brainstorming, for now: adding a rotary axis to my woodworking CNC router table

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06 Jan 2021 20:21 #194279 by travis036
so, i was thinking of getting a rotary axis to add to my 3-axis router table. mainly to attempt to use it as a lathe duplicator system. obviously i would have to adapt my machine every time to convert to lathe mode, by turning the spindle horizontal, as it doesn't have the height to go over the rotary axis.

quite frankly, i don't have the money for a lathe to adapt. but a rotary axis is far easier to save up for. the one i have in mind has a 100mm chuck, and a tailstock, for a little under $300. the projects in mind need 6" center height, so i would have to get some height risers made for the tailstock and chuck bases.

i welcome constructive pros and cons.

~Travis

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09 Jan 2021 16:12 #194601 by tommylight
Make one, you have a cnc ! :)
Find a used worm gear reduction, add a stepper, might need some lathe work for the chuck and motor shaft, and make a mount out of wood.

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09 Jan 2021 18:41 #194633 by jbraun
Do you need the ability to index or the ability to turn at speed ?
I've used a mini-lathe headstock to do either switching between stepper and dc motor as needed. I can't really recommend it as the holding power of stepper with belt is not great and the chucks that come from the same sources are trashy. That said I've managed to make things with this set-up.

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10 Jan 2021 23:32 #194811 by andypugh

obviously i would have to adapt my machine every time to convert to lathe mode, by turning the spindle horizontal, as it doesn't have the height to go over the rotary axis.



Or sink the rotary axis down below the table surface. You probably only need to get to the top, after all.

I have made a number of rotary axes. (four is a number, after all, just not a big one)

1) I used a cheap rotary table. It was OK, but tedious to attach chucks and work to.
2) I needed something faster for gear hobbing , so I made something up using an eBat ER32 collet chuck, some taper roller bearings and a fabricated housing. Driven by a toothed belt from a stepper with a decent reduction.
3) I modified a Universal Dividing Head, which was very adaptable, but suffered from excessive backlash.
4) I made custom castings to mount a harmonic drive actuator :

As you can see, I have got steadily more elaborate as time has gone by.

Of the 4, for a router, something along the lines of 2) will probably give the best results. But there is little point making one when things like this exist on eBay: www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251929680759

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