A rotary table or lathe is a precision mechanical device used primarily in woodwork. It allows the owner to cut or drill work at precise angles around an axle. Rotary tables are usually very large, and are used by carpenters, plumbers, cabinet makers, joiners, etc. Most rotary tables are made of wood and use either cast iron rotary rotators or screw spinning mechanisms. Many of these models are powered electrically and come with many accessories such as multiple locking mechanisms, spindle assemblies, etc.
The main benefit of using rotary tables is that it provides accurate vertical and horizontal axis position and movement. In addition, it offers a large turning radius and high torque which enable speedy and efficient performance. The rotary tables are used for furniture and other manufacturing applications in which high precision performance is required. They are normally manufactured by hand with the use of machines or even by hand. Rotary tables usually have a large base and are used to support heavy materials such as desks, bookshelves, and cabinet frames.
The two major axes of the rotary table are the horizontal axis and the vertical axis. The axis on which the workpiece is fixed determines the positions and directions of the segments of the table. The segments can rotate vertically, horizontally, or both horizontally. The size of the workpiece and its shape also affect the configuration of the segments of the table.
Many rotary tables have several convenient accessories such as ball bearings, sleeve pins, cam locks, adjustable templates, drill press protectors, etc. Table manufacturers customize rotary tables to fit specifications provided by their customers. Some of the popular accessories used in rotary tables are:
As mentioned above, the most common form of rotary table is the horizontal axis. In this type of table, the workpiece is mounted on a horizontal axis which rotates vertically through the holes bored in the workpiece. A vertical rotation is produced by turning the vertical axis around the axis of rotation. Horizontal rotary tables are commonly used for assembly-line production where multiple pieces need to be turned simultaneously.
For more exact position and orientation purposes, some manufacturers also manufacture L-shaped rotary tables. In a L-shaped table, the horizontal axis rotates in a clockwise direction. This results in an anti-clockwise rotation about the vertical axis. These tables are ideal for making detailed precision parts. These types of tables are widely used in fabricating machine shops.