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Winner my indexer

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I was asked to do a more detailed log on my indexer project that I posted in the "what I did today" section, So here goes.

I found myself needing an indexer several times so I thought I would build one. So far I have no money invested in this project as it is made from materials I had lying around. There are no real prints for this. I have two working prints that I add to as I go and I will post those later.

This is the nearly completed indexer as it sit today. I still have to mount the plunger and thread the rear of the spindle for lock nuts and a take up bearing. The spindle does not spin, it is designed to be positioned and locked for machining operations so no bearing is needed in the body.

indexer front view3.jpg

The body is a piece of 3 inch diameter aircraft quality aluminum. This is tough stuff and should hold up fine. I bored a hole for a steel spindle I made that accepts 3C collets. there is .002" clearance on the bore and a slot cut up from the bottom. A 1/4" socket head bolt pinches the .002" and locks the spindle in position.

Indexer spindle.jpg

Spindle lock slot.jpg

The angle base is a piece of 5/8" thick angle which is a drop from a car hauler bed (more high grade , tough aluminum). A 1/2 " grade 5 bolt is fit in a precision drilled hole in the rear and threads into the body to lock the tilt feature. I decided this thing needed to tilt to any angle from 0 to 90 degrees and I engraved lines on the body every 5 degrees for a reference when tilting.


indexer parts.jpg

The above photo shows the parts to the indexer. I decided (although it really isn't needed, but I tend to over engineer sometimes) to install a front support bearing. This is a steel bearing made from drill rod and has a flange in the middle that is captured in a recess in the front of the body. This allows free rotation but it cant slide in or out. The front plate has two 90 degree slots. The smaller one is for a 12-24 socket head bolt that locks the tilt feature from the front. This is also kind of redundant as the 1/2" bolt in the rear is the main lock. It is just well locked in position. The larger slot allows rotation of the spindle lock bolt as the body is tilted to an angle. There are also two 1/8" dowel pins that locate the front plate so if it is removed, it always goes back exactly as needed.

front bearing installed.jpg

There is a hub on the front that has a recess for the spindle index plate mounting hub. This hub holds the banjo that holds the spring loaded plunger which engages the hole pattern in the index plate. The following photos show this hub and the banjo. The banjo tilts in a 10 degree range for any weird index angles between holes but has a detent in the hub to always locate to the original position.

indexer front view3.jpgindexer banjo.jpgindexer 5 - Copy.jpg


The spring loaded plunger assembly is pretty straight forward as seen in the following photos. There will be a slot in the banjo for this plunger to slide in or out to locate on different hole circles and different sized plates. The plate here has 36 holes which cover most of the bolt circles I use, But I am making a 6 inch plate with four more circles of different number of holes and this will cover any hole pattern I will ever need.

plunger assembly parts.jpgindexer plunger.jpg

The indexer is nearing completion. The two main things to do is thread the rear of the spindle for a lock nut and mount the plunger ( unless i come up with any additional features I might want:thinking: ). I made a 3C collet blank that has a backing plate for a 4 inch chuck made right on it. I have a 4 inch, 4 jaw chuck that mounts on the backing plate and can be put in the spindle for various holding capabilities I am going to add all the photos I have taken during this project here at the end to hopefully answer anything I may have missed. This indexer has a 6" total swing and works horizontally, vertically , or any angle in between. It will let me drill bolt circles or index a part to mill flats such as making a hex head on a draw bar. Yes , I am going to make a tail stock for it. That is the next project. This project has been fun and best of all FREE. It is small and fits my Burke No.4 mill nicely.

Thank you for looking,

Mark

boring indexer body - Copy.jpgplunger assembly parts.jpgIndexer10.jpgIndexer9.jpgindexer6.jpgIndexer spindle.jpgindexer spindle view.jpgindexer rear view3.jpgindexer rear view1.jpgIndexer rear view.jpgindexer plunger.jpgindexer parts.jpgindexer front view3.jpgIndexer front view - Copy.jpgindexer banjo.jpgIndexer 8 - Copy.jpgindexer 5 - Copy.jpgfront bearing installed.jpgSpindle lock slot.jpg

boring indexer body - Copy.jpg front bearing installed.jpg indexer 5 - Copy.jpg Indexer 8 - Copy.jpg indexer banjo.jpg Indexer front view - Copy.jpg indexer front view3.jpg indexer parts.jpg indexer plunger.jpg Indexer rear view.jpg indexer rear view1.jpg indexer rear view3.jpg indexer spindle view.jpg Indexer spindle.jpg indexer6.jpg Indexer9.jpg Indexer10.jpg plunger assembly parts.jpg Spindle lock slot.jpg
 

12bolts

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Great write up Mark, thanks for this post

Cheers Phil
 
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The indexer is finished

Finished indexer.jpg
Finished indexer2.jpg

Now I am in the process of trying to design a tail stock for the indexer and I would like to mount them on a steel or cast iron plate with a T slot so I can put the whole thing on and off my mill table as a unit . This will also allow more versatile setups , such as angles. It is not shown here but I made a 4 inch back plate for a chuck with a 3C collet blank machined on the back of it so I can install a 4 inch chuck as easy as changing a collet.

Thanks to all who watch my projects

Mark

Finished indexer.jpg Finished indexer2.jpg
 
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Andre

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Nice work, Mark. Can you show a picture of your collet backed chuck?
 
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I lost a lot of pics after my recent computer crash, but will try to take another. I don't have a chuck for it yet , just the plate with the collet blank attached. I will machine the front for the chuck when I acquire the chuck.

Mark
 
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indexer and tail stock.jpg this is the completed set including tailstock.

Mark

indexer and tail stock.jpg
 
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Congratulations on becoming a POTM builder. Very nice work, you deserve to be recognized. Awesome.

"Billy G"
 
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Congratulations on becoming a POTM builder. Very nice work, you deserve to be recognized. Awesome.

"Billy G"
Thank you, I feel honored

Mark
 

MattM

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Beautiful and way, way above my skill level. But, tell me, did you need an indexer to make an indexer?
 
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No I didn't

Mark
 

Hawkeye

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Nice indexer, Mark. Congrats on POTM.
 
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Nelson

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AWESOME project!:cheeringclapping:
 
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Thank you all for watching.

Mark
 

countryguy

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Sweet! Congrats on POTM! Very neat and love to see self built solutions! Thanks for posting.
CG :thumbzup3:
 

jumps4

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Nice job
that will be very handy for years of use.
Steve
 
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The index plate was made using a rotary table ( maybe that what you meant by indexer?). Mine positions (supposedly ) within seconds of a degree which is more accurate than I can drill on the drill press. To keep the holes as precise as possible they have to be started with a center drill , then the bit changed to a drill one size smaller than the desired size , then finished drilled to size with a precision ground drill bit. ( or you could ream them). This is what takes so long making that plate.

Mark Frazier


How did you make the index plate without using an indexer?
 

fgduncan

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An outstanding piece of work. You have to be proud of it. Truly professional level work.
 
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Very worthy of project winner, beautiful work. No problems holding the work when boring? Brian

772a4cb3-4e68-4060-881e-bfde9f4c61d4_zps8136cac8.png

I got a LOT of pressure on the two flat sides ( thus the aluminum padding) and milder pressure on the other two jaws. they more or less just keep it located. most of the cutting force is straight in. Don't take large cuts.


Mark Frazier
 

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herbet999

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Nice. Maybe someday I'll be able to make something of this complexity and quality. Thanks for the inspiration.
 

RVJimD

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Mark,

very nice looking work!

can you describe for me how you did the index plates? I may try to make a new hold down clamp for my lathe which would look similar to your plates. I'm not sure how to hold the 1/2" x 5 x 5" square plate while turning it round and putting a 3/4" hole in the center.

jim
 

Smithdoor

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Great Job

Dave:applause:

I was asked to do a more detailed log on my indexer project that I posted in the "what I did today" section, So here goes.

I found myself needing an indexer several times so I thought I would build one. So far I have no money invested in this project as it is made from materials I had lying around. There are no real prints for this. I have two working prints that I add to as I go and I will post those later.

This is the nearly completed indexer as it sit today. I still have to mount the plunger and thread the rear of the spindle for lock nuts and a take up bearing. The spindle does not spin, it is designed to be positioned and locked for machining operations so no bearing is needed in the body.

View attachment 84528

The body is a piece of 3 inch diameter aircraft quality aluminum. This is tough stuff and should hold up fine. I bored a hole for a steel spindle I made that accepts 3C collets. there is .002" clearance on the bore and a slot cut up from the bottom. A 1/4" socket head bolt pinches the .002" and locks the spindle in position.

View attachment 84535

View attachment 84540

The angle base is a piece of 5/8" thick angle which is a drop from a car hauler bed (more high grade , tough aluminum). A 1/2 " grade 5 bolt is fit in a precision drilled hole in the rear and threads into the body to lock the tilt feature. I decided this thing needed to tilt to any angle from 0 to 90 degrees and I engraved lines on the body every 5 degrees for a reference when tilting.


View attachment 84529

The above photo shows the parts to the indexer. I decided (although it really isn't needed, but I tend to over engineer sometimes) to install a front support bearing. This is a steel bearing made from drill rod and has a flange in the middle that is captured in a recess in the front of the body. This allows free rotation but it cant slide in or out. The front plate has two 90 degree slots. The smaller one is for a 12-24 socket head bolt that locks the tilt feature from the front. This is also kind of redundant as the 1/2" bolt in the rear is the main lock. It is just well locked in position. The larger slot allows rotation of the spindle lock bolt as the body is tilted to an angle. There are also two 1/8" dowel pins that locate the front plate so if it is removed, it always goes back exactly as needed.

View attachment 84523

There is a hub on the front that has a recess for the spindle index plate mounting hub. This hub holds the banjo that holds the spring loaded plunger which engages the hole pattern in the index plate. The following photos show this hub and the banjo. The banjo tilts in a 10 degree range for any weird index angles between holes but has a detent in the hub to always locate to the original position.

View attachment 84528View attachment 84526View attachment 84524


The spring loaded plunger assembly is pretty straight forward as seen in the following photos. There will be a slot in the banjo for this plunger to slide in or out to locate on different hole circles and different sized plates. The plate here has 36 holes which cover most of the bolt circles I use, But I am making a 6 inch plate with four more circles of different number of holes and this will cover any hole pattern I will ever need.

View attachment 84539View attachment 84530

The indexer is nearing completion. The two main things to do is thread the rear of the spindle for a lock nut and mount the plunger ( unless i come up with any additional features I might want:thinking: ). I made a 3C collet blank that has a backing plate for a 4 inch chuck made right on it. I have a 4 inch, 4 jaw chuck that mounts on the backing plate and can be put in the spindle for various holding capabilities I am going to add all the photos I have taken during this project here at the end to hopefully answer anything I may have missed. This indexer has a 6" total swing and works horizontally, vertically , or any angle in between. It will let me drill bolt circles or index a part to mill flats such as making a hex head on a draw bar. Yes , I am going to make a tail stock for it. That is the next project. This project has been fun and best of all FREE. It is small and fits my Burke No.4 mill nicely.

Thank you for looking,

Mark

View attachment 84522View attachment 84539View attachment 84538View attachment 84537View attachment 84536View attachment 84535View attachment 84534View attachment 84533View attachment 84532View attachment 84531View attachment 84530View attachment 84529View attachment 84528View attachment 84527View attachment 84526View attachment 84525View attachment 84524View attachment 84523View attachment 84540
 
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Mark,

very nice looking work!

can you describe for me how you did the index plates? I may try to make a new hold down clamp for my lathe which would look similar to your plates. I'm not sure how to hold the 1/2" x 5 x 5" square plate while turning it round and putting a 3/4" hole in the center.

jim

Actually , my plates are a 1/4" slice of a piece of 5" round steel bar. I then drilled the center to 1/2" and put on a mandrel made from a bolt and held them in the lathe chuck. I faced one side an turned around and faced the other side WITH LIGHT CUTS down to the thickness I liked. I drilled them on the drill press with a rotary table. BUT, I did find the hole must be started with a center drill and then drilled with a slightly smaller drill than desired and then drilled with the finish drill of 1/8". This means three drill changes for every hole. it takes hours to do this way, but the increased accuracy is worth it. I scrapped two plates trying to just drill them. the holes are all over the place. After all that, i chucked in a lathe with a block in back to make it square and bored the center hole with LIGHT CUTS to avoid dislodging the plate.

I hope this helps you and if you have any other questions feel free to ask.

Thank you ,
Mark

NOTE: To make the plates from square stock, lay it out and cut close on a band saw, touchup on the belt sander, and then do what I described above.:))
 

bpratl

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Very impressive machining, great job. Bob
 
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