How to Use a Rotary Table

By using a rotary table, you’ll be able to perform operations related to a circular arc. In terms of measurements, they are as reliable as the linear measurements milling tables provide. Here are the basic procedures.

Required Tools and Materials

Rotary table
Milling machine
Index plates


Set the rotary table on the milling machine. The process will vary as milling machines employ different methods. After the rotary table is set, it is secured via bolts. Some models require the tailstock to be installed and bolted.

Rotary tables employ different means for setting up the workpiece. Some have slots for bolts; others make use of jaws to grip the workpiece.

Before using a rotary table, ensure the workpiece is positioned
correctly. The arc center should be set at the middle of the rotary table. Secure it tight.

Whether the apparatus uses bolts or jaws, double check so you know it’s in place. If it’s loose the device might not work. Check the specifications for your rotary table so it’s setup correctly.

Creating the Arced Cut

The basic steps involve turning the rotary table while the cutting tool is active. When the start of the cut is at the milling table, the table will be locked. The cutting utility continues its work while the rotary table is turned.

The rotary table is turned through the cut. This continues until the final point is attained. Repeat the process until the needed depth is attained.

Making Indexed Operations

Here the workpiece is moved before the cutting utility meets the workpiece. You’ll be using a rotary table in this manner when slicing hexagon or making holes every 5 degrees. Prior to an operation, the workpiece is spun according to the specified amount. The rotary table’s handle performs the turning. The table is fastened before cutting begins.

Using the Index Plates

The angular division in the rotary handle is sufficient for most cases. But for indexing, index plates are recommended. Unlike the regular handle, the index plate comes with a pointed handle that grabs each hole. The rotary table can be moved precisely by counting the holes by the circles.

Using the Tailstock

As you begin using a rotary table, the tailstock will come in handy. You’ll need it when larger workpieces are required. Tailstocks are also helpful for pieces mounted away from the table’s surface.

The tailstock is utilized to suspend the workpiece between the table and itself. In simple terms the tailstock allows the rotary table to turn on the workpiece. This setup is needed when slicing gear teeth via a profiled end mill.

Tips and Warnings

Assess each cut because adding them later can be difficult. Do not use a rotary table without being familiar with its basic functions. Make sure you understand how to use a milling machine before employing the rotary table.

Study the functions of the milling machine first, then the rotary table. To avoid injuries, follow the instructions as stated in the guide.

When using a rotary table, always be careful. Having an expert by your side won’t hurt.

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