The attachments I decided to make fullfilled my own requirements, but the original designs (By George Thomas) offer such flexibility that I can't think of a dividing operation that cannot be performed with one or other of the Headstock Dividing Attachment (HDA) or Versatile Dividing Head (VDH). The HDA I've illustrated is specifically for the Myford Super 7 lathe, but alternative designs are available for the ML7, ML10 lathe (by Mr. Thomas), and it's possible that these and earlier designs by J. A. Radford may be adaptable to other lathes. It all depends on the accessibility of the lathe bull-wheel, and the number of teeth it uses. The VDH of course can be used on any machine that the base can be bolted down to.
The VDH really shines bolted to the lathe boring table because (during construction) the centre height ends up the same as the lathe centre height. This only applies to the machine it was originally made on though, and I made my VDH on an older ML10 which left it below centre height on my new Super 7. I had considered machining a new base unit but settled for shimming the base up (I just happened to have some stainless steel plate .128 inch thick which was exactly the right thickness as far as I cound measure - 0.125 inch was too thin).
When I get round to completing this article I'll describe the construction methods I used - the snags I hit and the solutions to them. In the meantime, if you want a good laugh, the first time I used it seriously to cut a gear I was merrily twirling the sector fingers around (about half way through the job) when I realised the plunger was on the WRONG side of the sector arm. Oops. Hence, you might see from the close-up photo of the HDA that there are two BOLD red lines marked on them - I'll not do that again.
I must say though that both attachments are well worth building, they use many common parts (at least on the Super 7) so it's not much extra work to build both. Castings are available from Neil Hemingway (see Links Page).
(c) Chris Heapy 1996.
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