The Sherline Miniature Machinist's Newsletter

Number 62, July 19, 2013


Product Spotlight

ï Geomagic has renamed its 3D CAD programs

Geomagic Personal is now called Cubify.

What used to be called Geomagic Personal Edition is now called Cubify. Geomagic Design Professional is now called Geomagic Elements, and Geomagic Design Expert is now simply called Geomagic Design. No changes have been made to the pricing or to the programs themselves. The parent company, 3D Systems continues to expand their product offerings in the world of 3D modeling, including scanners, 3D printers and 3D design software. As they do, they have incorporated some of the better known brand names in that field into their product lineup. Geomagic was originally known as Alibre Design. Cubify can still be purchased in the ìSherline Editionî which includes the Geomagic Advanced File Import/Export program. Cubify is still offered at $199, and the ìSherline Editionî is available at $249. The Advanced File Import/Export program included in the Sherline Edition sells for $249 on itís own, so this is quite a bargain if you need to import or export files in other formats besides STL, such as Solidworks, STEP, IGS, RHINO, SAT, DWG, DXF, JPG, TIF, etc.

Contact Sherline or CLICK HERE to learn more about Geomagic Design 3D CAD software.

ï NEW PRODUCT! P/N 8763 CNC Parallel Port Power Booster ($50.00)

Several customers running Sherlineís 8760 driver box with computers they supplied themselves reported that stepper motors would suddenly change direction in the middle of an operation. After extensive research, the trouble was traced to insufficient voltage being transferred through the parallel port in their computer, not a fault in the driver boxes. (Note: Computers supplied by Sherline have not experienced this problem.) It seems that as parallel ports have become less common on computers in favor of USB, the quality of the connectors from some suppliers has dropped. A weak signal can cause the type of glitches that were being experienced.

The 8763 signal booster is shown in place between the parallel cable and the driver box parallel connector. The USB cable picks up power from a USB port on the computer.

To solve this problem without having to replace their computer, customers can now purchase Sherlineís new parallel power booster. This small USB-powered amplifier goes between the computerís parallel port and the cable to the Sherline 8760 driver box. The USB power cable is plugged into an open USB port on the computer. To date all those who have experienced the reversing or similar glitches have reported that the power booster has restored normal operation.

Sherline Shop Project of the Month

Homemade Scroll Saw/Jerry Glickstein

Jerry is a retired toolmaker with 50 years on the job and a longtime contributor to the Sherline machinists Yahoo Group. (See ship modeler since 1981, he has developed a number of custom tools for rigging and other jobs in model ship building. The scroll saw was something he needed to cut out parts for his ship models, and he just wasnít happy with the commercial options available to him. He decided to make one himself, and, having three Sherline lathes and three Sherline mills in his shop, he based the power head on a Sherline motor and speed control. Here are some photos of the finished unit.

The finished scroll saw is seen from each side.

Here you can see the Sherline power unit and belt drive.

This view shows the eccentric that moves the scroll rod up and down.

Jerry modified the saw to carry special blades in addition to the normal ones. As a result, he can cut just about any material using blades for wood, metal or glass (diamond blades and/or abrasive sanding strips). The use of the Sherline DC motor and speed control also allows him to have infinitely variable speed.

To build the saw, Jerry notes, ìUsing the skills gathered in my career, I was able to make all the parts myself. The only components I didnít make were the ball bearings, the Thompson ball bushings for linear movement and the drill blanks that the ball bushing run on. All metal wear parts were heat treated (hardened and ground) for long life.î

To see more of Jerryís ship model work, see his own web site at

More on this and other projects done on Sherline CNC machine tools can be found on the CNC Projects page at

Shop Tip(s) of the Month

101 Shop Tips/NEMES

The New England Model Engineering Society web site offers a large collection of 101 shop tips by ìTubalcainî at (According to the bible, Tubal-cain was the ìforger of all instruments of bronze and ironî or an ìinstructor of every artificer in brass and iron.î) The retired machinist and shop teacher who has made this series of shop videos under that name has generously shared his lifetime of knowledge with others. Though not directed specifically to Sherline or to miniature tools, most apply to typical shop tasks with size being unimportant.

If you have a useful tip from your Sherline shop that you would like published, please send photos and a written description to

Did you know?

ï Whenever possible, Sherline prefers to keep all operations in-house to maintain control over the production process. We have our own laser engravers to mark our handwheels, chucks and other parts. We mold our own plastic parts like speed control housings and DRO gears and housings. (Joe Martin made the molds himself.) We have our own grinding shop and a host of automatic screw machines for small parts. Several million dollars worth of large CNC lathes and mills constantly turn out precision parts. We make our own chucks and collets. We even build up our own computers for our CNC systems. Raw material comes in as extrusions or bar stock and goes out the shipping door as a complete machine or accessory. About the only things we buy are fasteners, circuit boards, electric motors, castings and coatings. Keeping it all in-house means we can respond quickly to orders and always have parts in stock.

ï There is now a place you can share your 3D CAD drawings done in Cubify or Geomagic. The Joe Martin Foundationís Craftsmanship Museum web site has started a page where designers can share their work at

Upcoming Model Engineering Shows


ï August 23-25, 2013óWEME (Western Engine Model Exhibition), Pleasanton, CA. The show is held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in conjunction with the GoodGuys Nationals Hotrod Show. See for details.

ï September 21-22, 2013óThe Black Hills Model Engineering Show, Rapid City, SD. See for details.

ï April 26-27, 2014óNorth American Model Engineering Society (NAMES) Expo, Wyandotte, MI. Sherline will have a booth there and the Joe Martin Foundation will present its annual award to Metalworking Craftsman of the Year during the show. See for details.

(Send us your show information and we will post it here.)

Joe Martin Craftsmanship Foundation News

ï New Museum DisplaysóIn addition to the dollhouses and miniature room displays by Jan and Joe Haring, we have recently added two miniature works donated by Jo Berbiglia. One is a ºî=1í birdhouse populated by a family of tiny bunnies, and the other is a gypsy wagon with complete interior, also at the small ºî=1í scale. Several brass naval cannons by Joe Haring have also been added to the main room display.

ï A large display of wooden toys made by the local Ocean Hills Retirement Community woodworkers club known as the ìWoodchucksî is on display in the lobby. Each year the club builds hundreds of wooden toys for donation to needy children at Christmas through the U.S. Marinesí Toys for Tots program.

ï A wall shadowbox display of Young C. Parkís articulated pilot figure and practice parts he made while building the 1/16 scale aluminum aircraft models was added courtesy of his nephew, Scott Park.

ï Groups Visiting the Museum

††††††††††† June 18th: The Kingpins Car Club of La Mesa

See the Club Visits page for a photo of the group. You are welcome to visit our museum with your club or group. Call to arrange a group visit.

ï New Craftsmen added to the museum site

Germano Silva is a jeweler who makes some very complicated clocks in his spare time. His page was added May 24th and features photos of both his clock and his jewelry work.

ï Publicity

Mark Maynard, an automotive writer for the San Diego Union Tribune published an article on the front page of the Automotive section on Friday, July 5th. The timing was perfect for the holiday weekend, and we saw over 100 visitors on both Friday and Saturday, for a record smashing weekend total of 209 visits. Visitorship has remained higher than normal for weeks since the article appeared.

ï New Volunteers

Jan Haring is helping out with greeting visitors on Fridays and Saturdays. Having decorated the dollhouse exhibit we have on display, she can offer detailed advice for anyone interested in learning about building miniatures.

Jim LeBlanc is a new volunteer docent on Mondays, joining Jim White. He has a background in mechanical engineering and model makingóan excellent fit for the museum.

Bob Rabourne has been a docent and volunteer for several museums around the county for years. He has been helping out on Saturdays so that Paul can finish building display cases for the dollhouse exhibit and risers for the new glass cases we recently purchased.

Anyone interested in volunteering your services at the museum, please contact or call 760-727-5857 and ask for Craig.