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Indexing on a Wood Lathe #1: Setting up a 36 and 72 Degree Index

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Blog entry by Jim Jakosh posted 07-04-2015 06:03 PM 1714 reads 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I have a locking index wheel built into my Craftsman lathe and it works well but it is set at every 15 degrees. In an effort to make 5 or 10 equal divisions, I found I needed another index wheel so I decided to add it to back of the lathe chuck. I used aluminum but hardwood or steel would have worked too. I was wondering what I had in my shop that was accurate for setting degrees and pulled the Wixie box(Grizzly version). I mounted a steel bar on the plate for the back of the chuck so the Wixie would hold there.

I mounted the plate in an indexing head I made for the mill and used the Wixie to set it in the right position.

Then I made a stand out of some steel pipe and a nylon sleeve that was threaded for a locating pin to go into the index holes and had a slot to go around the wheel to counter the torque.
The knob is made of jarrah and I got to use my wood knurling tool to add a grip surface.

With the wheel locked in place, I center drill holes for the pattern at 72 degrees apart.


Then I turned a sample piece to see how close it came to what I wanted. I checked the hole spacing and 2 were .020” out for the worst error.

This is what it looks like in action. You just focus on the center pattern

And this is the finished piece made from 1/2” x 8” plywood and painted flat black. It is best to use hardwood because the plywood fuzzes a lot.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!



12 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9451 posts in 3520 days


#1 posted 07-04-2015 06:15 PM

WOW!

SUPER COOL!

Almost looks like a fan!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 2802 days


#2 posted 07-04-2015 06:21 PM

Great set up Jim. Your project looks wonderful too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

3557 posts in 2029 days


#3 posted 07-04-2015 07:16 PM

Jim

I am lucky I have one build in on my lathe. What is the bolt’s purpose?

-- Please help me help other Vets click..> http://www.gofundme.com/m1abko.....It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View peteg's profile

peteg

3865 posts in 2291 days


#4 posted 07-04-2015 09:36 PM

Super cool Jim, boy you’ve got some great gear in that shop of yours, I see you managed to score a second banjo for the indexer set up.
You could almost market these as a retro unit for most existing lathes.
Nice design & engineering Mate
cheers
pete

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17199 posts in 2573 days


#5 posted 07-04-2015 09:38 PM

Thanks Joe, Mike and Arlin.

Hi Arlin. I have a good one built in my lathe too, but it is only by every 15 degrees. I can’t make 36 or 72 degrees with it for 5 or 10 equal divisions, hence this project.
The bolt with the red handle is turned down to 1/4” on the end and is the locator for each position. It goes into the holes in the index wheel.
The other 1/2” bolt holds the wheel on the fixture while I drilled it in the mill.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

5252 posts in 1511 days


#6 posted 07-05-2015 08:53 PM

Well done Jim. Great idea. I haven’t used my indexing spindle yet, but great to know when the time comes.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

3557 posts in 2029 days


#7 posted 07-05-2015 09:07 PM

Thanks Jim

I am thinking your way might be easier then mine. I will have to check on the how many holes it has. I thought I had 24 and that would come up to 15 degrees so I will have to make sure.

I do know there is one out there that has 360 holes in it for indexing and that might be nice too.

-- Please help me help other Vets click..> http://www.gofundme.com/m1abko.....It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17199 posts in 2573 days


#8 posted 07-06-2015 02:26 AM

Thanks , Dave

Hi Arlin. That would be nice to have a hole at every degree but the wheel would have to be very big and the holes very small…. Or maybe 2 or 3 rows of holes. My 2 craftsman lathes have 24 hole indexes on them but one does not lock, the index pin is 1/16” out of line with the holes It will take a bit of dis assembly to get in there to correct it so I use the one that works for index work.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17199 posts in 2573 days


#9 posted 07-10-2015 03:45 AM

Well I almost had my first project with 5 rings. I used 1/2” x 7 1/2” corian and held it on the spigot for turning the first side with all the big rings. I don’t know what happened first but the corian broke loose from the spigot and it took a little chip out of the 3rd ring I had in it. Luckily had the tailstock center up against it with a nylon cap on it for stabilizing it so it did not fly out at me. Not giving up. I found the center , drilled a hole and mounted it on a 5/16 bolt and all was going well.


Corian sure makes a mess!!

Right after these photos, the tool bit caught, broke in two and took out a half of one of the rings with it. I was in 1/4” deep at the time. You wont’ see any more corian trivets tried this way from me!!
Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View peteg's profile

peteg

3865 posts in 2291 days


#10 posted 07-10-2015 07:29 AM

Sometimes we just learn the hard way Jim, tough outcome mate, I guess it’s all just part of the fun & it’s what keeps us coming back for the next round of the good game :)
cheers
pete

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17199 posts in 2573 days


#11 posted 07-10-2015 12:13 PM

That’s right, Pete . I try anything once and twice if it works!! I have an idea that one of the welds broke on the tool when the spigot came off and I never saw it. It just took one more catch to finish the job. I’m going to try to stick to 3/8” stock for any of these just so those tiny bits don’t have to go so deep. Any of the corian I get is 1/2” and I may still make round trivets with it, but not these see-through ones, My wife wants an oval one for long dishes and that presents more challenges but I’m working on it!! I like to make things people actually need at the time. These trivets are just fun stuff….............ain’t that what retirement is supposed to be about??

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

478 posts in 2984 days


#12 posted 12-01-2015 12:04 AM

Jim, is there a way to make two and then join them? Or use a router? Yours look so good that there must be a way to make that long one.

-- jstegall

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