The Sherline Miniature Machinist's Newsletter

Number 20, August 14, 2009

Sherline Workshop Projects

Dime Size Model 14-Cylinder Radial Engine/Augie Hiscano

This tiny model radial engine is made up of 76 parts and would look really good in a small model DC-3. With the right tools and fasteners, very small projects are a fun challenge using almost no material.

The late Augie Hiscano is better known for his award-winning hotrod models, but he claimed he even amazed himself with this one. He was asked to display his work at a local Miami, FL vintage airline show, and felt that he should have a model of something that the show-goers interested in old commercial airplanes could identify. He decided to use his Sherline tools to build a tiny model of the engine from a DC-3. His friend and fellow modeler Bob Breslauer works with a company that commissioned the making of a million very tiny stainless steel hex-head bolts (0000-160 or 0.50 UNM) and matching hex nuts. (See Some were used in the construction of this model. Augie said he had about 80 hours in this model, and no, it doesn't run, but what a beauty.

You can see many more of Augie's projects in the model maker's section of the Internet Craftsmanship Museum at

This and many other projects can be found on the Sherline Workshop page.

Shop Tip of the month

A Roller Steady Rest/Rubens Ramos Fernandes

The brass pads of the Sherline P/N 1074 steady rest are normally softer than the material being steadied and the marks they leave, if any, are easily cleaned off. A lot of pressure is not necessary to center a part while center drilling, so marking should not be a problem. However, for use on materials like wood, plastic or soft metals, a roller steady rest might be something you would want to have in your toolbox as long as the part being steadied is large enough in diameter. Hereís how to turn your brass pads into roller pads. (Note that by turning them around, they can still be used in the conventional manner.)

The standard P/N 1074 brass steady rest pads can be fitted with small ball bearings that roll rather than rub on the part.

"Feeling uncomfortable with the steady rest brass pads scratching my metal parts, especially because I normally work with soft materials, I decided to try out this modification. It was accomplished with 8 mm (.315") diameter, 4 mm (.157") wide ball bearings having 3 mm (.118") internal holes. The pad tips were first drilled and then milled on a Sherline mill in such a way as to leave a 0.5 mm (.020") clearance at the bottom of the cavity, the ball bearings protruding just 1 mm from the pad end. The axle (brass) was turned just a bit larger than the holes (0.01 to 0.02 mm), enough to stay firmly attached to the ball bearing and pad walls, otherwise we could use force in excess to insert the axle, probably damaging those tiny ball bearings (believe me, I lost one of them). Then, just mill axle ends until level with the pad surface. I haven't used this arrangement extensively yet, but it seems to work nicely. I can't see a reason for not using the same procedure for the follower rest jig."

óRubens Ramos
Campinas, Brazil

The finished roller rest in use.

This and more than 50 other helpful tips for Sherline machinists can be found at

Product Spotlight

P/N 3004 Knurling Tool Holder ($75.00)

Knurled surfaces not only add a professional touch to your projects, they also have several practical applications.

Use of the Knurling Tool HolderÖ

Straight knurls can be used on the end of a shaft that is to be pressed into a hole in another part. By upsetting the shaftís surface, a sliding fit becomes a press fit. Straight or diamond knurl patterns are also used to provide better grip on handwheels and thumbscrews as well as adding a ìprofessional touchî to your models.

Knurls are pressed or embossed into the surface of a part rather than cut. Material is moved from one position to another under pressure. Doing so can involve quite a bit of force, which is hard to achieve from a single direction on a small machine using a ìbump knurlî type tool. For this reason, Sherline developed a tool holder that squeezes two knurling wheels against the part from opposite sides, relieving stress on the machine itself.

The holder consists of a right and left side that evenly tighten down on your part, creating a knurled pattern. The holder is supplied with one set of spiral knurls that creates a diamond pattern. Other size knurls for diamond or straight patterns are also available as options. (See the Sherline Cutting Tools Price List.) This tool will accommodate stock up to 1" (25 mm) in diameter.

Read INSTRUCTIONS for using the Knurling Tool Holder.

Did you know?

ï The WEME Show (Western Engine Model Exhibition) was held at the end of July in Vallejo, CA. This was the third year for the show and accounted for the best attendance yet. You can view photos from many past model engineering shows at The photos from this particular show can be found at

ï Model Engineer magazine has been published in England continuously since 1898 and is one of the most respected publications in the industry. They have changed ownership several times in the past decade, but the new group has finally put up a web site that seems worthy of the magazine. See to check it out for yourself.

Upcoming Shows

ï GEARS (Gas Engine Antique Reproduction Show), September 19-20, Portland, OR. This show is held at the armory near the Portland Airport each September. For more information see

ï 22nd Annual Estevan Model Engineering ShowóEstevan, Saskatchewan, Canada, October 17-18, 2009. (Fifteen minutes north of the N. Dakota border.) See for details.

ï The Cabin Fever Expo in York PA each January is the largest show on the east coast. See for information. This is its 14th year and the show will be held January 16-17, 2010.

Joe Martin Craftsmanship Foundation News

ï On August 29th, the museum will have a special Saturday open house for the local Alfa Romeo Automobile Club starting at 11 AM. The museum will be open about 2 hours starting at that time for members of the club, but the public is welcome too. Normally we are open weekdays 9 to 4 plus the first Saturday of each month from 10 to 3. Call 1-760-727-9492 for information.

ï At the WEME show in Vallejo in late July, Paul Knapp displayed 40 more engines from his Miniature Engine Museum collection. These include the famous Chevy 327, ìRoot Specialî and Ford Model ìAî engines by Lee Root, a running V-12 Ferrari engine and several very interesting Stirling engines by Al Vassallo plus many more. After the show these engines were transported south and added to our already impressive museum display in Vista, CA. CLICK HERE to see the whole collection. The newest engines are near the bottom of the page.