A buddy of mine tore apart an old pump and
gave me a worm wheel and gear that looked to
be in good shape. I had wanted to make a
rotary table for some time, but always got
stopped by how I was going to make the gears.
So I knew as soon as he handed them to me
what I would be doing with them.
The hand wheel on the
right and bearing block
on the left are the first
two parts I started with.
I cast them from scrap
aluminum in my forge.
After the casting
process, I machined
them to size on the mini
lathe and mini mill.
Check out the "before
and after" pictures.
Here is the base of the rotary table made from pink construction insulating foam and covered with a coat of Plaster of
Paris. The foam was cut using several methods. I used a home made hot wire cutter, which worked good on the
thick sections, but needs a guide of some type to make straight cuts. Heavy paper from a serial box makes a nice
guide, so I cut it to the required shape and held it into place with tape and pins. I also used a small table saw on some
sections and found that it cuts very well and leaves a smooth finish. I also used several knifes to shape the foam. All
the pieces are held in place with hot melt glue which is vaporize along with the foam during the pour. The last step
was to apply a coat of plaster to some of the more critical areas that I wanted a good surface finish on. Click here to
see the casting being machined in the mini mill. And here to see the casting being bored with my home made boring
Here are the two table
lock knobs fabricated
from a piece of steel rod.
The parts were first
turned on my lathe and
the slots and holes added
with the mill. I used my
homemade ball cutter
lathe attachment for the
round spherical ends.
This is the crank arm for the dividing
head. I cast the part from aluminum
after making a blank from pink foam.
Index pin for the dividing head
made from 5/8 dia HRS and
turned down on the lathe.
The index pin knob was turned
down from an aluminum casting
and knurled. 2-15-05