The Sherline Miniature Machinist's Newsletter

Number 4, April 15, 2008

Customer Projects—Portable case for a Sherline lathe and accessories

By Jerry Kieffer

  Jerry Kieffer travels to model engineering and clock shows and seminars and does demonstrations on his Sherline lathe. He thought it might be nice to be able to carry all his needed collets and accessories along with the lathe in one case. Being the craftsman that he is, he decided to make the wooden finger jointed box to the same high level of quality he makes his other projects. It is certainly is a handsome and practical way to protect and store your lathe and accessories in one small area. Though it barely shows in the 2nd photo, there is also a vertical milling column attached to the base behind the lathe, making this a pretty complete machine shop in one box. Jerry says if he were to build another it would be similar is size and shape but the top half with the lathe would lift off to expose the accessories below rather than making a drawer that slides out. That way either half could be transported by itself or both could be combined and carried together by fastening the latches on the ends. The lathe would also sit at table height when in use rather than being raised by the height of the base. More photos of this and other customer projects are available in the Sherline Workshop at

New Products

 Lathe video just released on DVDFor years, people have been asking for a video that shows how to set up and use a Sherline lathe. Mike Rehmus of ByVideo Productions has just completed a professional quality 3.6 hour video and it is now ready for distribution on DVD. Mike has produced several videos in the past including the Shop Secrets—Measuring Tools video already in our catalog. Mike is also the publisher of Model Engine Builder Magazine and an experienced machinist himself. The video covers all the lathe essentials from mounting your machine to a base and squaring it up to basic turning and facing cuts, tool sharpening and use of the most popular accessories. If you are just getting started, this will put you on the right track right from the start. If it's been years since that last machine shop class, this will make a great refresher course. Order P/N 5335, Sherline Lathe Basics—How to Set Up and Operate a Sherline Lathe by Mike Rehmus ($49.95).

NOTE: Check out this April’s Internet Special for a special discount on this and all our books and videos.

Shop Tip of the Month—Several ways to remove a stuck #1 Morse taper from the Headstock

  The #1 Morse taper grips strongly because it has a long, shallow taper with a lot of surface area. When pulled in tight with a drawbolt it is unlikely to spin or slip. The down side of all that friction is that it can be tough to release. Normally you can loosen the drawbolt and give it a tap and the tool will fall out of the spindle. However, when it takes more than a gentle tap, it is possible to knock your headstock out of alignment if you have to really hit the drawbolt hard. There are several gentler ways to remove a #1 Morse tool that have been suggested by Sherline users. Most are simple tools you can make in an afternoon. They not only make a good rainy afternoon project, they will save you wear and tear on your machine and setup time realigning the headstock. Check out these clever solutions and learn how others have addressed this common problem. In the ones shown above, the first is from Norman Gajewski and the second is by Guiseppe Sturiale. See more details on these two and one more at and another solution by Nhut Le at

Web site facts

The opening page of the Sherline web site has recently been fine tuned graphically to make it a little easier to navigate. The navigation bar at the top is improved and the photos better aligned and reorganized to put the most important first. They are subtle changes but hopefully ones that make it easier for you to use.

• We put a hit counter at the bottom of the opening page in April 2000—eight years ago. You will see we are coming up on 1.8 million hits on that counter—and that’s just for the opening page. Many return visits go to bookmarked pages that are not reflected in that total. Thanks for making this such a popular page.

• Do a Google search for the words “Lathe,” “Milling Machine,” or “Rotary Table” and see where Sherline comes up. We are usually in the top 5 results. We use no tricks, ads or outside contractors to get a good Google ranking. The site is just that big and useful that it comes up there on its own merits. Others spend a lot of time and money looking for ways to trick Google into giving a top 10 listing. We don’t have to.

(By the way, a search for “craftsmanship” usually finds Foundation’s museum at #1 for the same reason!)

Upcoming Events

By the time you receive this newsletter, we will be just about on our way to the North American Model Engineering Society show in Toledo, Ohio, April 19 and 20th. The next model engineering show we will attend will be the Western Engine and Model Engineering  (WEME) show in Vallejo, California, July 19 and 20, 2008.

Sherline People—Fred Smittle

 Fred Smittle has been with Sherline for the past 2 years. A retired tool maker, Fred also taught Machine Tool Technology at a local community college for 13 years and is experienced in the use of CNC. He is available from 9 AM to 1 PM in our showroom doing tool demonstrations for visitors and answering technical calls relating to Sherline tools and accessories. If you have a question about how to use a particular manual or CNC Sherline tool, feel free to give Fred a call. Fred also did the cutting in the videos of various materials being turned on the Sherline lathe that can be found on Sherline’s web site at Included there is a video of Fred explaining what “Tool Chatter” is and how to overcome it. This type of personal support is another service that sets Sherline apart from the competition.

Joe Martin Foundation News

 • Howell V4 engine progressA couple of new people have volunteered to join the build team to make parts for the engine. They are: Bob Seigelkoff, Hayward, CA (Pistons), Adam Krichbaum, Lafayette, IN (Support Rails), Dave Eggert, Mission Viejo, CA (Air Cleaner) and Mike Holloway, Goodlettsville, TN (PCV Check Valve). The block itself has had many machining operations performed on it over the past several months, and the original billet of 7075 aluminum that started out at 6.3 pounds now weighs just 1.4 pounds—over 77% of the metal has been machined away! You can follow the progress of this engine build at A video of Jerry Howell's prototype V4 has also been added to the site so you can see and hear a completed engine in action.

The Vista Antique Steam and Gas Engine Museum Show in Vista, CA is coming up for two weekends in June. The Foundation will have a booth there June 21 and 22 displaying the progress on the V4, the completed Seal engine and some of our other projects. See for their information. They are open all the time but do two big shows a year the last two weekends in June and October.