The Sherline Miniature Machinist's Newsletter

Number 71, May 15, 2014


New Product Spotlight

• P/N 1150 WW Collet Closer Coming June 1st!

Shown here is the prototype of a new collet closer that quickly locks and unlocks a WW collet held in the spindle. The prototype steel parts shown here will all have black oxide finishes in the production version.

Quickly changing parts held in a WW collet when doing a repetitive lathe operation with the standard collet drawbar requires turning the drawbar handwheel to loosen the part, removing the part or advancing the stock and then retightening the drawbar. This collet closer reduces that time to the flip of an actuator lever—just a second or two!

The part or long stock of up to 3/16" in diameter is placed in the collet and the drawbar handwheel is tightened until the part is just barely starting to be gripped. (Parts larger than 3/16" can also be held in a WW collet or pot chuck but will not extend through the spindle.) Now, when the lever is activated, the collet is pulled closed the final amount, locking it on the part. To remove the part, just flip the lever the other way to release. To keep the collet from turning in the collet adapter, a pin has been added that engages the keyway in the WW collet. The internal clutch uses ball bearings that provide smooth operation and a solid lock even if used when the spindle is turning. Working parts are made from hardened A2 steel for long life.

The collet closer is installed on any Sherline lathe in minutes with no holes needing to be drilled. The accessory is held in place using the small hole in the rear spindle that is provided for the threading attachment. If you have already installed a threading attachment, that hole is already tapped 4-40. If not, you will need to tap the 4-40 thread in the hole using either a tap or a self-tapping 4-40 screw (provided).

The last of the parts are finished and the collet closer will be available for purchase starting about June 1st.

Shop Tip of the Month

Mill “Anti-Gravity” Block/Jerry Glickstein

The spring loaded stop is seen installed in this photo.

To offset potential Z-axis backlash, Jerry used a P/N 1290 Steady Rest Riser Block, a spring and a turned nylon part to make a headstock support. Jerry notes: “The reason I developed the “Anti-Gravity Block” is because I was having some unpredictable downward movement of the headstock during milling. The compression spring and the ability to pre-load using the steady rest riser block cured the problem. The spring offsets the weight of the DC Motor and Speed Control plus saddle, head stock, etc. It was not intended as a hard stop.

In use, it is simply clamped on a mill column, brought up to bear on the underside of the headstock, and can be preloaded with the leadscrew handwheel. It would also function as a safety stop if used on the lathe.”

--Jerry Glickstein


Photo 2 shows the parts making up the stop. Photo 3 shows the assembled stop.

Photo 4 shows a detail of the stop in use on the lathe.

A BONUS LATHE TIP—Getting good grip in the tailstock taper

The MT0 taper on the lathe tailstock has limited capability to resist torque and pull-out. I find that I can greatly increase its capability by cleaning the taper carefully (both parts).  A Q-tip and alcohol seem to work well.

—David Triezenberg

NOTE: It is always good practice to make sure all internal and external tapers are clean and free from damage before engaging.


BONUS TIP #2—According to Sherline tech-rep Fred Smittle, a water/soap based lubricant that came highly recommended by one of our customers can be found at It is available in amounts from a few ounces to a gallon. Their web site claims:

Anchorlube G-771 is the future of multi-purpose lubricants, offering a new level of tool-life along with the cleanliness of a water/soap based compound. Anchorlube is a semi-paste and performs well on all metals, especially stainless steel and other exotic metals that tend to shorten tool life considerably. It is a clean lubricant that contains no petroleum, chlorine, or sulfur, and is a water-based soap, maintaining a clean work area with no oily surfaces.

Sherline Projects

1800’s Single Lens Microscope/Jay Holmes

 “Do you remember giving me anonymously a microscope? ...I can hardly recall an event in my life which surprised & gratified me more.”
—Charles Darwin to a friend in 1871, recalling a gift given in 1830


Jay Holmes built this small microscope based on ideas for an early scope from the 1800’s, much like the one that so impressed Charles Darwin in the above quote.

“This project started with an interest in microscopes and learning about the single lens microscopes that Charles Darwin, Robert Brown and others were using in the early 1800's. The microscope pictured with mine is by Robert Bancks, the same maker as Darwin's and Brown's, and of a very similar design. I received support and encouragement on this project from Sandro Di Filippo who writes for The Home Shop Machinist magazine. He helped with the lens grinding tool and then encouraged me to get a Sherline lathe, a choice I am happy I made. This single lens microscope is my first lathe project and I created the design based on the Bancks and other "aquatic microscopes." I simplified a few features because I was a little nervous about racks and gears.”

—Jay Holmes


Send us your Sherline Workshop Project Photos

If you have completed a project on your Sherline tools that you would like to share with other Sherline users, send photos and a description to Include photos of setups if you have them. We will publish customer projects in future editions of the newsletter and include the best ones in the Workshop page on the Sherline web site.

Did you know?

Sherline’s factory had a front row seat for one of the fires that scorched the Southern California area yesterday, but we were in no danger. This photo of the San Marcos fire was taken from our 2nd story office window as the fire raced up a hill a mile or two away. (The tree on top of the hill is about 20 feet tall.)

• A total reorganization and simplification of the Sherline home page ( has made navigation of the site easier. Designed and created by Philippe Rossel, it is the first preview of an upcoming redesign of the whole web site to bring it up to date. Philippe is also currently involved in the re-design of our 9th edition catalog that we hope to have to the printer soon. For now you can still download the 8th edition catalog at

• The 8th edition of the Sherline Shop Accessories Guide book was just received from the printer. It includes copies of the instruction sheets for all Sherline accessories and makes a handy reference—much neater than a binder full of individual instruction sheets. It also allows you to read instructions for accessories you might be thinking about buying to learn how they are used before you purchase. It is listed as P/N 5327 ($10.00)

Model Engineering Shows

Sherline attended the 2014 North American Model Engineering Society Expo in Wyandotte (Detroit), Michigan April 26th and 27th. Both attendance and sales were up substantially this year. We would like to thank the NAMES staff for putting on such a professional show and also all our customers who stopped by the both to purchase or just say hi to Jerry Kieffer, Jim Clark and Craig Libuse. We will be back again next year and hope to see you there.

Upcoming 2014 Shows:

·         Western Engine Model Exhibition, Next show: August, 2014 to be held in conjunction with the GoodGuys hotrod show in Pleasanton, CA. See

·         Black Hills Model Engineering Show, Next show--September 20-21, 2014, Rapid City, SD. The show is held the 3rd weekend of September each year. See or contact Clif Roemmich at

·         Home Industrial Craftsman Show (Formerly GEARS --Gas Engine Antique Reproduction Show), Portland, OR area, late September. See New management for 2013, new location (Oregon Rail Heritage Center) and new web site address. The 2013 show will be September 27-28, 2014.

·         Estevan Model Engineering Show, Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada, October (Next show: October 18-19, 2014 the weekend following Canadian Thanksgiving). For updates and info see

·         15th Annual Model Engineering Show, Saturday October 25, 2014, American Precision Museum & Windsor Recreation Center, 29 Union Street, Windsor, VT. Model Exhibits and Miniatures, Special Demonstrations all Day. Vendor and exhibitor pre-registration is recommended. Call the museum (902.674.5781) or register online. E-mail: Web site:

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

Joe Martin Craftsmanship Foundation News

Craftsman of the Year Award Presented

 Steve Lindsay, a master engraver from Kearney, Nebraska was presented with the 2014 Metalworking Craftsman of the Year Award at the NAMES show in Detroit on April 26th. Steve received an award plaque, engraved medallion, award book and a check for $2000 from foundation director Craig Libuse. Steve demonstrated his engraving techniques for the show attendees, letting anyone who wanted to try engraving use his patented air powered engraving tools and custom rotating engraving vises. Details on Steve and his work can be found in his museum web page at

New Muuseum Exhibits—

Groups Visiting the Craftsmanship Museum in the past month—

See the Group Visits page for photos and details.

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

Getting your projects displayed in the museum—If you have built a project you feel is worthy of display in the museum, contact Craig to learn about displaying your items on loan or tax deductible permanent donations of your work.

Construction Update—Traffic has reopened in both directions on Lionshead Avenue between Business Park Drive and Eagle Drive, making access to the museum easier. Construction is still taking place at the Melrose end, so traffic coming from the coast on Palomar Airport Road should continue past Melrose to the next light at Eagle and turn left. A map can be found on the museum web site HERE. We apologize for the temporary inconvenience.

Construction has moved past Sherline Products, so there are currently no restrictions in that area.