Types of Rotary Tables
A rotary table is essentially a mechanical work positioning machine used mainly in woodworking. It allows the operator to cut or drill work at precise intervals around an adjustable (usually flat or slanted) axis. While more complex than the table saw, it is easier to operate than the saw because the operation consists of smoothly guiding a rotating shaft along a table plane. The rotating shaft is moved over the work surface by guided hydraulic fluid or air.
A tilting table, on the other hand, has a rotary action that results in a perpendicular angle of the cut. It may be similar in operation to the vertical but the function is different in that the distance between the table edges is not fixed. Table edges are tiled so the distance is variable. To change the angle of the cut while maintaining the same width of the work, the operator moves the table up or down. Alternatively, a tilting blade is used that results in a change in the angular movement of the blade along the table axis. Tilting rotary tables are often coupled with other machinery such as presses, jigs and cutters to perform complex tasks such as crosscutting or grinding.
The tiltable table saw is a variant of the tilting rotary table. However, the operation is very different. In this machine, a vertical shaft is guided through the material being cut. Instead of moving vertically up and down, the operator moves the vertical shaft horizontally. This can either be done manually or by using a computer numerical control (CNC) program. Computer numerical control (CNC) programs allow the operator to specify operation parameters such as speed, angle and slew rate.
One other type of tilting rotary tables is the fixed worm style. This type of table includes a helical casting spindle guided by a slide and powered by an electric motor. The worm extends vertically within the casting. A worm drive system, either a belt drive or a chain drive, controls the movement of the worm. This type of table can also be controlled by a CNC program.
One popular variation of the tilting rotary table is the sine table. It is similar to a clockwise or counter-clockwise spin when the workpiece is in motion. Sine tables are commonly used in milling machines or sanding machines for the same reason. They provide accuracy and speed. They can also be tilted into a 45-degree angle.
The three different types of rotary tables can be categorized according to their construction. Horizontal axis: The horizontal axis is mounted on a stand that can rotate horizontally. The workpiece can be moved along the horizontal axis using a gear or a cam. Vertical axis: The vertical axis is mounted on a stand that is not rotating.