The Sherline Miniature Machinist's Newsletter

Number 50, May 15, 201 2


Customer Project

Wooden Rings/Robert Rosenfield

Robertís supercharger project has been featured on the CNC projects page of the web site and is a popular one; however, Robert is also a woodworker and accomplished luthier (guitar maker). A project he has been working on lately is decorative wooden rings turned from laminated woods. The polished rings have a tough clear finish make interesting conversation pieces, being so different from the usual metal rings we are used to seeing.

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

Shop Tip of the month

Rotary Table Alignment Fixture/Roger Monroe

ìIím hesitant to send in this as a tip because I am so new to machining, but I am sure you will know if it is worth passing on. I found it takes my novice hands considerable time to locate the rotary table under the mill spindle, and this is my solution.î

Securing the rotary table after aligning mill spindle and squaring it to mill. A machinistís square can be used to square the rotary table to the mill table after the center is located.

ìFirst I turned the steel pin between centers on the lathe, which made it easy to slowly reduce the diameters to the 3/8" mill holder and center hole of rotary table for close fit.î


A P/N 3079 3/8" End Mill Holder is used to hold the top end of the fixture, which has been turned to exactly .375". The lower end is turned to .437" to fit in the counter-bored hole in the center of the rotary table.

ìThanks for looking at my idea,

Regards, Roger Monroeî


You can view this and 65 additional handy tips for Sherline machinists at

Product Spotlight

Riser Block OptionsóTurning Larger Parts

The basic 3.5" diameter turning capacity of the standard Sherline lathe should cover most of your needs for making small parts. However, there comes a time when every machinist runs into a part that is a little too big for whatever machine he is working with. Riser blocks offer a way to raise the part farther above the bed or table so a larger diameter can be turned. Sherlineís riser blocks and tool posts extend the height about 1.24 inches, meaning that parts up to 6" in diameter can be turned over the bed or up to 4" in diameter can be turned over the table. Here are some of your options:

ï P/N 1272, Compound Slide Riser BlockóThe P/N 1272 compound slide is normally used on the ìbackî side of the part with the cutting tool held upside-down because of clearance issues with the handwheels on the front. However, when used on this riser block, the compound slide handwheel will clear the crosslide handwheel, so this riser is intended for use on the ìfrontî side of the table with the cutting tool held in the normal position. Longer mounting screws are included. ($35.00)

†ï P/N 1288, Riser Rocker ToolpostóIf you already have a riser block in the form of a headstock spacer block for the mill, you have half of the 1291 spacer block kit. All you need to bring your cutter up to the proper height to compensate for the riser block under the headstock is this extended tool post. It includes a slot for a º" shank square cutting tool and a 3/8" round hole for holding 3/8" shank boring tools as well. ($40.00)

ï P/N 1289, Riser Rocker 3/8" ToolpostóLooks almost identical to the post above except it is designed to hold 3/8" square shank tools and 3/8" round shank tools. ($40.00)

†ï P/N 1290, Steady Rest Riser BlockóIf using a steady rest with headstock and tailstock risers in place, you will also need to raise the steady rest to the proper height. This 2-piece riser does just that. ($50.00)

†ï P/N 1291, Riser Block KitóThis set includes both the headstock spacer block and also the taller tool post needed to bring the cutting tool on center with the part. Compared to purchasing them individually as P/N 1288 ($40.00) and 1297 ($45.00), buying them as a set at $70.00 saves you $15.00.

ï P/N 1292, Tailstock Riser BlockóIf you plan to turn parts between centers or use a center drill in the tailstock drill chuck with a riser block in place, the tailstock must be raised the same amount as the headstock. This 2-piece riser does just that. ($50.00)

ï P/N 1296, Cutoff Tool Riser Blockó(Shown with P/N 3002 cutoff tool and holder, which is not included.) The existence of a riser for the parting tool is not meant to imply that you can use it to part off large diameter stock; however, many Sherline machinists prefer to leave riser blocks in place at all times, and this riser block allows the standard 3002 parting tool holder and blade to be used for parting off smaller diameter parts. Two screws with T-nuts hold down the base on the ìbackî side of the part and a longer screw goes through the tool post and into the base. Note that the parting tool blade is now held upside down because it is used on the back side of the part.

ï P/N 2251, Quick-change Tool Post Riser BlockóUse of the P/N 2250 Quick-Change Tool Post is popular with machinists who do a lot of tool changes. This riser allows the P/N 2250 Quick Change Tool Post to be used with riser blocks in place on the lathe.

Did you know?

ï Photos from the recent NAMES show April 21-22 have been added to the site at

ï At the NAMES show, Sherline lathes and mills are the top four raffle prizes offered to ticket holders. Lucky participants won 4000 and 4400 lathes and 5000 and 5400 mills. Sherline works with the NAMES show staff to make these prizes available in order to help support the model engineering organization and the hobby.

ï Over the years a number of customers have requested safety clips on the hooks of the LM2 suspended hydraulic scales. These prevent a lifting line from being able to accidentally slip out of the hook. The new hooks now used on the scale include this safety feature at no additional cost. In fact, the price of the scale has never been raised since it was introduced in the mid-1990ís. If you need to weigh heavy items like bundles of metal or lumber, telephone poles or hay bales or test the pull on a winch cable, these scales measure up to 2000 or 5000 pounds to 2-3% accuracy for a price of only $250.00.

Upcoming Model Engineering Shows


ï Black Hills Model Engineering Showó12th Annual show, September 15-16, 2012, Rapid City, SD. See for details.

ï Estevan Model Engineering ShowóEstevan, Saskatchewan, Canada, October (Next show: October 14-15, 2012, the weekend following Canadian Thanksgiving). For updates and info see Estevan is about 15 minutes north of the North Dakota/Canada border.

ï Western Engine Model ExhibitionóAugust, 2012, Pleasanton, CA. Held in conjunction with the GoodGuys Hot Rod Show at the Alameda Co. Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, CA. See for details.

Send us your show details and we will post them hereÖ

Joe Martin Craftsmanship Foundation News

ï Machining class held in museum machine shopóOn May 5, Sherlineís factory lead toolmaker, Pam Weiss offered a class in basic lathe turning. Thirteen people signed up and attended the 2-hour class. Pam did demonstrations of alignment, setup and various types of cuts on a Sherline 4000 lathe. Participants universally enjoyed the class and have asked for more. We are looking into making it a regular event to be sponsored by Sherline Products. We would be interested in feedback as to how many would like to attend such a series of classes.

ï Gary Conley receives award at NAMES showóGary Conley was presented with his award plaque, medallion and a check for $2000 from the Joe Martin Foundation on Saturday, April 21st. Gary is the 16th winner of the foundationís highest awardóMetalworking Craftsman of the Year. Gary displayed and ran his ìStinger 609î V8 engine, the latest in a line of miniature engines he has produced for sale over the past 3 decades.

ï Two New Craftsmen Added to the Museum Web SiteóWilliam Tompkins has produced an impressive fleet of ship models starting as young as age 9. By age 17 in 1941 he had built 50 ship models. The fleet now numbers over 300 highly detailed naval ship models, all in 1:600 scale. His story takes him from an interesting naval assignment right out of high school during WWII into the think tanks of the US space program.

Allen and Patty Eckman are noted for their paper sculptures that feature western and American Indian subjects. Each were trained as artists, and they have developed a technique for molding paper products and applying detail that produces very dramatic, all white figures, complete with copious details of fringe, blades of grass and hair. They also teach the technique to pass on what they have learned to others.

ï Craftsman honored in Ripleyís Believe it or NotóLouis Chenot became the first of the foundationís craftsmen to be featured in Ripleyís Believe it or Not. On May 15th, Lou and his model Duesenberg were listed in the daily cartoon strip. The running 1/6 scale model has amazed all who have seen it, and now, in addition to being named Metalworking Craftsman of the Decade for 2011 by the foundation, Lou has achieved the status as having done something amazing enough to be featured by Ripleyís.

ï New ExhibitsóLynn Hollis of Louisville, KY donated a 1/8 scale model of a James Stewart treadle lathe of the mid-1800ís. He photographed the original in the Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI and made the working model from scratch. See for photos.

The museum has on display a restored 2-cylinder McCulloch drone engine like the one shown in the 1950ís publicity photos being assembled by a young Norma Jean (Baker) Dougherty (later to be better known as Marilyn Monroe) while working at her first job in California. The Wright family in Encinitas, CA has now donated a 4-cylinder version of the McCulloch engine to the museum. At the moment it is a bit of a basket case, but we will begin the process of restoring and reassembling it. See for photos of the 2-cylinder engine.

ï Tom Boyer RetiresóOur machine shop master craftsman for the past 5 years has been Tom Boyer. He had already retired from Hunter Industries when he came to work for us running our shop and being the main builder on the Seal and Howell V4 engine projects. He has now retired for good to enjoy some travel with his wife. We thank Tom for all the excellent work he did while running our shop and wish him well. In Tomís absence we are seeking model engineers or machinists who would like to work as volunteers in the museum machine shop and to host tours for visitors. The current on-going project is a Kenner 5-cylinder radial aircraft engine. Call (760) 727-5857 or e-mail if you would like to become part of the Craftsmanship Museum team.