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Old 11-10-2009, 06:39 PM   #1
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Default Homemade indexing wheel/head

I may have overlooked this but, does anyone know if or how difficult fabricating an indexing wheel for the Harbor Freight 4" Rotary table (97208-0VGA ) would be? Money is really tight, especially with my mill gear broken and my going to belt drive..

Rick Acosta
Retired Air Force
Loranger, La

Hugh R. Acosta Jr.
Retired Air Force
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Old 11-10-2009, 06:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Homemade indexing wheel/head

like minds think alike -- I have one of the harbor freight 4 in rotary tables too, and I am going to attempt to install a set of index plates on it that i ordered from Grizzly. The kit is made for their rotary tables and at the price of $75 with shipping. I am looking forward to this project as soon as the kit arrives.. Richard

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Old 11-10-2009, 10:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Homemade indexing wheel/head

off here a bit but how do u like that table is it really loose does it need to be ajusted . im thinking of getting one but i was thinking about the phase 2 one. how do you like it.
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: Homemade indexing wheel/head

I may have been lucky but my harbor table came out of the box well adjusted and oiled . I appears to be accurate but I have not really tried it on any thing requiring extreme accuracy. I need to make some change gears for my old 109 lathe so i will find out. I usually disassemble and refit any import tooling I buy to eliminate any chips and core sand left in the unit. I also have a 6 inch r/t that I got from Wholesale Tools a while back that was made in India that after cleanup functions perfectly and accurate. Caught it on sale for $80 richarddv
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:02 AM   #5
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Default Re: Homemade indexing wheel/head

Indexing wheels are surprisingly easy to make. I made two plates for my home made dividing head which has a 40 tooth worm gear.

You can use the rotary table as a dividing head and calculate the number of handle turns for each row of holes. The radial spacing is the most important. The absolute positioning of each hole on the circle isn't terribly critical. I made two plates with a total of 16 circles of holes. The number of holes in each circle are as follows: 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 27, 29, 31, 33, 37, 39, 41, 43, 47, & 49. This combination will let you make any number of divisions between 1 & 50 with a 40 tooth worm.

Do you know how many teeth the worm gear has on the HF 4" rotary table?

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Old 11-12-2009, 05:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: Homemade indexing wheel/head

Interesting thread.

RICHARDDV: Can you either shoot me a part number or link to those plates at Grizzly? I have a 5C collet spindexer that I'd like to fit a 50 hole plate to.
Mike N

Folded, bended, spindled and mutilated. But happy.
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Old 11-12-2009, 05:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: Homemade indexing wheel/head

Rick, it looks like it should be pretty easily adapted to use index plates and a simple indexing pin arm. The crank end can't be seen in the HF picture, but I'd think you can take off the handle and mount a thin plate in front of the dial for attaching the index plate. Then mount the indexing pin arm to the shaft that the handle is normally mounted on.

Like Chuck says, you can use the RT to make the indexing disc(s) themselves. Hole circles are a perfect use for your RT.

The indexing pin arm can be a simple piece of flat bar with a hole in one end to fit the shaft of the RT, and a slot in about half its length on the other end that will hold your pin that fits into the holes on the index plate.
You could make sector arms if your into it.

Originally Posted by RICHARDDV
I need to make some change gears for my old 109 lathe so i will find out.
RichardDV, when I got my 109 it was missing a bunch of gears too. (It seems like most of them are!) I made up seven of them a while back. I didn't really want to pay the going price for certain tooth counts. Some are quite expensive. Anyway, I took pics and put them on one of my web pages if you would like to have a look. (Click on the link at the bottom of this post, and go to the Craftsman page.)
Here's a shot of them, taken before I cut the keyway slots;

Good luck with your gear cutting!


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