CNC Table Solutions
Rotary tables are a very versatile tool that is used in a variety of applications from mechanical engineering to the aerospace industry. This tool is used primarily for engineering and architectural design projects, but the versatility of this product makes it an attractive option for the CNC welder. This article will focus on some of the options available to you when selecting your own rotary table for your work.
The first option to consider is whether you want the rotary table for fabrication only. In the fabrication only situation, you would use the table for cutting metal, plastic or other materials without necessarily having to machine them. If you select this option, be sure to include a lot of instructions on which end of the lathe to use in your design. Having a well-defined cutting direction can help the welder move easier and produce more accurate holes. Of course, if the welder is proficient enough in the material they are working with, this should not be a problem.
In the fabrication application, the table should be able to be used with high speed CNC machines. This allows the welder to get more out of their project by performing all of the machining operations at the same time. There is also the issue of consistency. All lathes that use high speed CNC work need a table that has been appropriately hardened. Of course, the majority of these lathes already have these capabilities built in, but it is still a good idea to match the hardness of the table to the style of equipment you are using.
Because rotary tables are essentially rotating tools, they do have to be cleaned out after each and every job. If you use a hobby shop, it may be possible to buy a table with a cleaning kit included. However, if you choose to purchase a set, it is important to purchase a brush for each of the four corners of the lathe. This will help you maintain a constant polish for the work piece that is becoming dirty due to constant movement.
It is important to take care of your rotary tables as much as you possibly can because this will prevent any undue damage to the machinery. While you can avoid filing the teeth of the lathe, be careful not to file too hard because this can cause the table to crack and break prematurely. While it may be tempting to file the table smooth every few months, it is best to wait until the teeth become so stiff that the table cannot be manipulated at all.
Another way to prevent damage to your rotary tables is to occasionally lubricate the surface of the tool with grease. Be sure to lubricate the surfaces equally over all of the four corners. This will ensure that there is a consistent level of lubrication for all of the work piece. For the grinding wheels, it is best to lubricate the edges so that they do not wear down too quickly.
Even though a lathe can get to be quite expensive, it is best to keep it in good condition. Of course, cleaning it every once in a while is not going to cost you a lot, but it can save you a lot of money in repairs. Always remember to check the attachments for proper functioning and lubricate the surface of the work piece every time it is turned.
These are just a few tips to help you keep your rotary tables in top condition. Just be sure to apply a little bit of time and thought to properly maintaining your rotary tables.