The Sherline Miniature Machinist's Newsletter

Number 45, November 15, 2011

Christmas Special Just Announced!

ï Save 15% on a 4400A or 4410A Lathe and Chuck Package.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the 2011 Christmas Special!

ï FREE ìMillieî Steam Engine Kit

Each 4400A lathe purchased on the Christmas special will also receive a free set of plans and materials to build the little oscillating steam engine called ìMillie.î Get started right away with a new project in your Sherline machine shop.

Customer Project

V8-powered R/C Drag Boat/Don Martin

When Joe Martinís book Tabletop Machining was first published in 1996 we included some photos of Don Martin and his Sherline shop plus the supercharged Conley V8 he had built. We recently received some new photos from Don with the engine installed in a custom drag boat.

Don Martin in his shop in a photo from Tabletop Machining.

This photo was also printed in Joeís book and shows the Conley V8 on the custom test stand Don built for it.

Now, many years later, Don is still building model drag boats, but the Conley engine is now a feature in his latest purple jet boat.

The Conley installed in ìPurple Passion.î

The above shot shows the whole boat.

A photo of the bottom of the stern shows the intake for the jet pump and the steerable nozzle. Don also custom machines parts for the steering gear and cavitation plates on the stern of his boats. (Photos: Don Martin)

Shop Tip of the month

Using the Threading Attachment with Riser Blocks in Place/Ron Lederer and Douglas Swink

(These tips are easy enough to understand that we didnít need to include photos.)

1. Using 150-tooth gears to cut threads with the riser blocks in place/Ron Lederer

Ron Lederer of Clearwater, Florida came up with a simple way to extend the range of the thread cutting attachment so it could be used to cut inch threads when the riser block is in place. (Because of the larger diameter of the 127-tooth gear, metric threads can already be cut with the riser block in place.) For inch threads, just use two optional 150-tooth gears in place of the 100-tooth gears (A and B). These larger gears do not come with the thread cutting attachment, but can be purchased as P/N 31510. With this arrangement you will be able to cut threads from 40 TPI to 20 TPI, right or left hand. You can also cut right hand threads down to 10 TPI.

2.Another way by Douglas Swink

Douglas Swink of Arkansas says he was able to use his threading attachment with the riser blocks in place by purchasing a single extra 127 tooth gear to use along with the one that comes with the attachment. By using two 127 tooth gears in the A and B positions to drive the geartrain instead of 100 and 100, the larger size gears accommodate the additional height of the riser block.

For links to this and 63 other handy Sherline shop tips, see the ìTipsî page at

Product Spotlight

P/N 3100 Threading Attachment ($125.00)

Since we are already talking about the threading attachment in the tips above, this seemed like a good time to remind all Sherline lathe users that the threading attachment adds a very important feature to your latheóthe ability to cut many different thread pitches. Almost no one could afford to purchase all the possible taps and dies to cut inch threads from 5 TPI to 80 TPI and metric threads from .25mm to 2.0mm pitch in both LH and RH directions at just about any diameter. This one important attachment makes all that possible. Rather than increase the cost of the basic lathe and build in a few gears so you could turn a half dozen or so common threads, Sherline chose to keep the basic machine cost as low as possible while offering a far more advanced treading set as an option for those who need this capability.

The P/N 3100 threading attachment is shown in place on the lathe.

The first thing you will notice when looking at the photo of the threading attachment in place on the lathe is that it is driven by a large handwheel while the motor and speed control are removed entirely. A power feed is also not used. While this may seem like a step backwards to those who are used to cutting threads on large lathes, the handwheel makes total sense when you consider the job of cutting fine threads on a small lathe. You donít need power, you need control. The small amount of metal being removed by the 60∞ carbide threading tool that comes with the set means a great amount of force is not needed. The relatively short travels involved also mean that the operator is not turning the Z-axis handwheel over long distances. The ability to stop the thread just when you get to the end of the threaded area or head of a bolt is also important.

The attachment includes a set of hobbed aluminum gears, (not plastic or nylon) that offer a large number of combinations. A 127 TPI gear converts between inch and metric systems so gears in either system can be turned.

For complete instructions on the use of the threading attachment, refer to You will find this attachment can add a tremendous amount of functionality to your lathe.

Did you know?

ï The microscope attachments for the lathe (P/N 2126) and for the mill (P/N 2128) are still available; however, our microscope supplier has recently discontinued the microscope we used to supply with the attachments. We are currently searching for a suitable replacement, but for the time being the P/N 2125 lathe mount and microscope and P/N 2127 mill mount with microscope are not available.

ï Need small amounts of raw materials? Many places now offer small amounts of metal and plastic with no cut charges and will ship them right to your door. See for multiple sources.

ï If you are looking for a Christmas present for your favorite model engineer and are determined to ìbuy Americanî this year, please keep Sherline tools in mind.

Upcoming Model Engineering Shows


ï Cabin Fever ExpoóJanuary 14-15, 2011. (Machine tool and modle auction January 13th), Toyota Hall, York Fairgrounds & Expo Center, York, PA. See

ï North American Model Engineering Society (NAMES) ExpoóApril 21-22, 2011, Yack Arena, Wyandotte, (Detroit area) Michigan. See Sherline and the Joe Martin Foundation will be attending this show.

Send us your show details and we will post them hereÖ

Joe Martin Craftsmanship Foundation News

ï Change of museum hoursóAfter a review of recent attendance statistics it has been decided that for more economical and efficient operation the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum in Carlsbad will close mid-week on Wednesdays and Thursday. It will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9AM to 4 PM. These new days and hours begin December 1st, 2011. The museum remains closed on Sundays and holidays as before.

ï Four ship models added to museumóThanks to local ship modeler Michael Titone, the museum now has on display four highly detailed plank-on-frame wooden models of the USS Constitution, HMS Victory, HMS Supply and the Viking burial ship unearthed in Norway in 1904. See the Other Exhibits page on the museum web site for photos.

ï Museum hosts Carlsbad Charitable FoundationóOn October 17th, the museum was the host facility for the Carlsbad Charitable Foundationís fall gathering. Try to imagine soft violin music, the clinking of wine glasses along with the sounds of small engines being revved in the shop and steam whistles being blown. It was quite a combination as about 80 local contributors and guests got a full tour of the museum and were introduced to the newest attraction Carlsbad has to offer the public. The CCF supports museums and other non-profit organizations in Carlsbad with their donations.