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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need a rotary table and I will be running it vertically.

I was think a 4-6" table with a 3"-4" 4 jaw chuck would be perfect, because most of what I do would be .5" to 1" in diameter.

The biggest question I have is, should I get a tilting one? I'm running it on a Bridgeport, so I could tilt the head, but I think it would be easier to just tilt the rotary table.

Any advice or one sitting in the shop you don't need?
 

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If you think you're going to need to work at an angle, get the rotary table with the angle. Retramming the mill head is a hassle I try to avoid.
 

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gunco irregular
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Why not a dividing head? Many come with a chuck already, and they will do angles.
 

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gunco irregular
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Here's mine with a 6" chuck. It's a universal dividing head that can be set up to do spiral flutes/gears ect. It has a 40:1 ratio so each turn of the handle has 9 degrees of rotation. You can set up quick index plates behind the chuck (there's a 36 hole one on it) or use the index plates on the side. The head tilts also. You can get smaller semi-universal ones off of ebay for around $350-$400. If you plan to make reamers or flute barrels you will also want a tailstock for it, Mine is hiding behide the chuck in the pic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here's mine with a 6" chuck. It's a universal dividing head that can be set up to do spiral flutes/gears ect. It has a 40:1 ratio so each turn of the handle has 9 degrees of rotation. You can set up quick index plates behind the chuck (there's a 36 hole one on it) or use the index plates on the side. The head tilts also. You can get smaller semi-universal ones off of ebay for around $350-$400. If you plan to make reamers or flute barrels you will also want a tailstock for it, Mine is hiding behide the chuck in the pic.
I'm open to that, I mostly want it for these bolt heads I'm making which is just a shaft with lugs. Would a Universal dividing head work good for that?

I guess the ability to make gears is worth the extra money.
 

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gunco irregular
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I'm open to that, I mostly want it for these bolt heads I'm making which is just a shaft with lugs. Would a Universal dividing head work good for that?

I guess the ability to make gears is worth the extra money.
You can make gears with either kind, but the universal has a gear drive off the back so that you can tie it into your x-axis on the mill table to cut spirals or helical gears. That also translates into more $ for the dividing head for a feature you may never use. I lucked out and found mine for $300 in excellent condition with very little use with a back plate, but no chuck. I found new 6" chucks from $100 on up, and ended up getting one for a little over $300, so I have $600 in mine. Shars/discount machine has a standard dividing head with a back plate for $350 and lists a 4"3-jaw for another $70. It has a 40:1 ratio and comes with a couple dividing plates. The head tilts between horizontal and vertical. BS 0 Dividing Head Plates Milling Set Tail Head Stock | eBay I was looking at getting it or the next size up with a 5" chuck when I ran across the bigger unit.
 

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molemans advise is good. I use my dividing head/ rig more than any other tool /vise in the shop. Easy to set up and your imagination is your only limitation. I have fixtures made up to cut checkering on Gov model frames. The head makes that a easy job. shars unit has served me well . The rotary table get some use but I prefer the dividing head...Pat
 

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Always sore, always tired
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That's a sweet looking unit there on Ebay. I wish they would put something in the picture to help judge the size. I've been looking for a dividing head & tailstock for my little Atlas horizontal mill.
 

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Hello Brad,
That is a very nice looking Atlas-Craftsman bench mill !!! I wish I still had mine. They are more rigid than the small chicom vertical mills popular these days. They also had power-feed tables.

For an indexing device small enough for the Atlas table check with the Little Machine Shop (Tooling, parts, and accessories for bench top machinists - LittleMachineShop.com ), 800-981-9663 in Pasadena, CA. They have a very small indexing head and several tiny rotary tables, horizontal/vertical (4 inch size).

VD in AZ
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
molemans advise is good. I use my dividing head/ rig more than any other tool /vise in the shop. Easy to set up and your imagination is your only limitation. I have fixtures made up to cut checkering on Gov model frames. The head makes that a easy job. shars unit has served me well . The rotary table get some use but I prefer the dividing head...Pat
Cool info, So you have the shars?

Thanks guys for the advice, I will be getting the dividing head. I'm going to look some more on the used market, but if I have to I'll buy new.
 
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