Their rotary tables are "built to a price" - they are perfectly serviceable items, but don't expect to find any signs of ball bearings, or even bronze bearings for that matter. Interestingly enough, the exploded diagram in the user manual that comes with the table shows ball races on the worm shaft & on the table spindle, but in reality they are plain steel-on-cast iron or cast iron-on-cast iron bearings. Hence, the action is not as free as it can be on better constructed tables.
Chester do a 6" table that is externally very similar to the HV6 (& similar price) but actually does use ball races.
You unscrew one cap head screw retaining the handwheel, remove the handwheel & its key, screw the dividing plate onto the boss behind the handwheel (3 M5 screwholes already drilled/tapped), attach the fingers & indexing arm, and off you go.
I have Vertex rotary table and Vertex dividing head. For my modelling use both have been more than adequate. However I did find the tailstock unit that came with the dividing head was not able to be set to the true centre and needed a whisker off the base to lower it.
The rotary table can be used for milling round profiles but I find that for best result the friction latches need to be just nipped and held like that otherwise the table is not quite as firm as I would like.
i suppose, for the price, it doesnt sound like a bad deal, with the limitations you have mentioned. i neglected to inquire about the tilting versions.. i imagine they are the same, only with a tilt mount.
i'd like to use them for making small splined shafts.. maybe the occasional reamer or countersink. probably little heavy milling of curved slots or contours.. sound plausible?
can you suggest an online source for Chester products, also? i'd like to have a look at them.