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Rotary table

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John Durrant29/06/2014 21:11:35
44 forum posts
4 photos

I have become the proud owner of an XJ12-300 milling machine (X2 clone I believe) and want a rotary table for it. I know that the bigger the better, but from reading previous posts a 4" table is the best fit for it. Looking at adds and posts the two favourites are Soba and Vertex, with Vertex being the better quality. Looking at the add for ARC Euro Trading they have a table that is a lot more expensive, it looks good, but, is it worth the extra money?

What is the view of you experts?

Bob Brown 129/06/2014 21:41:02
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1016 forum posts
127 photos

Do not know what the Arc Euro table is like as I have not seen one in the flesh so to speak, I do own a 4" Vertex that has done a fair bit of work faultlessly for 5 years or so and a 8" Jones and Shipman which I have motorised to act as a 4th axis on my milling machine so I can machine diameters over 400mm.

I picked up both off a well known auction site, £65.00 for the Vertex as new and had never been used, the other I paid £25.00 and just needed cleaned up to work fine.

Pays your money..............

really depends on what you need it for, if indeed you actually do at this moment in time.

Bob

John Durrant30/06/2014 12:34:00
44 forum posts
4 photos

I don't 'need' it at the moment.

I haven't 'needed' a lot of things in my workshop, but I often have jobs to do that would be impossible, or at least very difficult, without something that I bought because I 'wanted' it.

Thor30/06/2014 14:29:06
1289 forum posts
39 photos

Hi John,

if you want a rotary table but find them expensive, why not build one?

Here you'll find how Dean made a 4" for his Taig, I have almost finished building a 120mm based on his description. And here's another.

 

Thor.

Edited By Thor on 30/06/2014 14:30:14

John McNamara30/06/2014 15:18:12
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1313 forum posts
113 photos

Rotary table....

Apart from the obvious uses milling circular patterns setting angles and the like The feature that I miss with a most standard tables including my Vertex which is very accurate for my needs, is simple indexing ideally every 45 degrees.....But every 90 would be fine.

Sure you can crank the Vertex around easily but it takes time and you have to be extra careful when approaching the vernier zero on the handle, or you overshoot and have to back up.

The reason I want this feature is my mill has a geared power longitudinal feed, the cross feed is manual, I always get a better finish with power feed I want to be able to quickly rotate the work. I am not the best cranker in the world. Although getting cranky is another story!

There is an old Festo pneumatic index table that covers all divisions up to 12 in the to do bin, It was hidden under a pile of rubbish at an auction only one person noticed it. now it on the to do list, Its time I resurrected it. Trouble is can I now lift it? hmm.

I have seen Index tables with fixed simple indexing around the table as well and using the worm wheel.

Regards
John

Ketan Swali30/06/2014 16:51:32
1314 forum posts
105 photos
Posted by John Durrant on 29/06/2014 21:11:35:

I have become the proud owner of an XJ12-300 milling machine (X2 clone I believe) and want a rotary table for it. I know that the bigger the better, but from reading previous posts a 4" table is the best fit for it. Looking at adds and posts the two favourites are Soba and Vertex, with Vertex being the better quality. Looking at the add for ARC Euro Trading they have a table that is a lot more expensive, it looks good, but, is it worth the extra money?

What is the view of you experts?

Experts ....dont know about that...'regular users' on this forum may be...'people with their own opinion' may be...when it comes to rotary tables...even the makers have differing views....

The 4" Rotary Table sold by ARC, is good, but too expensive for what it is. It costs too much to produce. It costs too much for ARC to buy. Hence, the selling price is expensive. It comes with a backplate as standard, to fit an 80mm Chinese origin chuck. So far, after selling them for about 10 years, ARC has had no 'real' complaints. More sales are generated for conversion to stepper motor for CNC application.

However, if you are considering 'low irregular use', we would suggest you save your money and buy the Vertex, or lastly may be SOBA...in that order, depending on your needs.This is our opinion.

Ketan at ARC.

John Durrant30/06/2014 18:45:55
44 forum posts
4 photos

Thank you Ketan.

That is the sort of comment that I was looking for.

I was also wondering if someone would come along and say that they have an XJ12 and a 6" will fit. Bigger is better, so they say.laugh

John Hinkley30/06/2014 19:44:49
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970 forum posts
331 photos

Well, your prayers have been answered. I've got a XJ12-300 mill from Amadeal and two rotary tables. One was purchased from RDG. Cheap(ish) and cheerful, but I've never used it, simply because the worm and wheel gearing is poorly made - tight at two points of the circle and loose everywhere else. (Out of guarantee when I found this out!) The other is a 110mm diameter table from Chronos. I purchased it in a bundle with tailstock and dividing plates at a very competitive price. The only thing that I would criticise it for would be the fact that there are only three tee-slots, not four, which I would have preferred. In my opinion, a six incher will be too restrictive once mounted on the table, especially if you add a chuck to it. Then you've got to take into account a chuck or collet system for tooling and before you can say knife, there's no room for your workpiece. I would suggest that a four-inch table is the better compromise, preferably with four tee-slots.

I'm in the middle of making a knurling tool to the basic design by Graham Meek. Trying to secure the various pieces to to the table for machining radiuses etc., with three slots has been a nightmare.

John

Roy M30/06/2014 20:00:05
103 forum posts
7 photos

Just as a point of interest with regard to 'bigger is always better'. I modified a rotary table many years ago,(when gob-stoppers were really large and not considered a health hazard), pre- cnc days. I was making press-tools for clutch housings but the diameter of the table was too small. By fitting a large diameter 25mm plate onto the table, and tapping a series of M10 holes in the plate, I was able to accommodate larger jobs. The second modification involved replacing the handle and vernier scale and replacing it with a hole plate and dividers similar to that which you will find on a dividing head. It was pretty accurate. Roy

John Durrant30/06/2014 20:29:22
44 forum posts
4 photos

This is what I like, comments from experts.

(An expert is someone that knows more than I do smiley)

Neil Wyatt01/07/2014 08:50:32
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Moderator
18316 forum posts
718 photos
77 articles

My home-made table has a spindle with two flanges. The lower one provides the end bearing on the base, the top one mimics a mini-lathe spindle flange so I can fit chucks or the 7" faceplate to it.

Neil

Andrew Johnston01/07/2014 10:00:43
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5718 forum posts
659 photos

A few thoughts:

1. Clamps and mounting arrangements take up a surprising amount of room, often an inch or more per side.

2. It doesn't matter if the rotary table overhangs a bit, I run a 12" rotary table on milling tables that are 10" wide.

3. When I bought my rotary table (secondhand, no brand name) I also rushed out and bought a 3-jaw chuck for it. The chuck still sits in its packaging, having never been fitted, and I have never needed it.

4. Many rotary tables have a Morse taper in the centre, for me a parallel hole is much more useful, as it is then simple to make arbors to fit that allow parts to be centralised on the table without measurement.

Here's an example, a plain arbor to centralise the work, and no chuck needed:

final drive gear cutting.jpg

Regards,

Andrew

Martin W01/07/2014 10:34:23
856 forum posts
29 photos

Andrew

One could always achieve a similar result with a morse taper bar by turning sleeves to fit. While it may be less convenient have to turn and bore to size the end result will be similar. The big draw back with using a MT bar to achieve this is that one is limited by the diameter of the plain section of the bar, unless this is reduced as well. There again I don't do engineering on the scale/size you do which means that so far I am happy with a chuck that I centralise by lightly clamping it to the MT test bar prior to locking it down.

I can only dream about having the type of machinery you have with both room and the financial administrator limiting my aspirations.

Cheers

Martin

Andrew Johnston01/07/2014 12:22:53
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5718 forum posts
659 photos
Posted by Martin W on 01/07/2014 10:34:23:

I can only dream about having the type of machinery you have with both room and the financial administrator limiting my aspirations.

Cheers

Martin

It so happens that none of the things that I have used the rotary table for would have been amenable to being held in a chuck. That's the beauty of a DRO, bolt circles and the like are a doddle without needing to set up the rotary table.

I'll grant you that my machinery requires space; but as for cost, if I recall the rotary table was £125 cash on collection. The universal horizontal mill was £145, plus delivery and VAT of course. And the involute gear cutter was secondhand from the US via Ebay.

Regards,

Andrew

John Alexander Stewart01/07/2014 13:38:57
779 forum posts
52 photos

The rotary table I have for my little KX1 mill came from Sherline.

It is a CNC model (they also do manual ones) that comes with a little red handle. I also got a larger Sherline 3-jaw chuck with it, plus the tailstock.

I'll admit that now that I have a CNC one, I doubt I'll go back to a manual one. I can make it spin so fast it's like a slow lathe, or so slow that it takes an hour or so to do 1 rpm. I do have a manual rotary made by a club member that I think will go up for sale; a Centec between centres dividing arrangement that is unused, plus an EMCO dividing head that's for the Compact-5 range. The Sherline beats them all.

Complaints? After getting over the price, the only complaint is that it has those pesky UNC fasteners; I'd have preferred metric, but it is made in the USA after all.

It's probably not the advice you are looking for, but thought I'd add it so that you have another datapoint.

JohnS

Oompa Lumpa01/07/2014 21:40:14
888 forum posts
36 photos

And rolling another hand grenade into the room..........

I use my Semi Universal Dividing Head more than my rotary table. It is just more useful for the stuff I do. So would a dividing head be more useful to you? I feel another thread coming on.

graham.

John McNamara02/07/2014 09:50:10
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1313 forum posts
113 photos

The trouble with dividing heads used on small mills is the form factor

Particularly the ones made with a 90 degree mounting face, A Vertex for example.

I have a very old no name 9 inch one probably made for a Cincinatti, Browne and Sharpe or other similar mill; It is a lot lower off the table surface.

now there is an Idea..... an ultra thin one driven by a step motor using say a 2 stage high ratio (For holding torque) timing belt drive.

Low profile is a must for small machines.

Regards
John

Jo02/07/2014 10:24:25
198 forum posts

I have no problem with my GHT Versitile Dividing Head on my BCA and think they are so nice that I am making a second one for my Sixis. I find the Cowells indexing and dividing heads a bit small for either machine, ok for use on the lathe.

I very rarely use the rotary tables (including the one built into the BCA), the dividing heads are used constantly and always left set up on the end of the beds.

Jo

Michael Gilligan02/07/2014 11:37:04
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16620 forum posts
723 photos
Posted by Jo on 02/07/2014 10:24:25:

I have no problem with my GHT Versitile Dividing Head on my BCA and think they are so nice

< etc. >

.

Jo ... Interesting ... How are you mounting the VDH onto the table of the BCA ?

MichaelG.

Ian S C02/07/2014 12:50:26
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7468 forum posts
230 photos

double posting

Edited By Ian S C on 02/07/2014 13:04:11

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