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Which of these 2 rotary tables should I get?

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Asm109

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#2
Different animals. Will you be cutting gears, splines on shafts? Or will you be cutting radii on plates and parts?
 

T Bredehoft

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#3
Personally, with a PM25, I'd look for a 4 inch rotary table. The chuck would be an extra, removable, looks like the 5" with the tilt base has a permanent chuck. It appears to be far more versatile, though.
The 6" table might be too heavy for the mill. I'm awaiting a windfall to get a table, and I haven't made up my mind, yet.
 

Hawkeye

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#4
I built an 8" RT when I had an RF-25 and it seemed to fit okay. I also have a dividing head similar to the one you show. Both have their advantages and I use both of them for different applications. The RT takes up less vertical space when used with the table in the horizontal plane.

It totally depends on what you see yourself using it for. Take a look at some projects you have done and some you are planning and walk through the way you would accomplish the necessary cuts. It may be that one will score higher than the other.
 

9t8z28

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#5
I have the same exact 6” RT with all of the components from the same seller “CME” except mine came with a 3 jaw chuck as well. He is located out of Michigan I believe. He also sells on eBay. This is an excellent RT and it will not be too big or to heavy for your PM25. I have a X2 Mill and the 6” is perfect. 4” would be to small for most of the work I could imagine doing with a RT. Also, this RT is a copy of the Vertex. It is built identical except for the bearing for the table.
 

stupoty

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#6
I use my rotory table much more than my dividing head.

As has been said depends upon your potential things you want to do :)

related to the mass of rotory tables , I put my 10" on my rf25 and it seems to be ok. (10" table is about as hevey as I would like to have to move around much)
 

9t8z28

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#7
Are you familiar with the typical or important features that a dividing head should have? I ask because I am not. I’ve only seen what others have done using a dividing head. I know basically what they do but I don’t know how to operate one and I’m curious if the dividing head that he posted has the right features to make it a worthwhile tool?
For instance, I’m pretty sure that most dividing heads can do direct (rapid) vs plain indexing. Does the linked dividing head have this capability?
I use my rotory table much more than my dividing head.

As has been said depends upon your potential things you want to do :)

related to the mass of rotory tables , I put my 10" on my rf25 and it seems to be ok. (10" table is about as hevey as I would like to have to move around much)
 

Pcmaker

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#8
I don't even know what a dividing head does
 

stupoty

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#9
I don't even know what a dividing head does

Dividing head generally used for adding regular features to a round object, a rotary table is for more general curved movement.

Sorry that's probably the worst explanation ever :)
 

9t8z28

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#10
I wasn’t looking for an explanation, I know what a dividing head does. I was wondering if you were to look at a picture of a dividing head, could you tell if it had the desirable features one would want in a dividing head.

Dividing head generally used for adding regular features to a round object, a rotary table is for more general curved movement.

Sorry that's probably the worst explanation ever :)
 

Dabbler

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#11
If I could afford it Id have both. I don't, so I have a 6" rotary table that works both horizontal and vertical positions.

I can think of several projects that a dividing head would be convenient for, but my RT will have to suffice.
 

stupoty

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#12
If I could afford it Id have both. I don't, so I have a 6" rotary table that works both horizontal and vertical positions.

I can think of several projects that a dividing head would be convenient for, but my RT will have to suffice.
I think the ability to mount the rotory table verticle could be a bonus, mines to big to do that with but occasionally it would be nice .

Stu
 

RJSakowski

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#13
I try to look at enabling features. The tilting dividing head can work at any angle between -10º and 90º while the CME RT can only work ina horizontal or vertical orientation. On the other hand, the CME RT can conceivably cut a 127 tooth gear, commonly used for SAE/metric conversion in lathes while the dividing head cannot. The CME RT is cabable of milling arcs with arbitrary start and end points while the dividing head is not. On that basis, I would probably go with the CME RT as the only feature that I am losing id the tilt capability and there are other ways to skin that cat.
 

9t8z28

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#14
This is very good advice. Although I will say that you can slightly alter the angle at which the Rotary Table is mounted to the table in the horizontal position but obviously not in the vertical position. I have tilted my rotary table up to 15° in the horizontal position. While it was not the most rigid set up it was good enough for the machining I did on CRS with a 1/2” end mill. If I had made a large wedge machined to the appropriate angle it would have been more rigid but that would have been a lot of work for a one off part.
I try to look at enabling features. The tilting dividing head can work at any angle between -10º and 90º while the CME RT can only work ina horizontal or vertical orientation. On the other hand, the CME RT can conceivably cut a 127 tooth gear, commonly used for SAE/metric conversion in lathes while the dividing head cannot. The CME RT is cabable of milling arcs with arbitrary start and end points while the dividing head is not. On that basis, I would probably go with the CME RT as the only feature that I am losing id the tilt capability and there are other ways to skin that cat.
 

Smithdoor

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#15

ttabbal

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#16
The rotary table with indexing plates sounds like it's a more universal setup. Those tend to have pros and cons, setups can take longer than a specialized tool etc.. I've been tossing around thoughts on this sort of thing as, longer term, I want the ability to make splined shafts, gears, etc. for robotics projects, lathe change gears, perhaps clock projects, etc..

I've seen some videos of people using various options to do it without specialized indexing tools at all, but I'd like a little convenience and I do occasionally wish I could do arcs with a rotary table.

It seems like one could mount a 4-jaw to either, so that feels like a wash to me. Indexing can be done with both. The RT can be horizontal, which could be handy.

Then there's the universal dividing head, but you need to have the ability to drive the table with it. I'm not sure I need to cut worm gears though. And I would have to build some method of driving the table with one if I went that way. I think this one is above my pay grade for the moment. :) Though I guess one could get it and wait on the table drive capability, but it seems like overspending for capability I may never have use for.

I would like to hear from people that have used both what they would do in a home shop if they were to choose just one for the sorts of work I mentioned. Hopefully the OP finds the information useful.
 

stupoty

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#17
I need to cut worm gears though.
Worm wheel and gears are probably better made on a lath using a gear hob.

Stu

edit found a video to show what I meen.

 

P. Waller

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#18
This is a question with no answer, anyone reading it has zero knowledge of what the part is.
If for instance the part was this example, both are to small, question answered.
If the same part but 1/2 the size both will work but require costly set up time, question answered.

This would be like asking "What shoes should I buy for work" without telling anyone what you do for a living.
 

fradish

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#19
Not really related to your question technically, but I remember seeing an Amazon listing from Mophorn (same
company that is selling the dividing head) for a milling machine maybe a year ago. This was a single listing
and there were pictures of 3 different Precision Matthews mills. I even contacted Matt and he said they had nothing
to do with PM. Since then I’ve been leery of Mophorn.
 
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