I hve been looking at Sherline lathes and comparing them ot Grizzly and others. The Sherline has no power feed and you need to buy extra assesories for thread cutting? Whats the deal. The Sherline is much more expensive. Robert
On Fri, 7 Nov 2003 18:30:00 -0800, Finite Guy wrote (in message ):
Sherline does have a power feed. It's an extra-cost accessory and only one speed. I have a Sherline lathe and its quality is MUCH higher than Grizzly or any of the imports, in my opinion. I also have a Clausing 12x24 lathe and tend to use the Sherline with anything that will fit on it.
Hi: I am completely and totally confused about your reply ot this post. I guess that means that I'd better do some reading about lathes and become more knowlegable about this stuff. I took some machine processes courses about 35 years ago at Wentworth Institute, Boston MA USA. I ended up continuing my education to become a Mechanical Engineer. Most of my work is in Finite Element Analysis ( where the name "Finite Guy" originated) and I have forgotten all of my machining skills. If I buy a lathe I hope it comes back to me.
Anyways, thanks for your reply. This is a really great newsgroup.
Depends on what you want to do with your lathe. I've plunked my bucks down on a 7x, just because it has a cast iron bed, a #3 Morse taper headstock with bore to match and has thread-cutting capabilities, price was considerably cheaper than a Sherline dressed to match. Downside is that if you need hand-holding, you aren't going to get a lot from your retailer but
has about everything you need to keep the thing running and/or improve upon the original equipment. The spindle size and the bore was the clincher, a lot of small lathes have pretty flimsy spindles, this one is constructed more along the lines of a large lathe. It's about the largest lathe that you can still manhandle around, I up-end mine over the trash can when done to get rid of the chips, then it goes back on the shelf. For $250, it's a lot of capability. Note, buy one at a store, not by mailorder. You can see what you're getting on the spot and don't have to play around with shipping.
The basic Sherline has no power feed, but there are a number of options for adding it. Sherline makes a basic AC motor power feed with a single speed. Or you can get Sherline's one-axis CNC controller to drive the leadscrew at variable rates and for adjustable distances. Or you can get the "Frog" single-axis CNC system, which does threading as well as power feed. Or you can get the CNC version of the lathe, mount a pair of stepper motors, add drivers and a computer, and have a full CNC lathe.
Sherline's threading attachment provides change gears for a wide range of thread pitches, both US and metric. But the spindle is hand-cranked when using it, so it isn't practical to use as a power feed. Also note that the Frog can do electronically-controlled threading under power, by synchronizing the leadscrew motion to the spindle rotation.
The 7x10 minilathes come with threading and power feed, but they are by most accounts somewhat rough when delivered and need some cleanup. In addition, you may have some problems getting replacements parts when things fail. The spindle drive uses plastic gears, and people have reported failures in these gears. The variable-speed drive electronics sometimes fail too. The Sherline uses belt drive with two metal pulleys; not much to break there. The Sherline variable-speed motor drive is also American-made, and I haven't read any reports of failures.
The Sherline is American-made to generally higher standards, which is responsible for the substantial price difference. But it's a smaller lathe, using many aluminum parts instead of cast iron, and has a smaller swing and smaller tapers. The 7x10s will handle things that won't fit in a Sherline.
Sherline makes a large array of accessories - you can get 4-jaw scroll and independent chucks, drill chucks, and so on. You can get an adaptor to turn the lathe into a small milling machine, or buy a complete mill minus the headstock/motor and use the one from your lathe on it. With the 7x10, you'll have to buy third-party chucks and adapt them to the lathe. If you're already a machinist, you'll probably be able to cope with the 7x10 just fine, but if you're a beginner with no machining background, Sherline provides a larger system that you can just assemble and use.
There is a yahoogroups mailing list specifically for the minilathes, so you can get lots of additional info there. There's a Sherline list there too, as well as one dedicated to Sherline CNC. Join the lists and read the archives to learn more than you ever wanted to know.