The Sherline Miniature Machinist's Newsletter

Number 47, February 15, 2012


Customer Project

Special turning fixture/Dave Hosom

Dave Hosom works at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as an engineer, but in his spare time he does some woodworking. He has a Sherline mill and a Record Cornet wood lathe. He has developed an interesting platform with which he combines the movements of a Sherline rotary table P/N 3700 and a compound slide P/N 1270 to be able to turn large spherical shapes. He designed the above special radius cutter to make Delrin fixtures to hold wooden Chinese balls for turning. This is a clever use of combining several shop tools and Sherline accessories to create custom tooling to suit your own specialized needs.

You can see this and many other customer projects in the Workshop section at

Shop Tip of the month

Magnifying small operations on the lathe/Slava Stulov

We donít often get tips from customers in Russia, but this one is short and sweet. He even included photos of the parts he made. Mr. Stulov writes:

ìI have the lathe Sherline. To handle the small parts (blanks), I use this device.î

The magnifier in use.

The components of the mount.

The assembled mount and magnifier.

Best regards
Slava Stulov
Murmansk, Russia

You can view 65 additional handy tips for Sherline machinists at

Product Spotlight

CNC rotary table, P/N 8700

The last time we featured this product was in Newsletter #8 in August of 2008. The newsletter now goes to a much larger audience, so in case you missed it, letís take a look at this popular and versatile productÖ

The CNC rotary table comes with its own programmable microprocessor/keypad.

Sherline has taken their accurate and reliable 4" rotary table into the 21st century with the addition of Computer Numeric Control. Clockmakers or anyone with a need to cut gears or other complicated radially symmetrical patterns will find this accessory takes all the headaches out of repetitive indexing operations.

You get everything you need including the 4" Sherline rotary table with installed stepper motor, microprocessor unit with numeric input keypad, 115 VAC power source and all necessary connecting cables and clamps. Operation is very simple. After entering the number of divisions from 1 to 999 or the number of degrees to three decimal places on a simple numeric keypad, the table advances quickly and precisely to the next position at the touch of a single advance button. If an error is made, previous positions can be accurately recalled by pressing another button. Basic resolution is 28,800 steps per revolution (±0.006∞ per step). This allows the accurate machining of items like gears with odd numbers of teeth. Computations are made internally in the microprocessor to a high degree of accuracy to avoid cumulative errors.

The CNC rotary indexer is a stand-alone unit. You get everything you need to make complex indexing jobs easy. In addition, the unit can be connected to an existing CNC control to act in conjunction with that system. An input signal triggers the programmed function. When it is complete, it signals back to continue the program. The unit can also be ìdaisy chainedî with other units to trigger sequential actions. As with all Sherline accessories, complete instructions are included.

The rotary table can also be ìdaisy chainedî with Sherline's linear controller (P/N 8800) to achieve combinations of rotary and linear movement in sequence. This makes it easy to set up for relatively sophisticated operations like cutting gears without having to know anything about g-code or CNC programming beyond what is entered from these simple keypads.

A 90∞ angle fixture P/N 3701 and a right angle tailstock P/N 3702 are available to use the rotary table vertically. The P/N 3750 tilting angle table also works well to mount the rotary table vertically or at any angle between 0∞ and 90∞.

Did you know?

ï Sherline has a dealer network that spans the globe. Our newest international dealer is AYard in Japan. Specializing in model ship kits, AYard will now offer the Sherline tool line to a market we feel is ideal for compact, high quality, accurate machine tools. Welcome aboard!

ï The Sherline Factory at 3235 Executive Ridge in Vista, CA has a complete showroom and demonstration area for visitors to examine and try out our tools. Save the cost of shipping by picking up your tools in person while seeing where and how they are made. If you are new to machining there are demo tools where you can take some practice cuts.

ï Need raw materials for your current project? See for sources of metal by the foot or inch sent straight to your front door.

ï Sherline model engineer from India, Iqbal Ahmed built an award winning º scale model of the first internal combustion powered vehicle as designed by Karl Benz in 1886. His model ìMotorwagenî will be the featured project on the program and admission buttons at the 2012 NAMES Expo in Michigan. Mr. Ahmed attended the show last year and displayed his beautiful model.

Upcoming Model Engineering Shows


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 Craftsman of the Year award winner announcedóGary Conley has been selected as the 2012 winner of the foundationís most prestigious award. Gary is the owner of Conley Precision and has been making º scale running model engines for over 30 years. Gary has had his ups and downs, from initial success building and selling the popular Conley V-8 to designing a º scale Viper V-10 to add to his line. Then a catastrophic fire at the foundry wiped out many years of work, and he lost all the molds and patterns for both engines. Starting almost from scratch with a damaged pattern he reconfigured what was left of the Viper project into a new V-8 of his own design. The ìStinger 609î displaces 6.09 cubic inches and puts out almost 9 HP in supercharged form. It can now be seen in action on Garyís site at Gary will be presented his award in person at the North American Model Engineering Society (NAMES) Expo in Wyandott, Michigan April 21-22, 2012. Our congratulations go to Gary, who is the 16th winner of this award.

ï Club VisitsóJanuary 28th was a busy Saturday at the Museum in Carlsbad. Our parking lot was filled with classic cars as two different Corvette clubs and a Buick Riviera club chose that perfect Southern California winter day to make us a destination. It was top-down weather in the 70ís and we set a record attendance for the day, as others joined these groups for a tour. See the CLUB VISITS page for photos of the cars and club members.

ï Recent DonationsóA Sperry Gyroscope used in the belly machine gun turret of a B-17 joins our Norden bomb sight as part of a salute to the craftsmen of WWII. A tiny drill press made by Shuron was also donated. It was designed and patented specifically to drill holes through glass lenses for mounting the nose bridge on frameless eyeglasses and is a neat little tool. Frank Libuse contributed a DeWalt radial arm saw, workbench, battery charger and two oak book shelves for our library.

ï Return of the HardingeóOur Hardinge toolroom lathe is now back in place after an electronic problem put it out of service a few months back. While we had it over at Sherline going through it, our workers over there did a great job of cleaning it up and repainting it to the original grey color. Tom Boyer will be happy to have this fine American tool back to work in the shop as soon as Pam Weiss gets it rewired. We also recently purchased a used PowerMatic panel saw that will help us build display cabinets in the woodworking part of the shop.