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  • Topic: Recommendations on purchasing Sherline mill

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    • April 18, 2017 11:57 AM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Recommendations on purchasing Sherline mill

      OK, the time has come to buy a small mill. Just for odd stuff. I have something small and expensive I want to machine, and my little Unimat 3 is probably not up to the job.

      Looking at the Sherline (yes I know there is other cheaper stuff), I can see various options, and I figure I need at least the one fitted for CNC, but probably not the package where they sell me a computer too, have plenty of those.

      There appears to be 3 different "sizes" of the mills, and also there's the CNC options.

      Anyone have a recommendation on models/packages and also options.

      Please do not suggest an alternative product, Sherline is about 1 mile from here, and yes I will go there and get their recommendation too, but I want unbiased advice.

      So any advice on Sherline and/or CNC gotchas, good software, things to avoid would be appreciated.

       

      Thanks, Greg

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    • April 18, 2017 1:13 PM EDT
      • Burbank, CA
         
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      Greg,

      As you probably know, I was a CNC mill/MasterCam programmer in my previous life as a forging die sinker. Definitely go with Sherline and don't cut corners on the options for CNC. A lot of this can get "down in the weeds" and not sure if it should be discussed here. But if you like you could email me and we can discuss the various ways to go with this. 

      You might want to contact Dwight on MLS as he has a Sherline CNC mill and built most of his cab forward and his 1-1/2 inch live steam American with his Sherline.

       

      Video to whet your appetite:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vw5e_6yaVTw

      This post was edited by Gary Armitstead at April 18, 2017 4:14 PM EDT
    • April 18, 2017 2:57 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      I thought Dwight went to a larger mill, I'll call him.

       

      Thanks Gary... and I think we can discuss it as much as we want here, but I forgot there is a tools forum, maybe I should have the thread moved.

       

      I'm going over to Sherline today at lunch to ask a few questions... although I'm afraid to take my checkbook, impulse buyer!

       

      Greg

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    • April 18, 2017 5:08 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Update, Dwight has a Sherline, and made his G scale live steamer with it.

      He did go to a larger mill to make his 1-1/2" stuff

      I went to Sherline, and I'm a bit more broke, but my new CNC ready mill should be ready this afternoon.

      Boy do I love instant gratification.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

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    • April 18, 2017 8:44 PM EDT
      • Burbank, CA
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:

      Update, Dwight has a Sherline, and made his G scale live steamer with it.

      He did go to a larger mill to make his 1-1/2" stuff

      I went to Sherline, and I'm a bit more broke, but my new CNC ready mill should be ready this afternoon.

      Boy do I love instant gratification.

       

      Greg

      Awesome! Hope you got the 12 inch base :). I believe the 18 inch base wasn't an option for a CNC retrofit. Are they using the Mach II software or something newer now? I know Dwight found the Mach II software to be very intuitive and easy to work with. Congrats on the new CNC mill :)!

      This post was edited by Gary Armitstead at April 18, 2017 8:52 PM EDT
    • April 18, 2017 8:47 PM EDT

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      Greg,

       

      Now the fun begins... Thing about this kind of equipment is the need for more! The initial cost of the machines is only the beginning, accessories and tooling surpassed the original price of mine Sherline equipment probably 3:1. These are great machines IMO, but have their shortcomings too.

       

      Which model mill did you buy? Did you get the full meal deal with steppers, power supply and 3/4 axis driver board?

       

      Michael

    • April 20, 2017 1:51 PM EDT
      • Strattanville, PA
         
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      Looks like fun Greg! I checked out their site. Looks like they are running Linux and EMC2 now.

      Gary, Mach is up to 4 now. That's what I'm using on my mill.

      Also interesting that they are still using steppers and not servos. Do you know if it is a closed or open loop system? Let us know what you got how you like it and any other fun tid bits.
      ____________________________________

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    • April 21, 2017 12:57 AM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Yep, I'm going Mach4.... ordered yesterday

       

      Greg

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    • April 21, 2017 2:08 PM EDT
      • Santa Ana, CA
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:

      Yep, I'm going Mach4.... ordered yesterday

       

      Greg

       

       

      Isn't it a free download?  I downloaded mine (maybe Mach 3) for free.

    • April 21, 2017 3:20 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Limited demo version. Also can run in simulation mode with no machine connected.

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
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    • April 21, 2017 3:42 PM EDT
      • Santa Ana, CA
         
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      I have the free download for Mach 3 and it runs the mill and lathe fine.

       

      There are a few more restrictions over the $ version, such as the number of lines of code you can input and you can't pause and continue from that point on afterwards, but they have never been in the way.

    • April 21, 2017 4:55 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      For the investment in the Sherline, the cost of the software is a pittance. These guys aren't getting rich, I don't mind steering some $$ their way and there will be no surprises when I get near the limits of the free version.

      So far everyone involved has bent over backwards to help and support me, so I don't mind returning the favor.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

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    • April 21, 2017 5:47 PM EDT
      • Burbank, CA
         
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      Greg,

      A question for you........will your mill be a full function three axis (XYZ)? Th reason I ask is that when I watched a couple of Sherline's demo videos, it looked as though the "operator" was moving the quill manually. There is a rotary axis accessory, correct?

      I'm very anxious to hear how your learning experience goes with your new mill :).

    • April 21, 2017 6:37 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Yep, it already is 3 axis, and I will probably add the rotary indexing head to it later. The motion electronics I have will take 4 drives.

      I think the rotary axis is about $600 or $700... . I am almost salivating at the possibility to make gears easily.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
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    • April 22, 2017 10:40 AM EDT

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      Greg,

       

      The 4" rotary table is invaluable IMO. I've used it to make small parts in the horizontal plane many-many times. Sherline also offers an Indexing Attachment, I haven't had the need to make gears thus far. Sherline equipment has served me well.

       

      Michael

    • April 22, 2017 1:50 PM EDT
      • Santa Ana, CA
         
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      Actually, I find the toughest thing is how to hold your "work" securely without scarring it.

       

      This is where creativity is necessary.  Invest in some good forms of clamping and leveling mechanisms.

    • April 30, 2017 9:48 AM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Well, got the Mach4 controlling the unit. The mill, the usb interface and the software all have independent instructions, and they all "conspire" to make a system that does not work.

      I'll be posting the recipe for success on my site. Anyway the support from dPP engineering was great, just 2 emails solved the problem, which was basically being provided with the wrong drivers and configuration.

       

      Now I need some tools. While the system is provided with a holder that uses a setscrew to hold a 3/8 mill, it also comes with a 1/8", 3/16" and 1/4" collets.

      I need a mill that is about 1 mm, so I'm figuring I want to use the smallest collet here.

      Where's a good place to buy quality mills? I don't want K-Mart or Nieman Marcus, but Nordstrom is ok, better to use good tools that are a bit more expensive for me.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • April 30, 2017 1:50 PM EDT
      • Southwestern, NH
         
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      Greg,

      Try MSC Supply. this is where industry buys its tools. they offer several grades quality levels for most cutting tools. https://www.mscdirect.com/

      By the way, which mill did you purchase? it was not immediately evident.

       

      Thanks

       

      Al P.

    • April 30, 2017 2:43 PM EDT
      • Santa Ana, CA
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:

       

      I need a mill that is about 1 mm, so I'm figuring I want to use the smallest collet here.

      Where's a good place to buy quality mills? I don't want K-Mart or Nieman Marcus, but Nordstrom is ok, better to use good tools that are a bit more expensive for me.

       

      Greg

      MSC has but eleven 1 mm mill bits listed.  Suprise..., only $92.20 to $124.14 each!  

       

      And they it only fit a few sizes of metric collets.  No idea what collets you would use.

       

      Also, I would recommend that until you are familiar with your machine, you hold off on the very thin mills, because it is very easy to break if you "crash" the tool, or even try to go too fast/too deep.

       

      https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/91164418

       

      https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/91164335

       

      BTW, once you purchase from MSC and get on their e-mailing list, they have regular specials, often 30% or more off with free shipping.

      This post was edited by Todd Brody at April 30, 2017 3:52 PM EDT
    • April 30, 2017 9:57 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      My adventures on mills is on my web page:

      https://elmassian.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=718:lathes-and-mills&catid=39&Itemid=1104

       

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

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