"The Rotary Table"

One of the most recent purchases that I made was a rotary table. This handy tool has been on my shopping list for some time, but I just couldn't find the right price/function combination.

The first thing that I looked for was a horizontal/vertical rotary table that can also provide integrated dividing head capabilities (i.e., making accurate circular layouts for cutting and boring operations). A precision dividing head will cost over $600 so a rotary table that provides some limited functionality in this respect is a real help. I don't do high-precision machining, mostly automotive work and a rotary table with dividing capabilities will fill my needs completely.

As with most hobby machining equipment price determines accuracy, and my first choice was to look at the Phase II rotary tables offered by Enco. Their rotary tables (and many other import tools they offer) are of very good quality and I have had very good experiences with this company. However the smallest Phase II table offered by Enco was an 8" model weighing in at ~90lbs. Way too big and heavy for my HF 44142.

After a couple weeks of searching I found what I was looking for at Lathemaster. They offered a nice 6" rotary table for $149 along with a complimentary set of indexing plates ($64). That was just about right for my needs.  As you can see the 6" model fits just right on the mill table, 8" models would be too large and heavy for this application. Don't get me wrong though this table is heavy and requires a lot of muscle to lift  it in place for installation.

We'll never forget !!!

The table comes with an MT2 center taper which allows me to install an MT2 center from the HF44142 when using the table to do horizontal milling. In addition, I can mount a 6" 4-jaw chuck on the table to hold my work when doing vertical or horizontal milling/drilling operations.

All-in-all it's a very nice setup for this type of machine.

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