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Chinese BS0 Dividing Head

Now sub 200 any one have one?

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Henry Brown10/10/2020 19:16:47
434 forum posts
99 photos

I've been watching ebay etc. for a good used dividing head for six or more months now and drawn a complete blank. They either seem to be too large, or heavy as I have to lift it on to my mill, or very expensive and being sold without a tailstock or plates.

I was looking through the net and came across the various Chinese BS0 sets which seem to have dropped from the upper £200's. With the impending Brexit and possible no deals causing price rises I'm thinking maybe I should go for one of these.

I was looking on the Hobby Machinist site and a chap bought one recently and took it apart and seemed to be pleasantly surprised at what he found despite the obligatory Chinese grit!

Comments from users of these bits of kit would be appreciated.

Tony Pratt 110/10/2020 19:32:41
1465 forum posts
6 photos

I bought my BS0 head years ago from Chronos, no complaints so far. You might find Brexit puts tooling prices down, who knowsfrown


Bazyle10/10/2020 19:34:13
5829 forum posts
216 photos

I think the BS0 is quite large for most model engineering applications at about 3 in centre height. The various designs featured in ME over the years have tended to be smaller and of course weight goes down by the cube so quickly become easy to handle.

JohnF10/10/2020 19:49:34
1054 forum posts
158 photos

Same as Tony, the one i purchased from Chronos was a Vertex version -- no complaints

Dave Halford10/10/2020 19:50:24
1388 forum posts
12 photos

I used mine to remake the 51/2" bull gear off my lathe. It's not too big for a 2" ploughing engine with a 9" gear !!

Henry Brown10/10/2020 22:29:07
434 forum posts
99 photos

Tony and John, Vertex is one on the list but they rarely show up second hand and new at over £400 is a bit outside the budget! There is a Vertex with a dealer in Kent without a chuck for just over £300 with shipping, Chronos and RDG don't carry them anymore.

Bazyle, I have an Axminster SX4 mill and don't usually make smaller things so we should ok.

Dave, is that one of the unbranded one's you have?

Thanks for the replies so far chaps...

Lathejack11/10/2020 20:09:59
302 forum posts
329 photos

I don't think you have to worry too much about the quality of the Chinese made BS0 dividing heads, they look fine to me. It must be almost twenty years ago when I bought my Vertex BS0 from Chronos at either the Harrogate or Donnington show and I am sure back then it cost £199, it came with a tailstock, division plates and a chuck back plate but no chuck.

The internals of the Chinese heads are identical to those in my Vertex, and I am not certain that my Vertex BS0 was made in Taiwan, it could also have been made in China, so there is probably no need to search for a Vertex branded dividing head anyway.

The spindle has a taper roller bearing at the front, with a radial plain bearing at the rear together with a needle roller thrust bearing.. After checking it over my dividing head sat unused for years from new, when I finally came to use it the spindle seemed a little tight. Dismantling revealed rather too much spindle preload had been applied at the factory. Although it was quite clean inside the factory applied grease was becoming a little dry, so it is worth the effort to dismantle them to ensure they are clean, properly lubricated and adjusted.


Edited By Lathejack on 11/10/2020 20:12:48

Henry Brown11/10/2020 21:40:04
434 forum posts
99 photos

Thanks Jack, interesting to see the guts of the beast, I'd found exploded diagrams, so that's most helpful. I read somewhere that someone had torn their new one down and fitted quality branded bearings but if the shafts aren't concentric that could be a waste.

A slight correction to my post above, RDG do list the Vertex BS0 on ebay, however the cheapest new Vertex I've found is at Warco (£312 inc delivery) and it has a three jaw chuck which makes the second hand one without a chuck at the dealer somewhat expensive. Amazon have a Vevor brand version, the cost difference is just under £120 Vertex versus Vevor so I'm going to ponder this one for a little while longer as I have had a very good relationship with Warco since buying my lathe from them.

Alan Charleston12/10/2020 06:20:20
106 forum posts
20 photos

Hi Henry,

I bought a vertex BSO dividing head about twenty years ago and I've been happy with it. The only problem I've struck with it is that the tapered hole in the spindle is a Brown and Sharp taper rather than a Morse taper. I'm not sure if they are all like that. The problem I struck was that I've got a set of #2 Morse taper collets which I couldn't use on the dividing head and I couldn't find any Brown and Sharp taper collets anywhere. I ended up making a 1/2" B&S taper collet out of brass together with a series of adapters with ODs of 1/2" and IDs of 1/8", 1/4" etc.



Henry Brown12/10/2020 08:38:19
434 forum posts
99 photos

Hi Alan,

Thanks for the comments!

It seems the Oriental designers have got their knickers in a twist on this, most comments I've read from back in the day report that the paperwork says it is B&S but is actually MT. Yours seems to be the other way around! Whichever it is they both come with centres so I'm hoping they will fit, if necessary I can always adapt a ER32 collet chuck on to the chuck mounting plate if the chuck that comes with it isn't very accurate.

Regards, Henry.

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