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Mill accessorys for the beginner (Rotary / Angle Table)

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wileel

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#1
Ok, as I sit around litteraly waiting for the slow boat from China with my machine on it, I find myself window shopping. I'm a newbie for this, so as I see this cool looking stuff I started to wonder how useful they are for the average hobby guy. Today it was rotary tables and angle tables. I can easily convince myself that it would be nice to have one and how convenient it would be, but what is the reality of it...where would you put this type of stuff on the must have list?

I'm thinking I'm not unlike most of the new guys here, and most of you have been there at some point, so maybe this thread would help others like me out. Also please feel free to add your opinions on accessories, and how you feel about the "need" for them for the guy with little to moderate experience.
 

dlane

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#2
It all depends on what you plan to make, rotary tables are good for radius cutting , unless you have a cnc machine then there useless. Angle plates/vises can be useful all depends.
 

tweinke

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#3
I think probably be sure your measuring tools and the like are up to snuff, be sure to have basic tooling and collets or end mill holders, a decent vise. At that point depending on what you will be building acquire the fancy stuff. A word to the wise from my experience as far as rotary tables buy the biggest one that will work on your mill also not the cheapest, been there done that.
 

wileel

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#4
Good advice. It sure can be tempting while window shopping to search for the lest expensive item out there. I admit I'm as guilty as the next guy having done that...sometimes it works out great, esp if you skill set matches the capabilities of the cheap tool or you can live with its limitations, other times not so much. That being said I think it comes down to the type of tool. I have zero problem using a cheap hammer but I'm not going to use a cheap torque wrench.
 

kd4gij

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#5
Some people get along just fine with out an RT or AP. But, once you get bitten my the BUG. It be like OH new tool, Must have, Gotta have, I really need that new TOOL. :laughing:
 

dlane

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#6
^ +1, yup and a lot of times that great tool you couldn’t live without sets on a shelf collecting dust
 

jwmay

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#7
I asked for and got an angle table 2 years ago for Christmas. It’s not been used one time. At the time, I was sure I needed it for something, which I can’t even remember now, and obviously used a different method since I know for certain I didn’t use that table. I bought a fancy super indexing chuck with the intent to use it as a rotary table as well. It had that feature anyhow. In the year I’ve had it, I’ve used it to make 2 square headed bolts. I can’t say either item is,was,or ever will be necessary in my shop. But, I know for certain that there are people who would not be without one. People who probably keep their rotab mounted one one end of the milling bed at all times. So, the best suggestion I might make is to not buy anything fancy at all. Pretend these items don’t exist, and figure out a way to do the job without it. Even if it takes a month. If at some point you decide that you are using your workaround method every day, or every job, then maybe just consider purchasing them. But keep in mind by then you’ll probably be able to build that fancy thing yourself with info from this website. Another great resource i can’t recommend enough are Harold Hall’s books. He has plans for a rotary table, dividing head, Boring Head, etc., with instructions for all of it. It’s metric, but we oughta be able to deal with that, right? Most of our fellows across the pond are able. So anyways, there’s suggestions from one new guy to another I guess. Best regards!
 

tweinke

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#8
I agree with all the above comments! BUT IF YOU REALY WANT ALL THE GOODIES........... let us know your budget and we will be more then happy to help you spend that and more!!!!!. :eagerness: I think you will find that working with the basics and building your tooling arsenal from there as needed will probably save you some cash and shelf space. None of this was meant to discourage you be any means cuz I sure love new doodads in the shop but I am slowly learning and choosing my purchases carefully so I don't end up with too many dust collecting tools.
 

rock_breaker

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#9
IMHO a vise is necessary unless the budget says stay with the angle plate. When the machine is up and running your projects will indicate what you need. I have an 8" rotary table ( second owner) and have used it 2 times in 4 years, however I am building 2 more projects that will require it. I would suggest looking at some of the Workshop Practice Series books published by Special Interest Model Books. One author, Harold Hall in his book Milling a Complete Course starts making milling tools from scratch and does not go to far into expensive tools to make some pretty neat stuff. His approach and other authors cover a lot of basic situations used to make some sophisticated equipment.
Welcome to the site, enjoy your machines and have a good day.
Ray
 

Glenn Brooks

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#10
Yep, I absolutely had to have a rotary table. Used it twice also. Very necessary to mill round work, not necessary for anything else. Much better to focus on a Good, e.g. first class, vise. And buy or make some hold down clamps and tee bolts, maybe a machinist vise or two to clamp stuff to the table (including the vise).

Also FYI, be careful not to buy to large a RT. I bought a 10” RT because that was all I could find on the used market. It’s to big for my Grizzly Mill, and I have difficultly mounting it and moving the table in and out. I would have been happy with a 6” or 8”.
 

dlane

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#11
8” vertex , I made the top fixture plate for it mic6 1-1/4” , old pic but table served me well.
Mt3 center 3/8” dowel centers the table on mill
Nice to know it’s there when needed.
O yaa
457D0F55-6474-4249-9350-3975B4BB67C7.jpeg
 

f350ca

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#12
I use my mill a lot. Had the indexing head on the other day to cut a spline. Been a few years since it had been mounted to cut some gears. Im sure the rotary table was on a while ago but I can't remember what for. On the rare occurrence that I need an angle plate which I don't have I use a home made fixture plate with one end in the vice and the other end held up with a machinist jack.
Wait and see what you really need.

Greg
 
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