The Sherline Miniature Machinist's Newsletter

Number 32, August 20, 2010

Sherline Workshop Project of the Month

Cutting oversize gears on a Sherline mill/Mark Jones

Mark Jones has provided photos of the setup he used to cut large aluminum gears for the azimuth of a amateur-made 10' binocular telescope. Normally, the 4" rotary table in the vertical position can handle a gear blank that is slightly larger than the 4" table, but that's about it. Even so, that's a pretty big gear for a machine this size. Mark, however, needed to cut some REALLY BIG gears, so he figured out a way to do it with the equipment he had on hand...a Sherline CNC mill.

A very large 7" diameter gear blank is first machined round and then the gear teeth are cut. Larger versions of the photos are available on Sherlineís ìExtreme Projectsî web page.

The 7" x 1/2" thick aluminum gear in the first and second photos is being milled round using a rotary table and the side of an end mill held horizontally with the headstock rotated to the 90∞ position. Note the extra holes in the side of the column base. You can see how the column is relocated to attach to the side of the column in the third photo. The hole pattern on the left side is the same as the one on the front.  The mill is bolted to the bench at the very edge so the gear can hang over the edge of the bench. The second photo shows the gear teeth being cut. Note the relocated Z-axis column mounted to the SIDE of the column base. Mark uses the Mach 3 CNC program.

The above photo shows an extremely large 14" diameter gear blank being cut in a similar manner.

Other extreme projects* and larger versions of the above photos can be found on the ìExtreme Projectsî page of Sherlineís web site at See 35 somewhat less radical projects made by Sherline machinists at

*NOTE: While Sherline does not represent their tools as being made to tackle projects of this size, model engineers will find a way to make due with the equipment they have on hand. These projects are a testament both to the cleverness of our machinists and the versatility of Sherline machines.

Shop Tip of the month

An inexpensive #1 Morse adapter/Kieth Yundt

P/N 11880 #1 Morse chuck adapter for the headstock can be used for other purposes

Keith wanted to make himself a quick fly cutter for his Sherline mill. Before turning the Morse #1 taper, he realized he already had an arbor with a Morse #1 taper on it...the one that came with his lathe to hold the drill chuck in the headstock. He just made a fly cutter body, drilled and tapped it for a 3/8-24 hole and threaded in his Morse #1 adapter. Put it in the lathe to true it up and you've got yourself a quick cutter holder without having to cut a taper. He is also making a gear cutter holder and end mill holder to thread onto the same adapter. Similarly, tailstock tools can be made that will thread onto the #0 Morse adapter. If you don't have an adapter or need more of them, the part numbers are: #1 Morse arbor adapter (P/N 11880, $9.30), #0 Morse arbor adapter (P/N 11890, $8.46).

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

New Product Spotlight

New P/N 7603 2-position rocker tool post holds 1/4" and 3/8" cutting tools

P/N 7603, $40.00

Sherline offers a number of options when it comes to tool posts for your lathe. (See to view the many options.) This particular tool post lets you install your favorite1/4" tool as well as a 3/8" shank tool to allow you to quickly change from one to the other and back. Install the tool tips facing in opposite directions and adjust them to proper tip height using the rocker adjustment feature. Then, each time you want to change tools, just loosen the center hold-down screw and rotate the tool post 180∞.

Did you know?

ï An article just appeared in the July/August 2010 Micro Manufacturing magazine comparing desktop machine tools. This magazine goes to industrial users and features tools used in prototyping and medical device and other micro manufacturing. Though the Sherline tools were by far the least expensive reviewed, (some cost as much as $250,000) they compare favorably in many ways for jobs within their work envelope and tolerances. CLICK HERE to read the article.

ï Sherlineís last price increase was in October, 2003óalmost seven years ago! If youíve been thinking of buying, now would be a good time. This canít last forever.

ï Did you know Sherlineís web site has a page featuring free calculators? CLICK HERE to view the page, where you will find calculators to help you with cutting gear teeth and threads. There are also references to sites that offer specialized calculators.

Upcoming Model Engineering Shows

ï Black Hills Model Engineering Show, Rapid City, SDóSeptember 18-19, 2010. See

ï Estevan Model Engineering ShowóOctober 16-17, 2010, Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada. See

Joe Martin Craftsmanship Foundation News

ï Two days ago we returned the Fine Arts Model of the Corsair to its owner, Niall Conway and picked up another model from his collection for temporary displayóa 1/15 scale Fine Art Models P-51 Mustang. Like all the museum-quality models from Fine Art Models, this one exhibits an incredible amount of detail. It is finished in polished aluminum and features working control surfaces. It is displayed next to Young Parkís hand-made aluminum model, which is a cutaway version showing all the inside structure of one of WWIIís most famous fighter aircraft. The two P-51 models are displayed side-by-side for comparison.

ï Ronald Remsberg of Vista, CA has donated nine pieces of work that have taken him years to build. Working only with matchsticks and Elmerís glue, he has created extremely detailed replicas of the Taj Mahal, Big Ben, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Empire State Building, the Seattle Space Needle, a Mississippi Riverboat, a Semi truck, the Eiffel Tower and a Dutch windmill. All are now on display in our museum entry lobby. See the OTHER DISPLAYS page.

ï Another new project that can be seen by visitors is a º scale Rider-Ericsson Sterling pump engine donated by Les Cade. It resides in the shop and runs on propane. It will be fired up for visitors upon request. We have also added a display of six of Rudy Kouhouptís steam engines and a couple of whistles that are powered by compressed air. These are also run for visitors to the museum shop.

ï Construction has begun on the interior of our new Foundation offices, shop and museum. TFW Construction, the company that built Sherlineís plant has been contracted to do the interior work. It looks like we remain on schedule to move the museum down the street a few blocks to its new 16,000 square foot home before the first of the year.

ï The museum web site has hosted over a half million visitors since 2002.