Throughout the years since we have produced Sherline tools, certain questions come up repeatedly. To help you make the best use of your equipment and to help the new machinist become familiar with some of the details involved in learning to become good at metalworking, we have prepared instructions on the aspects of machine adjustment and use that are often sources of puzzlement for new machinists. We hope you find it interesting and informative.

  • Changing the Direction of the X-axis Digital Readout
    The Sherline DRO normally reads, so the plus direction is the same as the engraved scale on the side of the table; that is, plus is from left to right. To change the readout to read the way most CNC systems work, that is, with positive movement being from right to left, see this help sheet.
  • DRO Backlash Assembly
    The following are instructions for assembling your DRO handwheel on the Z-axis of your lathe. With proper assembly, you will be able to reduce the backlash in your machine to .002″ or less.
  • Installing Stepper Motor Mounts on a Lathe
    Converting your lathe to CNC? Here’s how.
  • Installing Stepper Motor Mounts on a Mill
    Converting your mill to CNC? Here’s how.
  • Removing Stepper Motors
    Occasionally, you may need to remove the stepper motors from your CNC machine. Here are clear instructions on removing the motors and avoiding some of the typical pitfalls.
  • Removing Stepper Motors and the Mill Saddle
  • Removing Stepper Motors and the Mill Saddle to Gain Access to the X-Axis Slide Nut
  • Inch vs. Metric Calibrations
    The advantages of each system and part numbers for converting a Sherline machine from one measurement system to another.
  • CNC Axis Stopped Working
    It is likely that a fuse in the driver box has blown to protect the circuit. These instructions help you troubleshoot the issue.
  • Using a Rotary Table
    One of the most useful accessories for a mill is the rotary table, which can help you make spoke wheels, circular hole patterns, and even cut gears. These instructions will help you understand how a rotary table is used in machining.
  • Programming and Using a Sherline CNC Rotary Indexer
    Based on the Sherline rotary table, this programmable indexer can simplify repetitive indexing tasks. Learn how easy it is to program it yourself, even if you know nothing about G-code or CNC programming.
  • Tips from Other Sherline Machinists
    Shop wisdom, modifications, and shortcuts to simplify your machining projects submitted by the folks who use Sherline tools.
  • A Free RPM Gauge
    Please print out this PDF file, cut out the RPM gauge, and glue it to your lathe or mill pulley. The flashing of a 60-cycle fluorescent light causes the various rings to appear to stand still when your spindle is turning at a particular speed. It’s very “low-tech,” but it indicates speeds of 100, 300, 400, 480, 600, 720, 800, 900, 1200, 1800, and 2400 RPM quite accurately. (Reprinted from the Sherline Shop and Accessories Guide.)
  • Power Cord Conversion
    Sherline machines are supplied with a USA-type plug but can be easily rewired to accept a European or UK-type plug by attaching the wires using these instructions.
  • Replacing the Toggle Switch on the Speed Control
    Sometimes, it’s necessary to replace the on/off toggle switch (P/N 30230) on your speed control unit, and these instructions cover the toggle switch replacement process. Customers who cut a lot of wood or brass tend to get wood dust or fine brass particles in the toggle switch, and these contaminants will short out the on/off switch. Woods with a high oil content seem to be the worst, e.g., African Black Wood. Our toggle switch dust cover (P/N 3015) was designed to prevent fine particles from getting into the speed control electronics.
  • Climb Milling vs. Conventional Milling
    Roughing cuts and cutting hard materials should be done with “Conventional Milling.” Finish cuts can be done with “Climb Milling.” Climb milling is, as the name implies, the tool’s cutting edge that is literally climbing up the side of the part. Conventional milling has the tool’s cutting edge digging into the side of the part.
  • End Mill Holder Run Out
    Truing the Spindle Shoulder Face
    These two documents address the issue of how to check and fix the spindle and end mill run-out. The threads and the headstock spindle’s shoulder face are the two surfaces that dictate how true your accessories will run. Any damage, wear, or surface deviation to these surfaces will cause your accessory to run out.
  • Eliminating Chip Build-up on a Lathe
    Simple tips to help reduce stringy chips that build up and wrap around your parts (bird nest) during lathe operations.
  • Sherline Products Lathe and Column Bed Quality
    Customers receiving their new lathe/mill sometimes have concerns regarding imperfections in their lathe/column beds. The PDF above addresses the issue of machine bed imperfections.

  • Chucker Lathe Headstock Height Adjustment
    Shows how to add shims to adjust the height of a headstock on a Sherline Chucker Lathe.

The following is a list of pages on this site that will help answer questions, find resources, give instructions, or offer helpful tips for Sherline users.

A complete set of instructions for our most popular accessories.

Exploded view diagrams of Sherline machines with part numbers.

Answers to questions regarding Sherline tools and machines.

Answers to questions regarding the Sherline/MASSO G3 CNC touch controller

Answers to questions regarding the Sherline/MASSO G23 CNC controller

Answers to questions regarding Linux CNC machines

Answers to questions regarding Ball Screw machines

Answers to questions regarding DRO machines

Sherline lathes and mills can be ordered new with factory-installed digital readouts or retrofitted to include a digital readout, regardless of age.

Details explaining how to select the right mini-lathe or mini-mill for you.

Resources that are included are drawing-to-g-code converters, books on CNC, and links to other sites of interest for people learning and using CNC.

Includes CNC lathes and mills specifications, CNC components, and CNC systems. Click on the pertinent tab near the top of the page for information.


Includes sources from raw materials, terminology, clubs, and groups to free calculators.

This listing offers a logical way to locate the part number of a particular accessory. The list is divided into five sections: Lathes, Vertical Milling Machines, Accessories for both Lathe and Mill, Accessories for Clockmakers, and Books and Videos.



Resources associated with the tools, processes, and materials used in miniature machining.

Suppose you are making special tooling or a custom accessory for your Sherline tools. In that case, this will save you the trouble of measuring your particular machine to find a dimension, some of which are actually quite difficult to measure.

Shop wisdom, modifications, and shortcuts to simplify your machining projects.

Following are some brief descriptions so that you can see how the numbering system is organized. Though there may seem to be many choices, they are simply combinations of a few basic machines and accessories.

Craftsmanship requires quality tools. When Joe Martin founded Sherline Products Inc. in the early seventies, his vision was to produce a miniature tool line with every accessory needed to build small, complex machined parts from metal on a kitchen table if need be.