Ubuntu version of Linux and EMC2 plus other new features introduced

in Sept. 2009. See announcement below!

P/N 8540 (left or top) includes a deluxe 5400-CNC mill, 3 stepper motors, computer and software. The upgraded P/N 8020 (right or bottom) is similar except for the substitution of the 8-direction model 2000 mill in place of the 5400. Though not shown in these photos, new Sherline CNC mills now include a saddle oil reservoir for lubricating the X and Y leadscrews. (Click on photo for larger image.)

(For physical size and travel specifications of mills and lathes, scroll to the bottom of this page or click here.)

Sherline CNC Mill Systems and Packages

(CLICK HERE to go to the page on Sherline CNC Lathe Systems and Packagkes)

Complete system includes everything you need to get started in CNC machining

NOTE: CNC Retrofit kits are available for all existing manual Sherline mills and lathes. See the CNC PRICE LIST for part numbers and descriptions.

Included with the Sherline system are the following components:

∙ Your choice of model 5400 or model 2000 mill fitted with saddle oiler, stepper motor mounts and couplers on X, Y and Z axes
∙ 3 Stepper motors pre-wired with plugs—no soldering or wiring required on your part...just plug and play
∙ Drivers, 6.5 amp, 24 volt power supply and cables installed inside computer box for 4 axes: X, Y, Z and A (See below for optional 4th axis rotary table)
∙ New computer* with Linux OS and EMC2 4-axis CNC software pre-installed on hard drive—eliminates installation headaches and compatibility problems. (Customer must supply only a monitor.)
∙ Backup CD's with Linux, EMC and complete instructions by Joe Martin in MSWord.doc, .html and .pdf formats. Includes several free utilities to translate CAD files or TrueType fonts into G-code.

∙ 1 year warranty on all components for non-production use

*NOTE: Systems without computers and CNC upgrades for those who already have a mill or lathe are also available.

Potential customers include:

∙ The home shop craftsman wishing to take advantage of the ability of CNC to make identical small parts in quantity or to make 3-D shapes not possible by hand

∙ Designers and engineers wishing to make small prototype parts themselves quickly in their own shop
∙ The small industrial facility wishing to save money by freeing up larger CNC machines by taking production of small parts to an inexpensive and appropriately sized machine

∙ The student wishing to learn how CNC operates either for fun or for future employment using larger machines

New CNC upgrades now in production!

Sherline has recently introduced several upgrades to our CNC mill and lathe packages. Here are the most important updates and features:

  1. Debian version of Linux upgraded to new Ubuntu Version—Better hardware support and more intuitive operation

  2. EMC upgraded to EMC2—Now includes CNC lathe program as well as mill program

  3. CNC computers now manufactured in-house—We control quality of all components, availability (no back orders) and can offer more efficient testing and technical support

  4. Driver board circuit protection—A reset feature was added some time back to protect from damage due to a surge or short

Ubuntu vs. Debian Linux

Many Linux users have been switching from the Debian version to the updated Ubuntu version for good reason. In addition to being more developer-friendly, it offers seamless integration with a larger number of hardware components. It is directed more toward the new user who is familiar with a Windows® or Macintosh® type interface. No more “mounting” and “unmounting” drives, double click to open files, and so on. Ubuntu is also well suited for the upgrade from EMC to EMC2 which is explained in more detail below.

Ubuntu includes a number of very useful free programs are included such as OpenOffice (word processing), a presentation program like Microsoft PowerPoint® and a spreadsheet program like Excel®. There are also utilities like a calculator, dictionary, text editor, print manager, disk use analyzer, note program, search tool, CD/DVD burner, photo manager, image editor, drawing program, e-mail and calendar program, music player, movie player and sound recorder. For those who like games, 17 are included, and it’s all free. The Sherline computer is also configured for connection to the internet using the Firefox browser included in Ubuntu.

The desktop of the Ubuntu version of Linux is laid out a little differently than the Debian version but is even easier to navigate. Drop-down menus from the top menu bar give instant access to all the important programs and features offered in Linux. The details you need are noted in the revised Version 5.0 instruction manual. It can be found on the Sherline web site at www.sherline.com/CNCinst5.pdf.


The EMC2 interface is virtually identical to what you have seen before in our previous Debian version of EMC, so there is practically nothing new to learn if you have used it before. Sherline’s included instructions cover the use of G-code in milling operations. Technical support for the new lathe program available in EMC2 can be found in the EMC2 User’s Manual prepared by the Linux group. It is loaded on the Sherline computer or can be found on-line at http://linuxcnc.org/docs/EMC2_User_Manual.pdf.

Part numbers/Prices—CNC Mill Systems: (Factory direct orders only*.)

P/N 8540 (8541 metric**)—Model 5400 mill, computer, drivers, stepper motors and software: $2525.00
P/N 8020 (8021 metric**)—Model 2000 8-direction mill, computer, drivers, stepper motors and software: $2745.00

Accessory "A" Packages

Mill CNC systems can be ordered with a selection of our most popular accessories. Items included in the mill "A" packages are a 1/4" drill chuck, fly cutter, 3-pc. mill collet set, 3/8" end mill holder, 6-pc. 3/8" end mill set, Sherline Accessories Shop Guide book, mill vise, step block hold-down set, 3-pc. center drill set and 5/32" Sherline hex T-driver. Purchasing these items as a package saves about $50.00 compared to buying them individually. (Click photo for larger image.)

CNC Mill Systems with Accessory Package: (Factory direct orders only*.)

P/N 8540A (8541A metric**)—Model 5400 mill CNC system plus Mill A package accessories: $2770.00
P/N 8020A (8021A metric**)—Model 2000 mill CNC system plus mill A package accessories: $2990.00

*AVAILABILITY: Because of software support considerations, the complete CNC systems with computer are available only by direct order from Sherline. Please call (800) 541-0735 during business hours, fax your order to (760) 727-7857 or contact us by e-mail at sherline@sherline.com.

**METRIC/INCH: The EMC2 program allows G-code to be used to accommodate either inch or metric dimensions regardless of the leadscrew pitch. Though most CNC systems we sell come with inch leadscrews, we do offer a metric version for those who prefer to have metric leadscrews and metric increments on the handwheels when operating the machine manually. When under computer control, either machine can use either measurement system by including the proper g20 or g21 command in the program to convert between systems.

NOTE: Complete shop packages including a CNC mill, CNC lathe, 4th axis rotary table, computer, software and a selection of the most popular tools and machining accessories are also available. See the CNC price list for all your options.

What a Sherline CNC system won't do

Beginners often ask, "Can I scan a sketch of a part and the machine will make it for me?" Unfortunately, the answer is "No." There is a lot more to CNC machining than that, regardless of which brand of system you decide to use. Considerations such as tools to be used, spindle speeds, how the part will be held, where the "home" position will be located and the order in which the cuts will be made are decisions that must be made by the operator before a part can be made. An axis driven by a stepper motor must receive instructions in a language it understands, so if you use a CAD program, the vector information of the CAD drawing format must be translated into a text format that the machine understands. This language tells the stepper motor how fast to turn, in which direction and how many "steps" to take for each move. The language your Sherline machine understands is called "G-code," and you can get your ideas from design to G-code in one of three ways: 1) You can use trig to calculate key points and write the code yourself, 2)You can use the ability of drawing programs like AutoCad® to locate key points on your CAD drawings making it easier for you write the g-code yourself, or 3) You can use a "translator" program to translate your .dxf, or .stl format CAD drawings directly into g-code. Full-featured CAD/CAM programs are also capable of outputting G-code from the CAM portion of the program after you create the drawing in the CAD portion. If you are working with a Windows CAD program, it can be run on a Windows machine, the translated G-code saved as a text file on a CD, DVD or flash drive and transferred to the Linux computer. The G-code is then opened in your EMC or EMC2 program and run. The Linux desktop looks and works almost the same as the Windows® desktop you are probably familiar with, so learning to operate within Linux should not be a major obstacle. You do not need to "learn Linux" any more than you need to "learn Windows" in order to use it to run a program.

We stress that potential customers need to be realistic about the difficulty of making good parts using a CNC machine. It can be quite challenging even for someone who already knows a lot about machining. If you are new to both machining and to CNC you have two big learning curves ahead of you. We have done all we can to make it easy to get started by designing a plug-and-play component system, but like learning a foreign language, there are no shortcuts to getting your faithful robot to make parts for you. You will have to do some learning and some logical thinking. It will do EXACTLY what you tell it to, right or wrong. If it receives a bad instruction it may do nothing at all, and it will be up to you to analyze the code to figure out what you did wrong. Fortunately, there is a "backplot" program included in the EMC that allows you to pre-run the part and visually see the tool path on your monitor screen to make sure there are no errors before cutting the actual part. The size and power of the machine limits how much damage can be done during the learning process. We also provide written instructions that make learning G-code both interesting and fun. If you follow them to the letter, you be able to conquer CNC machining. If you are already familiar with CNC you will find this a very straightforward system to operate. If you are new to CNC, you will find this a great system to help you learn.

Free software utilities and CAD programs included

Loaded on your Linux computer and also on the backup CD are a number of free utilities to make your job of getting from idea to finished part a little easier. For those who already work with Windows® CAD programs, there are several free Windows utilities that will translate .dxf and .stl format CAD drawings into the text language of g-code that EMC understands. These text files are simply saved to a CD, DVD or USB flash drive and transferred to your Linux computer, opened in EMC and run. There is even a free Windows program that will translate the outline of any TrueType font into G-code to make it possible to engrave lettering. There are also a couple of useful programs that can be opened right in Linux if you want to do all your work on one computer.

Optional 4th axis rotary table with stepper motor, P/N 8730

The P/N 8730 rotary table with stepper motor installed and ready to plug in as the 4th or "A" axis. (Click on photo for larger image.)

The Sherline P/N 3700-CNC combined with a P/N 67127 stepper motor now has a combined part number of 8730 so you can easily order a 4th axis for your CNC mill. The pre-wired plug on the stepper motor plugs right in to the "A" axis cord coming from the computer, and the EMC software has 4-axis capability as well. Should you need rotate a part to cut gear teeth, splines, radial hole patterns, etc., the rotary table will make such jobs possible. Also available among are accessories are a fixture to hold the rotary table in a vertical position (P/N 3701), a more advanced fixture that can hold the table at any angle from 0° to 90° (P/N 3750) and an adjustable tailstock that allows parts held vertically in either fixture to be held between centers (P/N 3702).

CNC System Components and Specifications

(Left above) A batch of computers is seen on the production line ready for the installation of the power supply/driver board unit. (Middle) The power supply/driver board unit is installed in the computer along with the motor cables. (Right) A test program is run on the evaluation system in our showroom. Sherline now assembles it's own computers in-house in order to control quality of every component and aid in problem analysis and technical support down the line. (Click on a photo to see a larger version of the image.)

(Above) Each system is tested individually before shipping. Computers and machines are hooked up on this test bench and run using a 3D test program. They are checked several times at various points during the program to make sure they are running properly and maintaining accuracy.
(Click on photo to see a larger version of the image.)

8540 (inch) or 8541 (metric) CNC Mill Systems: Sherline deluxe CNC mill with 12" base, three stepper motor mounts and stepper motors (X, Y and Z axes), standard 1-5/8" aluminum handwheels included for use on rear shaft of stepper motors for manual control. (Note: the manual 5400 mill normally adjustable zero handwheels, but it has been found that because the standard one-piece handwheels weigh half as much, the stepper motors provide better performance not having to accelerate as much mass.) For a more complete description and specifications on the mill itself CLICK HERE.

8020/8021 Mill: Similar to the above system except including the 8-direction 2000 mill in place of the 5400-series.

8540 Mill Axis Travels: X=8.65" (220 mm)*, Y=5" (127 mm), Z=6.25" (159 mm), Maximum travel speed set into the EMC software is 22 inches/min. (8020 mill extends the Y-axis travel to 7" (229 mm)

*Travel with X-axis safety stop screw removed: 9" (229 mm). Extra-long 18" table with 14" of travel and extended 15" column with 10.25" of vertical travel now available as an option.

Mill includes headstock spacer block (P/N 1291) and 1/4" drill chuck (P/N 3072). An optional "A" package with mill vise, step block hold-down set, center drill set, 3/8" end mill set, 3/8" end mill holder, mill collet set, flycutter, 5/32" T-driver and Sherline Shop and Accessories Guide Book can be added for an additional savings compared to buying these items separately.

Mills provided with 20 TPI pitch leadscrews but can be operated using metric dimensions by simply entering a g21 command instead of g20 when writing your code. Metric leadscrews are also available.

(Click on photo for larger image.)

Stepper motors: (3 included for X, Y and Z axes)

P/N 67127 (with plug) or 67130 (wires only, no plug)

Manufacturer/Model/Type: NMB (Minebea Co. Ltd)/Astrosyn Stepper/23KM-K035-62V (dual shaft)

Frame size: NEMA 23

Step angle: 1.8 degrees (200 steps/rev)

Voltage: 3.2 volt

Current: 2 amp

Holding torque: 9.7 kg-cm (135 oz-in)

Number of leads: 6 (plug wired for uni-polar operation)


Processor: 1.2 GHz minimum

Motherboard: (Hard to keep this up to date, as it is upgraded almost each time we order)


Hard Drive: 160 GB, 7200 RPM

Internal drives: DVD-RW. A separate 1 GB USB flash drive is included for file transfers

Current: Internal switches are set to 110VAC but can be reset for operation with 230VAC

Installed software: Ubuntu Linux operating system, EMC2 4-axis G-code interpretation software.

Included peripherals: Keyboard, mouse and connection cables for stepper motors (Monitor to be supplied by customer)

Stepper motor drivers/Power supply: 4 drivers installed inside computer box run off separate power supply also installed inside computer box. Power supply output: 6.5 amp, 24-28 VDC

Other features: Separate on/off switch for drivers so computer can remain powered up without power to stepper motors. Driver board includes circuitry to protect driver chips and motors from electrical surges and anomalies. Turn off and back on to reset.

Also included: backup DVD-ROM with Ubuntu Linux and EMC2, plus a second CD with the CNC instruction manual in 3 file formats, CND machine exploded views with part numbers, quickstart instructions, CNC FAQ's and description of programs included on CD.

Support: Unlimited machine and accessory support provided at no charge by Sherline. Linux/EMC support provided on voluntary basis by member of Linux CNC group at www.linuxcnc.org.

Warranty: Standard Sherline 1-year warranty on all mechanical and electrical components (when used in non-commercial/production capacity)


4th axis rotary table with stepper motor, P/N 8730:  $395.00.

CNC Control Box Only, P/N 8760: $600.00. Factory direct or by dealer order. Includes 4 stepper motor connection cables, parallel cable, 4 amp, 24 volt power supply, drivers for 4 axes, 2 CD set including Linux OS and EMC2 controller software. See P/N 8760 for details.

Stepper motors: Dual shaft motors include flats ground to on front and rear shafts to keep handwheel and coupling set screws from causing galling, six wire leads pre-wired to Sherline plug for direct connection to CNC driver cables. Motors are high quality name brand NEMA 23 frame size, 2 amp, 135 oz-in (8.7 kg-cm) units. P/N 67130—$65.00 (flats on shafts, 6 raw wire leads), P/N 67127—$75.00 (flats on shafts, leads soldered to Sherline connector plug and wrapped.

Sample Screen Shots from EMC2

Coordinate systems offset screen. As you can see, the visual interface looks like the windows you are used to using. Both Linux and EMC are logically designed and very easy to use. (Click on photo to see larger image.)
Back plotter and auto mode screen. Here the cutter path for the little EMC penguin mascot is plotted in 3D. (Click on photo to see larger image.)
Tool offsets allow the program to recalculate tool path depending on the diameter of the cutter used. Changing tools does not require you to rewrite the program. This page is where size and length of the tools you will be using for your job are entered. (Click on photo to see larger image.)


To read instructions for the use of the Sherline CNC system click on one of the links below:

Instrucions in HTML format

Instructions in PDF format (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

(The instructions files are about 85 pages long.)

P/N 8760 Driver box and components available

The P/N 8760 driver box includes cables for X, Y, Z and A axis stepper motors, a parallel cable for connection to your computer, a power supply plus the Linux OS and Sherline EMC2 on DVD as well as a CD with instruction manuals and free utility programs. The photo on the right shows the components inside the box. (Click on photos for a larger images.)

Sherline machines have been available in "CNC-ready" configuration for several years for those wishing to add CNC control to their machines. See the CNC-READY page for details on the machines themselves. In addition to our complete mill systems, Sherline offers a stand-alone driver box with its own power supply that will allow the Sherline mill stepper motors to be driven by a computer and software of your choice. The anodized and laser engraved box cover conceals the same driver board as we use in the computer to drive our CNC mill system. A 4 amp power supply is also included. The driver box comes pre-wired with four cables exiting the rear of the case ready to be plugged into stepper motors on the X, Y, Z and A axes of your mill. A parallel cable connects the box to your computer. Power to the stepper motors can be turned off from a switch on the control box separately from the computer. Also included is a DVD that contains Linux and the EMC2 controller program should you choose to go with Sherline's system. A second CD includes CNC use and programming instructions and G-code translator utilities. CLICK HERE for more details on the 8760 driver box.

Driver box available for OEM...

The Sherline P/N 8760 driver box is available for original equipment manufacturers wishing to put together a CNC system of their own. Why reinvent the wheel? This box along with Sherline's pre-wired stepper motors makes it easy to put together a custom CNC package. Contact Sherline for details on our OEM quantity pricing and quantities. We have also left plenty of space on the top of the unit to laser engrave your logo and company information and can handle that for you in-house.

Sherline Mill Specifications

Mill Specifications




2000 (2010)

Max clearance, table to spindle

8.00" (203 mm)

8.00" (203 mm)

9.00" (229 mm)

Throat (without headstock spacer) 2.25" (50 mm) 2.25" (50 mm) Adjustable
Throat (with headstock spacer block) (Not included) Included, 3.50" (89 mm)  Not Required

Travel, "X" Axis

8.68" (228 mm)

(9" w/ stop screw removed)

8.68" (228 mm)

(9" w/ stop screw removed)

8.68" (229 mm)

(9" w/ stop screw removed)

Travel, "Y" Axis

3.00" (76 mm)

5.00" (127 mm)

7.00" (178 mm)

Travel, "Z" Axis

6.25" (159 mm)

6.25" (159 mm).

5.38" (137 mm)

Hole through spindle

.405" (10 mm)

.405" (10 mm)

.405 (10 mm)

Spindle nose thread

3/4-16 T.P.I.

3/4-16 T.P.I.

3/4-16 T.P.I.

Spindle taper

#1 Morse

#1 Morse.

#1 Morse

Handwheel graduations

.001" (.01 mm)

.001" (.01 mm)

.001" (.01 mm)

Width overall*

14.75" (375 mm)

15.00" (381 mm)

15.00 (381 mm)

Depth overall*

11.75" (298 mm)

14.00" (356 mm)

22.25" (565 mm)

Height overall*

20.75" (527 mm)

20.75" (527 mm)

23.38" (568 mm)

Table size

2.75" x 13.00" (70 x 330 mm)

2.75" x 13.00" (70 x 330 mm)

2.75" x 13.00" (70 x 330 mm)

Hold down provision

2 "T" Slots

2 "T" Slots

2 "T" Slots

Shipping weight

33 lb. (15.0 kg)

36 lb. (16.3 kg)

38 lb. (17.2 kg)

Movements in addition to X-, Y- and Z-axes

Headstock rotation 90° left/right

Headstock rotation 90° left/right

Headstock rotation 90° left/right, column rotation (90° L/R), column pivot (front/back), column swing (90° L/R) and 5.5" column travel (in/out)

Motor 90 Volts DC with electronic speed control that automatically converts any input from 100 VAC to 240 VAC, 50 or 60 Hz. (See motor specifications)
Spindle speed range

70-2800 RPM continuously variable by electronic speed control

CNC Stepper motor holding torque 136 oz-in 136 oz-in 136 oz-in
Maximum CNC travel positioning speed, X, Y and Z axes 22 inches/min* 22 inches/min* 22 inches/min*
*NOTE: To avoid missed steps, rapid travel speeds should be used for positioning only. Actual feed rates when cutting metal will usually be the range of 6 inches/min or slower.


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