Sherline Mills

The main difference between a lathe and a mill is that on a lathe, the work turns and the cutting tool is stationary, while on a mill, the tool turns and the work is stationary. There are a tremendous number of operations that can be performed on a vertical mill.

Jobs for a mill

At first glance, a vertical mill looks similar to a drill press, but there are some important differences. For example, a mill has a spindle that can take side loads as well as end loads. Also a mill needs an accurate method of moving the work in relation to the spindle on all three axes.

Sherline milling machines can perform all of the tasks and operations that a large commercial machine can perform. Operations such as fly cutting, precision drilling, and boring are all routine tasks for the Sherline mill. Because the tool turns rather than the work, much larger parts can be worked on in a mill, and these parts need not be round. The work is securely held, thus extremely accurate hole patterns can be drilled or bored. The longer X-axis throw also increases the machine’s versatility over that of the lathe with the vertical milling column attachment. It is an extremely rigid, accurate tool that accomplishes tough machining jobs with ease.

Directions of movement

In addition to the basic three axes of movement, known as the “X”, “Y” and “Z” axes, Sherline mills also offer a headstock that can be tilted to either side to mill angled surfaces. The Model 2000 mill offers four additional directions of movement for those who wish the ultimate in flexibility when it comes to creative setups.

Sherline mill models

Sherline milling machines are offered in four models and can be purchased in either inch or metric versions. The inch models have their feeds calibrated in .001″ increments, while the metric model is calibrated in .01mm increments. The machines are equipped with a high-torque DC motor with variable speed control. This speed control is internally equipped with a converter that automatically adjusts between inputs of 100 VAC to 240 VAC, 50-60 Hz. without loss of torque. Speed is continuously variable from 70 to 2800 RPM without gear or belt changes. A second pulley position is available for providing additional torque at low RPM.

The table below summarises the available models and their factory-installed options.

Model NumberMetric/InchDigital Readout ModelCNC-Ready ModelBase SizeAdjustable Zero HandwheelsDirections of Travel

Note: The DRO was not designed to provide a closed-loop system when used in conjunction with CNC; however, it can be adapted to fit on the rear shaft of stepper motors for manual use. Instructions for doing this can be found here.