Lathe - Dividing Heads/Indexing



Indexing attachment (Oct 7, 2002) Lathe indexing attachment (Jun 2, 2004)
Dividing Head (May 14, 2003) Home made indexing again (Jun 3, 2004)
Dividing Heads (May 27, 2003) Indexing (Jun 16, 2004)
Dividing in the lathe (Sep 10, 2003) Easy way out of creating a precision Lathe indexer? (Jun 17, 2004)
Dividing Head/Indexing (Apr 12, 2004) Indexing using the gear train (Dec 22, 2004)
Indexing attachment
On www.lathes.co.uk under south bend accessories I see an indexing attachment looks like a big gear bolts to the outboard end of the spindle. Was there ever such a thing available for the 9-inch does anyone know? (6580)
Don't know about one that attaches to the outboard end, but I have an indexing (face) plate that mounts on the spindle. It has 4 rows of offset holes on the OD. I understand it has 360, for the whole clock. Haven't used it though. Rick (6582)
I am looking at SB accessories and attachments catalog number 5418 dated August 1954. It states that the index attachment is only available for the 10" lathe. It further states that the attachment should be ordered with the lathe and fitted at the factory. (this is probably because at least two holes have to be drilled in the headstock housing) and consists of the detent lever and eight index wheels. Marvin (6584)
I guess one that threads on the spindle wouldn't be difficult to do. I could put the indexing holes in the chuck backplate perhaps. But if I want to index the workpiece I probably should think more about building some sort of dividing head arrangement for the tailstock--after all I need the spindle to rotate whatever cutter. (6594)
In some of my literature it states that you could at one time contact South Bend and they would send you an article on how to build an index attachment, someone must have a copy someplace. The picture I seen showed a shaft with a holder for the shaft mounted on the cross slide with whatever you are milling on one end and using the gears from the gear change on the other end, with a way to select the teeth, wouldn't be that big a job to build and with the gears could get most intervals needed, the gear cutter was mounted on a holder between the lathe chuck and the tailstock. Tom (6614)
Brian, Check out the attached pictures. I hope they come through OK. They come from Catalog No. 46-B, January, 1939, entitled, "South Bend 9-inch WORKSHOP Precision Lathes" The first one is a picture of the indexing attachment scanned as a *.jpg file, which was priced at $225, a lot of money back then. The second attachment is the entire page, scanned as a *.pdf file. It's interesting to see the 1939 prices. The thread dial indicator was only $6, the taper attachment was $55, and a "Plain Carriage Stop" that I have never seen before was only $3. On the next page of the catalog was the milling attachment for $35. The steady rest was only $6, and the follower rest was $4. Jon (6638)
Exactly what I need and not difficult; two pieces of round stock, a pillow block, a couple keys and a bunch of time and effort. (6698)
LURCH Posted a file " gcutter.jpg " under files with a picture and text from a old Craftsman/Atlas book to give you an idea what I was talking about. Tom (6780)
Dividing Head
Some new pics of the Dividing Head I'm working on using my SB9 to line bore it for the bushings. (pics not available). The Wood Dragon (11108)
Nice work. I was surprised to see the un-painted bed and carriage. did you get a new bed ? We were talking about painting and I commented on your cool paint job. Amazing what people notice. Dave (11125)
Yes I did I traded for a new bed ( older than the one I had but better ) I'll get around to painting it some day. I'm going to make the other one into a CNC wood lathe. I've got every thing except head stock and tail stock, but I'm going to cast them for AL and see how it goes it'll just be used for wood. The Wood Dragon (11127)
I have just bought a dividing head for a Boxford lathe which I believe is equivalent to the American Southbend. Has anyone got any useful information on the use of this item. It was supplied with 3 plates and has a 40:1 ratio. (11202)
Dividing Heads
I am in the market for a dividing head. The budget will stand one in the range of $500.00 to $600.00. In my research I have come across the following: Semi-Universal Dividing Head Universal Dividing Head Horizontal-Vertical Super Spacer Index Spacer Spacers are also listed as super and simple. From the pictures I have seen, a super spacer is akin to a rotary table but with an adjustable vernier plate and any number of masking plates for divisions. They also seem to be much more expensive. The dividing heads I have seen that are with in my means are a 9" model, MAC-DH-1 carried by Victor Machinery Exchange http://www.victornet.com/cgi-bin/victor/productlist.html . It is touted as a Brown and Sharpe type. Comes with head and tail stock, center and driving dog, threaded back plate for chuck mounting, and three dividing plates. Lists for $595.00. The second is carried by Travers, https://www.travers.com/ model D.H.-9. Search page 578 of 2003 catalog. It seems to be set up as the one above for $536.00. The third one is carried by MSC http://www.mscdirect.com , 9" on page 1532 of current catalog. It seems comparable for $546.13. Cannot figure what the $.13 is for. So, I now lean on the collective experience of the group(s). Which is what, differences, capabilities, etc. Of the three I have come across it would seem cost is the only difference. I also understand there is a Phase II dividing head but I have not seen one. Fred (11508)
Regarding dividing heads: is there a good source of info on how to use one? I have never used one and have but a vague idea of how the plates work. I would certainly like to be able to divide a circle into degrees on my lathe. Frank (11514)
Frank Home Shop Machinist Feb Mar 2003 on what it is for and Rich (11528)
On my lathe (11531)
Steven: I don't know who used "dividing head" and "lathe" in the same sentence, but it wasn't me as you can tell if you read my original message. I want to learn how to use a dividing head and I don't understand how the plates work. I would like to be able to divide a circle held in a chuck in my lathe into degrees. (and fractions thereof) 2 sentences, 2 thoughts. My wood lathe has pin holes that can be used to set the spindle at 90 degree intervals. Is there anything that will do something like this on a metal lathe? Frank (11532)
Have a look at this page on Tony Griffith's site. Len (11534)
Many thanks! that's just what I need. Now to find one for a 10k. Frank (11537)
Steven Picture the SB milling vise with a rotary spindle and some added features built into the back of it. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mlathemods/files/Lathe%20Milling/  JWE (11540)
Yes JWE I can imagine that setup and it doesn't appeal to me. Attaching a dividing head to a lathe is what I misunderstood Frank to have in mind. My reading comprehension skills while speed reading posts has let me down again. My apologies to Frank. Steven (11541)
Steven: Attached (hopefully...) are some pics of dividing heads in use on small lathes. I have the kit to make one of them (the one in the b/w photo), I'm starting on it this weekend. Although a poor substitute for a real milling machine, at least for me it's the only choice I have. And I really don't think it'll be all that cumbersome, especially for doing the occasional small gear. Tom (11542)
Here it is with the photo attached. Here is another approach. Don't know if this was anything ever produced by South Bend (there are no identifying marks), and I'm not exactly sure of how to use it. My understanding is that it allows dividing in 1 degree increments. It has 90 holes per row, 4 rows. I'm not sure how the numbers on the face work. It fits on the spindle threads and there are no holes for mounting anything on the face of it like a face plate. I suppose an adapter could be made to fit it on the other end of the spindle, so one could hold something in a chuck or collet for dividing. Clearly, I've never used it, but thought it pretty cool, had never seen one for sale on eBay or anywhere else, thought I could use it someday, so got it (it isn't for sale.) If you have a rotary table or access to one, you could make one of these degree dividing plates. On the type shown at the site below, you could make one like that too, if you only needed a specific number of increments, and that was available in a standard gear. You could bore/modify the hole to mount it on the rear side of the spindle and use a flat spring detent for incrementing. Rick (11543)
Tom, that is interesting . I saved the pics and will send them to a friend that is crazy with the ideas to make gears. I can understand the compulsion to build things , particularly something that wont get much use and therefore the purchase of a new unit cannot easily be justified. In that line of reasoning I just finished building a radius cutter for my 20 inch lathe. You know I wont use that thing very often but a new unit in that size would run about $900.00 . And no I am mistaken again , that setup you are set to build does not look awkward- very slick setup in fact. Post pictures when you finish. Steven(11544)
There is an attachment for a dividing device to a Myford lathe to Index the headstock if that is what you are refering to. I think it is on one of these websites. Let me know if you do not find it. http://www.nmpproducts.com/quorntxt.htm  http://www.hobbymechanics.com.au/quorn.htm archie (11545)
Where did you get the kit? Bob Murray (11546)
Thomas These look a lot like the Myford and Boxford units which the Westbury unit I have posted the articles on was inspired by. Looking good. JWE (11550)
Tom- Looks very nice Where did you get the castings kit? Frank(11554)
Frank, Bob: I actually got the kit on eBay, but the original supplier was Hemingway ( http://www.hemingwaykits.co.uk/ ). It's called the "George Thomas Versatile Dividing Head (VDH). I think they recently changed ownership, but will be in business again soon. Not sure of the original price, or the shipping costs (I think they're in England). J.W.: Yep, both photos were of Myford, and the color photo was of the Myford dividing head accessory, which when I checked was $400++ from the local Myford dealer. Hence the kit. Steven: Yea, I'm a bit gear nuts as well. I'll post some pics when done, and maybe a few along the way, as I have a feeling I'll be working on it for the next several months. Tom (11555)
But in my opinion a lathe has serious travel limitations and rigidity problems when pressed into milling operations and therin goes my opinion that a person should be buying a mill before they consider a dividing head. Many people don't have the money to buy multiple machines or don't have the space to put them. If you want to see a good example of a lathe-related dividing head look up information on George H. Thomas' Versatile Dividing Head intended for use on the Myford lathe. And Professor Chaddock, a very well known model engineer, had a sub-miniature workshop but did outstanding work, he designed the Quorn Tool Cutter Grinder so that he would be able to make his own cutters for making a scale model of the BRM V-16 Grand Prix racing engine. It's not the number of machines or even their superiority that determines the work you produce, rather it's knowing how to make the best use of what you have. Anthony . (11561)
Anthony there is a kernel of truth to what you say. But I am going to have to add another. You can do a lot of small work on a large machine but you cant do anything large on a small machine. . Or I could tell you about a neighbor that does beautiful work with a power drill, a Dremmel, and a set of hand files but the tradeoff is that he is mighty slow . You can make out as if having a minimal number of machines is some virtue but you will never convince my neighbor that has no machinery or me that has a shop full and still adding. Machines that are under sized for the work or an incomplete shop will test your ingenuity and give you more to brag about when you pull off the impossible. I started that way myself - a lathe and an old drill press and hardly anything else. Man, I have used a high speed wood router to mill aluminum when I had to make cooling fixtures and didn't have a better way. Look here now I am opening myself up to flames here. Metalworking is an expensive proposition whether you are in the business or as a hobby . It is nearly impossible for the average enthusiast to have all the nice things that would make the job go easy and so yes you do go on and get the job done with what you have. However , unless you are just satisfied with microsized shops (and small projects) or really just get all your kicks working through the frustrations of trying to work miracles with nothing but determination - then you need the basics -- The basics would include a mill and it's accessories. And you buy these machines and accessories a bit at a time over a number of years. . It was a few years after I got my first lathe till I got my first vertical mill. In the 1000 members at this group , is there anybody that does not yet have a mill who wouldn't want one if the price was right? . I don't care what your financial situation is , if you play with this metalworking long enough you will run up on a mill you can afford- might be something you have to work over before you use but bargains are out there on all the old iron .So what are you waiting for? Anthony. A lot of what I have just written harkens back to previous posts and not so much to yours so be a bit slow about taking insult cause I am not directing anything at you or anybody else for that matter. I am just continuing with my own campaign to encourage members to get a milling machine . That's all. . By the way I still hate that picture. G Steven (11572)
Amen and thanks for pointing out the obvious when the obvious has become elusive. Theoretical limitations are not the point. Projects completed to the satisfaction of the machinist are the point. I'm sure Chaddock's BRM impresses those who have no idea what machines and processes were used to make it. Shane (11574)
I think both Steve and Anthony are both right - those of us to whom this stuff is a hobby do things very differently than those in business. In business one makes decisions to maximize profit; in a hobby one makes decisions to maximize pleasure and enjoyment. And there are no contract deadlines. It's a very personal and individual way we interact with our hobby. And that's what makes this group so nice - there are so many people with many different approaches that someone is bound to be able to answer a problem! Frank (11583)
Frank And I have three decent milling machines (2 RF30s and a RF20)but still there are many times I find especially on small parts that that need some fiddly operation that the cross slide milling vise is the better tool. This is why I am going to build a couple of variations of the Westbury one for the 9x, SB and 7x machines with the rotary spindle and worm gear dividing capabilities. Also sometimes it can be easier to hold the part in the lathe chuck using a dividing rig on the lathe spindle and a powered rotary spindle on the cross slide. What most of us are doing is not single operation production work and so like the British model engineers the capability of versatility in our machines is many times more important than size or speed. JWE(11589)
Steven writes: You can make out as if having a minimal number of machines is some virtue but you will never convince my neighbor that has no machinery or me that has a shop full and still adding. Didn't mean to imply that making do with less than would be desirable was a virtue. But you might remember that I remarked both on the lack of funds and the lack of space. The basics would include a mill and it's accessories. If this is true how did Whitworth and Maudsley do work without a mill? How was the first mill made when the producer didn't have a mill with which to make it? In the 1000 members at this group , is there anybody that does not yet have a mill who wouldn't want one if the price was right? If the price was right and the space in which to install it was available, absolutely. A lot of what I have just written harkens back to previous posts and not so much to yours so be a bit slow about taking insult cause I am not directing anything at you or anybody else for that matter. I haven't taken your response as an insult and I hope I don't insult you or anyone else, either on this list or elsewhere. We seem to be focusing on the issue in slightly different directions. You appear to be saying "Get the mill so you can do the work." I'm trying to say "Don't let the lack of a mill prevent you from doing the work." My point is, if you don't have the mill find a solution, whether it be getting access to somebody else's mill, getting your own mill, or finding an alternative way to do the work. I am just continuing with my own campaign to encourage members to get a milling machine . And, this being a South Bend list, should the mill be a South Bend? BG preferences would be a Deckel FP-2 fully kitted out. Not having one at this time I'll do the best I can under the circumstances. Anthony (11595)
Dividing in the lathe
I have put the Duplex article on dividing in the lathe here because it relates more to lathe modifications than to milling machine work. This article covers all the bases on doing simple and complex dividing on parts held in the lathe chuck. Now drilling and or milling can be done with a cross slide mounted spindle such as the Duplex one shown in this folder for the rear tool post or the Westbury one for his vertical slide attachment that has been moved to mlathemods04. This will also work with the flex shaft unit mounted in the boring tool holder for the QC tool post and driven from a small drill press that is illustrated in the photos section. JWE (13877)
Dividing Head/Indexing
Looking for solutions on a dividing head for my Heavy 10. Some of my projects require indexing the part every XX degrees. Looking for plans or will purchase a ready made tool. Any information will be greatly appreciated. Albert (18389)
Try mlathemods04 in the lathemilling folder. JWE (18393)
If you are thinking about indexing work held in the lathe chuck or a mandrel collet consider:- 1) A direct indexing detent on the back-gear bull wheel (i.e. the big one just behind the chuck). I don't know how many teeth there are (76 ??) on this wheel but if it happens to work out right at every "x" teeth this is by far the cheapest and quickest method. 2) If you have a gearwheel with a suitable number of teeth make an adapter to fix into the back end of the mandrel and rig up a detent to index on the teeth. 3) A refinement to idea 2 is to use proper dividing head plates instead of a gearwheel You can get conversion kits to turn some rotary tables into dividing heads (eg those sold under the Vertex name in the UK) relatively cheaply. These kits include the plates , detent and fingers so, with a suitable adapter quite a good range of direct divisions can be got. 4) If the work is always held in the same chuck you could drill edge of the back plate with a suitable number of holes and engage them with a suitable detent. You would need to rig up something to drill the holes radial to the back-plate edge and obviously have to sort out some temporary means of indexing. Factors of 3 are quite easy on a three jaw chuck using stops against the jaws, 3 and 6 are dead easy higher numbers takes a bit more thinking. Similarly factors of 4 on a 4 jaw. Were I to do this I would consider copying the 5-C collet spin indexers which have 36 holes and a 10 hole vernier giving 1 degree increments. If you want to hold work on the lathe cross slide those inexpensive 5-C collet 1 degree increment indexers are about the right size providing the work will fit in a 5-C collet or in the small chuck available as an extra. many not be financially worthwhile if you don't already have collets. Clive (18404)
Lathe indexing attachment
I've not seen too many of these on the net, but at least one fairly precise version exists, it attaches to the rear spindle of a lathe and has allows an index wheel to allow the chuck to move at set degrees depending on the index plate used. Of course I cant possibly afford a commercial product, so I'm looking for a home made item that has good plans available from the net. As an indication of what there is that I've found, this gent has made a quite good one, but is very UN-helpful with the where to's and why Fore's of how its all done (maybe he is just a busy bloke, I dunno).. enen after a couple of gentle prods via email. SO if anyone has spotted a suitable design for a 9" close.. Id be more than appreciative of the URL, spec or otherwise.  (Garry D) (19423)
I am faced with same problem and this site is pretty and his circles are super but there's no way anyone else could do it. anybody got a good site for dividing setting circles? Frank (19425)
David Gingery has a series of books on how to build your own machine shop. I have the books about the Foundry, Lathe, Shaper, and Milling machine. Book 6 describes how to build a dividing head. I do not have this book, but in the books I do have he mentions that the dividing disks are really rather easy to make. Perhaps this would be a good place to start looking. I have no interest in building a machine shop from scrap aluminum at this point, but the books have a lot of excellent information. The basic Foundry has a ton of info on casting aluminum. If there is an easy and cheap way to make the dividing disks, this guy will know how to do it!!! P.S. The web site listed below mentions that the disks were made by CNC. Alex (19428)
Let me see if I remember this. I think the plan is to use a thin strip of paper with a series of equally spaced lines, the number of lines equal to (the desired number of holes +1) a disk whose circumference is the same as the length from the first hole to the last. Wrap the paper around the disk such that the first line precisely lines up with the last and then scribe lines from the center of the disk to the lines on the paper. This will give something very very close to what you're looking for. For example, if you want a disk with 19 holes, get a piece of paper 20 inches and a bit long. Draw 20 lines 1 inch apart. Cut the excess paper off in the middle of the first and last line. Now get a disk 19 inches in circumference and wrap the paper around it. You'll know the disk is the right size when the paper JUST wraps around it. Alan (19431)
I built my own indexer using an old index plate from a rotary table. I mounted it on a shaft that fit into the rear of my 9" spindle. IT fits snug but I don't have to beat it in. Then I bored a hole (1/8") through the spindle into the shaft at 1/2"from the edge of the spindle. I had to drill it undersize and grind it to size as the spindle is hardened. At this point you have an index plate mounted firmly into the rear of the spindle. Next I tapped a 1/4" x 20 hole in the center of my shaft and cut an aluminum extrusion channel about 8" long. I made a spacer so that I could bolt the aluminum rail from the center of the shaft in the spindle to an open spot on the banjo bracket. I milled a slot in the bracket and ran a bolt through the bracket, through the spacer and through the banjo bracket, put a nut on the bolt. I cut a groove in the bottom of the channel in the position of the index plate. Next I made a steel tab that fit into the aluminum channel and would slide from one side to the other. I tapped a hole in the tab #8 x 32 and made a 8- 32 thumbscrew bolt with a point on the end that fit into the index plate. You just thread the thumbscrew bolt into the hole you want and it forces pressure onto the channel so that it doesn't move. To move to the next hole you just loosen the thumbscrew and rotate the spindle to the next hole. After using it a few times I added another hole to lock the tab to the channel at the proper radius in relation to the index plate. This thing works perfect and cost me less than $15. The channel is the aluminum channel sold by Rockler Hardware for woodworking tables. You can get used index plates for about $10. Took about 3 hours total. Paul I am faced with same problem and this site is pretty and his circles are super but there's no way anyone else could do it. Anybody got a good site for dividing setting circles? Frank (19433)
You can get Gingery's books at: http://www.lindsaybks.com/ John (19434)
I just opened a photo album with a picture of my heavy ten and the indexer that was made by the previous owner. I haven't seen one quite like it. He took an index plate from somewhere and built it into the backplate of the 10" 4 jaw chuck. He made up a sliding pin that engages the holes in the index. The slide is mounted on top of the bearing cap. I haven't had a chance to use it but it looks pretty neat. I just thought maybe someone else might like to see it. The album name is "TomMunroe" and located in our picture group. Tom (19438)
I thought I would try making a tiny URL to my pictures so here it is I hope (pic not avalaible anymore) Tom (19439)
I used Gingery's method to make a 50 hole plate to fit on my spin index. I used it fairly successfully to graduate a feed dial. I used an aluminum faceplate and a piece of seamstress fabric tape measure. I turned the plate to 55 cm in diameter (about 7 inches) as that was divisible by 50 (1.1 cm). Using 50 cm might have been better as I had to be very careful when indexing with it. I mounted my new plate on the faceplate and set it up on a stub axle on the drill press table. Drilled with a center drill first and then drilled through with a larger bit Accuracy depends upon how well you line up the tape and how well the holes are drilled. Gingery's disks were for his dividing head so any errors were divided by the ratio of the head (40:1 IIRC). In my case since I was direct indexing the errors are not reduced, but since measurement errors were on a 7 inch diameter, drilling was on about a 4" diameter and the actual dial was only 1.25", I can't see any error on the dial. There is noticeable error on the dividing plate though. A hand drill mounted on the cross slide might have worked better than the drill press. In the absence of a commercial dividing plate, another alternative is to make up a fixture to fasten an ordinary gear to the end of the spindle. For those with a set of change gears this should give you lots to work with. I'm thinking about using a drawbar/MT arbor as a method to hold a plate on the end of the spindle. The through hole will be blocked but I don't see that as a problem. Any comments, other ideas? John (19441)
Before I built my spindle indexer I took the front gear cover off and used the threaded hole on the front to hold a bent piece of 1/8" steel that fit in between gear teeth in the bull gear. Then I would count off the divisions in the teeth and mark the spots with white nail polish. I milled a slot in the 1/8" steel where it went into the threaded hole so it would move up and down to release the spindle for rotating between cuts. I piggybacked another 1/8" tab on top off the first and filed to fit between the teeth. This allowed the first piece to lock tip to tip with a gear tooth and this gave me the ability to divide the odd numbers equally. It worked great for such a small solution. Paul (19443)
I use an indexing attachment on my 10K that uses lathe change gears for indexing plates. It's easy to make and use and could be adapted for use on the 9" also. You may see a photo of the setup at http://users.consolidated.net/jimkull/indexer1.jpg Plans are available. Jim (19453)
Jim, Why not swing that arm around to the front and use the front gear? I realize that by changing gears you get equal divisions of different numbers but with one adapter you could get all divisible numbers off the one gear and delete the extra parts on the back side. Paul (19454)
Paul, Good suggestion. I needed an oddball number of divisions and this works with any gear installed. The 100 tooth gear from my metric transposing set is used for marking index lines on control knobs. Jim (19455)
Have read somewhere, possibly in "The machinist bedside reader" of persons making plywood wheels, with band saw blades fastened to the perimeter of the wheel, using the teeth for indexing. Make up different size plates to suit requirements. Bela (19456)
I bought a cam timing disc from the local motorcycle shop. It's 9" in diameter, made from 1/16" aluminum. I bored an accurate hole in the center to fit the spindle of my lathe, then put it on and screwed the chuck on over it. Made a cursor from a scrap of aluminum angle.. The cursor has a notch to fit over one of the V ways, and is cut to follow the OD of the disc closely. I had planned to arrange a way to clamp it down, but never really had to. It's quite reliable to 1/2 degree. Harold (19457)
Jim, With a small notch or fork machined into the guide pin instead of a point, you could make the front gear stop halfway between where it stops now. I'm pretty sure that's what I did to get the odd numbers on mine. That set-up looks great. Paul
I once saw a South Bend indexing faceplate with the division holes in the edge of the faceplate. There was an a small mount that screwed to the lathe headstock with a lock pin to hold the faceplate. This was on Ebay and it had never been used. I'm pretty sure it factory original for the 9" SB. That thing went for over $300. Paul (19465)
There was an article in Popular Mechanics Mag in the 1960's +/-(I think) describing an indexing attachment using a large gear, maybe the 80 tooth gear, mounted to an expanding plug that fit into the rear of the spindle. It had a spring mounted tooth to engage the gear. I have a copy and can send a Xerox or email scan to anyone who would like to see it. I think the article was based around an SB lathe. Steve  (19474)
Home made indexing again
When I wanted to make new dials for the cross slide and lead screw on my old six inch Atlas. I did not like the set screw way of locking the dials on the cross and compound and added a dial on the right end of the lead screw. I made the dials first as large as I could without interfering with the slides. Then I used a CAD program to make the divisions and numbers fairly large on the drawing. Then saved the files and printed them out in reduced sizes to just wrap around my new dials. It took a few tries to get them the exact size so the 0 line was split with the 100 line. I cut out the scales and glued them in place and coated with several coats of poly varnish. The dials were still working well when in an attack of the stupid I sold that lathe. This is a SB group and I don't know if any SBs were not fitted with power cross feeds, my little Atlas did not have any so as part of the new dials on the cross slide and lead screw I left enough room for a drum on each dial. When I wanted to face something I ran a cord from the "drum" on the lead screw through a pulley clamped to the edge of my bench to the "drum" on the cross slide dial. Lock the carriage in place engage the lead screw (not the carriage though) and let the cord unwind from the cross slide to the lead screw. Not an accurate power cross feed, but a lot more steady than my hand and did pretty good facing work on face plates, chuck back plates, locomotive smoke box fronts etc. Where there is a Willy there is a way. (19450)
I used a similar approach for making a calibrated dial used on a tensioning fixture for my 10" cabinet saw. I did not consider it accurate enough for the lathe "WRONG"!!!!. Jim B. (19451)
Last week there were a ton of questions and ideas on indexing. Found this today on HSM thread. This looks like a great idea. http://www.hemingwaykits.com/acatalog/Headstock_Dividing_Attachment.html  Paul (19674)
Easy way out of creating a precision Lathe indexer?
If you recall, I posted a website showing the lathe indexing head where a bloke in Sydney had created a system to attach to the rear of his lathe spindle. I now admit that I was too quick to judge when I stated he was "very UN-helpful". I asked if (at a later stage) if I could borrow his setup to attempt to replicate it, and he agreed.. Kazamm! Ripper. Then I thought about it some more.. my skills are err.. novice to say the least, I could create the mountings and arbor, but the plates would have been beyond me. I sent another email asking if it would be possible for him to take a "foreign order" (this is a job for mates on the bosses time - in Oz) for a nominal sum of his choosing. To my complete surprise he said "no problem, what do you want/need" (an I might add, no charge), in my n00biness I stammered and stuttered and finally stated that I didn't know.. I thought that a 360DEG with min/sec increments would be good and also metric 3.6deg etc would be useful too, but I've left it up to him, he's a pretty damned good machinist/Engineer from what I've seen on his website. My suggestion to you all is, find a shop that has aStrippit CNC hole puncher - would help greatly if you hade a "mate" that you knew, and ask them to punch out some index plates for you. I'm guessing it would be much cheaper than the commercial versions available, and just as precise. All you then need to do is create the arbor and pin assy to mount and rotate/lock the index in place. Easy fix (one hopes). Garry D. (19686)
Why not use index plates from indexers or spacers? They go pretty cheap on Ebay or you can buy them new from tool catalogues like MSC, KBC, or Enco. Paul (19687)
Same reason I make my own dovetail cutters and D bits for milling and also my own QC toolpost and holders for my lathe. I plain and simple cant afford commercial ones. Garry D. (19730)
Gary, I'm new to metal working and was curious how you make your own dovetail cutters. Just can't see how you might do it g but do know they are expensive to buy and like you I prefer to make my own stuff if I can pull it off with the tools I have at hand. Tom (19732)
Tom, This was a real backyard job as I baulked at the cost of a new Cutter. I used about 4in of 1/2" steel for the shaft. Offset the mill vice by the required (figure out your dovetail angle) angle and cut a recess 1/4in deep. Then just braze in some 1/4 tool steel and form the tool tip. I warned you this was a real "back yard" job, it only has one cutting edge, but it cut accurate (if slow) doves through about 2 1/2ft of steel plate and the 3 1/2" block which now serve as my Quick-change Tool Holders. It lost its edge after being asked to work so hard but that's nothing that a quick grind wont fix. Id suggest this would only be of value to someone that has no need of a dovetail all that often, or if cant justify the high cost of a quality tool. Garry D. (19762)
Garry, If you send me your address, I'll send you photos of the one I made for my9" for about $15. I can't get the photos to post, but I'm still trying. Paul (19767)
Dovetails can be cut easily on a shaper. There are many available down in the land of Oz. JP (19771)
JP, Well, you find me a shaper that I can afford I'll take one. I cant manage index plates let alone a precision toolmaking device. My backgear has been without a tooth for over three months cuz I cant afford a new/used one or afford to have the tooth rebuilt/reformed. Some of us have money some don't. Those without, get creative. Don't be afraid to point me to what you think of cheap formers though. I may well have missed the reseller. Direct email to cut the chatter on the list would be best methinks. Garry D. (19777)
Paul, Always happy to see alternatives. feel free. Off list is probably best. Garry D.(19778)
Time to get creative. My backgear had a pair of pins pressed in and filed to shape, replacing a tooth when I got the bugger and it worked fine. Do a search for 'shaper attachment' on this list. I posted a link to one some time ago (6 mo?). I was actually going to design and build a simple one but then I found a ShapeRite shaper, and being somewhat lazy, I dragged the beast home. It would be pretty simple to make one up. JP (19779)
Dovetails can be cut easily on a shaper. There are many available down in the land of Oz. JP (19780)
Bela Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Metal_Shapers/  Bill (19781)
You mean, besides this one: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/Metal_Shapers Jeff (19783)
Also have this group for Atlas machines but I am sure you could ask general shaper questions also http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/Atlasshaperandmillingmachineusersgroup/ Ron (19784)
Indexing using the gear train
Kevin, Unfortunately, the threading/feed gear ratios are "backwards" for chuck indexing. When you thread or feed, the chuck almost always turns faster than the lead screw. The only exceptions are when the cut thread pitch exceeds (a smaller number) the lead screw pitch. Back gear has no effect. In contrast, rotary tables and dividing head chucks are "geared down" from the handle. If your lead screw was geared the same as a typical rotary table (90 to 1), it's maximum speed would be 1400 x 90 or 126,000 rpm! You'd need better bearings ;-) So, unless the first your are cutting the same number of teeth as one of the three spindle gears, the odds of finding a workable index scheme are very low. On the other hand, a milling table and dividing head would work well since, at that point, you basically have a horizontal mill with a very stable spindle. Bill (23321)
Kevin, The first one I made was from a piece of 1/8" flat stock. I took the front gear cover off and used the screw hole for the cover to mount the "indexer". If you bend the stock to go up and into the gear at the right (correct angle) and file the edge to match the DP on the gear it holds great. Now machine a slot where the screw hole is so that you can slide the bar up and down into and out of the gear just by loosening a thumb screw holding it to the headstock. Bend a 90 degree "tab" away from the headstock for a handle to use while sliding it in and out on the bottom of the stock. I forget how many teeth are on that gear, sometimes you need an odd or even number of increments. I solved this by making a spacer, filed to match the teeth like the first one, and mounted it to the top of the first one. Put a washer behind the indexer and let the second part engage the gear. It puts the tip of the first part exactly in line with the tip of the gear, thereby giving you the other (odd or even) set of divisions. Mark the gear with fingernail polish to see where to engage to the indexer. If I remember correctly there are like 99 teeth on that gear giving you 100 divisions. Anyway it took 5 minutes to make, cost less than a dollar and held the repetitive accuracy I was looking for. I'll read up on the posting procedure and see if I can put up a picture. Paul (23349)

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