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  • manual rotary table

    I am in the market for a rotary table. I have two milling machines. One is a Bridgeport vertical machine with a 9"x32" table and the other is a Cincinnati horizontal machine with a 12"x52" table. My question is; What size rotary table would serve me best and why?

    BTW .... I am thinking a 12" rotary table.

    Thanks for any help

    Mule
    Last edited by confederatemule; 02-27-2015, 08:10 AM.

  • #2
    It depends on what your needs are. I have an 8" RT. With the chuck mounted to it it's a bit heavy to lift and set down on the table. When I set it on the mills table I set it on a piece of 1/4" plywood so I don't ding the table up. Then I carefully slide the plywood out from under it. So far I haven't found the need for a larger one. But the bigger you go the heavier they get!!!! Something to keep in mind.

    JL...............

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    • #3
      As large as will fit...except as Joe points out, they tend to get heavy. I've got a 9" H/V rotary table that weighs about 60 or 70 pounds. I wouldn't want to have to sling around anything much heavier, and 9" has met my needs. It would be nice to have more space for clamps, etc., however. If you can manage a 12" rotary table, go for it, but be sure you have a way of moving it around. A 12" Troyke rotary table is somewhere around 180 pounds. I have thought of rigging some kind of overhead trolley to make moving mine easier.
      Last edited by SGW; 02-27-2015, 08:34 AM.
      ----------
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      • #4
        The 12 " we have at school just about requires two people to move it.
        ...lew...

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        • #5
          I'm very interested in this discussion. I have a Jet JMD-18. My rotary table is an Enco 6" dividing head that rotates from horizontal to vertical. The vulnerability of smaller RT's is rigidity during cut. On a few occasions, I have had minor rotation during the cut, and it's difficult to re-set the point of origin after that.

          If you have a shop crane, and the room to use it near your mill, the sky's the limit. 20" chuck? No problem. If you're lifting by hand, well ...

          Read your tool catalogs. Most give weights. JL is right. The bigger, the heavier, rising exponentially. Page 432, Enco catalog, 8" - 83 lbs. 10" - 118 lbs. 12" - 199 lbs. If you are built like Conan the Barbarian, no problem. But, you also have to develop a lift strategy that won't damage it. Will the T-slots handle bars inserted with a chain that the shop crane can hook onto?

          I, too, am contemplating an 8" table. Still, 83 lbs dead lift ... My 100 year old L.W. Chuck 6" vise is about 60 lbs. I'm no weakling, but it's a challenge.

          (big grin) I'm also an amateur photographer. In the photography hobby we have a term, G.A.S. Gear Acquisition Syndrome. I gotta have it because I think I need it. If it almost never gets used after that, you were bit by G.A.S.

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          • #6
            I have a 15 inch Bridgeport rotary table. The room is nice, but after lifting it a couple of times I built a bridge crane. Actually two of us put it on a rolling table then I would roll it up to the mill and match table height. When the height matched I would slide it onto the mill. It is even heavier when the right angle attachment is installed.

            So my thoughts are, get the largest one you can afford and have a means of moving.

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            • #7
              EGAD! 15"? What does that hoss WEIGH? On Enco's catalog, a 16" weighs 350 lbs. And how big of a mill do you mount it on?

              I saw an ad on Kitmondo for a CNC mill in Sweden. Three stories tall. Customer to move. Was making parts for cruise ships.

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              • #8
                Thanks, y'all. I'd like to hear more, but, the subject may be covered.

                I no longer have any strength compared to 30 years go. I do have a boom type engine lift. I also have an "A" frame type engine lift, on wheels, that I can't get to the bridgeport mill, but I can get it to the Cincinnati no3 horizontal mill. I do have the ability to build something permanent with a boom that will accommodate both machines. [that sounds like a good idea.]

                Now. What can I afford??

                Then there is that always present; "BUT !! ...."

                Mule

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by confederatemule View Post
                  I am in the market for a rotary table. I have two milling machines. One is a Bridgeport vertical machine with a 9"x32" table and the other is a Cincinnati horizontal machine with a 12"x52" table. My question is; What size rotary table would serve me best and why?

                  BTW .... I am thinking a 12" rotary table.

                  Thanks for any help

                  Mule
                  Without knowing what your needs are, don't know what serves best. Usually bigger is better for R/T's, BUT as everyone says, more weight. ISTR a B'port has a 500# max loading, and bigger also eats Z.
                  You could likely put the Bismarck on the Cinci.

                  If you have a column handy, consider a jib. With a cart you can move to whatever is out of radius. Some people use the B'port for the column.

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                  • #10
                    I have no idea what my needs are. One of my first thoughts are to cut a circle about 16" in diameter out of 1/4" plate. Then again I am sure I will want to make something relatively small.

                    Ah-Ha. Never thought of "overloading" the mill. I can see where that could be a major factor.

                    Mule

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                    • #11
                      Sort of funny, I have a big rotary, I think it's more than 12", got burgled they only managed to get it to the door and gave up, then unbolted a 10" off the mill and stole that instead, I now wish the 10 was heavier!
                      I found a big old dividing head in a hedge!, also about 200lbs
                      Get as big as you can!
                      Mark

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                      • #12
                        You will not "overload" the table with a 12" RT .

                        A Troyke RT ( The best, in my experience) will handle 800 pounds (part weight )
                        This I learned from them personally years ago.
                        The BP Knee will handle it too. You just do not want to put such a large weight on the mill (1 K lbs)
                        and then move the table to the extremes, as that WILL put a great load the ways of the mill.
                        Realize that Bridgeport themselves sold a huge number of 12" RT's that were designed for their mills.
                        I have a 9 x 32 BP and I use 6", 8" and 12" rotary tables on it.
                        like others, I put a trolley in for the 12". No Lifting needed.
                        Put Eyebolts in the T nuts , hook the trolley in and then lower the table, and move the RT away
                        I have machined 3/4 thick Stainless 15 inch OD on my table with no problems.
                        Swapped the handle with a pulley and mounted a Bodine DC motor to the mill table and did power rotary milling for circle generation- no sweat.

                        Realize this : a 12" RT will mill a 2 ounce part, but a 6 inch RT will not mill a 30 pound part !
                        As when a friend who does off road racing tried to open up his transmission case for bigger bearings found out, and brought the job to me.

                        Rich
                        Green Bay, WI

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by confederatemule View Post
                          Thanks, y'all. I'd like to hear more, but, the subject may be covered.

                          I no longer have any strength compared to 30 years go. I do have a boom type engine lift. I also have an "A" frame type engine lift, on wheels, that I can't get to the bridgeport mill, but I can get it to the Cincinnati no3 horizontal mill. I do have the ability to build something permanent with a boom that will accommodate both machines. [that sounds like a good idea.]

                          Now. What can I afford??

                          Then there is that always present; "BUT !! ...."

                          Mule
                          Cabin Fever Expo coming up FAST. York, PA. April 10-12. There are vendors and auctions. Never can tell what's available. May get something for less than 1/3 of the new price. BUT, there are some vendors who are real proud of their wares. Know the prices. Check out www.kitmondo.com.

                          I'm going to the expo looking for a 3" or 4" RT. Last year, I bought a benchtop horizontal mill. Talk about Z axis rationing! If I don't find anything at the expo, I may have to make a 3" with 40:1. That way, I can downscale the parts from my Enco head, and use the same chart.

                          Oh, if only I had room for a Kearney and Trecker horizontal mill. Something in the 3,000 lb to 4,000 lb range. But, (heavy sigh) no room.
                          Last edited by John Buffum; 02-27-2015, 11:08 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Mule, like Rich C. says, having the R/T out toward the edges puts a strain on things, and will distort Z alignment even if it holds the weight.
                            Brought up the issue of overload because of a job with a 12" R/T and work where I knew it was too much weight. Rigged up a "floating" counter balance using the shop crane.

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                            • #15
                              keep in mind that they don't show up all that often, but from my experience and in my area, (used) larger tables don't cost any more than the smaller ones do. i've seen 12" ones on craigslist in the ~$200+ range, and sometimes they sit around for a few weeks. if a 6" or 8" shows up, it's for the same amount and usually sold fast. like most everything else machinery related many people can't fit it, so the smaller ones are often more expensive, or at least in more demand.

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