View Full Version : tool indexer

03-24-2004, 04:39 PM
I am thinking about converting my manual lathe to cnc, using
centoids-T-39 retrofit kit.
After getting pricing from Dorian Tool on there programmable tool turrets($6,000.00 and up) I am thinking of trying to convert my
existing manual turret tool post (horizontal) to a automated
one and live with just 4 tool stations.
This tool post is locked and unlocked with a single handle with a cam profile that locks the holder in position.
I envision something electro-pneumatic- a pancake cyllinder and
a stepper motor.
Can somebody draw me a diagram showing the needed componnets for the contoller to actuate the tool post and verify
position(0-90-180-270 degrees) and lockdown.
Any input or suggestions will be appreciated.

03-24-2004, 04:55 PM
Is this what you are inquiring about?
You can delve further by going here..

03-24-2004, 04:55 PM
If its not super precise, you'll hate it.

I did have one of these units that you describe that came on an old lathe, but one big problem with the regular vertical axis manual style turret, is that you run out of swing room if you happen to have a boring bar in one of the stations. Then, it becomes for all practical purposes, a 2 tool toolpost. The index pin locating dog is kind of questionable in its repeatability.

I actually still have this toolpost kicking around, it is a 5" square, with about a 3.25" height from base to tool center. It would take a 3/4" shank tool. Contact me if you are interested. It is air operated.

What I use instead, which is entirely satisfactory performance wise, is a manual quick change Klopfer style toolpost. There are clones of this available, too. It is a 40 position toolpost. The repeatability is excellent. But, I do have to change the tools manually on this machine. What is really nice, though, is that other tools than the current one, are not in the way, or ready to do something nasty to the chuck when you run the first time through a program.

Another option is to add a rear toolpost, which can sometimes alleviate a lot of toolchanging problems, if you have a two tool job to do.

03-24-2004, 04:58 PM
side view

03-24-2004, 05:40 PM
Thanks for the replys Bloy2004/Hu
Bloy2004-Thats a nice set-up but not what i had in mind
Hu - The "swing room" problem is something I was also wondering about with the vertical units when working close to the chuck.
the toolpost you have is it interfaceable with the lathe contoller?
I might be interested if it is.
The lathe I am thinking of converting is a Boehringer 20x64 with
a front and rear crosslide. the turret tool post on the front slide is a 40 possision unit also. That is why I think It would suit my needs if I can automate it, but just index it every 90 degrees.

03-24-2004, 05:57 PM
Oh, 20" swing is too big of a machine for this little turret indexer.

I'm not sure how large diameter the Dorian Turret is, but the 16" turret (horizontal axis) on my Eagle lathe (which is also about 20" swing) is about as small as I would ever want, when using a 12" chuck. This gets the bars up or down or back far enough to clear the chuck. Most of the time, I can use boring tools within 60 degrees of each other and still be safe. I still check it carefully with the rapid override turned way down, though :D