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Rotary Table Quest

Finding one

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Michael Gilligan22/11/2020 08:25:42
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Posted by JasonB on 22/11/2020 07:02:54:

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Thinking back a while there was a thread where the various changes in sources of the Vertex R/Ts was discussed at length so all those with good ones how long have you had them?

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Mine came as a Myford part ... made by Vertex and purchased direct from Beeston at one of the open days.

I have no idea whether the Myford ones were specials, or were fettled in any way.

MichaelG.

DiogenesII22/11/2020 11:28:52
167 forum posts
70 photos
Posted by JasonB on 22/11/2020 07:02:54:

..Thinking back a while there was a thread where the various changes in sources of the Vertex R/Ts was discussed at length so all those with good ones how long have you had them?..

Mine is a very recent one - the 'Test Report' gives the date July 28 2020 - had it long enough to have used it in both H and V for making small IC parts, flats/angles on tooling, and odd-jobbing where I've wanted to swap jobs still in-the-chuck from lathe-to-mill etc., but not long enough to have done any hard radial milling....

FWIW - the worm adjustment is sufficient to completely remove any backlash if required (though I prefer to back it off a bit) and the rotation is as acceptably smooth and even all the way round as one coud wish for in a cheap table. It doesn't feel as if there is any gross binding, burring, poor mating of worm & wheel, or foundry debris inside.

'Flatness', 'Parallelism' & 'Concentricity' all seem good - I had to dress-back one small bruise on the corner of the base when I first took it out of the box, since when it's been fine - by that I mean that I haven't noticed any errors/inconsistencies even making very small parts on a mill with DRO.. ..as a general rule, I rely on any faults revealing themselves to me through use, rather than go seeking them..

I wouldn't feel any apprehension in side- or slot-milling steel on it, within the normal expectations of "hobby" work..

I'd be genuinely interested to hear the circumstances under which other tables have failed.

I'd buy another..

For the record / in a nutshell.. the mechanism feels very good (for the money). The exterior finish isn't markedly better than other far-eastern equipment I have, but all the graduations are consistent, crisp and clear.. I'd guess that the money goes into the mechanism and grinding, and that the economies are made in the paint and fastenings / minor ancillaries.

I have a Soba dividing set for it - the quality of that acceptably good, the plates (thick CI) very crisply finished, with properly formed & chamfered, consistent & even holes. The brass sector arms are well-fitted and neatly made, likewise the plunger assembly and it's bracket. The fits with the mating parts of the Vertex table are comfortably snug & in perfect alignment.

I have a fair bit of Far-Eastern tooling from various (deliberately) UK suppliers - it's consistently of useable quality - there seems to be at least some healthy competition at any given price-point - I'd have thought a £250 Soba table to be more-or-less comparable to a £250 Vertex one? ..

Bill Pudney23/11/2020 01:20:41
481 forum posts
16 photos

For what it's worth, I have a 4" Vertex RT, and used it to generate a 360 degree "T" slot in a cross slide I was making. By taking it carefully everything worked out fairly well...see my album "chariot a vis". I would imagine that the 6" RT that the OP is interested in would be even more capable.

cheers

Bill

not done it yet23/11/2020 07:37:29
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Soba is of Indian origin? Possibly not yet as reliable as current Chinese offerings? Earlier chinese products were often made as ‘cottage industries’ (some likely still are), but the main suppliers are now large companies. There are still a lot of back-yard manufacture in India. Soba may be an exception?

I would go Vertex rather than Soba, even though indian products should be cheaper for an equivalent quality. Purchase price comparisons do not always reflect the relative production costs or quality, I’m afraid.

Roger Benson23/11/2020 11:26:36
33 forum posts
5 photos

Thank you all. I will just have to wait until they are in stock somewhere. Vertex or Soba.

DRO next?

old mart23/11/2020 19:18:25
2465 forum posts
169 photos

Try googling for rotary tables, I found a very nice second hand Vertex with indexing plates and the tailstock for £280.

Pete.23/11/2020 19:54:11
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Is there any reason you're limiting yourself to those 2 rotary tables? I bought this 250mm Hofmann rotary table in hardly used condition for £260.

img_20190319_232124.jpg

Henry Brown23/11/2020 20:44:39
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As above, I picked up a lovely 8" EME rotary table (thought to be Eastern European) for £100 last year.

I'd certainly be buying a DRO before a rotary table, in fact since I've had the DRO I've not used the RT. There's a job coming up soon that has circular slots that I'll use it for but even that could be done with a DRO...

old mart23/11/2020 20:58:58
2465 forum posts
169 photos

That Hoffman is a beauty, but a 10" table is Bridgeport size, just a bit bigger than a 6" one.

Pete.23/11/2020 21:28:56
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It sits quite comfortably on my Boxford vm30 table, It's well under the weight limit of what you can put on the table, I did check this before buying, can't remember what it is though off the top of my head.

The Hofmann tables are relatively low profile in comparison to the diameter of table size, so a 8" Hoffman would be a viable option for a smaller machine, I've seen a couple for the £150 ~£220 price range recently .

If new ones are out of stock, it's worth keeping your eye out for something on the used market that might be cheaper and better quality.

JasonB24/11/2020 06:54:28
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It's not so much the low file that matters on a small machine, it's the axis height above the table when mounted vertically and being able to get to the work without the spindle and/or head hitting the R/T.

Do Hoffman and the like do dividing plates as many hobby users what those for use with the R/T rather than the additional cost of a dividing head that most commercial workshops would have had?

Michael Gilligan24/11/2020 08:55:54
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Posted by JasonB on 24/11/2020 06:54:28:

It's not so much the low file that matters on a small machine, it's the axis height above the table when mounted vertically and being able to get to the work without the spindle and/or head hitting the R/T.

Do Hoffman and the like do dividing plates as many hobby users what those for use with the R/T rather than the additional cost of a dividing head that most commercial workshops would have had?

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Happy to be corrected, but I doubt if Pete’s lovely Hoffmann has integral mountings for both H and V ... other models are available.

... Add an angle plate, or box, and it would be unusable on many small machines.

MichaelG..

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Edit: for info and drooling ...

http://www.hofmann-rt.com/rtables.html

 

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 24/11/2020 09:18:11

JasonB24/11/2020 09:25:53
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An 8" or 6" box or angle plate would also take up a lot of table length that a small milling machine would not have, at least the Soba & Vertex designs have the "angled foot" within the height of the table.

From your link it does look like they do plates but no mention of a tailstock which would support your thoughts on horizontal use only though they do have some separate ones. Also does not have a machined edge just another lug for a hold down bolt so that would add about another 3" to the horizontal axis so our poor OP won't stand a chance of getting any tooling in on his SX2.7

 

Edited By JasonB on 24/11/2020 09:46:47

Henry Brown24/11/2020 09:48:31
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SOBA do tailstocks, I just bought a second hand one from the unmentionable auction site for £40, HV4 - 6 size. It's been lightly used, still in box so effectively new, it's a crude and poorly finished bit of kit but for what or when I use it I'll do.

Michael Gilligan24/11/2020 10:04:41
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16990 forum posts
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Posted by JasonB on 24/11/2020 09:25:53:

[…]

.

Yes, it’s a table

... funny old thing, the English language angel

MichaelG.

Michael Gilligan24/11/2020 10:17:10
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Further exploration finds this: **LINK**

http://www.hofmann-rt.com/tsh.html

But I doubt one will turn-up at a bargain price sad

MichaelG.

JasonB24/11/2020 10:26:29
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Which brings up back to what I said about needing a separate dividing head, even then that won't do cuts around the circumference of the work.

The WR would be the closest to the typical HV (horizontal/vertical) Vertex and Soba designs but they start at 10"

 

Edited By JasonB on 24/11/2020 10:28:45

Michael Gilligan24/11/2020 10:45:20
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16990 forum posts
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Posted by JasonB on 24/11/2020 10:26:29:

Which brings up back to what I said about needing a separate dividing head, even then that won't do cuts around the circumference of the work.

The WR would be the closest to the typical HV (horizontal/vertical) Vertex and Soba designs but they start at 10"

Edited By JasonB on 24/11/2020 10:28:45

.

True ... which is why I mentioned H and V in my earlier comment.

The real question, I think, is whether we attach great importance to that feature ... or can a bigger and better item like Pete’s Hofmann [please excuse me earlier mis-spelling] provide more ‘value’ on a small machine.

Only the user can decide

MichaelG.

Ron Laden24/11/2020 10:46:13
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I have a Soba 5 inch table, it was the size that drew me to it as my mill (SX2P) is not that big. A 4 inch R/T seemed a bit too small and a 6 inch too big, I don't know if other manufacturers do a 5 inch but Soba do and I bought it as a set for £300 which is as much as I could afford at the time. It came with a dividing set, a chuck mounting plate and 80mm 4 jaw chuck and a tailstock.

In one or two places it is a bit rough around the edges but nothing much and overall it is good. Where it is very good is in its operation, I can't fault the table mount and the drive. It has no backlash, no play and the drive is very smooth and most importantly it is accurate.

So it may not look as well engineered or as pretty as the expensive tables but it more than makes up for it in its operation. So it met my budget came with extras and works very well, based on that I can't fault it.

Ron

old mart24/11/2020 15:49:52
2465 forum posts
169 photos

With a 6" Soba/Vertex RT, the rear of the table is about 4 1/2" from the axis. This takes up a lot of the throat depth on smaller machines. This size of RT covers the full width of the table of the Tom Senior LV, and is another major factor to consider.

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