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Welding Rotary Table

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Ray C

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Sadly, I'm not able to show parts diagrams and instructions for this. I put this together on-the-fly and have been using it for some time now. I took it apart and took pictures of the pieces. The pictures imply assembly instructions and leave nothing to the imagination.

Pic 1 & 2. Everything in the project is shop-made except for the taper bearing, worm-gear motor and speed controller.

The aluminum blocks ride against that metal collar and serve as electrical contact brushes. This gives current a clean path to the table shaft without traveling through the bearing rollers. If welding currents are permitted to travel through bearings, arcing stands a good chance of ruining the bearing.

Pic 1.
IMG_20171126_190528.jpg


You can see in Pic 2, the aluminum blocks have slots milled in the sides to accommodate springs that keep the blocks in a state of compression on the collar. The aluminum blocks also have slots on the top and a couple cap screws retain the blocks yet, allow them to move a little as the shaft rotates.

Pic 2.
IMG_20171126_190730.jpg


Pic 3 is a close-up of the table shaft and table as well as the collar which makes electrical contact between the aluminum blocks and the shaft.
The shaft has a 1" x 8 TPI thread which is screwed into a corresponding threaded sleeve that is TIG'd to the back-side of the table.

Pic 3.
IMG_20171217_120836.jpg


Pic 4 shows that some braided copper grounded to the inside of the box and makes electrical contact with the aluminum blocks (brushes).
Also notice the metal tabs welded to the round bearing housing. Those tabs will capture the motor.

Pic 4
IMG_20171217_120732.jpg

Picture 5 shows a metal plate screwed to the face of the gear motor. The plate aligns and fits the ears on the tabs described in Pic 4.

Pic 5.
IMG_20171217_120757.jpg


Pic 6 is a close-up of how the collar attaches to the shaft to serve as a "brush/commutator" mechanism.

Pic 6.
IMG_20171217_121058.jpg


Pic 7 shows everything inside the box, pretty-much ready to go. A set screw in the shaft captures the shaft coming out of the transmission of the gear motor. That's all that holds the motor assembly in place. The gear motor cannot be constrained rigidly because any misalignment with the table shaft would cause the gearbox to self destruct over time. The method of capturing the motor with the tab/slot brackets allows it move a little. Also, any weight on the table does not jam on the gearbox shaft with this kind of a capture mechanism.

The gear motor has a good bit of torque. I measured it -and for the life of me, don't remember what the value was. Several foot-lbs as I recall. Even at 12v and in the hundred milliwatt range, I cannot stop the shaft from spinning using finger strength but, I can with a pair of pliers and a good solid grip.

The toggle switch on the side is to reverse rotation.

Pic 7.
IMG_20171217_121734.jpg


And here it is with the speed controller. Overall, it's built like a tank. The box is made of 11ga hot-rolled. The table is 1/2" stainless steel with some circles grooved for visual alignment of parts. The taper bearing support the weight of anything on the table. I had some 100lb round-stock disks on this thing. It chugged along like nothing was there.

I built this thing for a single knock-off purpose quite some time ago and it's become one of my favorite welding tools. It's seen a lot more use than what I originally made it for.

Pic 8.
IMG_20171217_121819.jpg

I also purchased a foot-switch but, have not wired it up yet. Total costs ran as follows: Speed controller, 10 bucks. Gear motor: 25 bucks. Taper bearing: 4 bucks. Foot pedal switch (not shown) 15 bucks. Everything else was all shop-drops.

Enjoy... Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Regards

Ray C.

IMG_20171217_121311.jpg
 

tweinke

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Nice positioner! Built on the fly is sometimes best. Thanks for the pictures they really do tell the story well.
 

Aukai

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Very creative, and functional.
 

Ray C

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Well planned and executed.
LOL! It was everything but planned and executed. A friend needed some welding on 5 big round plates. Uh oh... no positioning table. Better make one. Thank heavens for Amazon Prime for the bearing, motor and controller.

It took a few hours to make the turned and milled parts and about the same to cut the metal for the box off a 5x10 sheet of 11ga. About 2-3 hours to sketch-out the design and a few hours to weld it all up and assemble.


Regards

Ray C.
 

jbolt

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What RPM motor did you use?
 

BFHammer

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Nicely done! Not sure how I missed this before.

I can imagine that you are getting a lot of use out of it. I'm surprised at the number of times I come across quick little weld jobs that would be much easier to accomplish with a rotary table - I just haven't been industrious enough to build one yet!

Great job and thanks for sharing all the details!
 
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