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Author Topic: Sherline Related- Rotary Table as Indexing Tool Turret - Spindle as Indexer  (Read 5123 times)

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Offline maxpath42man

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Hello folks, I am rather new here and  I have two projects that I am working on at the same time. I am not sure if this has come up before or perhaps this is new in respect to the Sherline
mill and lathe.  I have not seen anything like that in the Sherline site, or anywhere on the internet, for that matter,  including the CNCZONE, so I thought I post this here.  

1) I  am wondering if anyone has used or is using a Sherline Rotary table as an indexing tool turret?

I just tested a setup with the original Sherline Rotary Table on my Sherline Mill on 4th axis using AHA a pretty good older DOS software program (soon to be converted to Mach3)  and the rotary table seems to be doing a decent job, it is holding the tools,  but I am not sure if this will last for repetitive work or maybe I should consider building one of those air activated locking and indexing lathe turrets, as seen on some You Tube videos. ? but my logic is that a rotary table that uses a wom gear to drive it, naturally locks the table pretty tight when it indexes it. Any commetns, suggestions would be appreciated.

2) I also want to convert a Sherline Lathe spindle to one that indexes,  to machine hex flat on round stock.   I called a couple places to see if they have a kit retrofit,  one of the places
quoted me $3K for a complete system.  Doing some research on the internet, got me interested in doing my own indexer, as I think I can do my own setup for about 1/3 that price if I do some of the mechanical parts myself.  I am not just yet sure on the logic to tie it into Mach 3, but I don't think that will be a problem once the mechanical setup is worked out.

I want to use the Original Sherline Lathe spindle (Same as on the Sherline mills) since I have aquired quite a bit of tooling for it and most of the parts I make are small and delicate from 1/8"-1" round aluminum and plastic stock.

I understand I will need a hefty servo motor with an optical encoder, with high  rpm and torque to act as the power driver for the spindle - and  to hold "Lock" when in index mode, respectively. I don't think I will need braking or elaborate gear redutions with this setup, but I am still looking and comparing thoughts and ideas with cost and mechanical work involved.
I like simple but effective setups and if I can save time in machining some of the parts, even better, but if I have to design and make some mechanical parts myself, no problem.

Here is a list of things I am considering for this project. I have yet to source them, I have some idea but would like to lock on a final setup by the end of next month.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, if anyone knows of a specifc kit that I can purchase, I may have missed in my internet research,  please let me know. Remember this is for a Sherline Setup, so  It cannot be unnecessarily bulky, but a setup with some degree of finesse.

Servo motor Type:
Optical Encoder Type:
Direct Drive, Geared or Timing Belt Reduction ?:
Driver Type:
Power Supply:
Mach 3 Setup:
« Last Edit: January 31, 2010, 03:01:47 PM by maxpath42man »
Here's a 4th axis made from mini-lathe spindle using small servo motor.  (Reason spindle is raised is to match height of a larger tailstock I already had) 

Offline RICH

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If you only want to index with the spindle you may want to consider just adding a stepper temporarily attached to the spinde to act as an A axis. It can be removable and easily implemented to the Sherline lathe. Here is an example for a different lathe:

Additionaly you may want to have a look at and use Phils lathe screen as that has the A axis added to it.
Here is the link:


« Last Edit: January 31, 2010, 11:48:26 PM by RICH »