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Spin indexer base
March 18, 2011
7:38 PM
Hawkeye
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Here is my attempt at making a mount for my spin indexer to attach it to my Mini Mill.

 

March 19, 2011
8:23 AM
SantaCruzClocks
Upstate New York
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Nice forward progress. What are you intending to make with the indexer?

Kevin "If it aint broke, fix it till it is!"
March 19, 2011
2:09 PM
Hawkeye
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Sharpen my slitting saw blades, making embellishments on my model steam (air) engines. Grinding  hex's and squares on tooling parts and flats on connecting rods. Sharpening end mills and stuff like that

March 19, 2011
9:05 PM
Titaniumboy
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Hawkeye,

Nice work on the mount.

I'm wondering why you didn't put milled slots – like that of a mill vise – in either the new mount or the spin indexer itself?

March 20, 2011
11:41 AM
Hawkeye
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Less tramming and Simple laziness.

March 20, 2011
6:30 PM
Hawkeye
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Oh By the way the back hole is slotted.

March 20, 2011
8:20 PM
Titaniumboy
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Hawkeye,

Can you explain how the new mount reduces the amount of tramming as compared to bolting the indexer directly to the table?  I'm not fully understanding.

March 21, 2011
10:08 AM
Hawkeye
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When I made the plate the indexer sits on, I made it square with the indexer. I also made the plate square to the mill table. The front holes are drilled with close tolerance's. I leave the indexer attached to  the plate.

I placed the indexer on the mill table and I move the t nuts under the plate until I can see them through the holes in the plate and screw them in. Then it's just a matter of putting the rear bolt in the slot in the plate and move the plate until it's square with the bed. I just realized I probably muddied the water by using the word tramming instead of squaring it.  Sorry about that, the mind is a wonderful thing when it works. Embarassed

March 21, 2011
6:02 PM
glenn105
Buzzards Bay, MA
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If I may make a suggestion…  You might find it helpful to cut a shallow slot in the bottom of your base plate and install a rectangular key in the keyway that will fit in your mill table t-slots.  This would auto-locate the indexer each time that you placed it on your mill table.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————

As you probably already know, these spin-indexers were not actually intended to be used on milling machines but rather on surface grinders.  That is why the don't come with bolt holes or slots to bolt them down to a milling table.  They are intended to be held in place by a magnetic chuck or clamps when used on a surface grinder.  The "spin" feature of these spin-indexers allows you to spin shafts while grinding.  The "indexer" feature of these units allows you to grind shapes such as hexagons, octagons, etc.  However, using these spin-indexers to mill these kinds of shapes is not advised because of the amount of metal you remove when milling versus grinding.  Only a couple of thousands are removed when grinding, vs. maybe 1/8" – 3/16" material when milling.  (causes too much vibration)  Also, the only LOCKING mechanism for holding position on these indexers is a single lock-pin that just "sits" in place and is not a very positive method of holding position for milling.  It is best to use additional clamps to hold the indexer in position if using it to mill.

I have a nice spin-indexer that I use quite often on my surface grinder.  I know that a lot of guys modify them (as you did) to use on a milling table, but you may find that it is not all that rigid and it makes it difficult to keep close tolerances.  There has been quite a bit of discussion about using these spin indexers on milling tables over on the bbs.homeshopmachinist.net  forums.  Some guys have modified their spindles to tighten things up, but I don't really like the idea, because the indexer then becomes useless if you want to use it for "spin-grinding."  The modification that they've made actually makes it impossible to SPIN the indexer.  I have actually recommended that since the import spin-indexers can be had fairly cheaply, it is a better idea to have (2) of them.  One for grinding, and one set up specifically for milling.  This way, you can modify the milling indexer as much as needed without ruining the features required for spin grinding.

Lastly, I will say that I've seen a LOT of different brands of these spin-indexers and the quality varies tremendously!  The Phase II unit that you have sells for anywhere from $69 – $129 and isn't too bad for the money, but it is considered middle of the road quality.  The ones to stay away from are the Chinese models marked PF-70.  You see them all over eBay for about $40 – $50.  They are TERRIBLE!  They usually runout around 0.005" – 0.006" !!!

Then, there are the Suburban Tool indexers that cost over $600.  They look awfully similar to the Chinese knockoffs, but they are actually NOTHING ALIKE! Not too many of us home shop machinists are going to have one of these Suburban units hanging around!

I bought mine, used.  I honestly don't know what brand it is, but it is a different color than any others I've seen.  I've checked it with a dial indicator and it runs true to less than a half thousandth.  I've tried to find out who made this one, but searched all over the internet and can't find another one that looks like it.  Oh well… I had one of the PF-70's before and it was a piece of JUNK.  SCRAP METAL at best.  This one is SO TIGHT and moves SO NICELY…  Sure wish I knew the brand name so I could recommend it!  (Here's a pic…)

 

Anyway…  Just my 2 cents worth! Wink

-Glenn

March 31, 2011
6:42 PM
glenn105
Buzzards Bay, MA
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Hey guys…  If anyone's interested, I just came across another 5C Spin Indexer EXACTLY like mine that I picked up.  I've personally checked it out using a granite surface table, a Starrett Last Word Dial Indicator, a Hardinge 1/2" 5C collett, and a brand new 1/2" Class ZZ Gage Pin.  It measured to run TRUE to within only 0.0003" (that's TENTHS, NOT THOUSANDTHS!)

As previously mentioned in this thread, the Chinese indexers selling in the range of $40 – $80 are JUNK!   Not many of us can justify over $600 for a Suburban Tool Indexer, so here's a nice alternative:

Not looking to make a lot of money on this item, but rather help out one of you guys that would like to own a QUALITY Spin Indexer for a fraction of the new cost.  I'll let this one go for $75 if anyone here is interested.  Can probably fit it into a medium sized flat rate Priority Mail box for shipping.

Let me know! Wink

-Glenn

 

 

 

 

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