Sherline Lathe

Posted by admin on October 3, 2011

I purchased a used Sherline 4000 Lathe on craigslist for $140.  It was in excellent shape, but had no accessories included.  Using the Sherline History page, I was able to identify the lathe as being made in approximately 1990.  It has the 1/2 hp AC/DC (Universal) Motor.

Drive Motor and Speed Controller

There are a few options I've investigated for a new drive motor and controller.  The current motor has a nice amount of power, but the speed controller does not hold the speed very well, and pulses at low speeds.  The current speed controller is just a basic AC motor controller, but the motor is AC/DC brush type motor.

Use the current motor and replace the speed controller.

Since the motor is an AC/DC 115V motor, a DC speed controller can be used to run the motor. Any 1/2 horsepower, 115V AC input to ~90V-120V DC output controller should work fine.  KB electronics is a commonly used brand for newer mini lathes.

SCR Speed Controller - control speed using a potentiometer, less expensive KBIC-120

PWM Speed Controller - control using a pot, analog input, or PWM.  Speed can be controlled from CNC software. KBWD-13, or KBWD-16

Stepper Motor.

A large stepper motor could provide fine speed control, and be easily controllable from a CNC controller.  Maybe this could be used for threading?

Stepper should be about 5-6 Amps.  Gecko G723-400- $59.00

Controller: Gecko G210X  $140.00

Replace motor and speed controller with a DC motor.

Expensive, and off the shelf setups don't have the ability to be CNC controlled

CNC Control

CNC control can be useful in more ways than just automation, or making difficult shapes. Threading can be done using CNC instead of the complex threading setup using change gears. By adding an encoder to the spindle pulley, the CNC system can keep track of the spindle position, and drive the carriage to cut the correct pitch thread. The spindle will be turned by hand for most threading operations, and the carriage will follow, being driven by a stepper motor.

Sherline sells a stepper motor adapter for the axis of the lathe and mill. It's part number "Sherline 67102", but I can't find it for sale anywhere, and I suspect that it's pricey, like all other sherline accessories. A2Z CNC is the only vendor I found that sells an adapter. Item Code: CNCMMS

To convert a single axis to CNC, you need the following:

  1. A2Z CNC Nema 23 motor mount for Sherline Mill & Lathe - Item Code: CNCMMS $49.95
  2. Sherline CNC Motor Coupler - Item Code: 67105 - 15.95 
  3.  5-40 x 7/8" Socket Head Cap Screw - Item Code: 67115
  4. Nema 23 Stepper Motor with ~200 oz-in of torque.  The Gecko G723-280-4 maybe overkill for this application at 280 .oz-in of torque but $59 is reasonable for US made motor.

The controller will primarly be an Arduino microcontroller.  This standalone controller will be perfect for setting feedrates and thread pitches.  Optionally the motor drivers can be connected to the computer for full CNC control.


 

Comments:

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