Opinions sought on 4 inch rotary tables

This is mainly aimed at those who use 4 inch rotary tables (RT) on larger machines such as a bridgeport mill. I have a 10 inch RT, a 12
inch crosslide RT and an index head that accepts 6 inch chucks. They all get used to varying degrees. One advantage of a horizontal/vertical RT over the index head would be the lower height and shorter overhang. The 6 inch index head has a lot of overhang and rigidity suffers because of this. But all these types of heads have basically the same form factor so getting a different head won't change things. On small parts getting past the OD of the RT means lots of tool overhand. But it seems like the 4" table with a dedicated vise and chuck would be ideal for small work. And a lot of small work goes through my shop. All these small tables seem to come with 4 slots which may make it possible to fashion jaws that screw in and out of the slots making the table a 4 jaw chuck. I have a 4 inch 3 jaw chuck that has a 5C shank to be used in a collet closer. Modifying it to become an adjustable chuck was easy and it would be easy to modify another. If I did this the 5C shank would be removed and the back part of the chuck would be made to attach directly to the RT. A 5 inch chuck could also be made to fit the 4 inch RT and the RT could still be used in the horizontal position because there is sufficient clearance for this. Which brings me to the last advantage I can see when comparing the 4 inch RT to the 6 inch index head. This is the horizonta/vertical nature of the RT mount that makes it easy to go from one to the other without having to indicate the table surface to make sure it is either parallel or vertical to the mill table. The index head, having the ability to be set at any angle also means that it has to be indicated whenever the angle is changed. So, have I missed anything? Are these little tables useful? Or are they just too small, even for those who use them on desktop machines? Thanks, Eric R Snow
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I've used the Sherline 4" rotary table to good effect a few times on a Clausing mill. There's a separate angle mount for it that might be useful.
Mike
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I had the Phase II 6" H/V rotary table (actually more like 6.75")> Loved it, but it was much too big for either my Centec 2C mill or my Burke #4. I sold the 6" and bought the Phase II 4" table. This time with a tailstock (couldn't fit that on my mills either for the 6" table). Love it even more. The rigidity is excellent and I think that the relatively low profile in both Horizontal or vertical mode, might make for greater net rigidity in my setup. The four slots, at first, appear to be limiting, but I fixed that in short order with the following tooling.
1. A 4" four-jaw chuck mounted on a small aluminum plate that I machined. 2. A 3" three-jaw chuck mounted on a backing plate available from Boston Brass .. when I bought the chuck. 3. A full set of MT-2 collets.. and a drawbar for the same that I machined. 4. A bunch of MT-2 arbors threaded for the drawbar. 5. Various T-nuts, T-bolts, clamps, etc. T-nut jaws (as per your suggesting). Actually, that's aout the kind of tooling you would set up with any rotary table.
A note of caution regarding the indexing plates for this little table. Phase II just doesn't have it right. The only indexing plates available has just 20 holes or something like that. Hardly worth the effort. I bought them and promptly returned them. If I were into gear making, the first step would be to find some existing indexing plates that I could adapt.
Boris
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On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 14:45:46 GMT, "Boris Beizer"

Thanks Boris and Mike. Just the kind of info I'm looking for. What prompted this was seeing in a Grizzly catalog a 4 inch with a set of 3 index plates. I guess it's time to order one. Eric
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Eric R Snow wrote:

Eric Before you order that....
I was reading a lengthy evaluation of the Grizzly vs the HF just yesterday. Short version: The Grizzly was pure junk, while the HF was a nice piece. The HF was cheaper but had not indexing plates. I'll see if I can find the links
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On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 12:41:35 -0500, with neither quill nor qualm, Rex

If true, that's a complete 180 from normal quality levels of these two sources. Griz usually has the finely-QCed items and HF the crap.
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Larry Jaques wrote:

I'm sure sources and quality change over time from both sources as well. Eric, be sure to give us a report on the Grizzly. I need to buy one too. Wholesale Tools has one for $85 on sale. Anybody bought one of those?
Rex
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Here ya go:
wrote: > > Has anyone used the Grizzly 4 inch rotary table that comes with the > dividing plates? I just got a cataloge from them and it is listed at $ > 139. Seems like a good price. I would appreciate any comments. > Wayne P. > I have one. Read this:
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/millingmachinetalk/message/499
And this:
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/millingmachinetalk/message/508 - - Rex Burkheimer WM Automotive Fort Worth TX
Eric R Snow wrote:

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    --I got to beta test the little Sherline rotary table with the cnc controller.. I made a waterproof enclosure for the motor using a plastic jar with a hole cut in the lid for the wires to feed thru. I also made a more robust right angle bracket than the one Sherline sells. Now I seldom use the larger rotary table, because of the benefits of the motor driven unit. The little Sherline rotary table is well made, has little or no backlash and is very adaptable, i.e. vise-friendly.
--
"Steamboat Ed" Haas : When does Inuyasha get
Hacking the Trailing Edge! : to bone Kagome??
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