Rotary Cross Slide Table Guide

Rotary Table Overview

There are many types of rotary tables in the market, such as rotary cross slide table, all of which essentially work positioning devices widely used in metalworking applications. It allows work to be cut or drilled at identical intervals around a fixed axis (normally horizontal or vertical). 

Some of the key advantages of a rotary table include the repeatability, short time of indexing, flexible indexing positions, as well as the tolerability of exceptionally high axial and radial torques during rotation and stopping.

Systems based on rotary tables are generally very durable, and will not require a repair until a longer period of time. Depending on the applications, the rotary table may be complemented with an internal or external clamp.

What is Rotary Cross Slide Table

A rotary cross slide table is known as the rotary table is a type of rotary table with cross slide mounted on a mill. It is designed to cut exceptionally complex, curved objects. This technology is not used as often nowadays ever since computer numeric control (CNC) has taken over.

A rotary table, with a cross slide mounted on top, can simplify the processing of milling a rectangular object with rounded corners or using a fly crank in a single operation wherein it rotates around one center, and traverses around another center, then traverses again. 

A rotary cross slide table can have two cross slide axes mounted above it. This way, when you are truing up the rotary part, the cross slides can be cranked off the center and still turn true radii. This virtually expands the milling functions, and both the rotary table and cross slide will consume some height, with a vise in particular.

Types of Rotary Cross Slide Table

There are typically two types of rotary cross slide tables, and they are used for vastly different purposes. The first type has the rotary table on top with the XY table down bottom. The rotary table is moved around under the spindle by the XY table. As you turn the rotary table, holes can be drilled at a pre-defined radius by the XY table. 

The other type of rotary cross slide table is constructed conversely to the former type, as the XY table is located on top of the rotary table. This is the type of rotary table with cross slide that is used extensively for milling operations. Do note that tool from the first type on a mil, the XY table would become quite obsolete since it’s redundant with the mill’s XY feed.

Features of Rotary Cross Slide Tables

Rotary cross slide tables feature precision rotary, lateral and transverse feeds for quick positioning of the work piece. These tables are typically bolted to a machine that are able to enhance the efficiency in routing, milling, shaping, cutting slots and keyways, and grinding. It also makes intricate jobs involving metal, plastic, composites or woods a lot more feasible. 

Some of the key features of rotary cross slide tables include: 

1. Rotary cross slide tables are able to position work piece accurately on the “X” and “Y” axis, and also the 360-degree table rotation.

2. Rotary cross slide tables typically come with keyway and mounting lugs for more accurate and securing mounting and locating. 

3. Rotary cross slide tables have worm gear drives that offer positive rotary feed.

4. Rotary cross slide tables come with ball crank feed handles that do not bypass the base to alleviate interference with the machine table. 

5. Rotary cross slide tables are calibrated at an increment best suited for the requirements.

6. Rotary cross slide tables allow slide travel of the cross slide up to 100 mm.

Rotary cross slide tables can be confusing at times because they are often difficult to keep straight as to when to move the cross slide on XY table and when to move the mill. If you get stuck on which tables you should be moving, think about whether you want to move the pointer or change the length of the string. This should clear up which table you need to move. 

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