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Lathe and or mill for making yoyos

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mikey

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You are going to find that buying a mill is a lot more complex than buying a lathe and your choice is very much dependent on what it needs to do. Take a hard look at what your work envelope is and choose a machine that will give you the capacity, precision, rigidity and power you need.

Sherline mills are small, light weight machines. They are every bit as precise as their lathes and can do everything a bigger mill can do, just on a smaller scale. With the right accessories, a Sherline mill can do a surprising array of complex projects. The key attraction of this company's line is their cost. You can fully tool a Sherline mill for far less than most mills, and the work you can accomplish is limited only in size.

With that said, if you may need to go bigger someday, now is the time to go bigger. I also own an RF-31, a 400# machine that is considered a smaller benchtop machine. The rigidity, power and size capability is significantly better but it is not more precise than a Sherline mill. The tooling costs have been on the high side because of the kind of tools I've chosen to buy but the cost is significantly higher as you go up in size. I got the RF-31 for free and it cost less than $200.00 to get it running like new, with less than 0.0001" TIR at the spindle so it worked out. However, if I were to buy a mill today for my little shop, I would buy a PM 835S; still might one day.

Bottom line: look at the work envelope you need, space and budget. Keep in mind that it is very likely that the tooling costs will surpass the cost of the mill when you're fully tooled up.
 

bcarter

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I thought I'd post an update to show what the Sherline is capable of even in the hands of a beginner.




I used this crude duplicator attachment as a proof of concept. It actually worked very well. I don't have a mill (yet) so making a platform to clamp to the Sherline bed would be the first major upgrade.
 

bcarter

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Made a new platform that clamps to the lathe bed. This should provide a much more rigid mount for the template for the duplicator.
 

reidry

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Very nice work. Love the ingenuity!

Could you share some details of how your tracer / duplicator works? I see how you are holding the pattern for face work, where is the stylus? How do you hold the pattern for profile work?

Thanks in advance

Ryan
 

bcarter

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Ryan,

Thanks for your interest. In the third picture from post #32 you can see the stylus on the right center of the image. It is a 10-32 bolt, turned down to .100" diamwter for about .250" of its length. I drilled a hole in the aluminum channel and ran it up through a spare Sherline T nut, though any nut would work. The .100" diameter of the stylus is about the same as the radius on the end of the profiling tool I ground from 1/4" HSS. In that picture the tool and consequently the stylus are at their farthest position from the chuck as I had just removed the work piece. You can see the stylus better in post #33 but there is no pattern in place and no tool holder for that matter.

I mainly designed this for face work as I'm making yoyos. It would still function for profile work but you would want a longer piece of aluminum to hold the stylus and a either second wood clamp like the one shown or one wider rather than longer.

If you look closely you can see a mark at the bottom of the "U" shape in my pattern. I used one tool to cut the profile to the left of this mark and a second tool cut the profile to the right. This required adjusting the position of the stylus to accommodate the change in location of the tool's cutting face. This is done by loosening the two screws in the cross slide and moving the aluminum stylus holding plate as needed.

After I finished this yoyo I realized that most of my face work won't exceed .750" in depth, in fact most of it will be less than .625". I plan to grind a new profiling tool that should do both the left and right side cuts without a need to change tools or adjust the stylus. That will cut turning time in half.

To use this for wood I removed the screw that attaches the leadscrew to the slide and pushed the tool toward the chuck with steady pressure while turning the cross slide feed in or out depending on where I was cutting.

Let me know if you have other questions.

Take care,

Brent
 

bcarter

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I had more opportunities to use the duplicator attachment. I'm very pleased with the results for my application.
The blank is used to position the template.

The result of a series of staggered rough cuts using the handwheels to move the stylus close to the template.
The finish cuts are done by disconnecting the apron from the lead screw. The stylus is pushed against the template or pulled by a spring, while the cross slide handwheel moves the tool from the center out. I will eventually do an alumunum yoyo but I'm really enjoying the wood yoyos at this time.
The finished Teak and Holly yoyo.


Take care,

Brent
 

mikey

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Beautiful, Brent! It will be interesting to see how aluminum works out. Looks like the Sherline is working well for you.
 

homebrewed

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I just re-visited this thread. I have hands-on experience with two tabletop milling machines -- a Sherline CNC (as configured by Sherline) and an SX2 (from Micro-Mark). At about $2700, the Sherline is a painless way to get into CNC -- for that price, they even include a Linux computer pre-loaded with LinuxCNC. Its work envelope is plenty big enough for yo-yos, and can do good work right out of the box.

The SX2 is a manual machine costing considerably less money, and likely will need some tweaking to get the best results. This is the one I personally own -- the Sherline was owned by the company I worked for. Kits for converting the SX2 and its kin are available, but will about double your investment cost, perhaps more if you go with a Windows computer and Mach3 or Mach4. You can reduce the cost some if you use the mill to fabricate parts for the CNC conversion.

The work envelope for a stock SX2 also is big enough for yo-yos. If I had to do it over again I would get one with a solid column -- I have never used the tilting column feature, and it's one more thing to go out of alignment.
 
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