During the time when the lathe was the only machine in the home workshop, dividing
had to be carried out on the lathe. Now, with many more workshops having a milling
machine the methods are less common.
Even so, there are still many workshops where there is only a lathe and even where
a milling machine is available using the lathe can often be worth considering.
Photo 1 shows the most adaptable method as any of the lathes changewheels can be
used making a wide range of divisions possible.
Photo 2 depends on the lathe’s bull wheel having a useable number of teeth, for the
Myford, typically, it has been 60 on the vast majority of their lathes. This being
a good number as it enables most of the common low numbers to be achieved. Whilst
it cannot provide the higher numbers it is far quicker to set up than that in photograph
Photo 3 shows a very easy way of achieving 3 divisions and if the screw can be set
at centre height minus half the jaw width 6 divisions can be obtained by also using
it below the jaws at the rear of the lathe.
When making my basic dividing head I made its centre height equal to the lathe’s.
This made it easy to engrave dials with a scribing tool mounted on the top slide.
However, Photo 4 shows it being used with my Lining Tool LINK
Where divisions are required that are not available by other means, using a strip
of paper round the chuck, suitably divided, is a possible approach, Photo 5. . LINK
The method was used in Photo 6 to provide 5 divisions for a drilling jig for a steam
engine cylinder and is being marked using a Guided Centre Punch. LINK
Photo 7 shows a gear wheel being used to set the divisions for a dial, being similar
to the method in photograph 4. The gear and dial are mounted on a two step taper
stub mandrel. LINK
Photo 8 is a carrier for the collet seen being slit in Photo 9, the square section
providing the four divisions required. Photo 10 is another example showing the
setup more clearly. LINK
A piece of hexagonal material could be used for 6 divisions.