Building a 4th axis in one day

For a job that was coming up I needed a 4th axis. Or so I thought.

In thinking things through I realized that to get started I only needed an indexer. So I decided to build one that could eventually evolve in to a cnc controlled 4th axis.

With a little guess work I decided on some dimensions, primarily the size of the main disk which would be 250 mm. The index points would be 0, 30,45, 60, and 90 degrees, repeated in all quadrants.

I created the code for it and started work. By the end of the day it was ready!

simple 4th axis/indexer

It went this quickly because I cut corners where ever I could:

The main structure was made from particle board and only the front and back were milled, the rest was cut with the table saw. When those parts were ready I glued them together with polyurethane wood glue.

I made the connector for the chuck from 18 mm birch ply (in my lathe) and glued that to the 30 mm stock.

The handle that would do the indexing was hand made except for the 30 mm hole for the stock, that was milled.

After just this one day of work I can start testing the concepts and improve quickly.