a 8 inch table be overkill for a mill/drill?

    [This message has been edited by David Miller (edited 04-23-2002).]

  • #2
    A spacer is lever operated to a preset number of stops for idexing (holes ect) it does not give the fine feed for cutting radius or degrees.



    • #3
      Pretty much what jcurrell said: a spacer has a circle of holes (typically 24, 30, or 36) and an index pin. A 24-hole circle would let you do 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, and 24 divisions. That in fact covers a large percentage of indexing requirements. But, it doesn't allow for any divisions other than what is given by the particular circle of holes being used, or the option of cutting while turning. You don't plan to cut gears, but you may well come across a situation where the ability to cut a radius by turning the rotary table will be useful.

      Personally, I'd go with the rotary table, as offering greater capability.

      As far as size: buy the biggest you can plausibly fit onto your mill table. I've got a 9", but after you put the work on the table you also need room for clamps, and I frequently wish I had more space. 8" may be about the right size for a mill/drill, but when you use it I bet you'll sometimes wish it were larger. Capability can be extened by putting on a larger diameter sacrificial top plate into which you can drill/tap for hold-downs.

      Oh -- a horizontal/vertical rotary table is good to have. Sometimes the vertical orientation is more convenient.
      Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
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      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


      • #4
        Know of any good import R-tables? Or are they all the same? I heard some bad things about Phase 2 tables. I was thinking of getting one for my RF 45. Don't know what size will work for me, 8" or 10"??



        • #5
          An 8" Phase II was way to big for my Mill-Drill, I sent it back at my expense, ouch!

          Purchased instead the Phase II Indexer, for $170. Was not quite the quality casting and paint I expected, they are now Made in China instead of Taiwan. But it works fine and the machining was ok. B.G.
          Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician


          • #6
            I bought a 4" import from Machine Discount Club for $133, should be OK if not used too much, came with dividing plates


            • #7
              I have a 6" Vertex horv/vert 90:1 ratio MT#2 hole. The plates and indexer are normally sold as a set separate from the table. Once you stop laughing at the "chinglish" manual (nice pictures, no explanations) - you are on your own. Damn nice table for the money. Only 3-4" thick. Man sized crank.

              A super spacer is an indexer with quick index features of the spacers and worm geardrive for dividing. The usually come with a face mount chuck and these can be removed and replaced with a faceplate (usually extra). Bison makes the best low priced unit, great chuck, optional faceplate.

              [This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 04-24-2002).]


              • #8
                Be wary of some import R/tables!

                I bought one such 'cheapy' complete with dividing plates, worm disengagement, six slot table, low overall height, etc,. Nice finish - looked good with the exception of the table locks (nasty hinged flat plate locking bolts). Replaced these with a home spun (well turned!) lock bolts. Onto the first job and as soon as I clamped th job to the table, the table went solid!! - the table had distorted so bad it was immovable. Made a sacrificial top plate - lightly bolted this in as many places as possible (so that's why it has 6 slots!) - mounted the job onto the top plate and commenced makin' swarf...... Promptly only to scrap the first job as the dividing plates were based on a 40:1 ratio (dividing head system ?) and not on a 72:1 ratio that the table was fitted with!!!!! DOOOHHH

                I thought that some day I might motorise it and put a garden statue on it, might look good on the patio. The whole thing was crap with a capital S!