The Sherline Miniature Machinist's Newsletter

Number 66, November 15, 2013


Product Spotlight

ï Lathe Crosslide Anti-Backlash Upgrade Kit: P/N 40950 ($25.00)

Since being introduced in last monthís newsletter, more documentation is now available on the crosslide anti-backlash feature added to new Sherline lathes. CLICK HERE to read the instructions on how a new lathe is assembled and adjusted. In addition, a 17-minute video has been produced and added to that shows the assembly procedure. CLICK HERE for a link to the video.

Lathe saddle with new anti-backlash lock in place. New lathes include this improvement and an upgrade kit is available to update existing lathes.

For those who want to update their present lathe saddle to include this new backlash adjustment feature, an upgrade kit will be available within a few days. It includes the backlash nut, star gear lock and button head screw plus a drill guide block to help with drilling and tapping the new hole required for installation. Price for the upgrade kit P/N 409500 will be $25.00. Installation instructions can be found HERE.

Sherline Shop Project of the Month

Send us your workshop projects and tips for publication here!

Award Winning ìSuperb7î Car Model/Mark Jones

Mark Jones of Scale-Master Decals has been building model cars for many years. He is now working on a new one, but it will hard to top his last effort. The real Lotus Super 7 was essentially a kit car even at full size. In order to beat the import rules for cars, customers bought a ìkitî and assembled it themselves, registering the finished car as a custom vehicle rather than a production car. Lotus produced them from 1957 through 1971. The design was sold in 1972 and production began under the Caterham name, but either way, it is based on a Colin Chapman design that achieves its high speed and handling through light weight and good suspension design rather than with sheer horsepower. (Markís model includes nitrous injection and other performance enhancing parts on the 4-cylinder engine.) The car is extremely Spartan, but it put race car performance for the street into the hands of many happy owners. Markís 2007 model honored the 50th year of production of the Lotus/Caterham 7.

This award winning car took just about every possible prize at the GSL show.

At the 2007 GSL model show in Salt Lake City, Utah Mark Jonesí ìSuperb7î model walked away with top honors, winning Best in Class (Street Machine), Modelerís Choice, The ìAugieî (Best Metalwork), Best Detail, Best Interior and Best of Show. It also took home six more ìBest of Showî awards at other contests in 2007.

The GSL contest is for models based on plastic model kits, but since Augie Hiscano raised the bar many years ago with his almost totally scratch built models, to win this contest has seen a constant escalation in the level of added detail required. Mark uses his Sherline lathe and mill to make many parts from metal, replacing the plastic originals while adding performance parts and features not available in the kit.

Typical metal partsó1/12 scale wheels, brake rotors, velocity stacks and head. These are actually part of his current project but similar parts were made for the Superb7.

Engine detail includes virtually every component on the real car in miniature, right down to the wiring and even the dipstick showing an oil level.

Mark with his winning model.

Other projects done on Sherline machine tools can be found on the Workshop Projects page at

Shop Tip of the Month

Loosening tight Morse Tapers/Sherline

Tip 14 on the Sherline Tips page offers a couple of suggestions on ways to built tools that will press a Morse taper loose rather than tapping the drawbolt or Tommy bar. However, tapping them loose is certainly the traditional method, and it works just fine if you do it right. Here are some suggestions so you donít do any damage.

#1 Morse Headstock ToolsÖ

Make sure both male and female tapers are clean and free of chips before installing.

Tightening the DrawboltóDonít overtighten the drawbolt when installing a tool. Finger tight and then another º to Ω turn or so with a wrench should be enough. The surface friction of the taper really does the work, the drawbolt is just to assure it is seated fully.

Using the Drawbolt to Remove the ToolóTo remove, loosen the drawbolt about 1-2 turns. This leaves plenty of thread engagement. Tap the bolt head sharply with a light mallet, preferably made of plastic, wood or brass so you donít damage the bolt head. Once the taper pops out, unthread the bolt while supporting the accessory and remove it. Another method is to obtain a 3/8î diameter length of metal stock and use it as a knockout bar.

Using a Knockout BaróRemove the drawbolt entirely, put the knockout bar through the spindle and against the end of the mill collet or the accessoryís arbor and give it a tap.

Supporting the Headstock in Stubborn CasesóIf a light tap doesnít break the tool loose and you have concerns about knocking your headstock out of alignment with a heavier tap, you can support the headstock. Cut a length of wood about the distance between the headstock and the mill table. Lower the headstock onto the piece of wood so that it is supported on the table. Now you can tap the drawbolt or knockout bar a bit harder.

#0 Morse Tailstock ToolsÖ

The tailstock is not hollow, so drawbolts and knockout bars are not used. To eject a tool from the #0 Morse taper of the tailstock simply turn the handwheel counter-clockwise until the back of the Morse arbor bottoms in the tailstock spindle. Continue turning the handwheel a little more until the arbor pops free.

Next month: Removing stuck chucks or threaded tool holders.

See the Sherline TIPS page for more useful machine shop tips. 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 Sherline will be closed November 28th and 29th for the Thanksgiving holiday.

ï Sherline tools have found their way into some unusual shops; from closets to motorhomes to airplanes. See the page on Small Workshops for examples of people who have put a lot of productivity into some pretty small spaces.

ï The DRO option for Sherline machines is currently out of stock. Certain electronic components in the original design became unavailable, so we are in the process of an updated redesign. Watch the Sherline web site for news of its re-introduction.

ï A customer recently suggested that if you are looking for tiny cutting/grinding tools, you might want to look at dental supply vendors. Tiny diamond and carbide tips and wheels used by dentists usually have a 1/16″ shank that can be held in a 1/16″ WW collet. They are available in a variety of shapes. Try Patterson Dental or Darby Dental Supply web sites for starters and do a product search. They are normally operated at very high speeds (up to 400,000 RPM) so they have to be made to high quality tolernaces. (That means they arenít cheap!) You will never achieve that high a speed except with a air driven dental drill, but the P/N 4335 10,000 RPM pulley set might be a useful addition to your Sherline machine if you plan to use these bits.

Upcoming Model Engineering Shows


ï April 11-13, 2014ó18th Annual Cabin Fever Expo Model Engineering Show & Auctions in the Utz Arena (Formerly Toyota Arena), York Fairgrounds & Expo Center, York, PA 17404

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 Groups Visiting the Craftsmanship Museum in the past monthó

††††††††††† October 15th: West Los Angeles United Methodist Church Seniors

See the Club Visits page for a photo of all past groups. You are welcome to visit our museum with your club or group. Call to arrange a group visit. The museum is open Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 9-4. Admission is free.

New Exhibitsó

ï Daniel ìBuzzî Brunkow loaned two custom made outboard motors to our display that presently includes the wooden Cushman Scooter and engine.

ï Jeweler Bryan Freund donated another silver Shovelhead Harley engine pin, a ring and a tiny polished skull to his display.

ï Joe ìSpeedyî Sciratta donated a unique ìDouble Elbowî steam engine for us to run in the machine shop. Each of the twin elbow engines has six cylinders but only 5 moving parts. The second runs on the exhaust discharged from the first. The movement is hard to describeóyou have to see it in action.

ï Museum VolunteersóAnyone interested in joining the museum staff as a docent (guide) or machinist in the shop, please contact or call 760-727-5857 and ask for Craig.

ï Construction Map AddedóConstruction on desalination plant water pipeline from Carlsbad to San Marcos has reached the intersection of Business Park and Lionshead. See our Construction page for a map of how to best avoid congestion in the coming months. The pipeline will pass directly in front of the museum several months from now. We will remain open, but you should consult the map before visiting to find out which streets are open for your approach. The map will be updated as necessary.