A new book by Sherline's owner, Joe Martin

Now in its fifth printing!

The "hows" and the "whys" of machining at both ends of the size scale

Being a hobbyist himself as well as a manufacturer, Joe Martin is familiar with the needs of both the home shop machinist and the commercial production facility. His insights offer a unique and practical perspective on equipment and processes of machining at both extremes...from intricate miniature projects to full size shop production tools and practices.

Information and inspiration for or experienced

This book details "real world" practices in machining and gives a good insight into the challenges faced by machinists. Too often good craftsmen are stopped from venturing forth because the only information available shows only the technically perfect way to do things rather than the simple, practical methods everyone really uses. This book should be required reading for all newly graduated engineers. For those wishing to design and build their first metal parts it is a perfect starting point. Naturally, Sherline tools are featured throughout in the examples, but the rules of machining apply to all types of equipment and sizes of projects.

Information is given on selecting materials; using a lathe and a mill; measuring and measurement tools; cutting tools; joining metal (welding and soldering); using accessories for threading, indexing and gear cutting; setting up a home shop; contests and information resources for machinists and much more. Plans and instructions for several simple projects are provided for beginning machinists. A gallery of photos of superb miniature projects will inspire you, while personal profiles of six different craftsmen show how others approach various aspects of metalworking. A history of Sherline tools is written from the point of view of giving you some guidance if you've ever thought of taking a product of your own to market. If you like tools and working on small, intricate projects, you should plan on adding this book to your library.

Printing quality you'd expect in a book that chronicles the quest for perfection

Printed on 350 pages of high quality, glossy paper, this large 81/2 x 11" soft-bound book is packed with over 400 color photos and many informative line drawings by Craig Libuse. The "lay-flat" binding makes it easy to read and use as a reference. The 12-point cover is laminated with a plastic coating to protect it. Everything about this book was done as well as we could possibly do it. Joe considers putting this book together one of the harder things he has done in a life full of challenges and accomplishments. We think you will agree the effort was worthwhile. If you have any modeling or machinist friends that you never know what to get for Christmas, this book just might solve your problem.

Now in its fourth printing, the book has been a continued hot seller. The third edition includes 8 more pages with new information on the history of Sherline and a number of new photos. The first chapter has also been rewritten and a new chapter on "CNC in the home shop" was added. The 4th edition adds more photos and 4 more pages on CNC in the home shop.

For those who wish to read some sample quotes to get a feel for the writing style, click here.

TABLETOP MACHINING is available directly from Sherline, any of our dealers or through amazon.comIf you buy the book through one of the on-line sources and enjoy it, please take the time to write a quick comment in their "review" section about the book.

Reader Comments

"When I was starting out teaching myself machining, one of the first books I ever read was Joe Martin's  Tabletop Machining. It was a very influential book for me and is quite likely, responsible for me getting hooked on machine work in the first place. So Please pass that along to him for me and tell him thank you."


Chris Bathgate (See Chris's work at or at his site at



(If ordered along with any new lathe or mill tool package Sherline offers 25% off the price of the book, making it $30.00 if you refer to this offer.)

To purchase your copy Tabletop Machining through Sherline, call:


Fax: 760-727-7857  International or local phone: 1-760-727-5857

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