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Dividing heads

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andgott

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#1
I'm new to this- still waiting on my mill and vise to arrive. In the mean time, I've been trying to collect tools... I can see that this can turn in to an expensive hobby in a hurry!

I have run across a number of projects online that interest me that require (or are greatly helped by) a dividing head. Given the prices on them, it was something that I added to the 'maybe later' list. I have come across one that's a good deal price wise- but I wonder how much use I'm truly going to get out of it in the long run.

How useful are they? I know that they are used to make gears, which I'd like to get into at some point, as well as bolt circles, etc.

This one is a 10" swing... Bigger than what I had been looking at. It's a decent quality tool, retail online is about $770 or so on a number of different sites. I can get it for about $200.00. A great price- IF it's going to be more than just a paperweight.
 

100LL

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#2
A 10”dividing head is a big heavy accessory. What kind of mill do you have coming?
 

andgott

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#3
A 10”dividing head is a big heavy accessory. What kind of mill do you have coming?
Its a Precision Mathews PM30.... I figured that 10" swing was probably on the big side for this machine...
 

Ray C

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#4
When you say 10" swing, do you mean the table diameter is 10"? If so, the device is a rotary table, not a dividing head. There are subtle differences between the two but serve similar functions. Anyhow, a 10" rotary table is a little more than a paperweight... I'm guessing a typical weight of slightly over 120lbs. It won't comfortably fit on most mills because it has a diameter greater than the Y-range of anything but a very large mill.

Will you use one? Hard to say... Mine is about 35lbs and I use it about 2-3 times a year. If it weighed 120, it would just sit in the corner...


Ray
 

andgott

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#5
When you say 10" swing, do you mean the table diameter is 10"? If so, the device is a rotary table, not a dividing head. There are subtle differences between the two but serve similar functions. Anyhow, a 10" rotary table is a little more than a paperweight... I'm guessing a typical weight of slightly over 120lbs. It won't comfortably fit on most mills because it has a diameter greater than the Y-range of anything but a very large mill.

Will you use one? Hard to say... Mine is about 35lbs and I use it about 2-3 times a year. If it weighed 120, it would just sit in the corner...


Ray

It's a dividing head, this one- https://www.hhip.com/machine-tool-a...10-inch-semi-universal-dividing-head-set.html

I'm thinking it's just too big- Despite the great price.
 

Ray C

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#7
It's a dividing head, this one- https://www.hhip.com/machine-tool-a...10-inch-semi-universal-dividing-head-set.html

I'm thinking it's just too big- Despite the great price.
That's pretty darn big all right and too big for a PM30 for sure. It's 75lbs which feels like 750lbs when lifting on top of the table...

I've been using a rotary table just like this one for about 6 years now. I've done light milling on it and cut a few gears and splined shafts. It's been used a few times to make dials too. Whenever I use it, I always make the last cut then, advance one more time to see if the cutter lines-up with the first cut that was made. It's never let me down.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/6-HORIZONT...158792?hash=item25c0f65408:g:gHkAAOSw0bJZrsI0

Ray
 

JAS

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#8
Here is one I picked up about a 10" the chuck is a 6" off my Jet 1340 that I made an adapter plate for this weighs in at about 90 lbs. Think you are getting one to big. IMG_20180408_151530.jpg This is it on my machine alot of weight.I wanted a smaller one but it did not look that big on auction site and for $125.00 I got a deal with 2 plates and tailstock.
IMG_20170909_102154.jpg
 

gasengin

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#9
Think you either need a smaller dividing head or a rotary table. A 10 in wouldn't really work well on any thing less than a full size mill. Also need to remember that on that dividing head is the angle can be adjusted. As the dividing head spindle is moved to a higher angle, you need to be able to drop the table a lot to have room under the mill spindle.
 

DAT510

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#10
I've been quite happy with my Vertex HV-6 6" rotary table. I think it might be about the right size for your mill. They go for a little more than 1/2 of the one you are looking at.

Stefan Gotteswinter has a nice series on YouTube regarding the Vertex HV-6.
 

Bi11Hudson

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#12
A helluva buy....... if you have a truck big enough to move it. I have a couple of smaller ones, experimenting is why there's more than one. What I do use most often though is a sixty(60) tooth gear(?) built into my lathe. (Craftsman 12x36) The sixty tooth gives the possibility of dividing by five. With whatever lathe chuck is mounted, that suffices for most of my operations.

A lot of numbers can be generated that way. For gear cutting, there is the small indexing head, 3-1/2 inch table to which is mounted permanantly a three jaw mini-lathe chuck. I used to have a six inch head(B&S-0) but passed it on to a maker group. It was just too big to fit my small machines. And I have some fraction plates, again too big to use, for 51 to 97 prime numbers. Scrounged from a scrap bin where they were taken for disk brake rotors.(?) But they were too nice to pass up, I grabbed 'em and stashed 'em, late at night on 11-7 shift.

About the only thing I cannot do is "compounded" indexing. Other than that one issue, most gears can be improvised with a gear mounted on the backside of the spindle and an indexing device to clamp it in place. Be it a lathe or a milling machine, it's a fairly simple method. Even at the price you quoted, I would have to pass up an indexer that big unless I had a full sized serious shop to work in. Those custom gears can be finagled in numerous ways..

I must keep in mind though that my model building is small, 1:87.5, and most of my work is oriented to that.

Bill Hudson​
 
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CDarby67

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#13
I recently got a Vertex BS-0 and it is perfect for my A&S Tools mill/drill. I think this is more the size you must loock at. Great price for the other one, but way to big. There is lots you can do with a DH.




@Suzuki4evr ;

what source did you buy this accessory from? I am thinking that it would be ideal fro what I need. Is it a difficult piece of equipment to use? Learn?

Thanks,
CDarby67
 

andgott

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#14
I decided it was WAY too big. But I bought it anyway, the price was too good.

Then I sold it. Made a few bucks off of it.

And, I bought a new Vertex 8" rotary table. I was looking at the 6" ones, but decided to go bigger, everyone seemed to agree that you should go as big as you can to give more room for clamping things down. My mill has a 9" wide table, so it should fit fine.

I was able to get the table for $360 shipped, which I thought was pretty good. I picked up a set of dividing plates for it, and a D1-4 back plate that I can bolt to it to allow me to use my lathe chuck on it.

I also changed mills- The PM30's were delayed, the company told me weeks, but could be months, so I went with the next model up. It's a much beefier mill- Hell, the cast iron stand for it weighs almost as much as the other mill I had ordered... It's something like 1100 lbs total, so a big step up from a mini mill for sure.
 

Suzuki4evr

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#15
I recently got a Vertex BS-0 and it is perfect for my A&S Tools mill/drill. I think this is more the size you must loock at. Great price for the other one, but way to big. There is lots you can do with a DH.




@Suzuki4evr ;

what source did you buy this accessory from? I am thinking that it would be ideal fro what I need. Is it a difficult piece of equipment to use? Learn?

Thanks,
CDarby67
I bought it at a engineering & machine accessories shop here in SA. It is not difficult at all to use or to learn. It is perfect for smaller mills. I don't know where you are,but you can buy a vertex from ebay out of china for a good price,but for me it was too expensive with the shipping and added taxes. The learning part is easy and lots YouTube videos available. The manual that came with it also explains very well. I must tell you that I used it a lot and only had it for a short while. I don't know how I did things without it. It is a fun tool to have and a great investment.

Michael
 

benmychree

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#16
I recently got a Vertex BS-0 and it is perfect for my A&S Tools mill/drill. I think this is more the size you must loock at. Great price for the other one, but way to big. There is lots you can do with a DH.




@Suzuki4evr ;

what source did you buy this accessory from? I am thinking that it would be ideal fro what I need. Is it a difficult piece of equipment to use? Learn?

Thanks,
CDarby67
A dividing head is pretty easy to use, especially for direct indexing, using the plate behind the chuck with its dividing plunger, this works at up to 24 divisions, for other divisions the dividing plate(s) on the front are used. With this method, you can divide up to 360, I think, except prime numbers (such as 127). If you did not get a dividing table along with the head, it is all in Machinery's Handbook, or you can find Brown & Sharpe's book (available online, I'm told) "Practical Treatise on Milling and Milling Machines". The dividing head you show in the picture is a knock off of their dividing heads.
 

pacifica

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#17
Its a Precision Mathews PM30.... I figured that 10" swing was probably on the big side for this machine...
I have a 8 " yuasa rotary table with a 6" chuck for my mill, I wish it was smaller because of the weight. I find I dont use it much because it is so heavy and awkward to install on table.
 

Technical Ted

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#18
I picked up a BS-0 Chinese clone from eBay a couple years back for fairly cheap and it's been good enough for my use. The 3-jaw chuck does run out some, but with centers it's dead on. The chuck is close enough for most of my work, but if I want better I just use the centers.

Might want to check those out as well.

Ted
 

benmychree

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#19
I have a 8 " yuasa rotary table with a 6" chuck for my mill, I wish it was smaller because of the weight. I find I dont use it much because it is so heavy and awkward to install on table.
I had the same situation so far as weight is concerned, and at 73 years, it isn't getting better, a few years ago, I got some sliding door track, like for a barn door, and a HF electric winch and set one up over the mill, and one over the lathe, so now no more heavy lifting, at least on those two machines. Another fix that I saw, was a hinged bridge (slide) attached to the work bench behind a mill that landed on the mill table alongside the machine; when the dividing head was needed, the drawbridge was lowered and the dividing head slid down onto the mill table. Such a bridge should be covered or made of metal so that accessories will slide on it easily, or perhaps some plastic; if it had a channel down its center for the accessory's keys to fit into, all the better.
 
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