Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi All

 

Following on from a thread regarding whether buying a mill was justified or not, I've upgraded to a Sherline mill from my Proxxon mill.

 

I really cannot compare this to my Proxxon mill as this is in a very different league and I've been more than surprised by just how good it is.  In fact I'm really surprised just how good it is.  Being from the UK tools imported from the USA carry quite a tariff but I'm used to that having bought a Byrnes saw.

 

As I use mainly only small end mills I invested in the 10k RPM pulley accessories which works great and cutting just wood there is more than enough power in this mill to do the job.

 

So my question is........what accessories would you recommend?  I keep on reading about ER - 16 collet chucks but I don't really know what they are.  I'm guessing that they are contractable collect chucks but are these things really worth getting?  I have found that most of the cutting shanks that I use are either 3mm or 1/8" so simple collets may do the job.

 

Any advice / experience would be welcome

 

Thanks Mark 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Mark,

I have had my Sherline mill for over 30 years.  Same for the Sherline lathe. Most all accessories for one are also fit the other. 

 

Suggested accessories for the mill: Sensitive drill attachment (very useful). Tilting angle plate, Rotary table + chuck adaptor (I use my rotary table a lot) and of course the vice. Sherline has adapter for WW collets (very expensive for a set).  Sherline also has a draw bar collet set for 1/4", 3/16" and 1/8" mills, a draw bar chuck for drilling. Lastly a good assortment of step blocks and clamps. I have the high speed adapter for the lathe and mill but find it mostly not an advantage. If used for an extended time the headstock bearings heat up. 

Bill

Edited by Bill Hudson
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never looked back having purchased this mill 2 years ago. Bill is so correct about the accessories especially the tilt table and the rotary table. Sherline has made these very utilitarian as some of the lathe accessories will work with the rotary table. I think it is a common lament that part capture on any mill, large or small is always problematical. This mill elevates my capabilities!

Joe

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why would you get an (ER) collet-chuck for the mill for which you can get proprietary collets. Didn't check the available sizes, but they certaily cover the typical end-mill shank sizes. In fact, I thought such collets would be the standard kit for the mill, how else do you hold the cutters ?

 

The Sherline mill is mainly made for work with non-ferrous metals, I suppose. What is 'essential' in terms of accessories depends really on the type of work.

 

I don't have a Sherline, but on any mill different sizes of vices for me are really 'essential' and I would not necessarily vote for the Sherline vice. Toolmakers insert vices are a more precise option and come in many different dimensions to suit the work.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bill and Joe and thanks for your comments

 

Bill - I've actually ordered the step blocks as I thought that my Proxxon one's would be adequate and fit but the don't.  They should be here next week and I've also ordered the T bolts too.  Interestingly I've also found that the headstock bearings heat up on high speed and I've even adjusted the end play on the preset nut as per the instructions.  They don't get so hot though that I can't touch the headstock so I'll see how that goes.  The instructions say that the bearings cannot be damaged by heat and if I have any problems I'll contact Sherline but its nice to hear that its just not me.  I've found that I do not get tear out or chip out at the higher speed which is very encouraging.

 

Bill and Thistle17 -  I've already got a tilting table but I have seen the rotary table.  Thanks for the advice here as I thought that I would need one of these at some point.  They look extremely well made so I'll get saving for one.

 

Thanks Mark

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, wefalck said:

Why would you get an (ER) collet-chuck for the mill for which you can get proprietary collets. Didn't check the available sizes, but they certaily cover the typical end-mill shank sizes. In fact, I thought such collets would be the standard kit for the mill, how else do you hold the cutters ?

 

The Sherline mill is mainly made for work with non-ferrous metals, I suppose. What is 'essential' in terms of accessories depends really on the type of work.

 

I don't have a Sherline, but on any mill different sizes of vices for me are really 'essential' and I would not necessarily vote for the Sherline vice. Toolmakers insert vices are a more precise option and come in many different dimensions to suit the work.

Hi wefalck and thanks for your comments 

 

I don't actually know what an ER collet chuck is?  I've just assumed that it is an adjustable collet chuck that fits many sizes?  

 

I only machine wood and use very few shank sizes - however a Sherline collet in the UK is £27 or if you like $35 a go.  So over here 3 collets is the best part of $100 so I was wondering if there was maybe an equivalent way for a reasonable price.

 

Thanks for the advice on the tool makers vices I'll have a good look on the internet :) 

 

Mark

Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, Sherline choose to go for a proprietary taper in their spindles. Not unusual for manufacturers to ensure that you buy equipment from them.

 

ER collets is a kind of standard for workholding: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collet#ER_collets. Now, that the Sherline has a different taper, you need an adapter, i.e. a collet chuck. They come in two different configurations: either they screw onto the spindle, like say a 3-jaw-chuck, or they have a tapered shank that is drawn in by a draw-bar. The problem is, that any 'interface' degrades the precision and with a collet-chuck you have two more than with a directly drawn-in collet. ER collets these days come in wide price range, from a couple of quid per collet from China to may be for 150€ for an original Regofix one. As you intend to mainly work on wood, run-out of all these configurations are probably good enough.

 

It is important to remember that ER collets are designed for tool-holding. They are slotted from both ends, which means that they distort and have the tendency to 'squeeze out' anything that does not pass through the full length of the collet. 

 

If I had to choose between a drill-chuck in a mill or a lathe tailstock and an ER-collet chuck, I would go for the latter (and have done so), as it shorter and has less run out. Got a cheapo Chinese one and it is good enough for my purposes.

 

Check all spindle tooling for the maximum rpms it is rated for. For instance normal drill-chucks are not rated for more than 5000 rpm or so and not for use with milling cutters, as they don't like side-pressure.

Link to post
Share on other sites

wefalck thanks very much for this information as this is exactly the kind of thing that I need to learn.

 

Although I did a tool making apprenticeship in the 80's things have changed so much since then.   I currently have two collets (3mm and 1/8") which are secured using a draw bar for this mill and are rated to 12K RPM.   I like this system as it has few interfaces and from my two day experience of this mill its a very very secure holding system which also seems to runs true.  My curiosity and other posts on this forum made me think that maybe an ER16 system may be better for my needs.  Also when you look at the Sherline spindle its threaded like a mill chuck should be there.  I guess this is something to do with the lathe.

 

I'm on a very different learning curve here but one which I'll hopefully understand soon

 

Mark 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since you’re already paying shipping from California to the UK, I would suggest extra T Nuts and 1 or 2 of the socket head set screws with the point on the end although your mill might not use them.  My milling column does and one broke.   I recently bought a slitting saw arbor for a non ship model use but can think of several ship modeling uses.  I second Wefalck’ recommendation for a milling vice.

 

Roger

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Sherline mill and lathe are designed to machine any type of machinable metal including mild steel.  The threads on the mill spindle are the same as the lathe, in fact the headstocks are the same and are interchangeable. The threads on the mill are for use for an adaptor for holding 3/8" shank mill cutters. The two drawbar collets for mills are about as accurate as any mill in this price range.  As I said before, I have been using both Sherline products for one 30 years.  I have done some very intricate machining and have not had any problems with accuracy. The main thing is to keep your machines clean and adjusted. Both machines can be taken apart and cleaned. I would not recommend messing with the headstocks. I like to clean the lead screws and remove any swarf that might have accumulated.  When putting it back together is the time to adjust the gibs on the cross slide.   

 

Bill

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Sherline certainly can handle steel. My concern would be steel swarf on extruded aluminium parts from which the machines are made. One has to be me more meticulous in cleaning, than for a machine made from cast iron or steel.

 

If one also has the lathe, one can make a lot of spindle tooling oneself. I do this all the time on my watchmakers lathes and milling machines that all take the same collets. I think Sherline sells blanks to fit into their spindle taper, as well as various threaded arbors. There may be also blanks that screw onto the nose thread.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, wefalck said:

The Sherline certainly can handle steel. My concern would be steel swarf on extruded aluminium parts from which the machines are made. One has to be me more meticulous in cleaning, than for a machine made from cast iron or steel.

 

 

So far that has not been a real problem for me. The anodized coating on the aluminum parts of the mill and lathe is very hard.  I do have some little nicks and scratches over the years but those are mostly from my screw ups. The ways for the lathe bed is steel so the swarf does not bother it at all. The cross slide is aluminum and doesn't show much wear from clamping the tool post and other accessories on it.  The ways on the mill are of aluminum but don't seem to be bothered by swarf to any extent. I use an inch wide paint brush and an old tooth brush to keep swarf at bay while machining.

Another similar mill and lathe would be the Taig. With Taig you can build up your own lathe or mill from their parts. The lathe chucks are quite clunky for my taste but with a ring spacer on the spindle you can use Sherline chucks. The Taig lathe does to have a lead screw, all cutting is done using a hand wheel. When I had my larger shop in operation I also had a Taig lathe. There are some advantages to the Taig if you like to do graver turning using a T rest. Taig also has leaver feed for the tail stock which is much better than the hand screw feed on the Sherline. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The price/quality relationship of the Sherline 3- and 4-jaw chucks is very good and I have acquired all their sizes for heavier work on my larger watchmakers lathe over the years. What is an advantage on smaller lathes is that their body is thinner and not so much overhung compared to other makes of chucks - of course they are less deep then, but it is an advantage, when machining shorter larger-diameter stuff.

 

I also have/had a couple of their motor units, which at that time I bought them some 20 years ago gave a lot of power and good control. Unfortunately one unit ate its carbon brushes too fast and unnoticed so that I managed to destroy the commutator. Like me, many people use these units on other machines. However, with the rise of the electro-scooter, powerful motors and control units have become available now from other sources.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

 

My mill after 30+ years of use. The T slots  in the cross slide  show most wear to the anodizing. That is from the hold down clamps screws a bit too long. Also some aluminum is showing through along the leading edge of the cross slide. That is all the wear there is  on this mill. I found out using a white lithium grease is best.  It puts a fine film on the wearing surfaces. Regular grease collects swarf and dust. A few drops of 3-1 oil on the lead screws are all that is needed. 

 

 

1214704566_mill-1.jpeg.a0e54c6f487f9a87da8dfc6e1edc44eb.jpeg

 

 

mill - 1 (1).jpeg

Edited by Bill Hudson
Trying with out success to remove duplicate images.
Link to post
Share on other sites

ER-16 collet chucks are compressed from the front and rear equally if you have a decent collet and chuck.  They hold any size drill or endmill quite well if you use the correct size collet for your tool.  I have never had one squeeze out a small endmill or drill.  I have about  250 or so ER-16,   ER-25 and ER-32 collets. They are all made in the USA, none of them are from China.  If you use a collet with a draw bar the tool has to be the exact size or it will only squeeze the tool at the front of the collet.   Good quality ER collets are the best around

 

Jim

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/6/2021 at 5:59 PM, Roger Pellett said:

Since you’re already paying shipping from California to the UK, I would suggest extra T Nuts and 1 or 2 of the socket head set screws with the point on the end although your mill might not use them.  My milling column does and one broke.   I recently bought a slitting saw arbor for a non ship model use but can think of several ship modeling uses.  I second Wefalck’ recommendation for a milling vice.

 

Roger

Hi Roger - Luckily I've found a supplier in the UK so my shipping costs this time are minimal.  But as I ordered the standard and stepped hold downs I have quite a few T nuts etc.  The quality are very good and I'm glad that I bought them.

 

34 minutes ago, jimbyr said:

ER-16 collet chucks are compressed from the front and rear equally if you have a decent collet and chuck.  They hold any size drill or endmill quite well if you use the correct size collet for your tool.  I have never had one squeeze out a small endmill or drill.  I have about  250 or so ER-16,   ER-25 and ER-32 collets. They are all made in the USA, none of them are from China.  If you use a collet with a draw bar the tool has to be the exact size or it will only squeeze the tool at the front of the collet.   Good quality ER collets are the best around

 

Jim

Thanks Jim - I do have two draw bar collets and they are quite expensive and yes the cutter has to be within .001" to fit correctly according to the instructions.  Any chance you could recommend a make of collet chuck or two that I could have a look at.  

 

I did make a mistake - I ordered a tooling plate as I have used these in the past.  Anyway after paying for it I realised that I have a mill and just could have made one.  I've been out of the game for too long but I did laugh at myself.  I'll get some pictures up next week but it is a good bit of kit which is easily dialled in with a DTI.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/7/2021 at 10:05 PM, Bill Hudson said:

 

My mill after 30+ years of use. The T slots  in the cross slide  show most wear to the anodizing. That is from the hold down clamps screws a bit too long. Also some aluminum is showing through along the leading edge of the cross slide. That is all the wear there is  on this mill. I found out using a white lithium grease is best.  It puts a fine film on the wearing surfaces. Regular grease collects swarf and dust. A few drops of 3-1 oil on the lead screws are all that is needed. 

 

 

1214704566_mill-1.jpeg.a0e54c6f487f9a87da8dfc6e1edc44eb.jpeg

 

 

mill - 1 (1).jpeg

Bill I never would have guessed the age of your mill it still looks great.  I don't understand why though T bolts have the thread all of the way through.  If they were blind holes we would get less marks on the table and probably less man made distortion too.  Thanks for the pics :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, ER are chucks are compressed from the conical surface, when the nut pushes it backwards into the cone. Due to the slotting from the front and the back, they have a rather wide clamping range, typically 0.5 mm per size. For this reason they are sold in 0.5 mm steps. ER collets below 1 mm nominal diameter are difficult to manufacture at an acceptable quality/price ratio.

 

You can make yourself a sketch of the resulting forces and of what happens, when you insert a short workpiece into such a collet: there is a tendency to bend the collet tighter at the end, where it is not held open by the workpiece, as you push the collet in with the nut. This has a forward resulting component of the forces, that is the stronger, the shorter the workpiece is. Of course, if the tool goes through the full length of the collet, the bore of the collet will lay down equally onto the whole length of the tool. This is why ER are superior to the other collets, when it comes to tool-holding, because of the large contact surface.

 

This distortion with short workpieces cannot happen in other types of collets that are only slotted from the front. The solid ring at the end prevents such distortion. They have a much narrower clamping range, usually 0.2 mm, and therefore are typically sold in 0.2 mm steps (at least for the size range of machines we use in our workshops). If you clamp a workpiece or tool the diameter of which is less than nominal diameter minus 0.2 mm, than it will indeed pinch only with the front edge, resulting in damage to both, collet and workpiece. Normally the bearing surface in such collets is between 0.5 and perhaps 2 or 3 mm long, so that even very short workpieces can be held securely. In my watchmakers lathe collets I can hold securily discs of 0.5 mm thickness and several mm in diameter. Such collets are manufactured normally from 0.2 mm nominal diameter upwards.

 

One should also add, that into neither type of collets tools or workpieces larger than the nominal diameter should be forced. This will distort and eventually destroy the collet.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a nice Renishaw tilting table that you have there ... their stuff is interesting, but rather pricey. Looked at it years ago and took some inspiration for home-made equipment. That's the beauty, when you have a lathe and a mill that take both the same spindle tooling, you can make a lot of tools for them yourself.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, wefalck said:

That's a nice Renishaw tilting table that you have there ... their stuff is interesting, but rather pricey. Looked at it years ago and took some inspiration for home-made equipment. That's the beauty, when you have a lathe and a mill that take both the same spindle tooling, you can make a lot of tools for them yourself.

Your right there equipment really is nice but eye wateringly expensive . Lucky I have a friend who’s company use a lot of their tools so he managed to get it for a reasonable price for me.  Amazingly it fits the Proxxon vice with no modification required 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark

 

Looks like you would have to change the complete Sherline head stock.  

 

https://www.sherline.com/product/30111-er-16-headstock/#specifications

 

It's 200 bucks and runout is .0005 - .001

 

Not sure I would do that.

 

If you're looking for an ER-16  collet chuck for something else I can recommend one

 

Jim

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...