A rotary table vise is a combination of a rotary table and a working vise. A rotary table is a precision work positioning device used in metalworking, while a vise is a mechanical apparatus used to secure an object to allow work to be performed on it. The following description will be divided into two parts, the rotary table and the rotary table vise.
A vise is a mechanical apparatus used to secure an object to allow work to be performed on it. Vises have two parallel jaws, one fixed and the other movable, threaded in and out by a screw and lever. Vises have a huge variety of kinds that can be categorized into different genres. But the main function of a rotary table vise comes from the rotary table.
A rotary table enables the operator to drill or cut work at exact intervals around a fixed axis. Some rotary tables allow the use of index plates for indexing operations, and some can also be fitted with dividing plates that enable regular work positioning at divisions for which indexing plates are not available. For such construction, a rotary table vise is the best choice to work with a rotary table. Rotary tables are most commonly mounted flat, with the table rotating around a vertical axis, in the same plane as the cutter of a vertical milling machine.
An alternate setup is to mount the rotary table on its end, or mount it flat on a 90 degree angle plate, so that it rotates about a horizontal axis. In this configuration a tailstock can also be used, thus holding the workpiece between centers. With the table mounted on a secondary table, the workpiece is accurately centered on the rotary table's axis, which in turn is centered on the cutting tool's axis. All three axes are thus coaxial.
From this point, the secondary table can be offset in either the X or Y direction to set the cutter the desired distance from the workpiece's center. This allows concentric machining operations on the workpiece. Placing the workpiece eccentrically a set distance from the center permits more complex curves to be cut. As with other setups on a vertical mill, the milling operation can be either drilling a series of concentric, and possibly equidistant holes, or face or end milling either circular or semicircular shapes and contours.
Before operating and mechanical device, safety always comes in first place. Wear safety glasses or goggles, or a face shield with safety glasses or goggles when using striking tools or power tools on a workpiece held by a rotary table vise. Attach a vise securely on a rotary table. Place bolts in all the holes in the base of the vise. Use lock washers under the nuts. Mount a vise so that the stationary jaw projects slightly beyond the edge of the rotary table. This allows long work to be clamped in the vise without interference from the edge of the rotary table. Ensure that the rotary table is firmly secured to its base.
There are some things to be aware when using a rotary table vise. Check the rotary table vise for cracks or other damage before clamping a workpiece in it. Attach a vise that is large enough to hold the work without strain. Place the workpiece in the vise so that the full clamping surface of the jaw supports the workpiece. Keep the workpiece in the vise close as possible to the jaws to prevent vibration when milling. Keep all threaded and moving parts clean, oiled and free of chips and dirt. Make sure to use jaw liners in a vise where there is any possibility of marking the work.
Do not weld the base of the rotary table vise to any metal. Repairing a vise by welding or brazing is also a big no. Do not try to bend a heavy rod in a light vise, nor try to apply heavy pressure at the corner of the vise jaws. Hammering on the handle to tighten beyond hand pressure. Do not use the jaws of the vise as an anvil. Never use any vise that has the slightest crack, nor unscrew or open the jaws of the vise wider than they were designed to be used. The smallest errors may cause huge danger to the machine and the user him or herself.
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