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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

Bronze
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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

Iron
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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

Steel
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Sep 11, 2013
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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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Oct 29, 2017
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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

Artificer00
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Feb 13, 2017
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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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