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Sherline DRO question for you Sherline guys

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Woodsman 22

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#1
I notice that some forum members here have taken to installing aftermarket scales like igauging linear DRO's on their Sherline milling machines, ostensibly because the opinion is that the Sherline DRO counts handwheel revs and the backlash in the screws is unaccounted for. However, in their marketing description of their DRO Sherline has the following to say;

"Backlash can be electronically eliminated by setting its measured value into the readout box for each axis. When handwheel rotation changes direction, the backlash value is electronically subtracted before the readout counts in the other direction."

If Sherline's DRO electronics can zero out the backlash then wouldn't it make sense to go with their DRO as opposed to going through the trouble to install aftermarket linear (magnetic) units? Or is there a cost or other advantage to doing this that I am not aware of?
 

DHarris

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#2
I installed aftermarket (igauging) scales to my Sherline Mill and love them - but I'm a cheap Ba$!a@d. the install was fairly straight forward (although you do have to make most of your own brackets). The Sherline DRO costs more, I believe, and I'm not sold on the "electronically eliminated" staying a constant as the machine wears. The magnetic scales only measure actual movement. Just my $.02

IMG_20170618_173927888.jpg
 

Woodsman 22

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I installed aftermarket (igauging) scales to my Sherline Mill and love them - but I'm a cheap Ba$!a@d. the install was fairly straight forward (although you do have to make most of your own brackets). The Sherline DRO costs more, I believe, and I'm not sold on the "electronically eliminated" staying a constant as the machine wears. The magnetic scales only measure actual movement. Just my $.02

View attachment 258818
Thanks for your reply. Since I hadn't compared prices of the two systems, I didn't foresee that igauging system would be cheaper (but I should have, since Sherline prices seem high to me).
 

Woodsman 22

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#4
By the way, DHarris; after embiggening the photo of your workshop space, I noticed what looks like a REALLY large collet or collet holder on the spindle of your Sherline mill. What kind is it? Seems like it takes up a lot of real estate on the Z axis. Also, what size and brand of vise is that on the Sherline mill table?
 

DHarris

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The collet holder is an ER 32 & works great - yes, it does eat up vertical space, but when / if I need more z axis, I just simply unscrew the collet holder and use the standard collets. The vise is a Wilton - don't remember the model number, but I'm pretty sure that they don't make it anymore. Mikey turned me on to these vises, and we searched Amazon for quite a while before we found mine & I think it was the last one we found. Maybe Mikey will chime in with the model number as I've "cleaned" mine so thoroughly, that I've wiped off all of the ink printing on the vise!
 

DHarris

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#6
As for cost, yep, the Sherline dro is ~$395.00. I found the igauging scales on Amazon (I think) for ~$140.00 +/- for all three. The lathe has a single scale and a "Yuri" Bluetooth connection to a tablet running Yuri's DRO software. It was originally intended for the Mill, but the motor on the mill is so old that the Brush noise interferes with the Bluetooth signal!! So, it's on the late with the new motor! I just use the readouts that came with the scales on the mill.
 

mikey

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The collet holder is an ER 32 & works great - yes, it does eat up vertical space, but when / if I need more z axis, I just simply unscrew the collet holder and use the standard collets. The vise is a Wilton - don't remember the model number, but I'm pretty sure that they don't make it anymore. Mikey turned me on to these vises, and we searched Amazon for quite a while before we found mine & I think it was the last one we found. Maybe Mikey will chime in with the model number as I've "cleaned" mine so thoroughly, that I've wiped off all of the ink printing on the vise!
It's a Wilton SP-50. Back when we were searching for it, the only one we could find was on Amazon but I just found this: http://www.flexibleindustrial.com/FI-Products/Wilton-11708-Super-Precision-Milling-Vise. Yeah, that's about what they cost. They are pretty accurate little milling vises and are no longer made so this one is NOS.

The ER chuck is a Beall ER-32 chuck. Every Sherline owner should consider owning one. It works well on both the mill and lathe and is, for me, indispensable. If you get one, specify it is for a Sherline so they send the right one: http://www.bealltool.com/products/turning/colletchuck.php
 

Woodsman 22

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#8
As for cost, yep, the Sherline dro is ~$395.00. I found the igauging scales on Amazon (I think) for ~$140.00 +/- for all three. The lathe has a single scale and a "Yuri" Bluetooth connection to a tablet running Yuri's DRO software. It was originally intended for the Mill, but the motor on the mill is so old that the Brush noise interferes with the Bluetooth signal!! So, it's on the late with the new motor! I just use the readouts that came with the scales on the mill.
Well, one certainly cannot argue with a cost savings of $255! Regarding the ER-32 setup; what is the largest practical size endmill you can use in it? I am guessing that the weight of it adds a flywheel type of effect while it is cutting? And thanks for the info about both items.
 

Woodsman 22

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It's a Wilton SP-50. Back when we were searching for it, the only one we could find was on Amazon but I just found this: http://www.flexibleindustrial.com/FI-Products/Wilton-11708-Super-Precision-Milling-Vise. Yeah, that's about what they cost. They are pretty accurate little milling vises and are no longer made so this one is NOS.

The ER chuck is a Beall ER-32 chuck. Every Sherline owner should consider owning one. It works well on both the mill and lathe and is, for me, indispensable. If you get one, specify it is for a Sherline so they send the right one: http://www.bealltool.com/products/turning/colletchuck.php
The vise is nice, I am going to get one. Well, so is the Beall chuck, but I have a Taig mill and with only 8 inches of room between the spindle and table I don't see how there would be much room left for anything but the cutter,lol! My Taig mill is nice, but when I saw that Sherline has an optional 15" mill column for added Z height, I started to wish I had bought a Sherline mill instead.
 

mikey

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#10
The vise is nice, I am going to get one. Well, so is the Beall chuck, but I have a Taig mill and with only 8 inches of room between the spindle and table I don't see how there would be much room left for anything but the cutter,lol! My Taig mill is nice, but when I saw that Sherline has an optional 15" mill column for added Z height, I started to wish I had bought a Sherline mill instead.
Oh, so you're one of them Taig guys, eh? Nah, just kidding. Taig makes a good mill. Too bad A2Z went under because they made column extensions.

I like the Wilton vise. It is like a normal milling vise but it doesn't have the angle-lok feature. It uses gib screws but a tap with a hammer seats the work easily and the jaws are accurate. Easily worth the money to me.

The Sherline extension does go 15" but you can also put a riser on the base of the column for additional height. That makes a Beall chuck a very accurate addition to the mill. Too bad you went to the Dark Side!
 

Woodsman 22

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#11
Oh, so you're one of them Taig guys, eh? Nah, just kidding. Taig makes a good mill. Too bad A2Z went under because they made column extensions.

I like the Wilton vise. It is like a normal milling vise but it doesn't have the angle-lok feature. It uses gib screws but a tap with a hammer seats the work easily and the jaws are accurate. Easily worth the money to me.

The Sherline extension does go 15" but you can also put a riser on the base of the column for additional height. That makes a Beall chuck a very accurate addition to the mill. Too bad you went to the Dark Side!
"Too bad you went to the Dark Side!" :cry:

Yeah, lol , but that is something that I can still remedy- I can sell the Taig and join the Sherline forces of light!
But seriously, I initially went with the Taig because of its heavier weight and wider table. I discovered its major (to me) flaw when after having trammed the column and attempting to take a moderate cut with a 3/8" end mill, the column would shift and the mill would be out of tram.
Doesn't matter how tight you wrench that little nut "holding the column in place" it will still shift with all but modest cuts. Well, that and the low Z axis height are the two problems that have me looking at a Sherline to replace it. Well, that and a lot of nice accessories that Sherline has available for its machines :grin:

I have looked at the smaller Chinese made mills (I have limited space for machinery) but those come with their own set of problems such as plastic drive gears that break, even on the much vaunted G0704 milling machine (which is really too big for my "shop" anyway). I just might have a Taig mill up for sale on Flea Bay soon!
 

mikey

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#12
I would have thought the Taig guys would have figured out how to solidify the column by now because that movement issue has been ongoing for a very long time. I hope you get it sorted at some point.

If you ever decide to switch to another mill, why not consider stepping up to a PM25? It is a much larger mill but if you look at a Sherline 5400 with all the upgrades you would need to make it truly useful, you're looking at nearly the same cost. I love my 5400, don't get me wrong, but it isn't anywhere near the size and mass of a PM25. I do understand that having room for a larger mill can be an issue but a mill doesn't take that much room, and you can park the PM25 on a bench. Something to think about before you spring for a new vise. That little 2" Wilton is a great vise but it is too small if you switched to a PM25.

What kind of lathe do you have? If its a Sherline, consider the Beall ER-32 chuck for it. If you ever do work up close to the chuck, believe me that it is a much safer way to work. I own one and with a Techniks collet in it, it holds at just about 0.0001" runout. Not bad, not bad at all.
 

DHarris

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#13
Well, one certainly cannot argue with a cost savings of $255! Regarding the ER-32 setup; what is the largest practical size endmill you can use in it? I am guessing that the weight of it adds a flywheel type of effect while it is cutting? And thanks for the info about both items.
the "basic" 5 collet set that come with the chuck from Beal goes up to 3/4" - I think that would only be useful in the lathe for work holding. A 3/4" mill cutter might be too much tool for these small mills! I have run a 1/2" cutter once to take a skim cut on a piece of aluminum to get "better" machine marks / finish on a 7/16" wide part I was making. I typically use the 3/8" shank cutters in mine.
 

Woodsman 22

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#14
Mike;
"I would have thought the Taig guys would have figured out how to solidify the column by now because that movement issue has been ongoing for a very long time. "

Yep, it sure has been going on a long time. As a matter of fact I had a lengthy on line conversation with John Herzog (a Taig employee) several years ago about this very issue. At first he would not concede that it was a problem , but when I sent an email with at least 8 or 9 links to online complaints about that issue, he finally did acknowledge it. A few days later he sent a message with pics showing a clamping device that he indicated would be in production shortly and would solve the issue, and I was to receive one free of charge. It consisted of basically an iron ring that would encompass both of the circular bosses that form the interface for the column and the base of the machine (around the circular pivot ) and it was split and had clamping screws to draw the ring tight around the boss of the machine. It looked like it would work well.

Time went by... weeks and then months and finally I emailed him again. He told me that production emphasis was now on making the CNC machines and that the clamp fixture would not be produced (with no acknowledgement of previous promise to send me one of these clamps). End of that story. Now, I don't want to sound bitter, but I would have paid to have the clamp at a reasonable cost and I don't admire a man or company that backs away from a promise.
I have a lathe with which I could make that clamp myself (a 9 X 20 Chinese copy of the old Emco lathe to answer your other question) and acquired a sizable slice of cast iron to make that clamp, but I was soured on Taig by that experience and feel that it should not be incumbent upon the customer to fix the (manufacturer admitted) flaws of the product I bought. Yeah, I waited an awful long time to finally get around to making the clamp but I will probably do it if I don't sell the mill first. End of rant, lol:mad: Sorry for the long post but you did ask about the column issue and I thought I would give you my take on the problem (in more depth than you probably wanted :))

Yes, the PM25 looks like a very nice machine and is the same price as the LMS 2.7 mini mill and seems to have much of the same feature set, but is a lot heavier. Not sure what I will do at this point. Thanks for the input, it is appreciated.
 

Aaron_W

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#15
When I was shopping around for a lathe, I was very close to buying a Taig. Ultimately it was the general attitude and stories about how the companies responded to issues that sold me on the Sherline. I heard nothing actually bad about Taig, but perhaps ironically it was Taig owners themselves saying they would buy a Sherline over a Taig that ultimately sealed the deal for me.

I really think that Joe Martin was being honest when he said he was trying to make the best mini-machine shop tools that he could, while keeping the prices relatively affordable. A lot of companies say things like that for marketing, but I have had nothing but good experiences dealing with the company.


I have only recently started to appreciate that lathes and mills are designed to essentially work within their actual foot print. That is very different from my experience with wood working machines.
While I am very happy with my current tools, if I out grow them I could manage to fit something like an 11x27 lathe and a larger mill like the PM25 into just a little more space than I have provided to the Sherlines. I currently have an area roughly 6 x 6 feet, but I would only need about 6 feet x 10 feet for the larger tools. Move a few boxes of Christmas decorations, get a small shed for the lawnmower and I'd be set.


There is still a fair bit of a price difference between the base PM25 and the 5400. The PM25 is listed at $1450, I paid $920 for a 5400 with the extended column last October. The additional $500 is buying a lot more machine for anyone concerned that the 5400 is too small.


Still nobody is going to beat a Sherline owner in the 500 yard machine tools race. :)
 

Woodsman 22

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#16
Still nobody is going to beat a Sherline owner in the 500 yard machine tools race. :)
I agree. Having said that, the Taig mill is a stoutly built machine for its size in certain areas, but it has design flaws that I, having been a complete novice to this machining hobby, did not see at the time that I bought it. Let me list them for you; the "base" as such does not exist- it is three (thick) sheet metal segments folded into a tripod of sorts and welded to the square tube that forms the support for the Y axis ways (and I give them credit for having very substantial ways). I already listed the problem with the column. Then there is the too short Z axis with NO way to extend it due again, to the design of the rotating bottom column. Among the good things are the substantial 1/2" lead screws and the fact that all three axes have proper ball bearings and the provision of T-slots over most surfaces which are helpful for adding things like X-axis stops or for attaching a dial indicator to the head stock. But the T-slot extrusions would not be necessary for holding stuff on a cast iron machine (magnets). This product is a mixed bag design-wise.

Now, having learned all this along with my experience with corresponding with the Taig employee that I mentioned in my comments to Mike, would I buy this machine again? Obviously, "no". Also, I have learned that I really do not even need a lathe as large as the 9 X 20 that I bought, since the projects that I like to do are small. Still,I would like to have a mill that can cope with small castings such as would be found on a set of castings like the "Stuart Progress", but if the Sherline 5400 cannot handle that, that is still okay. Working on PeeWee sized single cylinder model airplane engines and the like would be enough for me. Yeah, I am leaning toward Sherline machines.
 

Aaron_W

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#17
I had heard the Taig mill is stouter than the Sheline mills, so I'm kind of surprised to hear that is an issue.

It was comparing the lathes that I had Taig owners advising me to get a Sherline. The Taig lathe is considerably less expensive, a difference of several hundred dollars even when compared to the much smaller base model Sherline 4000. That makes it very attractive to someone just starting out in this money pit of hobby machining.

The mills on the other hand are quite similar in price, and fairly close in working area. It looks like Taig has a little more travel in all directions unless you add the extended column and 18" table to the Sherline mill.


I'm really new to all this only having the lathe for about 16 months, and the mill about 4 months. I'm quite pleased with them, as they are clearly well made, but I'm still very much figuring the things out. After reading peoples stories about moving 1/4 ton and half ton machines, I can appreciate the light weight although I know that does come with some compromise.


Mikey knows these machines very well. He also has larger machines so has something to compare them to. Since it sounds like you are happy with the size, he could probably help you figure out if it would be rigid enough.
 

mikey

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#18
Sorry to be so late in responding - busy day.

Sorry to hear about your mill issues and the integrity thing with Mr. Herzog. I won't comment further on that one.

I think a Sherline 5400 is a very capable machine. You need to keep in mind that it is little - if you look at the specs, it has 8.5" in X, 5" in Y and Z travel depends on the size of your column. The whole mill weighs about 35#'s! If you only consider these numbers, which tell you little about its capabilities, you would think it is a toy compared to other mills. I can tell you that it is, in fact, a very capable precision mill. I've pushed the envelope with this mill - 2" bores, 5" work pieces on a 4" rotary table, etc. - and it has done everything I've asked of it. The lead screws are just as precise as those found on the lathe; this means that if you can dial it in, the machine will cut it.

I have the 15" column/leadscrew, a 2" riser for that column and the headstock spacer that moves the head 2-1/2 further away from the column. What this does is give you about 6" more in Z over stock and allows the vise to get underneath the column for more space in Y. I can fit a Blake Coaxial Indicator in my drill chuck and dial in the center of the rotary table with this set up. There are some small benchtop mills that can't even do that. So, will it do the castings on a Stuart Progress? I don't know but I suspect it will.

I commonly use end mills up to 5/8" on this mill, although 3/8" is my work horse. The Sherline inserted carbide flycutter will take a 0.050-0.070" depth of cut in aluminum without even slowing down. I can easily drill 1/2" holes and then bore them out to about 1.5-2" ID.

So, is the 5400 for you? I don't know but I like it. I have an RF-31 mill/drill and it is capable of larger work but when the project falls within the envelope of the Sherline mill I often prefer to use it. It is a bit cumbersome to crank the head up and down with a hand wheel but its okay - you learn to live with a stronger right arm. If your work is on the smaller end of the scale I think the Sherline 5400 should be on your radar. Mine is over 20 years old and nothing has ever broken. It is as smooth and powerful as it was the day I got it ... not bad for a toy!

Oh, one more thing. Buying a machine is only the start; we all know this. Tooling up a Sherline machine is way cheaper to do vs larger mills and Sherline makes good stuff overall. There are a few accessories that are not worth their cost but most of it is really good quality. If you decide on a Sherline machine, ask and we'll tell you which stuff to avoid.
 

Woodsman 22

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#19
"It was comparing the lathes that I had Taig owners advising me to get a Sherline. The Taig lathe is considerably less expensive, a difference of several hundred dollars even when compared to the much smaller base model Sherline 4000. "

Yes, but the Taig lathe comes without a motor, which you have to provide yourself. Add that to the package and the price goes up, especially if you outfit it with a variable speed motor. Don't forget that the Taig lathe tailstock is an "option" that you have to add to the package and pay extra for. A lathe without a tailstock is a wee bit limited in usefulness. The Taig lathe tailstock configuration is an oddity in my view in any case, but some people like it.

"I'm really new to all this only having the lathe for about 16 months, and the mill about 4 months."

- Which ones? Taig or Sherline products? Yes, the Taig mill is heavier, and the mill table is an inch wider. I believe the X and Y table movements for both brands are the same unless you order the Taig mill with the 18 inch table. Though the Taig is heavier, its weaknesses (in my opinion, as I outlined in my comments above) are the column and the lack of a proper base, not to mention the limited spindle to table distance (only 8 inches) which cannot be changed. The Taig does have a more robust build in some areas, again as I outlined above (leadscrews, etc.) but suffers in other areas. The Sherline can be modified, changed with the longer column option and mill column riser as well as longer table etc. IMHO the Sherline has it over the Taig as far as micro mills and lathes go. The Sherline can even be converted to a horizontal milling machine. Sherline line of accessories is far more extensive.
 

Woodsman 22

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#20
Sorry to be so late in responding - busy day.

Sorry to hear about your mill issues and the integrity thing with Mr. Herzog. I won't comment further on that one.

I think a Sherline 5400 is a very capable machine. You need to keep in mind that it is little - if you look at the specs, it has 8.5" in X, 5" in Y and Z travel depends on the size of your column. The whole mill weighs about 35#'s! If you only consider these numbers, which tell you little about its capabilities, you would think it is a toy compared to other mills. I can tell you that it is, in fact, a very capable precision mill. I've pushed the envelope with this mill - 2" bores, 5" work pieces on a 4" rotary table, etc. - and it has done everything I've asked of it. The lead screws are just as precise as those found on the lathe; this means that if you can dial it in, the machine will cut it.

I have the 15" column/leadscrew, a 2" riser for that column and the headstock spacer that moves the head 2-1/2 further away from the column. What this does is give you about 6" more in Z over stock and allows the vise to get underneath the column for more space in Y. I can fit a Blake Coaxial Indicator in my drill chuck and dial in the center of the rotary table with this set up. There are some small benchtop mills that can't even do that. So, will it do the castings on a Stuart Progress? I don't know but I suspect it will.

I commonly use end mills up to 5/8" on this mill, although 3/8" is my work horse. The Sherline inserted carbide flycutter will take a 0.050-0.070" depth of cut in aluminum without even slowing down. I can easily drill 1/2" holes and then bore them out to about 1.5-2" ID.

So, is the 5400 for you? I don't know but I like it. I have an RF-31 mill/drill and it is capable of larger work but when the project falls within the envelope of the Sherline mill I often prefer to use it. It is a bit cumbersome to crank the head up and down with a hand wheel but its okay - you learn to live with a stronger right arm. If your work is on the smaller end of the scale I think the Sherline 5400 should be on your radar. Mine is over 20 years old and nothing has ever broken. It is as smooth and powerful as it was the day I got it ... not bad for a toy!

Oh, one more thing. Buying a machine is only the start; we all know this. Tooling up a Sherline machine is way cheaper to do vs larger mills and Sherline makes good stuff overall. There are a few accessories that are not worth their cost but most of it is really good quality. If you decide on a Sherline machine, ask and we'll tell you which stuff to avoid.
Thanks for your response Mikey. Yes, as I said I am leaning toward the Sherline mill (specifically the 5400) and I know it is small. The Taig isn't big either and the Z axis on the Taig has to be hand cranked too. If I were to order the 5400, I would order it with the 15 inch column as well as the column riser and 18 inch table (and tooling plate, although maybe the tooling plate I have on the Taig would work?). So yes, I know that I am probably looking at 1500 + dollars and maybe more if I ordered their DRO. I don't know anything about assembling electronics and therefore Yuri's DRO thingy is like a foreign language to me. In any case, this is not a purchase I can make right away; I would have to sell the Taig first to help fund the new purchase. Thanks again for your input!
 

mikey

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#21
Good luck with selling the Taig so you can move on. When you are ready, give a shout and we'll be here for you.

I was thinking that just about everything I know about machining was taught to me by my Sherline equipment. A lathe is a lathe and a mill is a mill and everything transfers to larger machines. It took a week or so to learn the features of my larger lathe and almost no time at all to use the larger mill. Had it not been for the small size of my Sherline lathe, I may not have invested the time to learn to grind HSS tooling. Had it not been for the small 5400 mill, I might not have learned how best to choose and use milling cutters. There is much to be said for these small machines, especially for hobby guys. The interesting thing is that when I need to hold really tight tolerances on a part that fits my Sherline equipment, I will use that in preference to the larger machines! I have an Emco Super 11 lathe and it is as fine a lathe as I could want but when I need to get that piece really precise I would rather do it on the Sherline. Interesting, eh?

I guess what I'm saying is that should you go with Sherline stuff and later decide to upgrade to larger machines, the knowledge and skills will transfer without any problem.

If we can help in the future, just let us know.

Mike
 

Woodsman 22

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#22
I have an Emco Super 11 lathe and it is as fine a lathe as I could want
Oooooh! I am jealous- seriously! I know that those are quality machines. You are lucky to have snagged one.
And yes it is easier to work to tighter dimensions (at least on small items) using a machine that you can get close to, if you know what I mean- you don't have to lean waaay over to see if that tool bit is lined up with the center of the lathe axis and so on. Also, thank you so much for the offer of help with selecting a machine and tooling as well as general help; I really appreciate that!
 

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#23
Woodsman 22, I have a sherline and I installed the igaging scales on both axis. I used Yuri's guide to do this and it is great.

I am considering redoing the setup, the lead screw is no issue but the igaging mount on the cross-slide limits my travel and ability to use the tailstock but I have an idea to neutralize that and if it works I will share my setup with photos. at present it is not ideal. I chose this for 2 reasons, first cost - the price difference was too much to ignore and I too was concerned on the backlash. My changes are being driven by my decision to set up CNC on this and then my little Unimat 3s.

I am considering a DC motor and speed control for my unimats to cut down on belt changes and looking at options there. Part of my solution includes linear bearings to support the weight of the servos and I am using an Aluminum plate to perform the mountings. I have the plate stock, bearings, servos, arduino and motor controllers. I would prefer to locate truly micro sized scales and readers but I think I will have to build that out as I learn more.

I am treating this like a RC model plane where the issue is mostly mounting the things you need to a wing and fuse that will not impede the primary function of the plane.
 

Woodsman 22

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#24
I will share my setup with photos
Kevin I look forward to the photos of your setup when you get it done. I will look up Yuri's guide to this process and see if I am up to it. Yes, I totally get that the price difference between Sherline's DRO and the igaging setup makes the latter the better choice (although I am thinking Sherline would not put out a DRO that wouldn't live up to their claims- but yes, the price ...sheesh).

I setup my Taig mill with a DC motor and speed control from Rockler Woodworking and that unit was less that $140 with speed control, but Rockler doesn't offer it anymore and instead they have a new one listed that is almost 5 times more expensive. The motor and speed control on my Taig mill is the same as the unit you see pictured here on this Taig lathe (but I took this pic off the net and I do not own this Taig lathe - I don't remember what site I copied this photo from).:

This motor and speed control works well and if you can find a similar one, it might be suitable for your Unimat. It is about 1/2 HP. I could go snap a pic of it on my mill, but it is late at night here and I'm not gonna do it now. Taig dupl VS motor.jpg
 

kevinpg

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#26
Kevin I look forward to the photos of your setup when you get it done. I will look up Yuri's guide to this process and see if I am up to it. Yes, I totally get that the price difference between Sherline's DRO and the igaging setup makes the latter the better choice (although I am thinking Sherline would not put out a DRO that wouldn't live up to their claims- but yes, the price ...sheesh).

I setup my Taig mill with a DC motor and speed control from Rockler Woodworking and that unit was less that $140 with speed control, but Rockler doesn't offer it anymore and instead they have a new one listed that is almost 5 times more expensive. The motor and speed control on my Taig mill is the same as the unit you see pictured here on this Taig lathe (but I took this pic off the net and I do not own this Taig lathe - I don't remember what site I copied this photo from).:

This motor and speed control works well and if you can find a similar one, it might be suitable for your Unimat. It is about 1/2 HP. I could go snap a pic of it on my mill, but it is late at night here and I'm not gonna do it now. View attachment 259088
nice duplicator
 

Chip Hacket

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#28
bbf7f5e36e74e72f419eac23bca1a6fa.jpg

Don’t want to get into a spy vs spy discussion but here is my little lathe. I also have a Taig mill with the iguaging DROs. Maybe after work I can get a pic of that.
 

mikey

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#30
Hey Chip, is that a 3ph Baldor motor there? I bet you have no issues with power!
 
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