The Sherline Miniature Machinist's Newsletter

Number 26, February 15, 2010

Sherline Workshop Project of the Month

Humanoid Robot CNC Project/Matt Bauer

The anatomical joints on Mattís robot are cut from sheet metal using a Sherline CNC mill and then bent to shape. The sabertooth skull is a nice touch.

Matt Bauer was not a machinist and had never worked with CNC when he purchased a Sherline CNC mill and a lathe. It didn't take him long to get the hang of it, and the robot shown above was his first project. He describes the process best in his own words:

"Shortly after our return from the ROBO-ONE 10 competition in Japan last Fall, I purchased the Sherline model 2010 CNC Mill and 4410 CNC Lathe. Having no previous CNC experience, I was surprised how fast I was able to learn the necessary techniques needed to operate the machines. No longer than a week into it, I decided on scrapping our previous robot design entirely. Before that I was forced to fabricate all the aluminum brackets using a band-saw and drill. The parts created for a humanoid robot are mostly mirror images of its other half, so the CNC capabilities of your machines allowed me to easily duplicate opposing sides and made short work of the intricate designs I was ultimately going for. In a nutshell, this 24-servo humanoid robot consists of 45 aluminum and 27 Delrin parts all done using the Sherline mill and lathe. I was even able to add a little flare by engraving his name in an acrylic backlit marquee located on his chest. Pictures say a thousand words, so here is a pic of our completed humanoid robot dubbed ìRookís Pawn IIIî. He stands 19î tall and weighs about 5.0 lbs. He will be attending RoboGames very soon, and we plan on returning to Japan in the Spring to compete against some of the best humanoids in the world. Thank you."

óMatt Bauer, Defiance, OH.

This and other CNC tips can be found at Manual projects are at

Shop Tip of the month

Two simple mill chip guards/Ron Headding and Charles Dukes

The first photo shows a flat front plate for general milling. It is held on with Velcro. The second photo shows a circular shield for fly cutting. It is made from a clear soft drink bottle.

Ron Headdingís Flat Shield (Tip 21)

A mill creates more of a mess than a lathe, because the spinning tool throws chips in all directions. It's one thing to mess up your shop, but it can really get you in trouble if you work in a den or on a kitchen table. Picking curly chips out of the carpet is no fun. Ron Headding came up with a simple shield that can be easily removed during setup. It keeps the hot chips from being thrown toward you, the operator, but it still allows good visibility. He took a piece of 1/8" clear Lexan and cut it to 4" x 5-1/4". He then took a square of adhesive backed VelcroÆ and attached half to the headstock and half to the shield. One look at the photo will explain everything. Ron also has a second piece which he formed into a slight arc by heating the Lexan with a hair dryer. When the setup allows, this shield will contain chips over a slightly larger arc, reducing cleanup a little further. óRon Headding

Charles Dukesí Pop Bottle Fly Cutting Shield (Tip 40)

Charles sent us the following: ìWhen using a fly cutter, chips get thrown everywhere including at the operator. I devised a very simple method of contain those chips. Take a clear 2-liter soda bottle, remove the label and cut off the top and bottom so that you end up with a straight cylinder. Slit the cylinder down the side. The slit cylinder is opened up and fitted around the work and the headstock. The bottom of the cylinder rests on the table and will allow the table to move along under the bottom of the cylinder. The soda bottle cylinder will contain almost all of the flying chips. Some will escape out the top, so eyewear is still definitely needed, but you will not have chips all over the place.

I suppose you could leave part of the curved portion of the soda bottle intact for better chip containment if there wasn't much table travel involved in the milling operation. That should work well for rotary table use. The setup isn't especially elegant but it is simple, cheap and recycleable.î óCharles Dukes

And one moreÖFor a rear chip guard, three sides of a cardboard box hinged open and stood on the workbench behind the mill will work for keeping chips from going down behind your workbench. If folds flat for storage too. óSuggested by Scotty Hewitt

More than 50 other helpful tips for Sherline machinists can be found at

Product Spotlight

The 3700 manual and 8700 CNC rotary tables are designed to be used horizontally on the mill. However, a number of operations like gear cutting or cutting splines are done with the table in a vertical position. Here are a couple of options to get more out of your rotary table:

Right Angle Attachment: P/N 3701 ($75.00)

The P/N 3701 ($75.00) is a simple fixture that holds your rotary table upright.

This steel fixture has a black oxide finish and is designed to hold the 3700 or 8700 rotary table vertically. The table is attached via 4 screws into the worm housing and one into the bottom of the table. An adjustment screw near the top of the vertical staff makes it possible to adjust the table to be perfectly vertical. Four 10-32 screws and four T-nuts are included to mount it to your Sherline mill table.

Right Angle Adjustable Tailstock, P/N 3702 ($75.00)

The P/N 3702 Right Angle Adjustable Tailstock ($75.00) helps support the end of a long shaft held in a chuck on the rotary table when vertical. The drawing shows the 3701 and 3702 in use with an 8700 CNC rotary table doing a gear cutting operation. The gear blank is on a shaft held between the rotary table and tailstock.

Shorter parts can be held in an arbor or chuck on the face of the rotary table. For longer parts that need support at the other end, the adjustable tailstock is designed to line up with the center of the rotary table when it is held vertically. Two adjustment screws between the tailstock spindle head and the angle base allow for enough up/down adjustment to get the centers perfectly aligned. The tailstock also works with the tilting angle table shown next.

Tilting Angle Table, P/N 3750 ($110.00)

The tilting angle table P/N 3750 ($110.00) holds a rotary table horizontally, vertical or at any angle in between. The æ-16 chuck adapter is shown mounted to the table.

The tilting angle table when in the vertical position holds either rotary table at the same center height as the 3701. That means the 3702 tailstock will work with this fixture too. The advantage of the tilting angle table is that in addition to vertical, it can hold the rotary table (or a vise or a chuck or your part) at any angle between 0∞ and 90∞. The additional $35 cost adds a lot more versatility. A chuck adapter is included, and hole patterns are pre-drilled and tapped for the other Sherline accessories mentioned. Four hold-down screws and T-nuts are also included.

WW or 8 mm Collet holder for the Rotary Table, P/N 1165 (WW-$105.00) or P/N 1164 (8mm-$115.00)

The collet adapter mounts to the center of the rotary table and allows you to hold parts in watchmaker-type collets for accuracy.

The collet adapter makes it possible to hold WW or 8 mm collets on the face of the rotary table. A bushing inserts in the tableís counterbored center hole, aligning the fixture on center. A WW or 8 mm collet is inserted from the top and the knurled tightening ring at the bottom is turned to pull the collet into the taper, tightening it on the part to be held. This can be handy for holding small watch shafts with gears (wheels) on them for machining. This specialized accessory is an example of the extent of the line of tooling available for your Sherline machine shop.

Did you know?

ï Illustrated instructions for every Sherline accessory are available on-line. Go to for a link list organized by lathe accessories and mill accessories.

ï Sherlineís assembly shop can make your machine like new again. From replacing worn or damaged parts to upgrades to DRO or CNC, your can do it yourself or you can return it to Sherline and let the pros do the work. Call 1-800-541-0735 for more information.

ï The ìSherî in Sherline refers to the original manufacturer in Australia, Sher Pty. Ltd. Joe Martin started as an importer for Sears and began manufacturing the line in the USA in 1974. Ron Sher is still a major dealer for American-made Sherline tools in Australia to this day.

Upcoming Shows

ï The North American Model Engineering Society (NAMES) will host its next major exposition in Southgate, MI the weekend of April 24-25, 2010. This is the 21st annual presentation of this prestigious show. See for details. Sherline will be a vendor at this show. In 2011 the show will move to Novi, MI.

Joe Martin Craftsmanship Foundation News

ï This month the Foundation announced the winner of the 2010 Metalworking Craftsman of the Year Award. It is Michel Lefaivre of Paris, France. Michel is a builder of miniature arms. His projects include weapons of beauty and historic significance from Franceís past up to modern weapons like a miniature Luger pistol. Michel will travel to the NAMES Expo (see above) in April to receive his award in person and to show some of his work. Try to make it to the show and offer your congratulations in person. This is the 14th year for this award, which includes a $2000 check, an engraved gold medallion and a commemorative hardbound book.

ï Four new craftsmen were added to the on-line museum in the past 30 days. They are:

Roger Cole (Museum quality ship models)

George Britnell (Model Steam and gas engines)

Jim Moyer (Very small model IC engines, including a 1/6 scale Corvette 327)

John Maki (Miniature Victorian woodworking tools)

ï In hopes of capturing some of the excitement generated by the Young Park P-51 and Corsair model e-mail that went viral on the Internet in December, the Foundation generated an e-mail featuring some of the best V-8 and V-12 engines we have in the museum. We hope you got it and sent it on to all your friends. If you want to get on the Foundationís mailing list for notification of new people added or museum events, contact Craig Libuse at

ï To see and hear videos of a wide variety of model engines run, go to our new museum page at

ï The museum will be open Saturday, February 27th at 11 AM for about 2 hours to host a special group. The public is welcome at this time as well.