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Affordable indexing wheel for wood lathe

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Forum topic by Jim Jakosh posted 04-24-2019 12:11 PM 651 views 2 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Jakosh

22527 posts in 3467 days


04-24-2019 12:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip resource

A lot of the lathes I’ve worked on don’t have any built in means of indexing or have pretty poor or limited ones.
I ran across this indexing setup on E bay and it is pretty cheap ($60) for what you get. I made a wheel on the back of my lathe with 72 holes in it but I find that if I want to do 5 or 10 holes, I had to make a separate wheel mounted on my chuck.

This one has the 72 holes and 24 on the inner circle but they say they now have one with 60 holes on the inside . If you need to do some accurate indexing, this is a good way to go and you can modify to fit your lathe permanently. That wheel alone could be incorporated into a lot of jigs too!!!

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-small-wood-lathe-woodturning-indexing-system/362231720826?hash=item5456b16b7a:g:yNUAAOSwxOFadfjZ

I just went to their store and found this plate for larger lathes. It has 120, 90 and 72 hole patterns. It should be all you need for any pattern!!

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Wood-lathe-indexing-plate-various-spindle-sizes/112030973638?hash=item1a1590fec6:g:IzUAAOxyAs9SRB1y

Cheers, Jim

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


16 replies so far

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

8327 posts in 2405 days


#1 posted 04-24-2019 01:20 PM

Thanks for the info Jim. That is a great set up especially at that price. I’m completely happy with the one I made with you jig for now but that is something to consider for future needs.
I can see you making one of these in the future.

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

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3338 posts in 1749 days


#2 posted 04-24-2019 01:56 PM

That’s a good alternative. If I am reading it right, the one at the second link doesn’t include the bracket? Looks like this indexing plate from Chefwarekits is comparably priced, also without a bracket, but has 5 rows of holes for 192, 144, 120, 96, 88 and 56. Their complete line of indexing systems can be seen here.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Brawler

34 posts in 192 days


#3 posted 04-24-2019 02:01 PM

FYI many lathe chucks come with indexing capability, usually with 24 indexes.

-- Daniel

View lew's profile

lew

12736 posts in 4117 days


#4 posted 04-24-2019 02:48 PM

Thanks, for the tip, Jim!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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Jim Jakosh

22527 posts in 3467 days


#5 posted 04-24-2019 09:40 PM

Hi Dave. I’m happy with mine too. If I had seen this when I bought my lathe, I think I’d have bought one and mounted it behind the lathe so it can be on there all the time like mine is now. I was thinking about that and I have two friends with CNC machines and this would be a piece of cake for them!!

Hi Nathan. I looked those at Chefwarekits and they look to be identical. With so may holes, you have to be real careful that you are not one hole off…you could screw up your project doing that. I almost did it with my 72 hole index ring..

Cheers, Jim

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

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TheDane

5637 posts in 4025 days


#6 posted 04-24-2019 10:14 PM

I looked those at Chefwarekits and they look to be identical. With so may holes, you have to be real careful that you are not one hole off…you could screw up your project doing that.

I have both the Alisam and Chefware Kits wheels … I actually prefer the Chefware Kits version.

To avoid the problem Jim mentions, I use a Sharpie to mark the holes I want to use. When I am done, I squirt a little Goof Off on a paper towel and wipe off. The Sharpie comes off the Chefware Kits wheels slick as a whistle. The Alisam wheel is anodized, and getting the marker off is a real PITA.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22527 posts in 3467 days


#7 posted 04-25-2019 11:09 AM

Hi Gerry. I have a polished aluminum wheel on my lathe and sometimes I use a slim piece of masking tape…about 1/8” wide…to mark the critical holes. It saves me time and a possible mistake.

cheers, Jim

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

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

3338 posts in 1749 days


#8 posted 04-25-2019 01:08 PM

Both great tips. Some of that narrow pinstripe tape of different colors might be handy for color coding for different configurations might come in handy. I was looking at different indexing setups for doing another basket illusion bowl when this thread came up. I think the index built into my lathe only has 48 positions and it is a pain to use because you sort of have to walk around to the back to see which position you are moving to. I think I may go ahead and pull the trigger on the Chefware one. I’m just debating whether to make my own lock post or buy theirs.

Thanks for the discussion and tips.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

5637 posts in 4025 days


#9 posted 04-25-2019 03:37 PM

I’m just debating whether to make my own lock post or buy theirs.

That is the one thing I didn’t like about the Alisam … turning that damned threaded pin in and out on their lock post was annoying. I found a spring-loaded, threaded pin that fits their post, but in hindsight, it would have been easier just to make my own post.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Rink's profile

Rink

110 posts in 399 days


#10 posted 04-25-2019 04:47 PM

$36 for this one. Is it garbage?

David

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

5637 posts in 4025 days


#11 posted 04-25-2019 06:07 PM

$36 for this one. Is it garbage?

The indexing wheel is only 3” in diameter with 24 stops. I don’t buy anything from PSI (customer service nightmare), so whether it is garbage or not, I would look for a better solution.

Before I bought my metal wheels, I made several out of 1/4” plywood with patterns I created with Graph Paper Maker software.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View hairy's profile

hairy

2825 posts in 3894 days


#12 posted 04-25-2019 09:46 PM

I’m not much help about which to choose,but my lathe index has 48 holes and I have never wished for more.

-- My reality check bounced...

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

25216 posts in 4213 days


#13 posted 04-26-2019 04:18 AM

looks like a very viable option at a good price Jim.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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Jim Jakosh

22527 posts in 3467 days


#14 posted 04-27-2019 02:18 PM

Hi Gerry. I have a 10 hole index wheel on the back of one of my chucks and I have to turn the index pin in all the time and it is a pain. So when I built my big 72 hole index wheel for my Nova lathe, I made a spring loaded plunger to pick up the holes. I mounted mine right under the handwheel of the lathe with 4 screws and have the holes facing me as I use the lathe which I like better that having them on a plane perpendicular to me where I have to look around the side. I have photos below:
Cheers, Jim

This is from the left side of the lathe showing the handwheel.

Pin Disengaged- plunger up

Pin Engaged- Power off to avoid a mistake

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

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10585 posts in 4414 days


#15 posted 04-28-2019 10:34 PM

Looks like you have stumbled upon some really GOOD stuff!

-- 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"

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