The Sherline Miniature Machinist's Newsletter
Miniature Craftsman Tool Set/Roger Ronnie
Gun engraver, clock tool maker and model engineer Roger Ronnie also likes to restore old Cushman scooters. He is currently building a running scale model of the Cushman engine. He found that turning the tiny bolts on the model engine using full size tools was a difficult task, so he decided to make scaled-down tools as part of the project. Rather than just make functional open end wrenches, he decided to go all the way and scale down a functional ratcheting drive wrench and a set of sockets in addition to a set of wrenches. Being an engraver, he was even able to engrave the Craftsman logo on the handle and the sizes on the individual sockets. (Note that even the shape of the ìSî in ìCraftsmanî is the correct shape.) This is the type of beyond-the-ordinary detailing that helped the Joe Martin Foundation name Roger their ìMetalworking Craftsman of the Yearî in 2004.
(Above) Functional parts of the miniature ratchet wrench can be seen during construction. The last photo above shows a tiny universal joint drive that goes with the set.
The completed, engraved set includes the ratchet handle, three different length extensions, a universal extension, seven sizes of sockets and a 7-piece combination open end/box end wrench set. What craftsman would not be proud to own this set?
You can see many other customer projects in the Workshop section at www.sherline.com/workshop.htm.
Shop Tip of the month
Mill Table and Saddle Travel Stops/Tracy Atkinson
Charles Tracy Atkinson wanted to
make a number of duplicates of a particular part and didnít want to have to
count handwheel revolutions every time. While depth stops are not to be counted
upon when extreme accuracy is needed, they will put you very close. They will
also keep you from accidentally going one revolution too far and ruining a
part. Additional photos and a description of these stops can be found in an
The above photo shows one of
the X-axis depth stops. In this prototype,
Here both the Y-axis and X-axis locks can be seen along with the larger red locking screws.
On the X-axis,
On the Y-axis,
You can view this and 65 additional handy tips for Sherline machinists at www.sherline.com/pages/tips.htm.
P/N 3012 set: $25.00
The initial solution to holding down parts for milling that was used by Sherline makes use of round-headed carriage bolts used upside down, with the round head against the table. A washer should be placed under the round head to spread the load and keep from putting indentations in the mill table. The advantage of this set is its simplicity and a lower cost of $25.00
(Above) Parts included in the P/N 3012 Hold Down set.
(Below) The P/N 3012 hold-down set in use clamping a part for milling. Sherline now recommends placing round washers under the carriage bolt heads to keep from marring the mill table surface.
P/N 3013 set: $40.00
The P/N 3013 set includes 6 pairs of different length threaded rods for a larger range of potential height adjustments compared to the 3012 set. Angled step blocks make adjusting the height of the stepped clamps a simple procedure. A third un-anodized step block is included in case you want to cut it into two smaller blocks for additional height options for either very low setups or additional height as shown in the right-hand drawing below.
Following the practices used on full-size milling machines, the P/N 3013 step block hold-down set is a more recent development and slightly more expensive than the 3012 set but offers some significant advantages. The six pairs of threaded rods accommodate a larger range of part thicknesses that can be clamped to the table. The hold-down nuts have a radius on the bottom surface that registers in a washer with a matching internal radius so that even when clamping down at a slight angle, the washer always seats flat on the top of the clamp.
A short part (left) and a taller part (Right) are held down with the 3013 clamp set. Note that the bottom surface of the clamp is kept either level or pointed slightly downward so that only the tip of the clamp touches the part. Matching radii on the nut and washer keep the nut pulling straight down even when the clamp is angled slightly.
As can be seen in the right-hand illustration above, two stepped blocks can be used together for taller part setups. The majority of machinists who do much work on the mill will probably want to have at least two clamp sets to cover any contingency. It is better to use multiple clamps for more holding force when possible rather than trying to hold something with only a single clamp and possibly over-tightening the hold-down nut to keep the part from moving.
Did you know?
ï Many gunsmiths have found that Sherline tools are the best way to make some of the small custom parts and fasteners needed to restore old guns. They are also ideal for making miniature weapons like those made by Roger Ronnie. A page on gunsmithing projects done on Sherline tools can be seen at www.sherline.com/guns.htm.
ï What are people saying about their Sherline tools and the company that makes them? View some of the comments that people have sent in over the years on the Testimonials page.
ï At trade shows Sherline always has free decimal equivalent charts for both inch and metric sizes to hand out. These handy 3" x 5" pocket size charts cover all the common fractional dimensions and number and letter drill sizes from #80 (.0135") to 1-1/2" and from .35mm (.0138") to 25mm (.9843"). Common pipe thread sizes and Morse tapers are also included. If you canít get to a show or stop by in person, you can request either or both of these charts be included with your order when you order directly from Sherline by phone at 1-800-541-0735.
Upcoming Model Engineering Shows
ï North American Model Engineering Society (NAMES) Expoó
Send us your show details and we will post them hereÖ
Joe Martin Craftsmanship Foundation News
ï New Craftsman Added to the Museum Web SiteóPhilip Warren started work on a ship-building project in 1948 at age 17 and is still working on it. So far he has created over 450 model ships all in the same scale of 1:300. These include at least one model of every post-WWII ship in the British Navy plus 50 US Navy ships and 60 or so from other navies of the world. What is even more unusual is that all of them are made using only wooden matchsticks and thin sheets of wood from tiny wooden match boxes. Over 1200 aircraft models were needed to populate the decks of the aircraft carriers, and these range from biplanes to modern jets. Phil has shown his massive collection of ships at many exhibitions, but recent internet sharing of photos of his work brought him to our attention. At age 79 he continues to add to the fleetóan on-going 63-year project that seems threatened only by the dwindling availability of the old style wooden match boxes.
ï Club VisitsóOn March 10th the museum was visited by the San Diego Chapter of the Over-The-Hill Gang hot rod club. Twenty-one hot rods graced our parking lot in the morning, bringing in even more visitors than usual as passers by pulled in to see the cars and went on to visit the museum. See the CLUB VISITS page for photos of the cars and club members.
ï New YouTube Video PublishedóThe YouTube video showing our old
museum is still available, but you should now refer to the latest video showing
our new facility at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbbjGg5_dIk.
The 6 minute and 47 second video features shots of the outside and inside of
our 16,000 square foot facility in
ï New ExhibitsóSeven 1/32 scale model firefighting vehicles have been added to the museum. Built by prolific firefighting apparatus historian Tom Showers, they represent some of the most significant types of vehicles used to fight fires. Photos of the models can also be seen in the page highlighting museum displays on our web site. Tom passed away years ago, but with the help of fellow model maker and fire apparatus historian John Ackerman, we are in the process of documenting Tomís career as a firefighter and model maker. Watch for his page soon.