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The Sherline Miniature Machinist's Newsletter

Number 3, March 14, 2008

Featured Project:

Running a small business out of a six-foot closet—Marvin Meit

Marvin Meit's Tiny Shop Wood rimmed steering wheel Marvin's closet shop (L) and a typical model steering wheel (R)

Marvin Meit started out small. His entire machine shop is housed in a six-foot closet. A cut-down door sitting atop a couple of shelves is his workbench, but don’t let that fool you. Marvin does a lot of work in this small shop. He specializes in parts for the prestigious auto kits produced by the Pocher company with his company called Model Motorcars, Ltd. The parts that come with the kits are nice, but he makes even better ones—particularly the wooden steering wheels that duplicate the construction of the originals. See project #9 in the Sherline Workshop web page for more photos of how he does it and visit his web site to see other parts he offers.

Upcoming events

The next major show in the USA will be the North American Model Engineering Society (NAMES) Expo. It will be held at the Seagate Convention Center in Toledo, Ohio April 19th and 20th, 2008. Sherline will be there with a booth. Craig Libuse, Pam Weiss and Jim Clark will be there to show the product line and answer your questions in person. Former Metalworking Craftsman of the Year winner Jerry Kieffer will also be doing lathe demonstrations on Saturday. Sherline sponsors a contest called the “Machinist’s Challenge” that is held at the booth as well. There is no entry fee and up to $3000 in prize money is available to winners depending on number of entries. Even if you don’t enter, come by and help us award the prize money by voting for your favorite projects.

New Products:

CNC upgrade kits (without computer) P/N 8765, 8770 and 8775

  8770 kit with three stepper motors for the mill.

Virtually any Sherline lathe or mill can be upgraded to CNC. Kits are available that include the mount conversion kit, driver box, motors and a new computer with software already loaded. However, for those of you who want to put together a CNC system using a new Sherline machine and your own computer, another way to do it is to order the CNC-ready version of a particular machine and then add the other components. In order to make that easier (and to save you a little money) we have put together several packages that include the driver box with power supply, cables and Linux/EMC software on CD plus the right number of stepper motors for your application. P/N 8765 comes with the driver box and 2 stepper motors for use with a lathe, P/N 8770 comes with 3 stepper motors for use with a Mill, and P/N 8775 comes with 5 stepper motors* for use with a shop package that includes both a lathe and a mill. You just attach the stepper motors to the motor mounts on the machine, plug the motors into the driver box and plug the parallel cable from the driver box to the printer port on your computer. Install the included Linux/EMC software or purchase a Windows® control program elsewhere like Mach3® and install it and you are ready to enter the world of CNC.

*If you want to upgrade the P/N 3700 manual 4th axis rotary table to CNC, specify the P/N 8730 table with stepper motor mount and motor for an additional $125.00 when you purchase the CNC-ready shop package.

Did you know? 

A new navigation bar has been added to the top of the Sherline home page. You can go directly to key sections of the web site by using the links on that bar rather than searching through the main menu for them.

Sherline has installed a Google search box that allows you to search just the Sherline web site. It works just like the universal web search except that it only finds instances of your search words within the Sherline web site. That means if you don’t know a part number or how to find a product, you just type in the name and it will show you every page within the Sherline web site where that word or words occur. The Google box is near the top of the opening page plus a “Search this Site” link is in the navigation bar mentioned above. The site offers so much information even we forget where some of it is sometimes, so this is a great way to find what you want fast.

• You can order 24 hours a day using your credit card at The new site features an improved UPS shipping calculator that gives a much more accurate shipping cost based on total weight. 

Shop Tip of the month:

Adding a ringlight to your Sherline mill

A ringlight provides smooth, even lightA ringlight provides smooth, even light all around the cutter on a mill.

Having a good, clear view of what you are cutting makes the machining experience more pleasant and reduces the chances for mistakes. Miniature mills have a headstock and motor that are fairly close to the work and may tend to leave shadows from standard overhead lighting. High powered lights on flexible stands are better, but they tend to cast harsh shadows. The ideal solution is a ring light that cast even light all around the cutter. Tip 50 on Sherline’s web site includes two ways to handle this problem. Roger Ronnie and Bill Maxwell show you ways to mount a ring light made for a microscope on your Sherline mill. Perry Murlless shows you how to make your own LED ring light from scratch. Either way, you are guaranteed to have a much better view of your work area.

Joe Martin Craftsmanship Foundation News

Two new craftsmen added to the on-line museumIndustrial designer Will Neely has been a long-time fan of old hotrods and dirt track race cars. He has made some beautiful models of these old speedsters. Another new addition is Gary Conley, famous among model engine builders for his ¼ scale Conley V8. He is now working on a new V8 project called the “Stinger 609”. Be sure to check out these two new craftsmen.

Ron Colonna to receive award at NAMES Ron Colonna of McKeesport, PA has been selected as the 2008 winner of the Foundation’s Metalworking Craftsman of the Year award. He will be exhibiting some of his engines and will be available to answer questions and sign autographs at the Joe Martin Foundation booth, which is located next to the Sherline booth at the NAMES show in Toledo. Ron will accept a check for $2000.00, an engraved gold medallion and award plaque as the 12th winner of this award that recognizes outstanding contribution to metalworking craftsmanship at the small end of the size scale.

Howell V4 engine progress—Tom has completed the heads and distributor as well as a number of other small parts and more operations have been completed on the block. You can follow the progress of this engine build at