Jump to content
Model Cars Magazine Forum
2zwudz

Looking for recommendations on a bench top milling machine.

Recommended Posts

I’m looking for recommendations for a bench top milling machine to machine engine parts for my models?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.sherline.com/

Great product, great support. Large range of accessories.  U.S. based.  But pricey compared to the Chinese tools.  I owned Sherline lathe/mill for over 30 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, I agree with peteski!  Sherline is the cadillac in this genera.  I have had their lathe and mill for probably 15 years now and you couldn't pry it out of my shop.  Of course I am a bit spoiled as the factory is about 30 minutes away.  Any time I need either a part or advise, I head over there.  Very friendly folks!  They have no problem talking to anyone about all things machining. Got a problem you can't figure out?  Call one of their master machinists and they will help. There support staff is exceptional and very approachable.

Yes, they are a little pricey but worth it. My favorite stories about them involve two accessories.  The first is the ball end cutter.  It was originally designed for an ophthalmic surgeon to help them make prosthetic eyes.  Yup, it is that precise! 

The second it their rotary table.  I ran into an issue with clearance when using it on the tilt table.  The turning screw ran into the head stock on my mill and limited the clearance I had for making a very small part.  I went over and asked them if they could make one that had the screw on the other side for additional clearance.  You can now get either a "left" or "right" screw turntable   https://www.sherline.com/product/3700-op-4-reverse-rotary-table/  

Oh and if you are ever in the neighborhood, you must go the the Joe Martin Craftsmanship Museum.  Joe was the founder of the Company, but not the first to use "Sherline" but that is another story.  He setup this museum and endowed it just prior to his death.  It should be a bucket list item for any modeler. https://www.craftsmanshipmuseum.com/  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thought it might be worth showing you some of the stuff you can do with their equipment. 

Set up.jpg

20170209_210423.jpg

IMG_20161227_160632932_HDR[1].jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, peteski said:

https://www.sherline.com/

Great product, great support. Large range of accessories.  U.S. based.  But pricey compared to the Chinese tools.  I owned Sherline lathe/mill for over 30 years.

Which machine do you have?? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree with everyone, Sherline is the way to go. I love my Sherline mill and lathe  I tried an import lathe my friend has and for the small parts we need to make I just didn't get the same feel as I do with Sherline.  I know they cost more but well worth it, one last thing if you can,  get them with the DRO option, worth every penny (for me anyway).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ACR-E Doug said:

I have to agree with everyone, Sherline is the way to go. I love my Sherline mill and lathe  I tried an import lathe my friend has and for the small parts we need to make I just didn't get the same feel as I do with Sherline.  I know they cost more but well worth it, one last thing if you can,  get them with the DRO option, worth every penny (for me anyway).

Why is that???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark,  I'll echo what advice you've been given by others.  Sherline for the hobbiest and what you're interested in making are a great choice.  The DRO is the "Digital Read-Out".  I don't know how or why you'd bother buying any mill or lathe without one if you're hoping to be accurate.  Best advice is that you should spend a few dollars and go to the Sherline site and buy their comprehensive book on their equipment and machine tips / setup and other general advice before you buy anything.   I'm assuming that you're also new to machining so if you can find a local machinist that might be willing to mentor you, that is worth any and all the money you'll put into your equipment.  For the hobby machinist Sherline also offers a WIDE range of accessories so  your imagination and ability are the only things limiting you in what you can make.   Good luck.  cheers, tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Digital read-outs are very handy for milling machines, especially when you are dealing with the small increments we need for model building. I used to work with both horizontal and vertical milling machines, and whenever I needed down to the last thousandth, the DRO mill was the go-to unit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, 2zwudz said:

Which machine do you have?? 

I have both the Sherline model 4000 lathe, and model 5000 milling machine.  Here is my workbench with a drill  press and the lathe.  The milling machine is stored on a shelf. I simply move whichever tool I use to my workbench.  If I had a larger shop I would have them both set up and ready to use.

PeteskiBench1.jpg.e8f5293fb17467539e97c9fb4953425f.jpg

 

One of the really nice things about Sherline is that the tools are modular.

I originally just both a lathe. Then when I saved up more money, I just bought a vertical mill column attachment which allows the lathe to be used as a small mill.  Then I upgraded the original AC motor to the new high-torque DC motor.  Later, I had enough money to afford a separate milling machine. But instead if buying a complete milling machine, I just bought the mill base (the XY table) and sent my vertical mill column to be adapted to the XY table. I also bought a head-stock with the motor and now I had a complete mill for less money than if I bought complete unit.  Next upgrade was to add DROs to both lathe and mill. Again I only bought one DRO head unit ,and 2 extra hand-wheel encoders, so either tool can be used with the DRO (just not at the same time, which is not a problem). Sherline continues to come up with more attachments and upgrades all the time, so you are never tied to the old machine.

Edited by peteski

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, peteski said:

I have both the Sherline model 4000 lathe, and model 5000 milling machine.  Here is my workbench with a drill  press and the lathe.  The milling machine is stored on a shelf. I simply move whichever tool I use to my workbench.  If I had a larger shop I would have them both set up and ready to use.

PeteskiBench1.jpg.e8f5293fb17467539e97c9fb4953425f.jpg

 

One of the really nice things about Sherline is that the tools are modular.

I originally just both a lathe. Then when I saved up more money, I just bought a vertical mill column attachment which allows the lathe to be used as a small mill.  Then I upgraded the original AC motor to the new high-torque DC motor.  Later, I had enough money to afford a separate milling machine. But instead if buying a complete milling machine, I just bought the mill base (the XY table) and sent my vertical mill column to be adapted to the XY table. I also bought a head-stock with the motor and now I had a complete mill for less money than if I bought complete unit.  Next upgrade was to add DROs to both lathe and mill. Again I only bought one DRO head unit ,and 2 extra hand-wheel encoders, so either tool can be used with the DRO (just not at the same time, which is not a problem). Sherline continues to come up with more attachments and upgrades all the time, so you are never tied to the old machine.

Wow! Thanks a lot!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, peteski said:

I have both the Sherline model 4000 lathe, and model 5000 milling machine.  Here is my workbench with a drill  press and the lathe.  The milling machine is stored on a shelf. I simply move whichever tool I use to my workbench.  If I had a larger shop I would have them both set up and ready to use.

PeteskiBench1.jpg.e8f5293fb17467539e97c9fb4953425f.jpg

 

One of the really nice things about Sherline is that the tools are modular.

I originally just both a lathe. Then when I saved up more money, I just bought a vertical mill column attachment which allows the lathe to be used as a small mill.  Then I upgraded the original AC motor to the new high-torque DC motor.  Later, I had enough money to afford a separate milling machine. But instead if buying a complete milling machine, I just bought the mill base (the XY table) and sent my vertical mill column to be adapted to the XY table. I also bought a head-stock with the motor and now I had a complete mill for less money than if I bought complete unit.  Next upgrade was to add DROs to both lathe and mill. Again I only bought one DRO head unit ,and 2 extra hand-wheel encoders, so either tool can be used with the DRO (just not at the same time, which is not a problem). Sherline continues to come up with more attachments and upgrades all the time, so you are never tied to the old machine.

Is shipping affordable???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shipping is not to bad, remember most of the products are made of aluminum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, ACR-E Doug said:

Shipping is not to bad, remember most of the products are made of aluminum

Actually, the slides are steel, but yes, many other metal  pieces are aluminum.  Shipping weight of the model 4000 lathe is 24lb.  This info came from Sherline website (I don't remember how much shipping my lathe cost years ago).

Sherline website has a shipping cost calculator (when you go to check-out). Sherline items are also available through dealers - they might have different shipping costs.

Edited by peteski

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...