The Sherline Miniature Machinist's Newsletter

Number 5, May 15, 2008

Customer Projects: Thomas KuntzóAnimated Alchemist

     Parts of Thomas Kuntz's nine-foot tall animated clock

Artist Thomas Kuntz uses his Sherline tools to create animated works of art. He describes his work well in his own words:

ìAs a kid I built a lot of plastic models. Much of it was scratch-building out of styrene and metal tubing because I liked to show the "guts". At that time the world of machining seemed like something for people with really sharp math skills and lots of money. In hindsight I wish I would have started much earlier since there is so much to know. At 14 I was dragging around copies of Scale Modeler to the point where I would wear off the cover. Now my copy of Tabletop Machining is reminiscent of those old days. Its a favorite pair of shoes!

I was always drawing since I can remember, but drawing is very intuitive. With machining you really have to think things through and there is no eraser! Sherline tools offer many possibilities to artists as well as craftsmen. To me, the artist now has so many tools available (that the old masters would have killed for!) that I donít understand why more people arenít using them to create. After all, who says an artist cannot use machine tools? I'm certain Leonardo would have loved to prototype his inventions on Sherline machines! In his time in Italy artists were expected to be craftsmen as wellóto have "universal knowledge". This idea has been virtually forgotten today.î

See Thomas Kuntzís on Sherline's ìWorkshopî page at or visit his own web page at A video of some of his work in action can be seen at

New Products

P/N 3074 Drill Chuck HolderóThe drill chuck holder is a thread-on holder like the end mill holder series that has a male thread to accept a 1/4" or 3/8" Jacobs drill chuck. Designed especially for CNC users, it speeds up tool change time when going back and forth between drills and end mills. For manual use, it can be easier to remove than the standard #1 Morse tapered arbor that is normally used with the drill chuck. Price on the 3074 chuck holder is $35.00.

Shop Tip of the MonthóA split mill vise by Jerry Kieffer

The above illustration shows a P/N 3551 mill vise split in half and clamped to the mill table. The part is supported by parallels so the top surface can be milled.

Ever have hold a part that is too long or wide to fit in the mill vise? Jerry Kieffer solved the problem in a simple way. He needed to hold a model railroad car while drilling holes in it for installing details. He had an old mill vise that he didnít mind modifying for this purpose, so he simply cut it in half near the middle of the vise. The fixed end was mounted to the mill table and squared up. Then he mounted the other end further down the table and squared it up so the part length came about mid-travel on the moveable end. The moveable end could then be tightened on the part as if the vise were much longer. To make sure each half was securely fastened down he uses at least two or three angled hold-down clamps per half. If you currently have only one vise and need a second, an option would be to look on eBay and pick up an older used one to cut in half. Another option would be to take your current vise and cut it in half, and then treat yourself to a new vise for use on smaller parts. By the way, the new mill vises have recently been modified slightly based on a suggestion from customer Steven Lang. The screw slot has been cut a little further so that the jaws now can be opened a bit wider to hold a larger part. Read more on Sherline's TIPS page. This is tip #51.

Web site facts

ï There is a ìWhatís Newî page at that will save you time searching the web site for changes or additions. Whenever something of significance is added or changed, a note is placed on that page. It is the quickest way to check up on the latest additions to the site.

ï Photos from the 2008 NAMES show in Toledo have been added at Photos of the contest entries and contest results are posted as well as a selection of photos of other projects at the show. Itís not quite as good as being there in person, but if you did miss it, you can see some of the fine projects at the nationís oldest model engineering show.

Coming Events

Tom Boyer and Craig Libuse at last year's AGSEM show

ï For those in Southern California, the Vista Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum will be hosting their semi-annual show the weekends of June 21-22 and June 28-29. We will be there with a small exhibit from the Joe Martin Foundation and a Sherline lathe to demo on the first weekend, June 21-22.

ï The next major model engineering show we will attend will be the Western Engine and Model Engineering(WEME) show in Vallejo, July 19 and 20, 2008. See their web site at for details. It is the second year for the show and last year's success has caused it to be expanded to a 2-day show this year.

Joe Martin Foundation News

Paul Knapp (L) and Joe Martin shake hands after the delivery of over fifty model IC engines for display from Paul's collection. A few of the engines can be seen behind them.

ï New engines added to museum display! Paul and Paula Knapp have generously agreed to put 51 of the engines in their fine collection on display in the Foundation's Vista Craftsmanship Museum for at least the next year. These engines are now on display and can be seen any weekday during our regular hours.

ï Special Saturday Museum Open House, June 28. To allow people who work during our normal weekday hours to see the new additions to the museum we will be having an ìopen houseî from 10 AM until 3 PM on Saturday, June 28th. This is the second weekend of the Vista Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum show in case you are in town for the show and would like to venture to another spot in Vista on that Saturday. As always, admission is free.