Gear Cutting with the Warco HV4 Rotary Table

Previously I reviewed the Warco HV4 rotary table, now I think it’s time to look at gear cutting with the Warco HV4 rotary table.

The Warco HV4 rotary table comes with dividing plates and crank – thus allowing it to be used to cut gears.

Setting up to machine gears, first step is to clamp the dividing head to the table – I used an engineers square to ensure the table was at 90° to the table.

The rotary table is clamped down at the front and rear.

The handle on the rotary table is then removed by first realeasing the caphead bolt in the centre of the handle.

The handle can be removed easily by releasing the caphead bolt. The handle being located with a keyway. This then allows the dividing plates and crank to be fitted in place of the free-rotating handle.

It was only after 6 months that I went to set the table up as a dividing head that I realised I had been sent 3 dividing plates, 2 of which were identical – an email to Warco and the missing dividing plate arrived 2 days later along with a free return address for one of the doubles that I had.

The 20 hole plate (plate A) is then placed on the spigot and the 3 fixing capheads used to secure the plate and ensure it does not move when in use.

The dividing plate is fixed to the table and the crank handle rotates and with it rotates the worm drive.

The next item to fit is the sector plate and this has been adjusted to 10+1 holes.

The sector was very stiff to adjust and a quite crudely machined part.

Even though the sector was stiff it was best to tighten the screw that locked the 2 arms and stopped them rotating relative to each other.

The sector spring was pushed into place.

This applies pressure to the sector and stops it so freely rotating, you need some friction with this.

The last thing to fit is the crank handle, the pin is spring loaded and so best to push the crank in place with the pin locating one of the holes at the correct radius and then tightening up the caphead that was used to hold the handle in place.

The crank handle is held in place with a grub screw – ensure this is tight and that the handle and pin are at 90° to the crank plate before trying to fit the crank to the table.

12 divisions is achieved with 7.5 turns – so 7 complete turns of the handle and then with a 20 division plate the dividers are set at 10 + 1 holes apart.

his takes a bit of concentration to use as you count off the rotations and then add the part rotation needed for the division – just be consistent and all will be fine.

A very small 12 tooth gear made with a cutter designed for a larger number of teeth and hence the undercut on the teeth – the wall is rather thin at the centre, but this was a trial to see how the rotary table works when being used as a divider – aim is to make more gears for my Wood and Metal Clock.

A pair of gears cut together out of mild steel – 60 teeth and 43mm diameter. One of these is for the camshaft side of a four-stroke engine in construction.

I created a quick google spreadsheet (below) that gives me divisions up to 200 and for completeness the first row gives 360 divisions. I have added a link to a downloadable pdf version if that helps. Note: number of hole intervals means you need to count the hole that the pin is in as 0 and then count out the number of intervals/steps from there (next step being 1).

Open the complete document here: pdf


module gear calculator

Workshop Calculations

A freely available spreadsheet that has the full dividing plate and rotary table calculations. You can set it up for your specific table and print off the sheets. You just need to know the worm drive ratio.

On a separate sheet I have added the gear module calculations that will allow you to get the blank size correct.

3 thoughts on “Gear Cutting with the Warco HV4 Rotary Table”

  1. dear

    first of all thank you for sharing gear cutting information with the rotary table. would you tell me where to find the gear cutter that you used, with shank and cutter combined in one piece?
    thank you for your time.

    • Hi, the cutter I bought at the Model Engineer show in London around 40 years ago, the mandrel I made. However, this is a one off 0.65 mod cutter and for years I have made do with just one. Not great and as you can see some of the roots are too thin. Since then I have bought a complete set of 0.5 mod cutters on ebay, but need to make a mandrel for them – will write a post about this soon. Best regards, Nigel

  2. hi, could you send me the Google spreadsheet to be able to calculate the divisions on my Rotary table Mecatecnica with series of different holes?


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