No THAT Monster

Here I will share some thoughts regarding Sherline milling machines.

First, Sherline mills are great machines.

  • Almost unbeatable price/quality.
  • Compact and lightweight.
  • Lots of accessories and even a cnc kit.

Second, these are nice machines, but not perfect. It seems most users are happy with their Sherline’s, but pointing most obvious weaknesses it’s healthy.

  • Weak column. A 10mm thicker column would be great.
  • Short throat. You need two spacer blocks on the headstock to be able to use the full Y travel.
  • No provision for delrin nuts.
  • Annoying motor location (inherited from the lathe, obviously).
  • No leadscrew/ways protection out of the box.
  • Gib system (it seems I’m the only one that hate the gib system, so ignore this).

Third. I think the “monster mill” philosophy it’s wrong. Basically, and this is my personal opinion, extending every axis and changing to ballscrews it’s not worth nor advisable. May be extending X axis and putting to ballscrew on Z axis, but a full monster mill it’s really ugly to me. I should also say that I prefer model  5000 over 2000, but I don’t think 2000 model be a bad deal.

So this:

column-headstock_2And still a lot of work ahead.

UPDATE: We are in 2015 and Sherline has a lot of new products and enhacements. Now they have a nice ways cover and a big spacer to give more throat.

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  1. Hi

    I love my Sherline 5400 but the whole base is replaced by the cast iron-cross vise. I need a stronger, bigger machine table for bigger vise. The original base is reserved for longer jobs. Also I intend to make a knee mill using Sherline headstock only.

    The plastic gib is good for y axis only, better grip for steel milling. The other axis I changed to brass gib as well as the Sherline lathe carriage.

    Both mill and lathe are fixed with low speed high torque pulleys also.

    Steve Wan (Singapore)

    1. Interesting. You machined brass gibs with the same tapered shape? To me It seems hard to achieve perfect fitting with these double-tapered gibs. Please note also I mixed up models in the original text; 5000 it’s the more rigid and better to me.

      1. Make a brass gib like the ones used for lathe tailstock.
        To do this u need to machine 90 degrees to each carriage where the plastic gib is located. Drill and tap a few holes to place set screws which will push the brass gib to tighten. Havent tried yet but it may wear aluminum faster…

        Also instead of sherline’s crappy coupler which always loosens, make a direct coupler that connects motor and leadscrew.

        Another upgrade i can think of is replacing sherline lead screw with bigger diameter lead screw with more than 1mm pitch, which is a total pain in the ass!

        1turn = 1mm….. Wtf lol

        Maybe 1turn = 3mm ?… I wish

        I think these upgrades will bring up the rigidity 3 times..

        1. Moving from tapered to straight gib is something that had cross my mind several times. Regarding motors couplers, I have had no issues, at least up to this time (my cnc experience is rather limited anyway). I don’t see 1mm pitch as a problem; more pitch would yield more speed but requires bigger motors; I guess it depends on what you are trying to do.

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