Rotary Table: What Is It

There are different tools used in metalworking, and one of them is a rotary table. This allows the machinist to easily drill into metals using a fixed axis.

There are different rotary tables in the market, and some of them make use of index plates to carry out their indexing processes. The others can easily be linked with the dividing plates that allow them to easily position at those places, where indexing plates can’t be seen.

When a rotary fixture is made use of in this manner, it is christened, a dividing head.


Many rotary tables are manually operated, and some aren’t. Usually, rotary tables are created with a sturdy base, and they possess features that allow them to clamp on another fixture or table.

The table itself is a disc, which is later attached to the workpiece. The way the disc is attached to it allows it to move around without hitch for the indexing. In other cases, it can be controlled using a handwheel or worm. If it comes with a worm, it becomes a part of the main table.

Rotary tables that are highly precise are mostly controlled by backlash compensating duplex worms.

Usually, the ratio that exists between the table and worm are usually 1:40, 1:72, or 1:90, but it has to be made of any ratio that can easily divide through 360°. This ensures that the indexing plates are being easily used.

The fact that the rotary table comes with a vernier scale and graduated dial allows the machinist to easily position their tables, increasing accuracy and efficiency to their work.

A lot of rotary tables come with a  through holes in their centers, and it can admit a Morse fixture.

Uses of Rotary Tables

These tables are installed flat, while they move on a vertical axis, like a vertical milling machine.

Another way to install the rotary table is to do so by mounting the table on the ninety-degree angle plate, permitting it to move in a horizontal axis.

Using the rotary table hinged on another table, the workpiece is perfectly centered on the axis of the rotary table, and this is centered on the axis of the cutting tool. What this means is that the three axes are all coaxial.

At this part, the secondary table is either being offset in the Y direction or the X one to put the cutter in the right distance from where the center of the workpiece is.

This ensures that concentric machining operations are carried out on the workpiece.

Having the workpiece being placed in an eccentric manner from where the center is, allows the cutting of a lot of complex curves.

The rotary tables are used in doing the following:

In those cases, when spanner flats have to be machined on a bolt, the rotary tables are used.

They are great for drilling, on a circular flange, equidistant holes.

They help in cutting the round piece using the protruding tang.

They are used in creating large-diameter holes, through the milling of the circular toolpath on those tiny milling machines that aren’t being able to operate the big twist drills.

They are used in cutting out those complicated curves. They can also be used in making arcs, as well as straight lines at whatever angle you wish for. When a compound table is added to the rotary table’s top, the operation is capable of moving the rotational center to wherever he wishes. The center can easily be moved to that part that is being cut. This feature permits the arc to be cut wherever one wants.

It can also be used in cutting circular pieces.

It can also be changed to stepper motor operation by adding a tailstock, as well as a CNC milling machine. When these are added, the rotary table can easily be used in making a lot of parts.

Applications of Rotary Tables

The rotary tables are used in a lot of cases, as well as the manufacturing and inspecting of important parts in industries like automation and aerospace. Rotary tables can also be used in the film and animation industry, ensuring the needed precision and accuracy in photography.







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