I recently bought Sherline P/N 8700, “CNC Rotary Indexer”. It consists of three units. The first is the standard 4 inch rotary table, but with a stepper motor attached. Here you see it set up to cut teeth on a ratchet.
The second part is a keypad/motor driver.
The third part is a 24 volt, 1 amp power supply (wall plug hanger).
To set up this system to index 33 equally spaced teeth, I only had to tell it to enter “division” mode and that there would be 33 divisions. After that, one key press would cause an advance of 10.909 degrees. This saved time, compared to manually cranking the angles. I also expect to use it when perforating (porting) reel frames and spools.
But the real reason that I bought it was to help with the tedious task of “hogging” out waste material on one piece frames and spools. When I do the rough hollowing out of a reel frame, I use 20 steps (.050 inch each) in the Z direction, and 4 radial positions for each Z step. Then at each of these 80 locations, I have to turn the rotary table crank 72 times, for a total of 5760 revolutions. It’s a recipe for carpal tunnel.
Update 26 May 2014: Using the indexer to remove waste material from a spool; rotation angle = 360 degrees.
how much did it coast you for the whole set up ?
The whole kit – motorized table, controller, power supply – is listed by Sherline as P/N 8700 at $725. This unit was “practically unused” and I got it on Ebay for $630. I haven’t found a scratch on it.
Even well used Sherline tools and accessories seem to go for 60 or 65% of list.