Pass Along MW
Making Heavy Work Light
By R. Joseph Ransil
have a Palmgren rotary table mounted on my drill press. It's a nice piece of equipment, and I use it frequently. To maintain precise operation, I keep the gibs fairly snug. This is fine, except that when you want to move the table a good distance (a frequent occurrence) it's a tedious chore. One day, while moving the table a couple of inches, it occurred to me that I could use my Skil battery-powered wrench to speed up the operation. I mounted a half-inch socket on the wrench - the right size to fit the nuts holding the handwheels - and applied the socket to the nut on the appropriate handwheel. It worked beautifully. Try it. With the flip of the switch, the wrench will drive in either direction, just like it was made for the job. In case you are wondering, I've never had a problem with loosening the handwheel nuts.
Recently, I thought of another - and possibly more popular - use for the same idea. Moving the jaws on a lathe chuck, especially a four-jaw independent chuck, can be a tedious chore when the jaws need to be moved more than a few turns of the chuck key. The cordless wrench is also ideal for speeding up this task.
Coupling the 3/8" square wrench drive to the chuck key slot depends on the key slot configuration. It can be as simple as using a standard socket-wrench adapter. For example, a 3/8" to 1/4" socket adapter is all I need to couple the cordless wrench to my three-jaw chuck. On the other hand, you might have to make an adapter - but this should be easy for the home shop machinist!
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