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Rotary Table

Which type is best for general use?

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Roger Provins 206/01/2016 07:54:09
342 forum posts

Rotary tables come with a variety of slot arrangements. Which would be best to buy as a starter for a beginner (me) with only a small mill and making model engines?

Paul Lousick06/01/2016 09:00:01
1168 forum posts
496 photos

Small rotary tables usually come with 3 or 4 slots. Chose one to suit the bolts on your lathe chuck so you can mount it on the table.

Paul.

Michael Gilligan06/01/2016 09:01:18
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14011 forum posts
608 photos

Good Morning, Roger

Similar Questions have been asked several times on this forum, and the multitude of opinions expressed.

There is no simple "Rght Answer", so I think It would be useful for you to read some of the previous discussions.

**LINK**

MichaelG.

.

P.S. ... In view of your other current thread, I hesitate to mention this, but; it is worth considering the practicality of adding a Stepper Motor drive to any Rotary Table on your 'shortlist'.

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 06/01/2016 09:04:00

Roger Provins 206/01/2016 10:09:07
342 forum posts

Thanks Michael, I'll have a search through previous rotary table threads. As for my "other" posting, it seems to have developed a life of its own probably because I didn't express my self properly in the first place. I'll certainly investigate stepper motors if get a rotary table but I'm going to have a rethink about the whole business first.

Rog

Michael Gilligan06/01/2016 11:16:36
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Posted by Roger Provins 2 on 06/01/2016 10:09:07:

... it seems to have developed a life of its own ...

.

It happens a lot aound here !!

MichaelG.

.

When you have done some preliminary research on Rotaray Tables; do let us know what you have in mind, and I'm sure folks can then provide more specific comments.

John Stevenson06/01/2016 11:28:14
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5068 forum posts
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Posted by Roger Provins 2 on 06/01/2016 10:09:07:

Thanks Michael, I'll have a search through previous rotary table threads. As for my "other" posting, it seems to have developed a life of its own probably because I didn't express my self properly in the first place. I'll certainly investigate stepper motors if get a rotary table but I'm going to have a rethink about the whole business first.

Rog

I don't think it's developed a life of it's own. It's just developed into an interesting 'conversation ' wink

It's not like it's got to the fistycuffs stage and no one has mentioned knurling yet ----- Damn......................

David Clark 106/01/2016 11:32:53
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3357 forum posts
112 photos
10 articles

I would buy a four slot one. Much more useful than a three slot one.

Roger Provins 206/01/2016 11:36:38
342 forum posts

Thanks David, that's what I thought but just wanted to make sure.

Muzzer06/01/2016 11:40:40
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2904 forum posts
448 photos

If you have a lathe that uses 3 fixings for the spindle nose (eg D1-3 or D1-4 fitting), there are benefits to having 3 slots as Paul says, so you can reuse your various chucks, faceplates etc on the RT. I now now this, having bought a 4-slotter....

Edited By Muzzer on 06/01/2016 11:41:09

John Stevenson06/01/2016 11:42:55
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5068 forum posts
3 photos

Also get the horizontal and vertical model. Ignore the tilting ones in the size you can fit as they are usually very skimpy in the design.

John Haine06/01/2016 11:52:43
2608 forum posts
133 photos

I would also suggest 4 slots. 3 jaw chucks usually have 3 studs but don't bolt through because the scroll is in the way - so you couldn't mount one to a 3 slot table anyway! And 3 jaw chucks don't usually centre all that accurately, whereas by the time you are putting a job on the RT you're probably quite concerned about concentricity so best to use a 4 jaw anyway. 4J chucks have 4 bolt holes - so need 4 slots! QED.

You can get threaded nose adapters that bolt on an RT to enable them to take a 3 jaw chuck, or MT2 adapters with a Myford nose thread.

An RT that has the ability to disengage the worm drive is then useful so you can rotate the table freely for centering - or if you have a stepper controller like the Ward design you can just use the continuous rotate function.

IMHO 4 jaw chucks are undervalued on the mill - often they are a really good way to clamp small parts as they constrain the part around two orthogonal axes.

Muzzer06/01/2016 12:54:36
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2904 forum posts
448 photos

I don't fancy unbolting my chucks from their backplates each time I want to fit them to the RT, so the approved method of attaching them to the RT is by use of a spindle nose adaptor that mimics the lathe spindle. It's at this point that you come to appreciate the difficulty trying to come up with an adaptor that takes D1-3 fittings and bolts to a 4-slot RT. Not entirely QED, then.

Also, you need a proper register to locate the chucks etc on unless you intend to spend hours centring a loose chuck on the table, no matter how many jaws it has.

Clive Foster06/01/2016 13:26:15
1840 forum posts
59 photos

With small rotary tables and small components you have to accept that the standard clamp kits are generally too bulky or too cumbersome for the job. So you will be making your own clamps as required anyway. Table slots and the centre hole are relatively large too so it can be tricky to find enough table surface in the right place to actually get small parts held down properly without distortion. Best to accept that you will need at least one sub-plate with holes registers and fittings as required.

If you are going to have a sub-plate the number of slots isn't that important. Better to consider other things first. With a horizontal / vertical table take a serious look at how you could mount collets, particularily if you dont have a spindexer. Its a little harder to get at collet held jobs with a rotary table in vertical mode than with a spindexer but not too much of a pain with smaller tables.

If you have a small vice with machined all over body consider cutting a groove across the middle the right width to be a snug fit on the vice body with suitable clamps to hold it in place. Very handy if you need to hold a component off centre to mill a curve. Especially if you establish datums on the sub-plate and vice so you cn do the offset by direct measurement. Setting up that sort of thing directly on the table from scratch can be a total pain. Especially if you have to do it after centering the rotary table so the spindle is in the way.

Everyone knows about spindle nose adapters to put your lathe faceplate on the rotary table. If you are using sub-plates going the other way can also be useful most especially when the lathe faceplate slot arrangements don't suit the job.

Aluminium is fine for sub plates. For sacrificial ones used when you have no option but to cut into the surface as well as the job pretty much anything adequately flat can be pushed into service. I have a stash of ex-kitchen cabinet MDF sheets which do just fine for thin and sheet metal components. Power driver, woodscrews and penny washers do fine for most work holding.

Clive.

Martin Connelly06/01/2016 13:35:16
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853 forum posts
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Are you planning to put chucks off your lathe on it? This thread rapidly followed the assumption that that is what you will be doing. If not then the answer is possibly whatever fits other criteria such as size, weight, height and cost.

Let us know how you intend to use it and if there are any specific things you have in mind for it or if it is a "need to get at some point item" that you are putting some forward thinking into.

Martin

Vic06/01/2016 14:11:41
2255 forum posts
11 photos

The Vertex brand rotary tables are reckoned by many to be better than some of the other offerings out there. Both the 4" and 6" Vertex RT's only have three slots. I'd rather make do with three slots on a good quality RT than risk buying something of indifferent quality just to get an extra slot. Some folks also seem to fit their RT's with larger "adaptor" plates which can have any number or type of fittings that you choose.

David Clark 106/01/2016 14:27:11
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3357 forum posts
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10 articles

A cheap small chuck will do most of what you want and a simple backplate will enable you to bolt it down with 3 or 4 slots.

Edited By David Clark 1 on 06/01/2016 14:27:32

Nicholas Wheeler 106/01/2016 14:50:05
275 forum posts
16 photos

Interesting how no one has said anything about size: by the time you've fitted the table, workholder and work, you rapidly run out of room to actually do anything.

Michael Gilligan06/01/2016 14:57:52
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14011 forum posts
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Posted by Roger Provins 2 on 06/01/2016 07:54:09:

... (me) with only a small mill ...

.

Roger,

Before this thread goes much further; it might be useful if you told us what you mean by 'a small mill'.

... Make & Model, or relevant dimensions would help.

There's not much point discussing 6" rotary tables if you have a Taig mill.

MichaelG.

.

Nicholas beat me to it.

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 06/01/2016 14:59:45

Martin Connelly06/01/2016 14:59:34
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853 forum posts
99 photos

Not quite true Nicholas, see the message at 13:35.

Martin

David Clark 106/01/2016 15:17:28
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3357 forum posts
112 photos
10 articles

Warco do a small rotary table with 4 slots and low centre height for about £50-60.

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