A rotary table is basically a precision mechanical device used mainly in the fabrication industry for rotating work within a machine or bench top. It allows the operator to cut or drill work at precise intervals around a stationary axis. In addition to this, it is used for designing and building models of airplanes, space shuttles, trucks, trains, vessels etc. Rotary tables are usually used by automotive industries, where the rotation of the moving piece allows for intricate detailing of internal processes.
In the realm of design and construction, rotary tables have found their use in woodworking. They are used extensively in the production of mahogany, maple, oak, birch, cherry etc. Due to their ability to provide accurate positioning and exact machined details they are ideal for milling and forming work pieces.
Rotary tables are used for other machining operations like drilling, cutting, milling etc also. They are used for drilling holes into various shapes and are ideal for precise milling of larger diameter holes. They can be used as stand alone machines for drilling, cutting etc, or can be mounted on a lathe or CNC machinery for complex CNC drilling, cutting, etc.
The common structure of rotary tables consists of two circular platforms on which workpieces are mounted. The platforms themselves can rotate either clockwise or counterclockwise depending upon the needs of the user. The mechanism that causes this rotation is simple and works on the principle of centrifugal force. Rotary tables are typically constructed with secondary structures that enable them to be adjusted easily for the type of work being performed.
As far as features go, there are a wide variety. The most common feature found in most rotary tables is the ability to move the workpiece around the bed. This is achieved by rotating either the inner or outer platform. This feature is commonly known as “traction” mechanism. Other features that are available include: anti-static control, knurling, ease of use, drill press, motor hookup, tool storage, tower platform, non-perforated deck, steel shaft, dual or single drum spindle, adjustable angle, lock up system, variable speed control, safety and many more.
In case you are wondering how these rotary tables work, the mechanism is very simple. Basically, the workpiece is placed between the two circular platforms of the rotary table and with the rotation of the table the workpiece is moved around the bed. It is necessary to have a shaft of some sort that rotates in order to accomplish this task. Typically, the two types of structures that are used to support the shaft of the rotary table are: wood, and plastic. Worm gear reduction in the worm gear housing allows it to spin at a high velocity thus, permitting the work piece to be moved around the bed. Rotary tables with worm gears allow for a smooth spinning action in the workplace, which is what gives them the ability to perform such tasks as drilling, cutting, grinding, polishing, etc.