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Rotary table suggestions for Myford vertical slide

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James Fitzsimons13/10/2015 07:42:07
7 forum posts

Hi all,

I am a novice model engineer and am just getting to know my Myford Super 7. I shortly want to embark on a small IC engine project that will require a rotary table for one or two parts.

As I don't have a mill yet I will be doing any milling required on the vertical slide of my lathe, so I'm looking for suggestions for the best rotary table that will work with a Myford vertical slide (I only have a very basic non-swivelling type).

I really like the look of the Vertex 4" HV-4 but am not sure it will be able to be mounted on the vertical slide.

Thanks for any and all advice you can provide!


John Haine13/10/2015 08:53:24
2996 forum posts
160 photos

Look at RDG Tools. They have one made for the Myford slide. I doubt that the HV4 would fit as there isn't room for the clamps.

Martin Kyte13/10/2015 08:53:38
1767 forum posts
33 photos

Regarding the vertex 4" I don't think that is going to work. Way too big to even mount on the boring table.

If you are not planning a mill soon you should maybe start thinking along the lines of a verical slide mounted milling spindle and use the head-stock of the lathe as your rotary table. This would allow you to typically mill curves on con rod ends and drill PCD holes for cylinder covers and the like once you have sorted a simple dividing arrangement for the head-stock. However if you don't want to go to all that trouble an just need to round the ends of components use filing buttons instead. There are more ways of skinning a cat etc . . .

In general the less equipment you have the older the techniques you have to pursue. Find out what Model Engineers were doing in the 1950's.

regards Martin

David Clark 113/10/2015 08:54:05
3357 forum posts
112 photos
10 articles

RDG do a 3" one I think. That is about the largest that will go on a Myford.

Michael Gilligan13/10/2015 08:57:47
15423 forum posts
665 photos

Greetings, James

Others may disagree [this being a forum], but here's my opinion:

  1. The HV-4 is too big, and hefty, to use on the Myford Vertical Slide
  2. A very simple, low profile, RT may work, BUT:
  3. Consider the alternative of putting a milling spindle on the slide, and holding the work in the lathe chuck, or on e face-plate.
  4. Find a copy of the old M.A.P. book "Milling in the Lathe" [by Edgar T. Westbury] ... it's a 'gold mine' of ideas.


Edited By Michael Gilligan on 13/10/2015 09:02:44

James Fitzsimons13/10/2015 09:21:33
7 forum posts

Thanks for the advice guys!

I felt the HV-4 wasn't going to work, so am glad to have it confirmed by people far more knowledgeable than myself.

I have been tempted by the 4" table on RDG (I've purchased from them several times and the service has always been outstanding), but the shipping to New Zealand on such a heavy item is just way too much.

I think I might try this one out It's probably pretty budget quality, but for what I am hoping to achieve it will probably do fine.

MichaelG - I do have "Milling in the Lathe". Fantastic old book as you say, and I actually quite like the idea of the milling spindle for the vertical slide, but then you have to find some way to power it...

I don't want to over invest either as I definitely plan to get a mill at some point. It will help with the "significant other" if I produce some results and prove I'm serious about this hobby first though


Michael Gilligan13/10/2015 09:30:19
15423 forum posts
665 photos
Posted by James Fitzsimons on 13/10/2015 09:21:33:

MichaelG - I do have "Milling in the Lathe". Fantastic old book as you say, and I actually quite like the idea of the milling spindle for the vertical slide, but then you have to find some way to power it...



Before discounting the idea ... have a look a Roderick's post on this thread.


Harry Wilkes13/10/2015 10:02:17
865 forum posts
61 photos

I use a 3" Soba on my slides suits my needs and works ok.


Ajohnw13/10/2015 10:28:50
3631 forum posts
160 photos

I'm about to make a powered spindle for use in several modes. it's currently in thought mode. I have a motor out of sheep shearer. Might be easy to find these in some parts of the world. It's a 180v motor that's used with a small electronics box to regulate the speed even under load. The output power is 1/8 hp at 2,500rpm, some what more than the small sowing machine motors as they specify the input power on the ones I have seen. It's a permanent magnet motor. These tend to be more efficient than others. The external magnetic field is pretty low but will still collect bits of magnetic metals if I allow them to get to it. Not that this matters really as it's totally sealed. A shield of some sort should minimise that problem.

I also have another rather powerful sheep shearer motor. Bit big for this sort of thing. I assume the smaller motor is for a light weight portable one. It was made by Fracmo, 5 1/4" long and 3" dia, 168w in for 90w out.

There are some different sewing machine motors about now that come complete with an electronic drive. Either fixed speed or variable via an inverter. They appear to be brushless types of some sort and start at about 1/2hp in and are pretty compact. They probably give at least 1/4hp out. I don't fancy the cost but may go that way if the sheep shearer one doesn't work out.



James Fitzsimons13/10/2015 11:10:53
7 forum posts

Humm, perhaps the milling spindle is a better approach. Definitely a more versatile tool at the end, and those sewing machine motors look pretty easy to come by for not too much money.

Building the spindle would be a good learning exercise as well.

Ajohnw13/10/2015 11:39:09
3631 forum posts
160 photos

If you make a spindle it's worth mentioning a method of locating bearings. Designs often have a pocket machined in each end. This needs very careful setting up to do each end as the bearings need to be square to each other. The unimat has the bright idea of locating them against circlips. This means that the hole can be bored and the grooves for the circlips added all in one setting. That will make the joh easy.

Another way but it would take some experimentation is to use oil lite bearings. They are porous phosphor bronze impregnated with oil. When they are pressed into a hole they usually come out undersized. ER extension collet holders can be bought pretty cheaply. The od of the plain shank is generally under sized and with some trial and error it might be possible to get the oil lites to size correcty for them. The bearing are cheap so it wouldn't cost much to try.

ER 16 is probably a good size to use. They cover 1 to 10mm. Some people have thought of running them in ball bearings but the under size aspect makes that a bit of a problem. Maybe loctite could be used to centralise them or short sleeves made that size to the bearings and shaft correctly.



Ajohnw13/10/2015 13:03:12
3631 forum posts
160 photos

One other thing about ER16. The straight shank holders can be obtained 200mm long. I reckon 150mm doesn't leave much space for a pulley etc. eg


The only ones I can find in the UK work out at £30 odd with a spanner that looks like it would be needed.



NJH13/10/2015 19:10:12
2314 forum posts
139 photos


To return to your original question there are small rotary tables which are supplied as kits for you to make:-

see HERE

I made one some years ago and it is just the job for rounding the ends of coupling rods etc. It is also a pretty rewarding project as, with care, a very smooth and accurate action can be achieved.

I must confess though that, shortly after making the kit, I bought a vertical milling machine and rotary table!

HOWEVER ! I bolted a piece of square BMS to the base of the rotary table hence, if things like the ends of rods need rounding, I just clamp the rotary table in the milling vise by the BMS square and hey presto ! Very quick solution!


James Fitzsimons14/10/2015 10:59:05
7 forum posts

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone that has replied to this thread. I'm going to change tack and go for the milling spindle approach as I think I will end up with a more useful tool.

geoff walker 123/07/2018 20:23:16
397 forum posts
154 photos

Hi All,

First of all could I say that I have read through the posts on this thread.

Could I ask does anyone have any experience of the small table offered by RDG. the one with the cream base and a 2 3/4" table.

It looks like it may well serve my purposes, very light milling from the head stock using the vertical slide and the same with my potts attachment set up over the lathe cross slide.


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