A rotary table, sometimes called a rotary or centrifugal table, is an innovative model for metal working. It differs from a lathe in that the work piece is not spun in a fixed or horizontal motion by means of a clockwise or counter-clockwise rotation, but rather, spins on its axis in a circular pattern. Most rotary tables are usually mounted on an industrial pedestal stand, operating on either a vertical or horizontal axis. Yet another variation involves mounting the device on its side, or on a 90-degrees angle plate so that it can rotate horizontally on its axis, enabling the work piece to be placed between centers.
Rotary tables are suitable for a variety of work pieces. They may be used for boring holes, boring out features of components, forming metal parts, crimping, beading, etc., and they can even be used for other complex work where a surface that can be manipulated are desired, such as in milling. The versatility of a rotary table makes it popular for applications where accuracy and speed are key factors. This is especially true with computer work, where intricate curves and designs often require fast, accurate turning and exact milling. The fact that a table can be customized to nearly any design makes it useful for all kinds of machining operations.
On a lathe, a rotary table allows the workpiece to lie at a specific angle to the lathe, in order to access all or most of the surface areas of the piece. With this type of table, it is easy to reach all edges of a material without having to drill or tap excessively hard. Rotary tables provide a simple and effective means for performing a variety of complicated milling operations. By adjusting the table’s angular position relative to the surface and its bearing axis, a user can control the depth and pitch of the cutting edge. This feature makes it very useful for cutting soft and difficult materials.
There are two types of rotary tables that are commonly used in woodworking shops. One is a vertical axis table, and the other is a tilting rotary table. A tilting vertical axis table allows users to specify a particular degree of cutter tilt from which the material is cut. Most vertical axis tables also have a level indication mechanism that lets the operator keep a finger on the top edge to keep from accidentally leveling a piece that is too steep. A tilting rotary table can also be manually aimed to move vertically along a plane.
Vertical axis tables must be frequently tilted, which presents another potential source of error. The height of a piece can be incorrectly set by tilting a vertical axis table too far or by improperly tilting the device. Another problem with tilting rotary tables is that the material it cuts sometimes not accurately trimmed along a circular path. If a piece is mounted too high or too low to the table, it can create wedges at the edges. And if a piece is mounted too low or too high to the table, it may not cut properly or expose too many angles.
To accurately set a rotary table to cut any given material, the operator must ensure that the supplier provides a one-piece package that includes all the pieces required for the project. The package must include the wood shavings and a wood blade. It should also include a packaging tape and an adhesive. The shavings are usually already pressed into the package and the adhesive is applied when the piece is received. This ensures that all pieces are included in the order that they will be used, reducing possible errors during assembly.