Leadscrew/Ways Cover

A cover for the Sherline mill it’s a must if you wish your mill last. This is the typical “accordion” cover, a very practical solution actually:

Now here’s the leather/delrin cover I actually use. Tough not pretty, a good thing about it is that it allows easy access to X axis lock screw (something that I use a lot).

leather_cover-01leather_cover-02And here’s the new cover for my modified Sherline cnc mill:

sherline leadscrew covercnc_cover-02A bit radical but effective and easy to clean (I hope). I will comment the whole design once completed.

Now, the next things I need to tackle will be anti-backlash nuts and column mount.

Finishing my CNC controller

Ok, I know I said I would start this several months ago. But the fact is that I’m beginning just now… and the first task I need to accomplish is to finish my long-delayed cnc controller.


I build this thing around three years ago. The chassis (11″x9″x3″) was a from an old optical reader; I love it, it’s very high quality (it’s nice to bring new life to scratch). The motor drive was the STK672-050, a Sanyo 3.0 Amp unipolar stepper drive. I did use 6 pin mic connectors, they are pretty cool. I got the 5 volt supply from a cell phone charger. Currently It’s a 3 axis controller, but there’s room for another axis if needed.


Please note I’m aware that bipolar driving are the preferred choice for cnc equipment, but I’m confident this will do the work. Supposedly one advantage of unipolar over bipolar driving is better torque at higher speeds (look here). My choice was driven mainly by availability of this driver years ago. Now chinese TB6560AHQ red boards seems to be a better option (after reading this, I realize first generation boards where a pain in the ass); in fact, I plan to order one of these for backup and/or testing.


This controller works very well (fast movement, not strange* noises, hard to burn), but I need to remake the pcbs due to a positional error, and after that, I need to mount the heatsinks and finish some details. So I need to start cutting some pcb board… guess have the perfect tool for this :D.

* No strange noises, but the typical noise when idle.

CNC lathe limit switch and other things

I’ve been busy so there’s nothing new to show at the moment (this will change soon).¬† So in the meanwhile here are some old pics of the ongoing manual lathe to cnc convertion. I start this project with used Sherline parts (a not well cared bed, headstock and tailstock I bought on ebay).

– Using the manual lathe to drill to motor mount holes on the bed. I use some custom made aluminum blocks to raise the bed to the required height.

– Adapting the leadscrew thrust.

– A custom made nut to fix preload nut (I think this is better than glue). Please note that I bought cnc motor mounts only, not the full upgrade kit, so I must adapt the leadscrew also (this was a bit tricky).

– Making a limit sensor. Sure, this is not required, but it’s handy and nice to have. I use delrin and some floppy drive sensors.

– Limit flag and mount for the Z axis.

– A better flag. I hate this way of cutting metal sheet, but didn’t had the table saw at this point. I use scrap sheet metal from a pc case.

РFull assembly  of the limit sensor.

That is. May be a fixed sensor on the rear would be a better idea, but nevertheless this limit sensor works very nice. I must admit homing the lathe has something hipnotic.

Stand-by project revival

Ok, now that I have a mini table saw, a low profile vise and horizontal milling capabilities, I can continue working on my Sherline cnc lathe, specifically on the telescopic cover (I hate all those chips on the ways, and I hate having to clean them). Already had a design and some parts done.

As more machines means more space, I did some cleaning on my shop and leave only the most used tools on the table; 95% of the time I use the same accesories and tools, so It doesn’t make sense waste scarce table space on things I don’t use very often.