Welcome to the


This section will feature some of the work done by modelers and machinists using Sherline miniature machine tools. It will serve two purposes. First, it will give us a chance to show off some of the fine work being done on tabletop sized machine tools. Second, it allows us to give credit to those who are doing that work. We have also included some projects that were not necessarily built on Sherline tools, but rather offer ways to make your Sherline workshop more efficient of more fun to use. There are a lot of photos, so this page might be a little slow to load. As the page has grown, we have started using small photos that are linked to larger versions so that the page will open as quickly as possible. You can click on any of the photos to see a larger version. Just use your browser's "back" arrow to return to the page after viewing the photo.

A list of projects included:
1. Steam Engine Projects/Alvin Warren
2. Woodturning Project/Dave Hosom
3. Child's Toy Train Project/Keith Yundt
4. Black Powder Cannon/Robert Shipley
5. Clock Case Projects/Robert Shipley
6. Miniature Stamping Die/Frank Warrick
7. Texas Christian University Machine Shop
8. Aluminum Corsair Model/Young Park
9. Making Steering Wheels for Model Cars (plus a very small workshop)/Marvin Meit
10. Traveling Workshop/Jerry Kieffer
11. Machines as Works of Art/William Dubin
12. Dime-sized 14-cylinder Radial Aircraft Engine Model/Augie Hiscano
13. Miniature Grandfather Clock/Frank Brad
14. Compact Home Workshop/Ronald Melvin
15. Tiny Turbine Engine Project/Andy Paul
16. Detailed R/C Ship Models/Andrew Green
17. Workshop in a Box/R.W. Markgraf
18. Model hotrod shop and car models/DL
19. Award winning model cars/Mark Jones
20. A Lathe with permanent riser blocks set up for threading/Jim Knighton
21. Gold plated auto presentation models/Michael Dunlap
22. Case tractor project/Alvin Jeske
23. Jewelry--Titanium and stone rings/Mark Stone
24. Award winning model cars/Dirk Joseph
25. Monster R/C truck axle/Michael Gegere
26. Cab forward live steam locomotive/Dwight Ennis
27. Watch case and crown/Marc-AndrÈ Lemieux

28. Animated clocks and other mechanical works of art/Thomas Kuntz

29. Circuit testing machine/Stephen Nelson

30. Fossilized ivory guitar bridge pins/Mike Fleck

31. Music box/Geoffrey Rhodes

32. Sherline table saw attachment/Carl Hammons

33. Super-detailing a Tamiya McLaren F1 model/Tom Castermans

34. Miniature vintage woodworking tools/John Maki

35. 1/2 scale running Briggs & Stratton "Y" engine/George Baisz

36. Elk Antler watch cases and wooden pens/Charles Grower

37. Cutting a tiny watch escape wheel/Jerry Kieffer

38. Sherline-powered scroll saw/Jerry Glickstein

A simple mill Z-axis counterweight design/Harry Yingst (See the CNC Projects page.)

EXTREME PROJECTS: A separate section has been added showing setups for projects that are really too big to be made on Sherline tools, but determined craftsmen did them anyway. Check it out.

COMPACT WORKSHOPS: It doesn't take a lot of space to set up a very complete and productive shop with Sherline tools. Visit some shops that show what can be done in a compact area.

CNC PROJECTS: This page was created specifically to showcase CNC projects. Included with pictures of the finished parts are photos of the setups and G-code used. Whether or not you decide to build any of the projects, the page is a great introduction into what really goes into making a part using CNC. Everyone seriously thinking of buying or converting to CNC should look it over.

GUNSMITHING PROJECTS: Making, repairing and restoring guns is a highly demanding and specialize part of the world of machining, and many parts and operations are sized appropriately for Sherline tools. This page features only gun-related machining projects for you would-be home gunsmiths.

All the milling on the following projects by Alvin Warren were done on a Sherline mill. In the front center is a PM Research Model #3 stationary steam mill engine with a 2-1/4" flywheel. At the right is a Model #5 "coke bottle" style mill engine with a 3" flywheel. These are appropriately sized for miniature machine tools, while the larger steam engine sitting on the Sherline mill required the use of a full size lathe to turn the flywheel. The first gallery of photos shows some additional details of Mr. Warren's work.

The photos sent in by Alvin Warren of North Canton, Ohio are typical of those we often receive. Although we have included many photos throughout this site, we felt we should have one place where you could come to see the work of a particular person...kind of like an art gallery. Periodically we will change or add to this section to feature the work of different artists in metal. If you have projects you would like to see featured here, please send us your photos along with a description of the project.

1. Steam Engine Projects by Alvin Warren

Mr. Warren is a retired chemical engineer with a background in research and development. He worked for Firestone Tire for forty years and retired in 1982. He had no formal training as a machinist but always had a strong interest in working with metal dating from when he purchased a used 10" Atlas lathe in 1943.

This model 1830 Stevenson steam engine began life in the 1940's and was just recently completed. Mr. Warren turned the boiler and stack from aircraft aluminum left over from fighter plane production in World War II. He scaled it from a pencil drawing he found in a history book. The model remained unfinished until he purchased a Sherline mill about four years ago. He then machined the rest of the parts to finish the locomotive, making this a fifty-five year project!

This horizontal stationary steam engine is 18" long. The 6-7/8" flywheel was turned on a full size shop lathe while all the milling was done on Sherline tools. It has a 1-1/2" bore and a 2-1/2" stroke. It was made from a casting kit offered by PM Research as Model #6.

The Model #6 steam engine is seen sitting on the Sherline mill. Though some of these parts push the limits of what can be done on a mill of this size, it does prove that modelers are an inventive group who can get the job done with whatever tools are available.

A replica of a double acting 1880's steam drilling engine, this model is based on PM Research kit Model #1. It has a 1" bore and 1-1/2" stroke. The 6-1/2" flywheel was turned on a full size lathe. The solid walnut base sets off the aluminum and brass parts to give the model a rich look. All of Mr. Warren's projects exhibit excellent craftsmanship.

2. Woodturning Project by Dave Hosom

Dave Hosom works at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as an engineer, but in his spare time he does some woodworking. He has a Sherline mill and a Record Cornet wood lathe. He has developed an interesting platform with which he combines the movements of a rotary table and a compound slide to be able to turn large spherical shapes. He designed the above special radius cutter to make delrin fixtures to hold wooden Chinese balls for turning. This is a clever use of combining several shop tools to create a custom tool to suit your own needs.

3. Child's Toy Train Project by Keith Yundt


A photo of the finished toy train. The toy-like proportions, shiny brass and nice finish work make this the favorite engine on Keith's son's Brio™ wooden toy railroad.

Keith Yundt of Victoria, B.C., Canada received a Sherline lathe as a Christmas gift from his wife, and his first project was to make a toy train of his own design for his 3-year old son's layout. Keith is a road building estimator and his only experience in machining was helping his uncle and grandfather work on a big lathe in a family-run shop while growing up. Trains were always a lifelong hobby for both Keith and his father, so he decided his first project on his new lathe would be a simple train. No formal plans were drawn up. He designed and custom fit the parts from an idea of the general plan he had in his head. The boiler, smokestack and whistle are turned from solid brass. The cab was formed out of sheet brass and soldered. The bumpers in the front are spring loaded. It has magnets at the rear which help it pull the "Thomas the tank engine" cars around his son's Brio wooden layout. Rubber O-rings are used as tires over the brass wheels to make operation smooth and quiet. Keith expects the sturdy construction will allow the train to stand up to several generations of use. He had so much fun with the project he now plans to start on an HO rail crane for his nephew.


These two photos show Keith's setup to turn the taper and o-ring grooves on the train's wheels.

4. Black Powder Cannon by Robert Shipley

Bob Shipley of Knoxville, Tennessee has been working on clocks and clock cases for quite some time (see below), but he wanted to make something different. On hand were a scrap piece of 1-7/8" diameter brass and a broken car floor jack. The frame, wheels and brass billet suggested a cannon, so Bob set to work to design his own. The cannon is built to fire a .58 caliber mini-ball with black powder. This is a traditional Civil War musket ball size. Bob has fired it with powder and wadding and says it makes "quite a bang!" The frame was made from the side pieces of the floor jack, which also contributed the wheels. The fasteners were standard bolts modified by Bob. The brass pieces are all custom, including the elevation mechanism. It is not a model of a particular cannon, but rather a design of Bob's based on a traditional style, but influenced by the size and shape of some of the pieces he had on hand to work with. The finished cannon weighs a hefty 17 pounds. All the parts except for the 11" barrel were machined on Bob's Sherline lathe and mill. The barrel was bored on a larger machine. Bob says, "The one piece of tooling that I have really enjoyed is the Sherline rotary table that I use on my milling machines. I have gotten much joy, and good machining results from using it in my hobby."

5. Clock case projects by Robert Shipley

Bob Shipley came across a nice old Elgin clock that had been in the dashboard of a 1920's car. To display it, he designed a striking hexagonal case with glass in both the front and back. From the back some of the works can be seen. What was once a historically interesting but somewhat plain clock without a case has now become a distinctive desktop display. (This case was shown in the April, 1999 issue of the NAWCC Bulletin, a magazine for watch- and clockmakers.)


Above is another of Bob Shipley's car clock projects. This time he fitted a 1926 Elgin automobile clock to a wooden box from 1925 that originally held a transformer. The mating of the two similarly aged components seemed like a natural. The clock is gimbaled to function as a nautical clock for use on board a ship. Except for some of the largest parts, the machining was done on Bob's Sherline lathe and milling machine.



A third project by Robert Shipley consists of another car clock, but this time with a brass and aluminum housing. The sides and top feature pieces of stained glass. The large piece of machined aluminum under the clock started out as a 2" x 4" x 2" block. The clock is an 8-day Elgin from a 1920's automobile. Bob says that even though he has two drill presses, he usually uses his Sherline mill to drill small holes because the lack of spindle run-out makes for a rounder, easier-to-tap hole.

6. Stamping die project by Frank Warrick

No explanation came with these digital photos. Frank Warrick of Muskegon Heights, Michigan dropped off a diskette at the 1999 N.A.M.E.S. show and said "Here's a project I built". Once you see the pictures, though, not too much is needed to see it is a nice little project. It is a stamping die that punches out what appear to be small, thin washers. Frank also entered a very nice steel sine plate in Sherline's contest.

The finished project under a protective glass dome. Some sample parts lie in front of press inside the cover.

7. Texas Christian University Machinist's Workshop Program

Photos: Brent Bachim


Lathes and mills line the work area in TCU's "Introduction to Fabrication" classroom.

When the Department of Engineering at Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth, Texas decided that students and teachers needed to get some "hands-on" experience to better understand the machining process as it relates to manufacturing engineering, they chose Sherline tools for their shop. SteveWeis, Bob Bittle and Becky Bittle put the program together. They recently held their first "Introduction to Fabrication" workshop for high school students. The students spent a day on the lathe and made a stepped cylinder and a steel center punch. They then spent one day on the mill and made a brass gage block with six different sized tapped holes. Two days were then devoted to electronics with the design and fabrication of a "touch switch" PC circuit board. Their most recent workshop was for teachers.

The photos below show some of the students and teachers learning about how metal is cut by using Sherline tools. In an era when many schools are moving away from actual machine tools and going more with video education, it is good to see a program where students and teachers can actually have a chance to make chips and turn out parts. Compared to the traditional school machine shop and the now popular "tech-ed" video approach, miniature machine tools offer several advantages. The low cost allows a "tool at every bench" approach. The small size makes them safer to use than full size tools, and the advantage of actually being able to participate in the lesson rather than just watching it makes for a much better learning experience. Several aftermarket suppliers also offer CNC educational modules based on Sherline machines that are perfectly suited for the modern tech-ed classroom.

High school students get to try their hand at machining real parts. They get a better understanding of the parts they see in their daily lives and will eventually have to design as future engineers or build as future machinists.

A student inspects his work as a precision gage block emerges from a chunk of brass.

Teachers get a chance to experience real machining as well.

8. All Aluminum Corsair Model by Dr. Young C. Park

This 1:16 scale model is all aluminum and complete to the smallest detail. Formerly classified military manuals from WWII provided all the detail Dr. Park needed to construct each part.

Hold on to your hats, you're not going to believe this project! Dr. Young Park, a dentist in Honolulu, HI has this thing about aluminum. He has always enjoyed working with the material since making things from the scraps that were readily available from leftover aircraft after WWII. He started out to model just the vertical stabilizer of a Corsair to use on a trophy. He then made a tail section to mount it on. It looked incomplete without horizontal stabilizers, so he made those too. From there it was just one part after another working forward from the tail until he had modeled the entire aircraft. Of course he had high speed dental tools at his disposal for some of the work, but most was done with simple hand tools.

Some of the control mechanisms in the cockpit can be seen here. Notice also the rivet detail.

After completion of the first model, Dr. Park decided that the quality was not quite as good as it could have been with the use of better tools, so he purchased Sherline tools for his shop and started on a second model. It will be similar to the first, but the parts are being finished to an even higher level of perfection now that he has miniature machine tools at his disposal. Although the models have gotten to this stage in only a few years, Dr. Park has still devoted several thousand hours to their construction.

Inside the wing, the machine gun mechanism is typical of Dr. Park's attention to detail.

Much of the skin is left off the model so the inner workings can be seen. Each control surface is actuated from the cockpit by chains and levers just like the real plane. The landing gear retracts and the wings fold. Cutaways of some areas show even more detail, like what is inside the fuel tank. The machine guns in the wings are loaded with sheaths of (non-firing) bullets. Though the engine is not make to run, the level of detail on its exterior is astounding. All the aluminum skin panels are hand formed and attached with tiny aluminum rivets. The models continue to evolve as Dr. Park adds more and more detail. The second model even has a pilot figure that is also carved from solid aluminum blocks. The initial machining of the face was done with an end mill and the final carving done with high speed dental tools. Dr. Park saves the expensive diamond burrs from his dental practice when they become dull and uses them on the aluminum. (There's a tool you probably won't find in many machine shops...) After seeing his work, I know I wouldn't hesitate for a minute to let him work on my teeth. A filling or bridge must be an easy task compared to a project like this.

More details about Dr. Park and the aircraft can be found in a good article done by the Honolulu newspaper. Follow this link to READ ARTICLE. The article shows a picture of Dr. Park and gives a better idea of the small size of the aircraft. The model was also featured in the November, 2000 issue of Fine Scale Modeler, a monthly magazine by Kalmbach Publishing out of Milwaukee.

The Joe Martin Foundation has opened a Museum on the Internet that features the work of outstanding craftsmen. To see many more detailed photos of Young Park's work, please go to the model maker's section at www.craftsmanshipmuseum.com

9. Model Steering Wheels by Marvin Meit

Marvin Meit builds super-detailed versions of Pocher model kits among other things. At the suggestion of master car modeler Augie Hiscano, he sent some photos detailing the construction of a wood and brass vintage steering wheel. I couldn't include them all, but here are a few from the series that will give you some ideas. After the wood block is roughed to size, the half-round shape of the steering wheel is cut with a form tool. The back side has a series of grooves milled in using the rotary table. The front and back halves are sandwiched over a brass spoke piece and cross-drilled in a fixture to be held together with brass rivets. This is probably pretty much the way the full-size ones are made, but it takes a whole lot less exotic wood to make them this size. For some examples of the finished cars, see Marvin's site at www.modelmotorcars.com. Marvin also co-authored a book called Building the Pocher Rolls-Royce that has some good modeling tips for car model builders.

(Above) Form tool for rim shape

The finished product

Below is a photo of Marvin's shop. It takes maximum advantage of the confined space of a 6-foot closet. Anyone who thinks they don't have room in their house for a shop should study this photo. Organization is a necessity when combining this many tools and materials in such a small space, but it definitely works. For more small home shops see the page on SHOPS.

10. Traveling Workshop by Jerry Kieffer

Taking small projects to the extreme is a hallmark of Jerry Kieffer's work. As compact as the above shop by Marvin Meit is, Jerry's traveling shop would be hard to beat for combining the most in the smallest space. Jerry travels to clock shows and does demonstrations, and this solid oak traveling case allows him to take along everything he needs to set up just about anywhere. The case is built to the level of quality of all of Jerry's projects, which is to say "perfection". Inside is a high-intensity light to spotlight the work area. Mounted next to the lathe is a vertical milling column for use on the lathe when needed. The drawer underneath includes a variety of accessories including a rotary table, vise, drill index, compound slide and a complete set of WW collets in two layers. The tools themselves, though perfectly adjusted and aligned, are factory stock with no modifications. A fine display like this really showcases the quality of your tools and also adds to the pleasure of using them.

Many of the projects made in Jerry's workshop can be seen in the model engineering section of the Internet Craftsmanship Museum at www.CraftsmanshipMuseum.com

Notice the finger joints at each corner on the cover. The case is 26" long by 11" wide by 13" high and made from 3/8" oak.

Just add electricity and you're in business virtually anywhere.

11. Machines as Works of Art by William Dubin


The mechanomorphic sculpture "Babette" is shown above. Click on the photos to see enlarged versions.

William Dubin takes a different approach to machining. He sees machinery (and steam engines in particular) as works of art and reproduces them accordingly. He is more concerned with the look and movement of a "mechanical sculpture" rather than making it a functional replica of a particular engine. He combines components into a visually pleasing work and applies colored patinas to the components and the "landscape" around it to achieve the look of a well-aged antique. Although the pictures only show the sculpture in static form, it is made to be seen in motion. Electric motors hidden inside the base run the "engine" so that all the components move when it is on display, making for a much more pleasurable visual experience.

From the strictly practical side, he says for the same amount of work involved in building a steam engine model that would sell for about $700 he can create a work of art that has sold for as high as $30,000. Though he builds what pleases him, the financial logic is certainly on his side. We are happy to see Mr. Dubin's work bringing outside attention to model engineering and also to establishing the models we build as worthy of being called "art". While international on-line auction sites like eBay.com are helping to establish higher prices for old  machined models, Mr. Dubin's sculptures put quality metalworking before an entirely new audience. This can't do anything but increase appreciation for the work of all model engineers.

More of Mr. Dubin's work can be seen at http://www.mechanamorphic.com. An article detailing his thinking and procedures was printed in the Sept/Oct 2000 issue of Australian Model Engineering. Mr. Dubin is also featured in the model engineering section of the Internet Craftsmanship Museum at www.CraftsmanshipMuseum.com

12. Dime-sized 14-cylinder Radial Engine Model by Augie Hiscano


76 parts make up this tiny engine model. Click on the photos to see enlarged versions.

Augie Hiscano is better known for his award-winning hotrod models, but he says he even amazed himself with this one. He was to display his work at a local Miami, FL vintage airline show, and felt that he should have a model of something that the showgoers interested in airplanes could identify. He decided to use his Sherline tools to build a tiny model of the engine from a DC-3. His friend and fellow modeler Bob Breslauer works with a company that commissioned the making of a million very tiny stainless steel hex-head bolts (0000-160 or 0.50 UNM) and hex nuts. Some were used in the construction of this model. Augie says he has about 80 hours in this model, and no, it doesn't run, but what a beauty.

You can see many more of Augie's projects in the model maker's section of the Internet Craftsmanship Museum at www.CraftsmanshipMuseum.com

13. Miniature grandfather clock by Frank J. Brad


All the wood parts of this miniature clock were made in Frank Brad's "confined" workshop. (Click on photos for larger images.)

You could say Frank J. Brad is a man with "time on his hands". He uses a Sherline 4400 lathe and Model 2000 mill to make parts for the 1/12 scale miniature clocks he builds. He has made several woodworking attachments for his machines including a drum sander and table saw attachment for bringing his raw exotic wood stock to size and thickness. All the parts were handmade except for the chains, chimes, pendulum motor and brass feet on the base. The dial, pendulum lyre and bob and the key escutcheon plate he has custom made by "outside" labor. It took Frank several years of saving to purchase the machines and the workspace he has to use it in would be considered "restrictive" at best. His craft shop is allotted about 12 square feet of space with a single work cabinet 6 feet long and 2 feet deep. This must hold all his tools, materials and projects and is lockable. Frank was kind enough to send these photos along with a very thoughtful and detailed letter about the working conditions under which they were built. I say this because Mr. Brad is currently serving a sentence in a prison in Rosharon, Texas, and he does his work in the prison craft shop. He is allowed to outfit his portion of the shop with his own choice of tools, and he chose Sherline because of the quality, versatility and compact size. He says that since the highly publicized prison break in Texas a while back his shop time has been more restricted, but he still uses his tools every chance he gets. He sells his work as his only income in prison and uses much of it to buy more tools to further his skills as a craftsman. If you wish to inquire about the purchase of some of his work, he is represented by Lady Jane Gallery in Parrish, Florida. See www.ladyjane.com or e-mail info@ladyjane.com. Mr. Brad expects to be leaving his present surroundings in less than two years and will be taking his tools with him to set up a shop where he will be free to pursue his skill to its fullest extent.

14. Ronald Melvin's compact workshop

In addition to the projects produced, many of you are interested in seeing how others with limited space set up a workshop in their homes. Canadian Ronald Melvin is a relative newcomer to small machining, but he really set up his small basement shop with organization and utility in mind. Notice also the attention to good lighting on the 5-foot long work surface. The small furnace room off the main shop also has an additional 3-foot work surface for rough work. (See photos 1 and 2.) His bench grinder is kept in the unheated garage to keep grinding dust out of the house, but a heated shop is a necessity for extended work during the cold Canadian winters. His first project was a PM Research steam engine, and he's now working on his second; a Little Angel hit 'n miss engine. With the help of expert friend Bill Huxhold, he is well on his way to completing a second beautiful engine while still a novice. Certainly the neatness and organization of his compact shop go a long way to helping him get a lot done in a small space. Below are some photos of his shop and some details of the Little Angel engine in progress. (Click on any of the small photos to see a larger image.)

Below are a couple of close-ups of the work in progress on Ronald's Little Angel engine. Details about how to order the plans for this nice engine and others designed by Bob Shores and appropriately sized for Sherline equipment can be found on the RESOURCES page on this site. Notice the nice quality of finish on all the aluminum and 303 stainless steel parts.


15. Turbine engine by Andy Paul

Twenty-six year old Andy Paul is fairly new to machining having owned his Sherline CNC setup only a year and a half before this project was built, but he jumped in with both feet, learning to use a Flashcut CNC system and Sherline tools at the same time. He didn't take on an easy project either. As you can see from the photos below, his turbine engine is both small and well made.

Besides his Sherline 4400 lathe, 2000 mill and rotary table, Andy's shop also includes a small metal cutting bandsaw, a home built spot welder, small drill press, a small slip roll, air compressor and blasting cabinet and a Dremel tool. Before buying these machines he had no knowledge of machining or CNC programming. He also purchased BobCAD/CAM which helped out immensely due to its simplicity. Andy says, "I had started out making parts of aluminum parts for R/C cars which became boring very fast. I wanted to make something dynamic that functioned on its own. I had no idea what I was in for! I slowly gathered or made many of the tools that would be necessary to build the engine. Things progressed from a crude looking, silly thing that only shot out big loads of flames, to the jet engine that I have now. Much of this time was just spent thinking or researching the project, and materials selection/procurement in small quantities (hard to do)." 

Andy is currently working on the wax molds for the turbine wheel and the Nozzle guide vane. The entire engine, including the molds and the fuel pump he designed were all built on the Sherline mill and lathe. He intends to release plans and a kit for the engine so that the average Sherline user will be able to make the engine. The kit will include any castings and CNC machined components that would be difficult or impossible for the average person to complete with simple tools, yet there will still be plenty of work left for the builder. (As soon as the kit is available it will be added to the "RESOURCES" page.)


(Click on any of the small photos above to see a larger image.)

16. Radio Controlled Ship Models by Andrew Green

Andrew Green of Halifax, NS, Canada used to work as a draftsman for real ships. He worked on plans for the QE2 while living in Scotland. He then moved to Halifax and worked on oil rigs until he retired. He built and sailed ship models as a child, and now that he has retired he can spend more time on his hobby of ship model building. Though these ships appear to be virtually museum quality in the level of detail they contain, keep in mind they are made to be put in the water and sailed, not just displayed. They are ballasted, powered by electric motors and filled with tiny lightbulbs that must make them a joy to see on the water at night. (Click on any of the photos below to see a larger image.)



The Centaur out of Liverpool is a twin screw diesel cargo passenger liner that did service between Australia and Singapore. It was owned by the Blue Funnel Line and built in Glasgow, Scotland in 1964. It could carry 190 passengers and 4500 sheep and travel at a service speed of 20 knots. The 481' ship was sold to the Chinese in 1985.

The model is 1/8" = 1' scale, which makes it about 5' long. It is plank-on-frame construction with 3/8" x 1/8" cedar planks over 1/4" plywood frames. The superstructure is 1/16" birch plywood. The deck fittings are brass and were machined on a Sherline lathe. It is powered by 6-volt electric motors and has a lighted  interior.


The Helenus is another Blue Funnel Liner but powered by three steam turbines with 15,000 shaft horsepower. It carried 30 first-class passengers and freight between the U.K. and Australia. It was built in 1949 in Belfast and was 498' long.

The model is 1/8" = 1' scale and is 5'-6" long. It is very heavy to handle because of all the ballast needed to bring it down to the waterline when under way. It is constructed similarly to the Centaur but with 1/32" thick birch planks on the hull. It is powered by a 6-volt motor and is awaiting the installation of radio controls. It features many interior electrical lights and brass deck fittings made on a Sherline lathe.


The St. Ninian was built in Dundee, Scotland for service as a passenger and general cargo ferry between Aberdeen and the Shetland Islands. It is 282' long, and is powered by twin screws. All cargo handling and docking is on the starboard side only.

The model is 3/16" = 1' scale and 4'-5" long. Like the others above it is made with plank-on-frame construction. It is powered by two electric motors with belt drive to the shafts. The cowl vents are commercially made, but the other deck fittings are custom machined from brass and aluminum. 

17. Machine Shop in a Box by R. W. Markgraf

Robert Markgraf of Roslyn, PA bought a Sherline mill and several accessories including the P/N 3200 indexing attachment. When he took it out of the box, he thought he had received a small lathe by mistake. After looking the accessory over, he decided that he could make it into a small jeweler's or watchmaker's type lathe with the addition of a few parts. He mounted the bed to a pipe column and base and then fitted the motor and speed control from his mill on the left end of the bed. He modified the tailstock to include a through spindle with a left-handed nut and mounted it on the right end. Then he added a rack gear to feed the carriage but also uses a leadscrew and split nuts to engage the carriage. By pulling out the knob on the carriage handwheel hub, the carriage can be controlled from the tailstock end. He also made a hinged T-rest for hand turning and mounted a dial indicator to show carriage movement.

What is most interesting about the project is how he packaged the lathe and all its accessories in a relatively small carry-around tool box. The box includes all chucks, drills, measuring tools, gravers and related parts to set up shop anywhere there is electricity. He didn't say what the box weighs, but he sure has packed a lot of utility into a small area. This would be a great vacation take-along took setup for those who don't like to leave their shop behind when they travel. For more ideas on working in small spaces, see the SHOPS page.

Click on any photo to see a larger image

This lathe started life as a Sherline P/N 3200 Indexing Attachment. R.W. Markgraf added a carriage and feed and modified the tailstock. He mounted the motor and speed control from his mill and set the whole unit on a single post mount like a traditional watchmaker's lathe.
Here the carriage is fitted with a compound slide. In the back you can see the dial caliper mounted to indicate carriage position.
Here the carriage is moved out of the way and a watchmaker's T-rest is fitted. The T-rest is hinged so it can be flipped out of the way for changing parts.
The lathe comes apart and the tailstock and motor/speed control unit are mounted to the base. The chuck also has a fitted compartment.
The wooden base with partially disassembled lathe is set in the tool box. Other components like a drill index, measuring tools and accessories are fitted into the compartments around the sides.
A tray containing more tools and accessories is set over the top and the box is closed up. This puts a lot of function in a very small package.
The closed tool box gives no hint of what is inside. With this setup you could take your hobby on the road with you just about anywhere there is electrical power to plug in to.

18. 1/25 Scale Model Projects by DL

DL is a professional welder who goes by the name of "rodburner" on the Internet. He is also a builder of very fine scale models. The first project shown below could almost be considered a "self portrait" in miniature. DL has created a diorama of a home hotrod shop, complete with welder working on a car. The detail is incredible, down to the puddle of transmission fluid leaking out of the tranny and the tools on pegboard on the wall. Even the electrical conduits and light switches are there. You can spend a lot of time enjoying the detail in these shots. In addition, some of his other fine modeling projects are shown in more detail.

Click on any photo to see a larger image

DL's hotrod shop in 1/25 scale. Note all the detail in the background on the walls and floor in addition to the nice car model. When prints of this picture are shown, most people don't recognize it as a model, but think it is a real shop.
1/25 scale self portrait? Here a welder (DL?) is working on the next hotrod frame.
Finished hotrod awaits the next Saturday night at the local dirt track. Note the puddle of transmission fluid leaking from the trannie in the foreground.
A picture sent in more recently shows a few items have been added to the shop, like the red motorcycle parked in the middle and the helmet on top of the hotrod.
DL's latest project is a "rat rod" in primer gray. This is an all-business hot rod of the old school with chopped top, stock rims and open headers. Speaking of headers, notice the details like the bluing of the chrome from the heat where the exit the heads. These are the kind of touches that give a model the look of reality in miniature.
1932 Ford roadster features custom touches like special taillights.
Note the full compliment of custom instruments on the dashboard and even the "brodie knob" on the steering wheel..
A top view shows the exhaust pipes and nice paint finish.
Under the hood, the 32 Ford sports a modern V8 engine with plenty of detail from plug wires to custom turned pulleys and air cleaner covers.
DL's latest hotrod engine features details like braided fuel lines and tiny throttle return spring.
Another view of the triple carbureted engine.
Nos bottles custom made for a customer's scale hotrod are not even as tall as a quarter.
A detail of the valve on the Nos bottle shows excellent workmanship no matter how close you look.
Here's a hotrod in the authentic tradition. Before show cars got carried away with chrome and neon, hotrods were made from chopped up bodies of discarded cars powered by big engines. Anything that didn't make a car go faster was extra...like paint. Primer black was just fine, as all the tinkering time was spent getting more power out of the engine.
DL captures the spirit of these early hotrods with this chop-top, shortened Ford pickup. The only concession to decoration is the racoon tail on the antenna, a popular item before bongos in the back window or fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror. That one small touch gives this car a unique personality.
Displaying another area of DL's talent, this shay looks ready to haul the lumber at the White River Lumber Company. The model is complete with engineer and fireman plus a realistic weathered finish that makes it looks like it's seen plenty of service.


19. Award winning model cars by Mark Jones

Here is Mark's award winning super-detailed Caterham Super 7. (Click photo for larger image.) Details of the car can be seen below.

I purchased a Sherline Lathe and mill and several accessories a few years back.  I had no real prior machining experience, but have taught myself how to use them partially thanks to ease of use of the Sherline products.  I have raised the bar for my own level of modeling and was pleased to win a first place award at the GSL model automotive show in Salt Lake City in 2001 as well winning the TamiyaCon that same year with a model I made many machined parts for.  The machined parts were the most commented on aspect of the model.  I have since refined my skills further and would like to share some photos of one my latest projects in your "Sherline Workshop".  I have digital pictures and here is link to an online photo album of it's progress.


To log in enter the password: Camaro

Then click on "Blue Seven" to see photos of the latest project.*

Thank you for making a wonderful product and providing great customer service, it has given me much pleasure over the years and happily I look forward to many new projects. 
Regards, Mark D. Jones

NOTE: Mark has since completed the "Blue Seven" and it went on to win "Best of Show" at a recent GSL show in Salt Lake City.

About the real Caterham

Arguably the most desirable Super Seven ever produced by Caterham Cars, (pronounced kay-ter-hm), the JPE (Jonathan Palmer Evolution) is the culmination of 36 years of Seven advancements.   Named for Formula One Grand Prix champion Jonathan Palmer who was the production advisor for it, a lightweight high-powered version of the already successful sports car, the JPE is the flagship of the Caterham line.

The original Lotus Seven was created by Colin Chapman and debuted at the London Motor Show in 1957.  Colin Chapman took advantage of an English tax law by making the Seven available as a kit. Heavy taxes were being levied on new cars, however an automobile kit was not subject to such high fines.  Easily assembled, with no special tools required, enthusiasts could acquire a competitive high performance sports/race car at a very affordable price.  Factory built Sevens were also available.  The design was improved over the years with the Series-2, Series-3 and Series-4 cars.  The refined Cosworth engined Series-4 Seven became known asSuper Seven.

In 1973 Lotus stopped producing the Seven due to their deep involvement in Formula One racing.  The small company of Caterham Cars was able to pick up the manufacturing and sales rights from Lotus and continue production of the Super Seven, keeping it alive and fine tuning it to this day.

In 1993 the JPE Super Seven was released.  It set the world record for acceleration from 0 to 60 MPH by a production built car.  Weighing only 1168 lbs. and making 250 HP, (compared to 1323 lbs. and 180 HP for a BDR Super Seven), the JPE has a power to weight ratio better than many high performance motorcycles.

More photos of Mark's Caterham plus a shot of a neat Mini-Cooper and the 2007 award winning "Superb 7"

(Click on photos for a larger image.) See the link in Mark's commentary for more photos of the parts and pieces of this model

The Caterham Super 7 evolved from the Colin Chapman's Lotus Super 7, which was designed to provide a bare bones, affordable, fast sports car. This is the model that won the awards mentioned above.
Here's a closer view of the engine in the second, red version Mark is making. Mark replaced many of the stock plastic parts with custom machined metal parts, which was one of the things that made his yellow model a winner over the others. Mark  feels the red car will be even better than the yellow one.
The interior features a carbon fiber dash inset with detailed instruments turned up from aluminum. The steering wheel was also custom made from aluminum. The wood grain look is achieved with paint.
There's nothing like the look of real metal. The brake rotors are fairly exposed in this car, so they add a real sense of strength and authenticity being turned from metal.
Mark turned this oil sump tank from aluminum. It is complete with fittings and anodized end cap. This is the kind of detail that separates a modeler from a kit assembler.
Another of Mark's models is a '95 Rover Mini Cooper S called the "Super Cooper" with removable top so you can see the interior detail. The basic Mini was first designed for economical transportation, but when Formula One ace designer John Cooper transformed it, it became a car of amazing performance potential for its size and price. Those who have driven them (Including Mark) describe them as a "go-kart with a roof." BMW now owns the Mini name and has just introduced a modern version of this car.
With the front end of the car removed, details of the 1300 cc fuel-injected engine can be seen. (This owner has boosted this already potent package with the addition of an aftermarket Nitrous Oxide system.) The Mini was the first car to place the engine sideways and use front wheel drive in order to maximize interior space; the layout now used in most modern cars. If you like old Mini's, buy or rent an old movie called "The Italian Job" starring Michael Caine. The cars are the real stars.
The fully plumbed and wired engine compartment in the finished model is shown with the dipstick partially removed.
Pull the dipstick out all the way and you get an extra bit of realismóthe oil level reads on the dipstick with real oil. To add to the realism, the oil is not quite perfectly clean, but "slightly used" so it looks like the engine has been run. This is the kind of detail that separates a winner from second place..
With the roof removed, interior detail can be seen. The steering wheel is machined from aluminum like the one on the Lotus above. The wood grain effect is achieved with paint. The kick plate on the passenger side floor was to help the passenger brace himself into his seat during "spirited" handling. The kit is offered only in right-hand drive, so Mark converted this one himself to left-hand drive for those of us in America who drive on the "wrong" side of the road.
Here is a picture of Mark's entries and their respective awards from the IMPS National Convention in Oklahoma City in July, 2003. Nine entries, thirteen awards including the George Lee Judges Grand Award Best Of Show. Quite a haul!
Mark is now working on a seventh model of the Lotus 7. It will include more detail and custom made metal parts than any car he has made in the past. In honor of the seventh seven, notice the custom seven-spoke aluminum wheels he has machined. They include valve stems with separate cores that move within the stem just like the real thing.
The scale nitrous bottle is  accurate down to a totally detailed, multi-part valve assembly. Mark makes the decals too. Notice the on/off handle has the same seven-flat pattern that is the theme of the seventh seven.

This completed car will include the removable dipstick that shows an actual oil level as was used on the Mini Cooper S above.

Here is the finished "Superb7" version of the Caterham. It won "Best in class," "Best Detail," "Best Interior," "Best of Show" and "Modeler's Choice" at the 2007 Greater Salt Lake model contestóthe nation's premier annual plastic car model show. Talk about a sweep! This is a truly remarkable accomplishment. Look closely at the detail in the model and you will see why. And calling this a "plastic model" is a bit of a misnomer with the abundance of custom machined metal parts it contains, but that kind of detail is what it takes to win contests these days.

20. Lathe modifications for threading with permanent riser blocks in place/Jim Knighton

Jim has made extensive modifications to his Sherline lathe including mounting it to a base made of aluminum channel with wiring hidden underneath, relocating the motor and mounting riser blocks permanently. Jim's setup includes a motor driven thread cutting setup plus a power feed among other things. Jim has prepared a number of photos and a detailed description as a .pdf document, so rather than try to duplicate it, we provide a link here so that you can get it straight from Jim.

CLICK HERE to download Jim's article

21. 1/12 scale gold plated racecar presentation models by Michael Dunlap

For the past 20 years, Michael Dunlap has been commissioned by the Good Year company to build a special model of the winning Winston Cup car for the season. That model is then presented to the driver or team owner at the awards ceremony at the end of the season. Now he has extended beyond NASCAR and is also making models of IndyCars for the Indy Racing League (IRL). Michael models the cars in extreme detail from metal parts. The parts are plated with 24k gold inside and out. All numbers and sponsor decals are represented by engraved lines on the surface. The beauty of these one-of-a-kind models speaks for itself. Take a look at the photos below of his most recent work.

Click on a photo to see a larger image.

Tony Stewart's Home Depot-sponsored. Joe Gibbs Racing car #20 won the 2002 Winston Cup Championship. This is the 1/12 scale model Michael made for Good Year to present to the winner.
Michael now makes 1/12 scale IndyCars too. This is Helio Castroneves' winning  Marlboro sponsored car from 2001.

22. Case Tractor Engine Project by Alvin Jeske

Retired minister and electrical engineer Alvin Jeske of Browerville, MN purchased a 1/16 scale ERTL Millenium Farm Classic Case Steam Traction model in November, 1999. The plastic and diecast metal model was nicely done, but Alvin felt he could remake the engine using machined metal parts so that it would both look better and would also operate on compressed air. Using a Sherline 4000 lathe and vertical milling column and some help from The Shop Wisdom of Rudy Kouhoupt book, he completed the job over a period of about six months. All parts were made from aluminum, brass, bronze, steel and a piece of radar waveguide. The completed engine replaced the ERTL non-functioning engine in the tractor model which acts as a very nice display for his engine project.

Click on any photo above to see larger version.

23. JewelryñTitanium and stone rings by Mark Stone

Mark Stone is a tool and die maker, a machinist and a machine designer. He also does his own lapidary work. He uses Sherline tools to make his jewelry, which combine both his metalworking and lapidary skills. In the letter accompanying his photos he said, "When I purchased the milling machine I was afraid that it might be too light and fragile to machine the titanium I planned to use. Enclosed please find pictures of jewelry which I have machined from solid titanium bars and sheet. The faceted stones are primarily cubic zirconia. The blue stone in the man's ring is lapis lazuli. I do my own lapidary work and the Sherline mill is very useful in making special tools."

Click on any photo above to see a larger version.

A simple project in Titanium...

This ring was not made by an expert jeweler like Mark Stone. I made it out of a 1" diameter bar of Titanium just to see what the material was like to turn. I have been wearing it constantly for over two years, so it's a little beat up, but it was fun and easy to turn. I found it cuts about like stainless steel when using inserted tip carbide tools. I used both TiN coated carbide and plain carbide and didn't notice a lot of difference between the two--both worked fine. I was warned not to let the chips pile up, as they can catch fire if ignited, much like magnesium. I found this to be a simple fun project, and whenever Titanium comes up in a conversation I have a sample with me. --Craig Libuse

24. Award winning model cars by Dirk Joseph

The days of being able to put together a plastic kit, throw a little paint on it and win a contest ended decades ago when Augie Hiscano first started raising the bar by custom fabricating metal parts for his models. Now the ability to make super-detailed parts from metal is almost a requirement for a winning modeler. One who has the ability to combine plastic and metal, kit and custom is Dirk Joseph. Below are some of his award winning miniature dragster creations.

Drag BikeóThis highly detailed and realistic drag attracted the attention of dragbike.com and was photographed for their web site. Some of the scoops and covers are removed for the photo and can be seen in the foreground.
Drag VWóVery bright yellow and loaded with details this VW dragster looks good from every angle. Note the carbs, linkages and pedals.
Hot PickupsóBoth blue, but one is a custom street convertible with forward-tilting hood and covered bed while the other is a dragster with a removable front end. A mirror beneath the street machine reveals some of the undercarriage details.

25. Model R/C truck axle by Michael Gegere

Mike's work on gatling guns is featured on the GUNSMITHING page in this site, but he also sent along these two photos of the truck axle and differential he built for his radio controlled monster truck. No plans or explanations were sent, but the project came out so nice we just thought you might like to see what it looks like. It's another good example of why people buy small precision machine tools.

The plastic ruler is just over 12" long. Click on either photo to view a larger image.

26. Live steam cab forward locomotive in progress by Dwight Ennis

Dwight Ennis purchased a new CNC mill and lathe and went to work on a live steam locomotive. While running on G-gage or 45 mm track, it is technically what they call Fn3, or 1:20.3 scale. (G is defined as 1:22.5 scale.) Dwight's web site chronicles in detail the construction of many of the parts. Links to video of it running and his continually updated site are provided in the text from Dwight below. Scales up to and including those that run on 45 mm track are appropriate for tabletop machine tools.

Dwight's unusual cab forward steam loco is seen in progress. The prototype is shown on the right. Dwight used his Sherline 2000-CNC mill and lathe to make many of the components. (Click on either photo to view a larger image.)

Here's the live steam locomotive I'm building. It's a model of North Pacific Coast #21, the world's first cab forward type locomotive, built in 1901 in the NPC's Sausalito, CA shops. (Yes, this ugly duckling actually had a prototype - hehehe.) I ran her for the first time last weekend at The Big Train Show in Ontario, CA. (June, 2007) She ran great!! A few video clips of her running can be seen at:


Some information on the protoype and a complete Builder's Log showing all the stuff I've done to get her to this point are at:


A photo from the Big Train Show in Ontario, CA that will give you an idea of the locomotive's size. Note that the cab hinges forward to provide access to the interior for filling the boiler and getting to the steam oil lubricator. (Click on photo to view a larger image.)

I used a 2000 mill to cut out everythingócab walls, main cab deck/running boards, parts to make the steps, pilot deckóthe works. I even used it to locate and drill the holes for the bell, handrail stanchions, and smokestack in the boiler wrapper before rolling it up. The smokestack was a commercial casting, but was modified on my Sherline lathe to more closely match the prototype. I have yet to make the spark arrestor on top, but that will also be shaped on the lathe. I have just started on the tender making the tender tank wrappers.

Best Regards,

Dwight Ennis


Dwight recently sent photos of the finished locomotive along with some additional construction details. He notes, "The vast majority of it was done on my Sherline CNC machines. All sheet metal was cut to outline and window openings cut out on the CNC milling machine, then bent or slip rolled as required. Rivets were located and "center punched" on the milling machine, though they were actually embossed manually using a miniature arbor press with specialized punch and die. Turned parts were done on my Sherline CNC lathe. Everything is low temp silver soldered together (pressurized steam and water lines are high temp silver solder for additional strength."

Photos show the completed, painted loco. (Click on any photo to view a larger image.)

27. Watch case and crown by Marc-AndrÈ Lemieux

Marc-AndrÈ Lemieux had the following to say in an e-mail that included photos of his work:

"I got a Sherline lathe and a Sherline mill a few months ago. I enjoy very much experimenting with them, and here is a watch case (including the crown) and a dial that I made using both tools. The mechanical movement was embellished with the help of the mill. The hands are done by hand and blued by heating. It's great fun!"

Click on either photo to view a larger image.

28. Animated Clocks and other Mechanical Artworks by Thomas Kuntz

Thomas Kuntz apologizes (unnecessarily) for being "a fraud as a machinist" who uses his Sherline tools to make the parts to animate some of his works of mechanical art. We beg to differ. It is no simple task to get this many moving parts to work together. He also makes some interesting points in his e-mail:

"Sherline tools offer many possibilities to artists as well as craftsmen. To me the artist now has so many tools available (that the old masters would have killed for!) that I don't understand why more people aren't using them to create. After all, who says an artist cannot use machine tools? I'm certain Leonardo would have loved to prototype his machines on Sherlines! In Leonardo's time in Italy artists were expected to be craftsmen as wellóto have "universal knowledge". This idea has been virtually forgotten today."

In his younger days Thomas built plastic models--but he didn't just build the kits, he super-detailed and aged them. The first photo is an image of the model made from the newspaper photo of an old junked F9F Navy Cougar fighter. The third photo is another shot of the diorama. (Click on any photo to view a larger version.)

Thomas goes on to say:

"As a kid I built a lot of plastic models. Much of it was scratchbuilding out of styrene and metal tubing because I liked to show the "guts". At that time  the world of machining seemed like something for people with really sharp math skills and lots of money. In hindsight I wish I would have started much earlier since there is so much to know. At 14 I was dragging around copies of  "scalemodeler" to the point where I would wear off the cover. Now my copy of Tabletop Machining is reminiscent of those old daysóvisually stimulating, not full of numbers and text only. It's my favorite machining book but it also has very interesting insights into how Sherline came to be. Yeah its worn..... like a favorite pair of shoes!

About 10 years ago I was working on a Unimat and I decided to give Sherline a try, but I knew little about the line. I bought a long bed lathe and was blown away at how well that little machine performed. the Unimat went up for sale a few days later! I have bought a mill and nearly all the accessories since. On a tip from Roger Ronnie I bought my first cnc piece of equipment the rotary table. WOW! Now a confession: I'm something of a fraud as a machinist. In truth I'm a professional artist. I have no training as a machinist, and I have TERRRIBLE math skills yet I have made my living doing sculpture for over twenty years. Being mostly operational on the intuitive side of the brain I was a little intimidated about diving into machining, but since I was a child I was fascinated but automatons, clockwork and the early Disney imagineering. I was DETERMINED to learn it all. I wanted to use sculptural animation as an art medium. That is what I now do most of the time .I also manufacture miniature sculptures of famous old silent horror film stars and oddities.

Photos of the "works" of the animated alchemist show the self-taught engineering and machining skills of Thomas Kuntz. This 9-foot tall animated sculpture features many movements and interesting artistic details. The final photo shows the clothed figure with some of the mechanical and electrical components that are hidden beneath the stage. (Click on any photo to view a larger image.)

I've included photos of my 12" tall alchemist. He lives and performs several different shows in a fully automated 9 foot tall clock tower/laboratory inspired by the Prague Orloj. Initially it was for my own showroom, but then Nike CEO Mark Parker (an avid patron of the arts) commissioned me to build a second one. I'm about a month away from finally delivering it. These pictures are "making of " pictures I thought you might get a kick out of. There's a lot more to it, but I thought you'd like to know the majority of the work was done on Sherline equipment with some hand graver turning on old Derbyshire 10mm lathes driven by Sherline motors and using Sherline made D collets and adaptors. You have no idea how welcome those D accessories are to me, and the motor system puts the old watchmakers Hamilton AC motors to shame."

Thomas Kuntz

To see more of his work, visit Thomas's own web site at www.artomic.com.

29. IC Testing Machine by Stephen Nelson

Stephen Nelson had the design of a particular machine in mind when he bought his first Sherline mill. He has completed the design shown below and it is now in use in his company automatically handles I.C.'s in an 8 pin SOIC package. Following is what he has to say about the project. Machines like this typically start at $60,000.00 and up, so Steven is off to a good start by making his own.

Components of Stephen's highly sophisticated IC testing machineóthree years in the design and building. (Click on either image to view a larger file.)

I attached a few pictures of my first project on a Sherline Mill (Model 2000). I don't know if it is the largest project made with one of your machines but it was definitely a major undertaking for a novice. The entire machine (Except the Thomson rods) were made using my Sherline mill. I haven't counted the number of components that were made to build it.

It is about 3 feet wide and 2 feet high. I spent over 2 years building it. I could only work on it when I had time. It was designed to handle 8-pin SOIC I.C.'s so that they could be tested. Although handlers for this part can be bought, I have always been disappointed with all the problems they have. The 8-pin part is especially a problem because it is square and even a small amount of rotation will cause a problem.

Some of the machined components are seen in the machine at left and some of the many parts that need handling on the right. This is quite a job to take on for a first project. (Click on either photo to view a larger image.)

This machine has proven to work very well. The key has been to pick the part up and place on the next section rather than letting it slide across the two surfaces with gravity. I have a business that tests these parts and it has proven to be a tremendous help. I have written a program in Pascal (DOS) that handles all of the programming overhead. I then write the cutting program inside of this shell and it outputs the G-Code. My G-code would not be interesting to your audience. Because of the quantity of different components that I had to make, the amount of G-code was enormous.

More photos of the completed machine. Though probably not something any viewers would wish to duplicate, it does demonstrate the kind of project that makes it worthwhile having your own in-house machining capability. Can you imagine what this would cost if you contracted it out? (Click on either photo to view a larger image.)

By the way, even the circuit boards were cut with the mill. I started with blank copper clad board. There are about 6 boards total that were made to custom fit the different sections. The main control electronics was wire wrapped. It was far too complex to cut using the mill. I use the mill for many things at my company. I am always in need of something being cut or I require a complex shape. I looked for a mill for a long time before I stumbled across your web site. Your machine was exactly what I was looking for, and the price was very reasonable. (Don't tell anyone but I would have paid more.)

--Stephen Nelson

30. Fossilized ivory guitar bridge pins/Mike Fleck

Mike Fleck of Fleck Guitars in Alaska sent photos of the beautiful guitar bridge pins he turns on his 4400 lathe. These are what hold guitar strings in place at the body end of the guitar just past the bridge. Normally they are made from plastic, wood or ivory, but these custom turned pins are turned from walrus tusk ivory that can be thousands of years old. The rare material, dug up by native Alaskans on St. Lawrence Island is also popular with scrimshaw artists, but it's natural beauty lends itself well to use on a high quality acoustic guitar. For more of Mike's work see http://www.fleckguitar.com/.

(Click on either photo above to view a larger image.)

31. Brass music box/Geoffrey Rhodes

These photos show the overall look of the gear driven music box. (Click on any photo to view a larger image.)

Geoffrey Rhodes sent these photos from England, where he purchased his Sherline equipment through Millhill Supplies. We agreed you would enjoy seeing this nice piece of work. Here's what he had to say in his accompanying e-mail:

"I thought you may be interested to see the attached pictures of a musical box which I have just completed using only Sherline tools. I have a lathe and a milling machine, and through the years I have purchased lots of attachments. I made a gear tooth profile on the end of a Sherline lathe tool which I then mounted in the fly cutter in order to cut the gears. I mounted the gear blanks (which I cut from a 2 inch diameter brass bar) in a holder which I made from mild steel and mounted this in the Sherline circular table on the mill. The transparent top of the musical box was cut from a sheet of Perspex and then turned in the lathe using a spacer below the headstock. It is the maximum diameter I could get into the lathe."
Yours sincerely
Geoff Rhodes

Details of the gear mechanism. (Click on any photo to view a larger image.)

Another Project under way by Geoff Rhodes

This MG J2 is a project in progress. However, Geoff's main interest was in the engineering of the chassis and working components and he is still deciding if he wants to cover it up with bodywork. It already looks pretty nice just the way it is. With many model engineering projects the hard part is knowing when to stop. (Click on any photo to view a larger image.)

32. Sherline Table Saw Attachment/Carl Hammons


Carl's prototype table saw attachment features a tilting table and even a blade guard. (Click on any photo to view a larger image.)

Over a decade ago, the late Carl Hammons, Joe's long-time partner in Sherline Products made a prototype for a table saw attachment with the idea of possibly adding it to the accessory line. Carl's design was a nice one, but it was determined to be too expensive to make for the small potential market that was seen for it. A complete imported benchtop table saw could probably be purchased for what Sherline would have to charge for such a specialized accessory. The original is still on display in Sherline's lobby, but once you see how it was done, perhaps you will want to make a similar one for your own lathe.

Dimensions and Description

The table itself measures 6-5/8" x 8" x 3/8" thick aluminum plate. The blade is a Dremel 4" #8004 sawblade rated for 10,000 RPM. The blade is spaced out from the headstock with a special 2-1/8" long mandrel that Carl made. The table has a 1/2" wide groove to accept a push guide with a rotateable head that can be angled. In addition, an edge guide made from 1" x 1" aluminum clamps to the table using a thumbscrew. Under the headstock is a custom riser block that is 1-1/4" thick with keyway slots matching the standard riser block. A Sherline headstock pivot pin (P/N 12990) is used in the riser block, and a 5/16-18 x 3/4" long cone point set screw (P/N 40540) is used in the riser to attach to the lathe pivot pin. Unlike on the 1297 riser block, the pivot pin is offset from the lower pin. The side plate with the radius groove for setting table angle is 3/8" thick. Two offset bushing assure the table rotates smoothly when the single locking screw is loosened. The vertical pin that holds the optional blade shield is attached to the back of the riser block.

The additional photos below will give you some more details, but there are probably some features you will want to make your own.

The second photo shows the headstock removed so you can see the offset pin and the saw blade arbor. In the last photo the table is removed. It is held to the vertical tilting support using three 10-32 socked head cap screws. The moveable edge guide can also be seen on the table. (Click on any photo to view a larger image.)

33. Super-detailing a 1/20 Tamiya McLaren F1/Tom Castermans


The finished model (without bodywork) has many custom metal details machined on Tom's Sherline lathe and mill. The second photo shows the presentation in Holland that won a gold medal. (Click on either photo to view a larger image.)

Ayrton Senna's McLaren MP4/8 - GP Of Australia 1993ó1/20 Scale

Tom Castermans of Belgium is one of the many who like to take the high quality Tamiya plastic kits and use them for a basis for a far more detailed finished model. After replacing almost everything but the bodywork and basic engine components with custom made plastic and metal parts, the model come pretty close to being scratch built. This model won a gold medal at the IPMS show in Holland recently.

Above are more details of the custom components. (Click on any photo to view a larger image.)

Tom says, "This McLaren was Ayrton Senna's last. The version is the Australian GP one, which means different aerodynamics. After more than 600 hours, the only kit parts left are the wheels, the body parts, engine and gearbox casing. All other parts are home made using lathe and mill and home made PE parts."

He also used Tenco Proto 'Scale Weave', Tenco Proto flexible wire, Tenco Proto 'Scale Fabric' and Top Studio connector sets.


More details can be seen above. (Click on any photo to view a larger image.)

34. Miniature vintage woodworking tools/John Maki

John has created a large selection of miniature tools. Here they are displayed in front of a full-size vintage plane for size reference. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

A few weeks ago John Maki and his wife came by to tour both Sherline and the Craftsmanship Museum. He left us a CD containing photos of some of his work. You can also see and learn more about his work at his own site at http://minitool.blogspot.com/.

John usually starts with a full-size vintage tool purchased on eBay or at a show that he uses as a model. From that he does detailed CAD drawings of each piece. The fit and function of each piece can also be observed so it can be duplicated in miniature. Some of the parts are then milled using CNC, and some are made manually using hand tools plus a manual Sherline lathe and mill. Because Johnís main concern is the collection of miniature tools, the full-size tool is often re-sold on eBay or elsewhere once it has served its purpose, but he has saved a few of his favorites so that they can be displayed with the miniature for comparison.

A selection of miniature planes on a handsome display box. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

John uses an assortment of fine hardwoods, ivory, steel and brass in his miniature creations. They are complete down to the miniature engraved numbers and makerís marks or logos. He has done all sorts of tools including planes, saws, measuring tools and engraving tools. While many collectors spend their time searching for pieces that others have made, John prefers to create his own slice of tool history in miniature by making each piece in his collection himself.

His shop tools consist of a band saw, small table saw, planer and Sherline machine toolsóA 4400-DRO lathe, a 540-DRO mill and a 2000-CNC mill running on Flashcut CNC software and using BobCad for developing the drawings and g-code. Note below the well lit work area and pleasant working environment.

John's shop. The computer to run the CNC mill is just out of the photo to the left on a small desk with the keyboard and monitor. The Craftsman tool chest below the work surface offers both support and storage for tooling. When working on miniatures, it doesn't take a big shop to contain all the tools you need. (Click on photo to view a larger image.)

Click on any of the photos below to view a larger version of the image.

A French coachmaker's plow plane in full size and miniature   A Norris style smoother
A Wedge-arm plow plane in full size and miniature   A set of brass and ivory plumb bobs
A full-size and miniature Engraver's ball   A Spiers miter plane with dovetailed sole plate.
A miniature Henry Disston and Sons rip saw, the original of which came from Philadelphia, PA   A plow plane with brass thumbscrews and other brass details
A French Drill with beveled gears and hand crank. A plate at the end of the handle allowed the user to lean his chest on the drill to apply extra pressure to make the cut go quicker.   An Ultimatum brace made in ebony and brass.

An Erlandsen ivory spool bow drill in full size and miniature.


To see more of John Maki's tools, visit his web site at http://minitool.blogspot.com/

35. 1/2 Scale Briggs & Stratton "Y" Engine/George Baisz

The full size original Briggs & Stratton engine in the foreground provided the dimensions and part shapes for George's 1/2 size working model in the background. (Click on photo to enlarge.) All photos: George Baisz

A few years ago at the NAMES show in Toledo, George Baisz brought some pieces of an engine he was working on to the Sherline booth. He told us he was working on modeling a Briggs & Stratton engine at 1/2 scale, and the first parts looked really nice. I asked him to keep us posted on the progress of the engine and he has done so, sending in a few pictures here and there as parts were completed. Now the project is completed, so we would like to present a series of photos of the construction so you can see the parts and some of George's setups.


Photos 1-4 show the block and head in place, a detail of the outside of the head, a part being made on the Sherline mill and the cavities in the underside of the head being machined. (Click on any photo to view a larger image.)

Photos 5-8 show a continuation of the machining of the underside of the head plus a photo of the finished head next to the full-size prototype.  Next comes the gear teeth on the cam gear. The last photo shows the finished cam gear and camshaft next to the real thing. (Click on any photo to view a larger image.)

To build the model engine George purchased a rusty, old engine for two dollars at a swap meet. It wasn't worth restoring, but it was complete and gave him the parts he needed to measure and duplicate at 1/2 size to make the model. The Briggs & Stratton "Y" engine was built in the 1930's and was used to power wash machines, water pumps and later on many found their way into kids' go karts. George beefed up the kick starter a little so it would stand up to being used at 1/2 size, because he likes to run the engine often at shows. George has built hit-n-miss, steam and other types of  engines as well.

Photos 9-11 show a valve being cross-drilled, a partially completed valve and a completed valve with spring and keeper assembled. (Click on any photo to view a larger image.)

Photos 12-15. Photo 12 shows the camshaft being milled. The next two photos show the assembled block, cylinder and head, while the last photo shows the sheet metal engine cover in place and primed for paint. (Click on any photo to view a larger image.)

Photos 16-19 show the finished 1/2 size engine next to the original prototype. It is accurate down to the scaled decals. A small fuel tank is mounted to the wooden base. (Click on any photo to enlarge.) All photos: George Baisz

George will be bringing the finished engine with him to the NAMES SHOW this April in Detroit. We will try to get some additional photos of it (in focus!) and post more details and perhaps a video clip of it running. George reports that as of March, 2010 the engine is a little hard to start, but it has been run about 10 times so far and runs really well. It even sounds like a Briggs & Stratton!

36. Elk antler pocket watch cases and wooden pens/George Grower

Chuck Grower of Chuck's Custom Pens, watch necklaces and Pocket Watches in Coalville, UT cuts some rather unusual materials with his Sherline lathes and mill. He makes many of his cases and holders from antler as well as from exotic woods and Corian. His lathe is fitted with a riser block kit P/N 1291. Two P/N 7600 3/8" tool posts sit atop a special riser block on the crosslide table. The riser is only 1" high, because Chuck has fitted an extra long 8" crosslide table that is made from mill table extrusion, so it is an extra 1/4" thick. Chuck sells the elk antler watch necklaces for $125.00 (as of 11/11) if you care to write him at 229 Icy Springs Road, Coalville, UT 84017.

Chuck's shop is seen in the first photo. The second shows a setup to hold a piece of Elk antler to make a holder into which a pocket watch will be inset. The third photo shows the tooling he uses to bore out the hole for a pocket watch and then put in a thin groove for a snap ring to hold it in. (Click o either photo to view a larger image.)

Mr. Grower is a retired machinist toolmaker from upstate New York who now lives in Utah. About 3 years ago he purchased a used 1973 model 4000 series Sherline lathe and started making pens. He now owns two new 4400-series lathes in addition to the 4000 as well as a Sherline deluxe milling machine.

(Left) Elk Antler pocket watches are seen from the front. (Right) The rear view shows that Chuck uses coins to fill the access hole used for chucking up the slice of antler stock. (Click on either photo to view a larger image.)

Chuck's old 4000 lathe is fitted with a pen mandrel to turn pen bodies from exotic materials. On the right are a few of the pens he has made from antler and corian. Also shown is a zebrawood watch necklace. (Click on either photo to view a larger image.)

37. Cutting a tiny watch escape wheel/Jerry Kieffer

Extremely tiny watch parts can be made on Sherline tools, but sometimes special techniques are required. Magnification of the tool and work using a mill-mounted microscope (P/N 2127) is almost a requirement when working on parts this small and intricate. Jerry Kieffer is an expert at making very small parts, and he explains here how he went about it.

A replacement watch escape wheel with center pinion is seen resting between pennies for size scale. A specially ground stone is used for one of the final operations. See below for the sequence of producing these shapes. (Click on photo to view a larger image.)

ìOver the years and again recently I have occasionally been asked how I cut watch escape wheels. Rather than give a long explanation each time, I thought I would explain a recent example here to refer to in the future. Hopefully it will also be of some interest to others.

I was recently asked to repair a Swiss "Huguenin" 18L pocket watch. To make a long story short, it had two busted escape teeth due to a poor repair procedure in the past. Surprisingly, there was no other damage. Even though it was a higher grade movement, it would not normally warrant this type repair effort. However, in this case it had a military inscription to a known individual and required repair with cost being of little concern.

When planning a job such as this, I take great effort to place myself at an advantage regarding cutting tool visibility, accuracy and efficiency.

The first concern when cutting a wheel such as this is the arbor and wheel blank. Because of the size (.270" or 6.85mm dia.), I do not use an arbor or wheel blank. Instead, I machine the wheel on the end of solid stock that also allows me to part off extra wheels. I find I can machine small wheels more accurately with this setup because it is far more rigid. In this example the teeth were machined .100" long allowing three wheels to be parted off in the lathe when machining was completed.

For Horological wheel and pinion cutting, I no longer use anything other than an appropriate size milling machine. Their simple setup, accuracy and efficiency are unequaled for this type work.

For indexing, a rotary table was selected over direct indexing because of its many advantages. The rotary table allows for highly controlled and accurate positioning of a wheel tooth in relation to a cutter. Once in position, indexing can begin at that point. In addition, slight corrections in position can be made at any time and indexing can resume at that exact position. For this setup the rotary table was center positioned at the rear of the mill bed facing forward. This allows the wheel blank face to also face forward directly behind the cutter. This in turn allows for maximum cutter visibility by eye or microscope. The general arrangement can be seen in the first attached Photo. (Sorry about the photo quality but will give the general idea.)

For monitoring the cutting process, a spindle head-mounted microscope is used. By mounting on the spindle head, the scope remains in sharp focus while tracking the cutter tip. If not head-mounted it is very difficult to keep the scope in sharp focus with a moving cutting tool, especially at higher powers where focus is far more sensitive. In addition, the scope can be rotated to the side for easy tool access while remaining in focus.

Photo 1 (Click on photo to view larger image.)

When setup as in the first photo, the first cut on the face of the blank is made with the side of an End mill. By rotating the blank against the side of the rotating end mill, a small centered stub is machined on the end of the blank. This stub is sized to fit the center hole of the original escape wheel. The wheel is then placed over the stub. This allows the cutters to be very accurately positioned using the old wheel as reference under microscope observation. No measurements are required when using this procedure. Cutter position accuracy is really amazing at 30x and higher. Cutter tip axis control and R/T rotation control make alignment simple, easy and highly accurate.

Photo 2 (Click on photo to view larger image.)

The position of the cutter for the first cut can be seen in the second photo. The wheel shown is one of the extra wheels that was parted off. It is shown on the outer edge of a US quarter for size comparison. The cutter is, of course, not in the exact location for a cut but shows the general location for the cut. This cut removes more metal than the others so it is made first. This simple cutter was machined as a single point cutter and hardened for use. It was the only special cutter required for cutting this wheel. Cutter speed was about 500 RPM. The rest of the cuts were done with a standard .022" solid carbide end mill. Carbide was selected so that cutting fluid would not be required, allowing chips to be cleared with a constant flow of air. This allowed clear vision of the cutting process at all times. Cutter speed was about 2500 RPM.

Photo 3 (Click on photo to view larger image.)

The third photo shows the end mill location for the second cut. It was done while maximum strength was still left in that area.

Photo 4 (Click on photo to view larger image.)

The fourth photo shows the third cut positioning. Once completed, an additional smaller cut was made to remove the remaining metal in that area.

The rotary Table was rotated slightly before this cut was made to get a slight radius to match the original wheel.

Photo 5 (Click on photo to view larger image.)

The fifth photo shows the position of the final cut using the side of the End mill.

Photos 6 and 7 (Click on photo to view larger image.)

When the wheel was parted, a single light swipe with a very fine miniature stone blended the cut overlap and completed the contour.

At this point the rotary table is placed flat on the mill bed with the face of the cut wheel pointing straight up. This allows the crossing of the wheel to be done with a small end mill while rotating the R/T and moving the slides as require under microscope observation. Sharp corners are touched up with a small needle file if required.

Once parted, the wheels are then placed in a machined exact fit WW pot collet where the center hole is drilled/bored. Boring the collet and then the center hole assures centered arbor mounting. The sample shown, of course, was not used and was never center bored.

From start to finish this job took about three to four hours as I recall. That does not include phone calls, walking the dog etc. In this case the wheel functioned perfectly without any modification other than final polishing.î

óJerry Kieffer

38. 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 http://groups.yahoo.com/search?query=sherline)  A 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.

  1.  2.  3.  4.

1. and 2. The finished scroll saw is seen from each side.

3. The Sherline power unit and belt drive.

4. 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 www.shipmodelersdesktop.com.

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