A regular dividing head can divide a multitude of divisions that a rotary table with plates cannot, being limited to the number of divisions allowed by the plates. A universal dividing head can divide literally nearly any desired number of divisions, including prime numbers. If one has a special dividing plate for a regular dividing head, angles can be also divided to a high degree of fineness and accuracy.
First, the weather is as changeable as ever. Snow one day, 70'F the next. My question is related to clock making, an endeavor to be. I have looked at making a small indexing head for the wheels, but that seems to require the making of indexing plate, which requires sone form of indexing facility. Sort of a chicken and the egg issue. Or an MC Escher thing. Anyway, started looking at options and got more confused, hence the request for enlightenment.
We don't have snow here, but I hear you, one day 85 degrees, 55 the next day! In my opinion, if the goal is making gears for a clock or anything else, a dividing head is the necessary tool; a rotary table could be used as well if it had a dividing attachment, that is the table would have a worm drive and dividing plates as does a true dividing head; as I previously noted, an indexer has generally only one indexing plate, and is limited to a small number of divisions, perhaps 24 in most of them.
Perhaps I may be muddying the water here but I am currently working on a diy dividing head and believe the indexer should make divisions of 360 that are numbers with out remainders in the answer, where indexing plates will provide divisions of any number. The number 33 comes to mind and I believe it would be difficult to get equal spaces with an indexer. benmychree explained it very well and I just threw in what I have learned from Gears and Gear Cutting.
Have a good day