Dividing Plate

Introduction to Dividing Plate & Dividing Head

Dividing plate is also called indexing plate. It is a fundamental part to a dividing head. The dividing head is a mechanical device that allows a work piece to rotate to predetermined angles or circular divisions. It is used to manufacture the part that requires the dividing of particular circumference or face of the part such as gear, graduated dial, wrench flat, or bolt circle. A dividing head is also called an indexing head.

With a dividing head, holes in specific layouts or patterns can be drilled on the face of the work pieces. The dividing plate is the part mounted on the dividing head to make partial turns of the spindle so that the holes at preset angles or patterns can be drilled. The dividing plate is mounted to the side of a dividing head. The dividing plate is turned manually with a crank handle on it. As the plate is being turned, the work piece on the dividing head rotates accordingly.

Anatomy of Dividing Head

There are three main parts on a dividing head: the gear reduction, the dividing plate and the rotary table. There dividing plate is used to set the number and angle of the holes that are going to be made on a work piece. When the dividing plate is turned, the gear reduction serves as the part to rotate the rotary table. There are a set of gears, typically worm gear, that translate the turns of handle to the revolution of the rotary table. The rotary table is the surface that the work piece is placed. There is usually a chuck with jaws on the rotary table to hold the work piece in place, but there could be a center and a tailstock on the rotary table to secure the work piece too.

Dividing Plate

The dividing plate is a disc-like device with a lot of holes on it. There are number marks by the holes on the dividing plate. The numbers refer to the inside row of the holes on the plate and they help the operator to set the angles and rotation of the rotary table. The dividing plate is a removable part on the dividing head. It is mounted to a shaft that sticks out from the side of the dividing head. The installation of a dividing plate includes several parts.

The dividing plate is mostly mounted onto the shaft with cap screws. Firstly, the operator should slide the plate into the shaft through the central hole of the plate and screw the plate with the cap screws. When the plate is fixed, a divider should be then attached to the shaft and held in place with a pin. The divider can turn on the shaft; the turning of the divider determines the number and the division of the holes based on the dividing plate. After the plate and the divider are mounted, the last part to install is the crank handle. The handle can be adjusted and lined up with the holes on the plate.

Dividing Plate Chart

The dividing plate is a removable part on the dividing head. There are different numbers of holes on the plates and the operator should choose the plate based on the actual needs. There is a dividing plate chart for each dividing plate indicating the turns, hole numbers and divisions for the operator to refer to. On the dividing plate chart, the three primary notes are the number of divisions, the plate row number, and the revolutions of the handle plus number of additional holes. Before turning the handle, the operator should set the number of the handle with the divider.

The number of divisions indicates how many holes there will be in a round pattern. The division number has to do directly with the revolutions of handles. The chart basically shows how many turns it takes to drill the corresponding pattern with holes. For example, the operator may need to do fifteen turns with the handle to make a pattern with six holes on a work piece. The chart is important because the plate ratio is different from plate to plate. If it says 1: 80 on the chart, it means eighty turns of the handle to one complete revolution of the rotary table. If it says 1:75, it means seventy five turns to one revolution.

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