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Thread: Setting an index head on mill and no need to clock up

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    Supporting Member thehomeengineer's Avatar
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    thehomeengineer's Tools

    Setting an index head on mill and no need to clock up

    Hi All

    I have made a short video explaining how I set up my indexing head centrally to the spindle with no need to clock the indexing head to set datums. This works for rotary tables, dividing heads, collet chucks etc. As long as the spindle can be located centrally to the attachment to be clamped in the vertical axis.



    I hope some will find this technique helpful.

    The Home Engineer

  2. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to thehomeengineer For This Useful Post:

    Ed ke6bnl (02-04-2020), Karl_H (02-05-2020), mwmkravchenko (02-04-2020), Paul Jones (02-09-2020), Scotty12 (02-04-2020), Tenn (02-04-2020)

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    mklotz's Tools


    (Thought better of what I posted.)
    Last edited by mklotz; 02-03-2020 at 12:49 PM.
    ---
    Regards, Marv


    Home Shop Freeware
    http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

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    thehomeengineer (02-03-2020)

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    Hi Marv
    No problem
    It is always great to get your feedback. Like they say “there’s always more than one way” and in engineering there are so many variables, Experience, tooling, machinery, time, cost, etc. So what works for one may not always work for another. So adding to posts has to be a positive. I am sure like myself I have been around a very long time and have over the years manage to accumulate a well equipped workshop. But there is always something new to learn. Every day is a school day
    Thank you for taking the time to view

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    Supporting Member marksbug's Avatar
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    good idea but should probably use some steel rod about 20 mm in a 20 mm collett. that little rod can flex especially when your draging the rotary table across the table. you can also go up on the quill a thou or 2 to take the load off when dragging it. then softly set it down. Ive done this many times.I kinda thought that was common way to do it. but always use a hard steel of big enough size that it will not deflect. I usually attach the table with the nuts loose and then center it & go up a tad to re leave any pressures then back down and tighten the nuts. thus no dragging across the table. Also a air float table makes this oh so eazy!!!! keep the good ideas coming!!!

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    Supporting Member thehomeengineer's Avatar
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    thehomeengineer's Tools
    Hi Marksbug

    Thank you for taking the time to view and the comments.

    I take on board the collet would improve the accuracy but by such a small margin, my drill chuck runs out no more than a thou. The most important other thing to take in to consideration which I didn't mention on the video, is to ensure the head of the machine is clocked/trimmed to the table. If not this can lead to all kinds of alignment and accuracy problems when using the quill.

    The piece of bar I use is a piece of 3" long 3/8" diameter HSS so if I bend or deflect that I am in all kinds of trouble . The indexing head is normally a lot closer to the tee slots when I setup but for clarity on the video I thought it was worth showing. The mill table and the base of the indexing head are spotlessly cleaned so it is no different in sliding a vice or or any other attachment over the bed. Not sure about hanging the indexing head from the chuck. The indexing head is very heavy and my dividing head is even heavier.

    I am very interested in an air float table?

    I thank you again and like I have said before "there is always more than one way" just have to find the best way which works for you.
    The Home Engineer

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    Supporting Member marksbug's Avatar
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    you dont have to pick it totaly up just releave some load. if you have a way to check center do it both ways with a small rod and a big rod. and drag vs unloaded. yes it will be small but some stuff needs to be as close as possiable. also Ive seen chucks deflect at the shank, it all comes into play and can add up to a few thou off.witch may or may not matter. air float tables are sweet. and usualy extreamly heavy .I made a small light one that needs to be clamped down after it centers and air is released. I recently bought 2 more serface plated to make a little heavyer unit,I cant go to heavy as I wont be able to move it....it may still need clamping but should be much better than the light weight unitI built with 1/4" aluminum plate bottom& steel tubular frame. they are very simple to make and use very little air.I use a old glass beed foot pedel to operate it. all you needs are 2 flat plates. one for the bottom, witch is usualy biger and one for the top add a hole in the center of it for a 1/4" pipe fitting to plumb air to it with a very flexiable non ridged hose( most use a plastic thin line so it wont affect centering in any way). put the top plate on and add air and a floating it will do. ad as much weight as you wish you cant hold it down, you adjust the air pressure at the pedeal so it picks up without any chatter.some chatter/flutter some dont. some bottom plates have a few grooves about 4" appart about .030-.050 wide in a V shapeabout .020-. 030 deep. that can collect debris&oil and will need cleaning out every few moons.most debris will just blow away. the groovs may also help with chatter. the issue with using aluminum is....yup debris can imbed into it. also it can gauld. but for the pourpose I needed it for when I meeded it iit worked flawlesly.I also used a plastic top plate to be sure my idea was going to work. it did.but I was skeered it might crack.and...get ME!! it never did and I had a 1/4" 6061t6 plate so i put it on. in automotive machine shops most of the seat&guide machines are air float tables.Ive use them a few thousand times. thus the idea for turning my mill into a seat&guide machine. witch works awesome.I now have a bigger mill and can build bigger heavyer float table for it.( the bigger the better) I have also thought about making a mag lock for it. someday when I get back to working on that stuff....I may just get to finish something. with a hammer you can make almost anything,so make pliers, thsn you can truly make any thing.so make visegrips then a millimg machine!!! and you have the world at your finger tips. I make most all my tooling my self, much cheeper and made to do what I want not what somebody else thinks I need, at their price point. I do wish i still had cnc at my finger tips, but now I just piddle in my home machine shop when I can. Keep the chips flying and keep the ideas coming!. you have a hammer Im sure, so you can make any thing if you just think it out( a pencil is also handy to have)

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    for a fixed chuck doing it your way is very easy. on a rotery table just clamp you mag indacator to the chuck/rotery tbale plate and put the end on the dowel in your drill chuck then spin the table and center it that way.. yes always make sure your mill is tramed in before doing any work. skinning cats can be fun, and many ways to do it, just dont get bitten, scratched or arrested!!!

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    Thanks thehomeengineer! We've added your Indexing Head Setup for a Mill to our Measuring and Marking category,
    as well as to your builder page: thehomeengineer's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:





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