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Which rotary table?

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  • keithspaniel
    Hi, I would like to purchase a rotary table and need help deciding on the best deal,or what all is really needed. I have read that the 6 is the right size for
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 2, 2009
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      Hi,
      I would like to purchase a rotary table and need help deciding on the best deal,or what all is really needed.
      I have read that the 6" is the right size for the x3.
      I see that Grizzly has one with indexing wheels and a tail piece.
      Is that a good choice ? Or is just a table enough. I am new so I don't know what all I will be doing with the mill. I hope to do everything that is possible to do. There is also a rotary table video somewhere I will need to get. All suggestions and thoughts are appreciated. Thanks, Keith
    • Nigel Spurr
      6 inch is right for the X3, although an 8 will fit. Make sure the table can also be fitted at 90 degrees which is when the centre becomes useful. Also a 3/4
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 2, 2009
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        6 inch is right for the X3, although an 8" will fit. Make sure the table can also be fitted at 90 degrees which is when the centre becomes useful. Also a 3/4 jaw lathe typ chuck mounted on the table is very convenient.It is then easy to hold a bar and machine a form on the end.

        From: keithspaniel <keithspaniel@...>
        To: X_Series_Mills@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wed, 2 December, 2009 11:39:45
        Subject: [X_Series_Mills] Which rotary table?

         

        Hi,
        I would like to purchase a rotary table and need help deciding on the best deal,or what all is really needed.
        I have read that the 6" is the right size for the x3.
        I see that Grizzly has one with indexing wheels and a tail piece.
        Is that a good choice ? Or is just a table enough. I am new so I don't know what all I will be doing with the mill. I hope to do everything that is possible to do. There is also a rotary table video somewhere I will need to get. All suggestions and thoughts are appreciated. Thanks, Keith


      • Maarten van Veen
        Hi Keith, It all depends on how big a workpiece you want to use in the vertical position of the table. I have an X3 with a 6 inch rotary table and I often find
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 2, 2009
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          Hi Keith,

          It all depends on how big a workpiece you want to use in the vertical
          position of the table. I have an X3 with a 6 inch rotary table and I
          often find the table too big. When I use the table in a vertical
          position, the available distance between the workpiece and the bottom
          end of the mill is often not enough.
          I would suggest a four inch (100 mm) table.

          regards,

          Maarten
        • johann_ohnesorg
          snip ... snip I would strongly advice against a 4 table. There is simply never enough space for workholding devices and the workpiece on it unless you use it
          Message 4 of 9 , Dec 2, 2009
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            snip
            > I would suggest a four inch (100 mm) table.
            snip

            I would strongly advice against a 4" table. There is simply never enough space for workholding devices and the workpiece on it unless you use it only with a chuck. Cut a cardboard template, take your smallest vise and try it! I use a 6" rotary on a SIEG X2 clone, the 6" is 3" something high. The 4" is about 2" something. You gain one inch height and throw away a lot of versatility.
            In case you can´t fit your workpiece and your tool under the spindle, use direct mount MT3 collets, get rid of the 3jaw chuck or use a smaller one or clamp the workpiece to the table by means of a clamping kit, e.g.

            http://www.mini-lathe.com/Mini_mill/Accessories/Holding/holding.htm#clamping_kit

            and the 6" grizzly table, scroll down:

            http://www.mini-lathe.com/Mini_mill/Accessories/Rotary_tables/rotary_tables.htm

            These pictures are taken on a X2 which is smaller than the X3.

            Small round stuff can be held in ER collets instead of a chuck because the rotary has a MT2 taper. This gives you height and is more precise than a 3 jaw chuck. An MT 2 ER32 holder costs 35$(800watts, ebay), in case you buy a MT3 ER32 set you can clamp all sizes from 2mm to 20mm. Not only close to mm or nich sizes, all sizes to a precision down to 0,001" runout. Read again the last sentence, it´s important.
            This collet set is needed for milling cutters anyway. The MT2 suits a C2,C4, C6 lathe in the tailstock (it has uses there, precise drill holding to TIR of 0,001" and below as an example) and the MT3 suits C2,C4 and the C6 lathe in the headstock. Incidentially, the 20mm fit the max. feed through of the spindle, too.
            There are R8 adapters, too. Sadly, those don´t fit either rotary or the lathe. But the ERs fit all th adaptors, be it R8,Mt3 or MT2. Maybe intersting before you buy a set of 5C collets.

            A 6" with a mounted 3" mini lathe chuck is in my opinion the ideal rotary for such machines. It is light enough to be lifted on the table (approx. 30 pounds with chuck) and has a very convenient size. I drilled and countersunk my mini lathe chuck so it can be frontside mounted with M6 allen screws and selfmade T-nuts, this costs no further height via a mounting plate that is necessary otherwise. I also made a spindle template that resemebles my C6 spindel nose and can b bolted down with three studs. On this one, I can fit the faceplate to mount huge parts (dia. 9") via the eight slots or i can bolt down a milling vise. This setup is sturdy enough for serious milling and slotting work.

            The 8" rotary will fit, too but will easily reach 70 pounds with an adequate chuck on it. It weights 45 pounds "empty."

            Concerning the video: forget it, invest the money into tooling. Browse the sherline page, there is a great write up how to set up and use a rotary as a pdf for free.
            Another great write up can be found in the link below, with pictures. All rotarys operate the same way, thy just differ in ratio and therefore the plates have to have different hole patterns.

            http://www.littlemachineshop.com/instructions/UsingARotaryTable.pdf

            Cheers,
            Johann
          • Keith Spaniel
            Thanks everyone for your help. Johann, The links about the rotary table are real informative.This is the RT that I was considering,
            Message 5 of 9 , Dec 2, 2009
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              Thanks everyone for your help.
               
               Johann,

                The links about the rotary table are real informative.This is the RT that I was considering,

              http://www.grizzly.com/products/6-Rotary-Table-w-Div-Plates/H7527

              Seems like I would spend  $200.00  FOR A 6'' RT so $50.00 more why not get the tail piece and indexing wheels?

                  You have given me a lot of info to think about. Im trying to see how you would mount a chuck to a RT..I am only familiar with the chuck on my 9x20 that screws on to the spindle. I can vision a MT with a threaded adapter that would fit in the RT and then screw on to the chuck.
                      But , Im thinking the chuck you are talking about has a backing plate that bolts to the
                  RT  and screws on to the chuck??      I did not  know that ER collets could be used to hold work .I thought they were for cutters or drill bits. Yes, they are well priced on ebay
              I have a set of collets I got when I bought the mill cutters. The ER collets seem to small for mill cutters.I dont know if they are or not?
                Again, Thank you I will mill over all that you wrote..
                       Keith
              Just seen on grizzly sight the different backing plates for 3 jaw chucks.
               

               

              On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 11:43 AM, johann_ohnesorg <bigdukeone@...> wrote:
               

              snip


              > I would suggest a four inch (100 mm) table.
              snip

              I would strongly advice against a 4" table. There is simply never enough space for workholding devices and the workpiece on it unless you use it only with a chuck. Cut a cardboard template, take your smallest vise and try it! I use a 6" rotary on a SIEG X2 clone, the 6" is 3" something high. The 4" is about 2" something. You gain one inch height and throw away a lot of versatility.
              In case you can´t fit your workpiece and your tool under the spindle, use direct mount MT3 collets, get rid of the 3jaw chuck or use a smaller one or clamp the workpiece to the table by means of a clamping kit, e.g.

              http://www.mini-lathe.com/Mini_mill/Accessories/Holding/holding.htm#clamping_kit

              and the 6" grizzly table, scroll down:

              http://www.mini-lathe.com/Mini_mill/Accessories/Rotary_tables/rotary_tables.htm

              These pictures are taken on a X2 which is smaller than the X3.

              Small round stuff can be held in ER collets instead of a chuck because the rotary has a MT2 taper. This gives you height and is more precise than a 3 jaw chuck. An MT 2 ER32 holder costs 35$(800watts, ebay), in case you buy a MT3 ER32 set you can clamp all sizes from 2mm to 20mm. Not only close to mm or nich sizes, all sizes to a precision down to 0,001" runout. Read again the last sentence, it´s important.
              This collet set is needed for milling cutters anyway. The MT2 suits a C2,C4, C6 lathe in the tailstock (it has uses there, precise drill holding to TIR of 0,001" and below as an example) and the MT3 suits C2,C4 and the C6 lathe in the headstock. Incidentially, the 20mm fit the max. feed through of the spindle, too.
              There are R8 adapters, too. Sadly, those don´t fit either rotary or the lathe. But the ERs fit all th adaptors, be it R8,Mt3 or MT2. Maybe intersting before you buy a set of 5C collets.

              A 6" with a mounted 3" mini lathe chuck is in my opinion the ideal rotary for such machines. It is light enough to be lifted on the table (approx. 30 pounds with chuck) and has a very convenient size. I drilled and countersunk my mini lathe chuck so it can be frontside mounted with M6 allen screws and selfmade T-nuts, this costs no further height via a mounting plate that is necessary otherwise. I also made a spindle template that resemebles my C6 spindel nose and can b bolted down with three studs. On this one, I can fit the faceplate to mount huge parts (dia. 9") via the eight slots or i can bolt down a milling vise. This setup is sturdy enough for serious milling and slotting work.

              The 8" rotary will fit, too but will easily reach 70 pounds with an adequate chuck on it. It weights 45 pounds "empty."

              Concerning the video: forget it, invest the money into tooling. Browse the sherline page, there is a great write up how to set up and use a rotary as a pdf for free.
              Another great write up can be found in the link below, with pictures. All rotarys operate the same way, thy just differ in ratio and therefore the plates have to have different hole patterns.

              http://www.littlemachineshop.com/instructions/UsingARotaryTable.pdf

              Cheers,
              Johann


            • johann_ohnesorg
              The links about the rotary table are real informative.This is the RT that I was considering, Seems like I would spend $200.00 FOR A 6 RT so $50.00 more why
              Message 6 of 9 , Dec 3, 2009
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                The links about the rotary table are real informative.This is the RT that I was considering, Seems like I would spend $200.00 FOR A 6'' RT so $50.00 more why not get the tail piece and indexing wheels?

                Buy it! The indexing wheels can be a first project on a rotary table sice it´s only calculating, indexing and drilling. The plunger and the other parts are simple lathe or mill parts, too. But for 50 bucks more, don´t hesitate. A tailstock is useful, too in case you want to machine shafts or make special tooling. Usually, cutting force should be directed in the tailstock direction, here are no delicate moving parts. If not, use the two locks on the table. I would guess this is a vertex table, rebranded. I got the same, what can I say? Great out of the box. No sand, no dirt, no grit on it. I wiped it down with an oily rag and that was that...
                There is a lot of material in the foot in case you need to widen the slots so you can bolt it down on the X3 in an upright position, the slots are 12mm but could be opend to 1/2" without a hassle.

                I can vision a MT with a threaded adapter that would fit in the RT and then screw on to the chuck.
                But, Im thinking the chuck you are talking about has a backing
                plate that bolts to the RT and screws on to the chuck?

                The chuck on your 9x20 usually goes on a chuck backplate. These backplates have the M39x4 thread plus a precision bored cylinder to ensure repaetability and accuracy in placement (yours may be inch sized) and usually three mounting screws so the chuck can be attached to the backplate.
                These screws are operated from the back, therefore on the rotary you need a pretty thick mounting plate, one to hide allen screws in and with a rim so you can add another set of screws to bolt it down to the rotary table.
                I got a chuck compareable to this chuck: G9828 3" 3-Jaw Plain Back Scroll Chuck.
                That one has three mounting studs that would hold it on the backplate. I took out the three studs and drilled through the chuck completely, the three holes give great guidance so you´ll end up straight.
                Now I have three holes for allen screws (I used 6mm bolts, you may use 1/4") that I countersunk on the frontside. This enables me to mount the chuck without a backplate. Looks something like this:

                http://cdn0.grizzly.com/pics/jpeg500/h/h7592_det1.jpg

                I had to make a few special T-nuts but that was no problem. In case your rotary comes with 4 slots you have to alter the drill pattern. Please check the slots carefully, they don´t reach all the way to the middle, therefore I had to chamfer the front side of the t-nuts already! The 4" is on the safe side for this approach for sure and costs only 5 bucks more. I took the 3" that was lying around in my shop and mounted it with the "cut then measure" philosophy. ;)

                In case your lathe came with a G1082 4-Jaw Chuck (if it was from harbourfreight, it did) .find the right drill pattern and mount it. They call it a wood chuck but that one was a 4 jaw metal independant for at least 50 years before some guy renamed it so he can sell something else that looks more sturdy and is not a jota better. Zeroing in parts on those is not a problem, get or make a second handle, use a DI and push the part to center by tightening up with one handle and loosening up the other jaw with the second one. It takes a minute with a little bit of practice. You can do crazy things with those like milling excentric parts.

                I did not know that ER collets could be used to hold work.

                ERs are made for huge sideloads and grab cutters to very high concentricity. In case you manufacture or buy an ER32 holder you can use the ERs to grab long stock in your lathe. This comes very handy in case you have to make a lot of precise parts with little loss of material. Peek here:

                http://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=2532&category=

                but that one is overpriced in my opinion for a lump of cast iron with 3 holes, a ground taper and a thread. You could also use your collet holder for workholding if it fits the lathe spindle.

                I thought they were for cutters or drill bits.I have a set of collets I got when I bought the mill cutters. The ER collets seem to small for mill cutters. I dont know if they are or not?

                Google size ER32, they will take from 2-20mm. In case you already have a set of R8 or 5C that is good, too. Take a look at CDCO tools Nr.23012 , that is a very useful toy for the rotary if you got 5C collets. However, if you got a 3 jaw that is pretty versatile, too. You can hold your part in the 3 jaw, open the mounting screws a little bit and center the part by DTI, not the chuck. It´s just more of a hassle but is a good workaround in case you don´t need pinpoint precision all the time (and most of us really don´t).

                In case you browse the CDCO site, hand over your credit card to someone sane and responsible before...

                Cheers,
                Johann
              • drkelton
                ... this must be it: http://www.sherline.com/3700inst.pdf with other instructions at: http://www.sherline.com/accessor.htm
                Message 7 of 9 , Dec 3, 2009
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                  > > Concerning the video: forget it, invest the money into tooling. Browse the
                  > > sherline page, there is a great write up how to set up and use a rotary as a
                  > > pdf for free.

                  this must be it:

                  http://www.sherline.com/3700inst.pdf

                  with other instructions at:

                  http://www.sherline.com/accessor.htm
                • johann_ohnesorg
                  Concerning the video: forget it, invest the money into tooling. Browse thesherline page, there is a great write up how to set up and use a rotary as a pdf for
                  Message 8 of 9 , Dec 4, 2009
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                    Concerning the video: forget it, invest the money into tooling. Browse thesherline page, there is a great write up how to set up and use a rotary as a pdf for free.
                    >
                    > this must be it:
                    > http://www.sherline.com/3700inst.pdf
                    > with other instructions at:
                    > http://www.sherline.com/accessor.htm
                    >

                    Exactly. Written crystal clear and with worked examples.
                  • Keith Spaniel
                    Johann, You have given me a lot of insight into machining , I m reading it over and over to understand it better of what your saying. Now that I see the use of
                    Message 9 of 9 , Dec 4, 2009
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                       Johann,
                           You have given me a lot of insight into machining , I'm reading it over and over to understand it better of what your saying.
                        
                          Now that I see the use of collets I have more questions to think about.
                       After looking through the cdco  paper ,  I see a RT much lower priced with the option of indexing plates and tail stock at any time.    I here their tools are good. They are in my area so i can dodge the shipping.
                          I'm out of town now , I will look at my chucks when I'm home .If I bought a chuck wouldn't the
                       4 jaw independent chuck be the best?? I will use the one off the lathe though.
                      Thanks  Keith
                        

                      On Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 9:51 AM, johann_ohnesorg <bigdukeone@...> wrote:
                       


                      The links about the rotary table are real informative.This is the RT that I was considering, Seems like I would spend $200.00 FOR A 6'' RT so $50.00 more why not get the tail piece and indexing wheels?

                      Buy it! The indexing wheels can be a first project on a rotary table sice it´s only calculating, indexing and drilling. The plunger and the other parts are simple lathe or mill parts, too. But for 50 bucks more, don´t hesitate. A tailstock is useful, too in case you want to machine shafts or make special tooling. Usually, cutting force should be directed in the tailstock direction, here are no delicate moving parts. If not, use the two locks on the table. I would guess this is a vertex table, rebranded. I got the same, what can I say? Great out of the box. No sand, no dirt, no grit on it. I wiped it down with an oily rag and that was that...
                      There is a lot of material in the foot in case you need to widen the slots so you can bolt it down on the X3 in an upright position, the slots are 12mm but could be opend to 1/2" without a hassle.


                      I can vision a MT with a threaded adapter that would fit in the RT and then screw on to the chuck.
                      But, Im thinking the chuck you are talking about has a backing
                      plate that bolts to the RT and screws on to the chuck?

                      The chuck on your 9x20 usually goes on a chuck backplate. These backplates have the M39x4 thread plus a precision bored cylinder to ensure repaetability and accuracy in placement (yours may be inch sized) and usually three mounting screws so the chuck can be attached to the backplate.
                      These screws are operated from the back, therefore on the rotary you need a pretty thick mounting plate, one to hide allen screws in and with a rim so you can add another set of screws to bolt it down to the rotary table.
                      I got a chuck compareable to this chuck: G9828 3" 3-Jaw Plain Back Scroll Chuck.
                      That one has three mounting studs that would hold it on the backplate. I took out the three studs and drilled through the chuck completely, the three holes give great guidance so you´ll end up straight.
                      Now I have three holes for allen screws (I used 6mm bolts, you may use 1/4") that I countersunk on the frontside. This enables me to mount the chuck without a backplate. Looks something like this:

                      http://cdn0.grizzly.com/pics/jpeg500/h/h7592_det1.jpg

                      I had to make a few special T-nuts but that was no problem. In case your rotary comes with 4 slots you have to alter the drill pattern. Please check the slots carefully, they don´t reach all the way to the middle, therefore I had to chamfer the front side of the t-nuts already! The 4" is on the safe side for this approach for sure and costs only 5 bucks more. I took the 3" that was lying around in my shop and mounted it with the "cut then measure" philosophy. ;)

                      In case your lathe came with a G1082 4-Jaw Chuck (if it was from harbourfreight, it did) .find the right drill pattern and mount it. They call it a wood chuck but that one was a 4 jaw metal independant for at least 50 years before some guy renamed it so he can sell something else that looks more sturdy and is not a jota better. Zeroing in parts on those is not a problem, get or make a second handle, use a DI and push the part to center by tightening up with one handle and loosening up the other jaw with the second one. It takes a minute with a little bit of practice. You can do crazy things with those like milling excentric parts.

                      I did not know that ER collets could be used to hold work.

                      ERs are made for huge sideloads and grab cutters to very high concentricity. In case you manufacture or buy an ER32 holder you can use the ERs to grab long stock in your lathe. This comes very handy in case you have to make a lot of precise parts with little loss of material. Peek here:

                      http://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=2532&category=

                      but that one is overpriced in my opinion for a lump of cast iron with 3 holes, a ground taper and a thread. You could also use your collet holder for workholding if it fits the lathe spindle.

                      I thought they were for cutters or drill bits.I have a set of collets I got when I bought the mill cutters. The ER collets seem to small for mill cutters. I dont know if they are or not?

                      Google size ER32, they will take from 2-20mm. In case you already have a set of R8 or 5C that is good, too. Take a look at CDCO tools Nr.23012 , that is a very useful toy for the rotary if you got 5C collets. However, if you got a 3 jaw that is pretty versatile, too. You can hold your part in the 3 jaw, open the mounting screws a little bit and center the part by DTI, not the chuck. It´s just more of a hassle but is a good workaround in case you don´t need pinpoint precision all the time (and most of us really don´t).

                      In case you browse the CDCO site, hand over your credit card to someone sane and responsible before...

                      Cheers,
                      Johann


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