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  1. Yea, 30-40 thou is way off! One thing I found on my manual Sherline, is to check the spacing between the lead screw bracket on the slide and the hand wheel (I'm assuming this can still happen with how the stepper attaches). I had a gap on mine that was contributing a fair amount of backlash. Fixing it was as simple as adjusting loosening the set screw and pushing the hand wheel flush and tightening again. If the machine is really worn, the brass nuts inside of the slides are replaceable as well but it's a more involved process. I'd try replacing the brass anti-backlash nuts first. When I first received my machine, the prior owner had really tightened the gibs and it was causing the anti-backlash nut to not do its job effectively. Tapping them loose and lubricating/cleaning them appropriately was all I needed. I probably sound like a broken record but try Fusion 360, it's free for hobbyists. I find the parametric approach makes the most sense to me.
  2. I agree on tracing if you're working off of scans. It's pretty easy to do this in Fusion 360 using "Attach Canvas" then tracing using a spline then use mirror to ensure symmetry. Then extrude and you have an STL. One thing I found when using attach canvas is it can be tricky to calibrate it accurately. Through some trial and error I discovered one pixel in an image is represented as 1/2048 of an inch. This might be useful if you want adjust the scaling factor manually.
  3. Cool Tool Box

    I ended up buying a tool roll for all my files so they don't bang together in drawers, though finding one in the right size was actually pretty hard (only the same poor quality Chinese ones). I found some on Etsy, and hand made in Montana too. https://www.etsy.com/listing/241214316/handmade-tan-canvas-paintbrush?ref=related-5 The quality is great and I was happy to spend the extra to support a small business. They also will make custom size ones for not much more.
  4. What software are you using? I'm debating converting my Sherline to CNC or buying something like a Shapeoko or Nomad from http://carbide3d.com/. I think the potential for using CNC mills is huge for creating high quality parts but modeling and building the tool paths is a skill just like any other.
  5. Cool Tool Box

    Looks great! Machinist tool boxes work fantastic as well....but they can get a bit expensive.
  6. The control software may be windows only but you usually can interface other CAM software like Fusion 360 you do most of the work on your Mac and use Windows to run the program. One option is to use virtualization software from your mac to run Windows. We we use Oracle VirtualBox at work as it's free and open source. See http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/virtualbox/overview/index.html. There are good commercial software options as well (Parallels, VMWare Fusion) but virtualbox has been good enough for my uses. Microsoft offers free downloadable images of Windows for testing browsers they just expire in 90 days. https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/tools/vms/ Another option is to use Boot Camp that is built into OSX that lets you run Windows by rebooting.
  7. Very interesting, I've been thinking about using this approach on my next build. Right now i'm considering a Shapeoko 3 as a CNC router, a 4th access should surely be nice but seems like a good start. Most use a Dewalt trim router with the setup but there are quite a few options for spindles if you're more of a shop build kinda person.
  8. I found a good source of carronade and long gun information in this book: https://www.amazon.com/Arming-Fleet-U-S-Ordnance-Muzzle-Loading/dp/0870210076/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1505675943&sr=8-2&keywords=arming+the+fleet. It's not limited to post 1812 weaponry and contains numerous drawings, details on carriages, rigging, etc.
  9. New Files

    I suspect most users of these are for fine metalworking however the coarser cuts are quite useful for wood and other soft materials such as plastic. I've had better luck getting better quality tools from jeweler supply companies over hobby shops. I think part of the wood/metal file distinction is that it seems many vendors often categorize rasps as files. Lee Valley does sell a tool called a milled tooth file that look pretty interesting as they function more like a saw instead of an abrasive. I could totally be wrong on this!
  10. After buying a few sets of cheap import files that really tended to incite frustration followed by anger, I decided to purchase some new files (post-hoc). If if anyone is looking for upgrading files, I'm very happy with the following purchases. http://www.ottofrei.com/Habilis-Vallorbe-Files-Set-of-5 - Extra Coarse 00 * These are $67 but work excellent as roughing files and have a nice balanced feel and are designed for use without a handle. Basswood causes the files to not bite if too smooth it seems. The 00 Habilis grab nicely on basswood and the extra weight seems to aide in the cut. The 3-square works well in cutting slots, it fit horn timbers. * I've been using them for roughing work on filler blocks. These gave me some much needed tooling between a dremel and the cheapie diamond grid needle files, which turns out is something I desperately needed. * Highly recommended. A little pricey but given how much I use them now. http://www.ottofrei.com/Glardon-Vallorbe-LA2483-Swiss-Made-Needle-File-Set-Of-Twelve-6-1-4-16-cm?custcol_of_xc_file_cut=1 - Course 0 * Very nice set of files. * I haven't used these much yet (i've only had them for a week) but I suspect they will be used very often as I progress through the build (and take on more metalworking projects). * $84-93
  11. If you have interests in machining beyond ship building there are certainly some advantages with a larger machine but if it's just for model making then it probably covers all of what you would want. I have a small non-Sherline mill but after significant deliberation and work on a friend's machines I'm leaning towards getting a standard bench mill and lathe. You might luck out and find a Sherline on Craigslist, on eBay it seems the used prices are 60%+ of the retail prices. Tooling and accessories seem to be better deals. A couple of months ago, I missed a craigslist sale of a retired clock maker that was selling both machines with the DRO packages for a fantastic price. So they are out there. Also, take a look at their distributors list and call around to see what price they can offer since I think most will be drop shipping your order from Sherline.
  12. One reason to consider the DRO lathe is that Sherline sells a vertical milling column (one with the DRO sensor $190 3050-DRO/3053-DRO & one without $157 3050/3053) for their lathe that allows you to convert it to a mill (though with a reduction of the milling area). If you don't already have a mill it's a way to get into a full DRO setup without buying two machines as the display box supports 3-axis + the speed readout. But I agree, the DRO on a lathe is nice but definitely not required. With a mill, I would definitely get the DRO option.