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Sherline lathe - distance between centers

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Hi everyone,


I've been thinking about upgrading to the Sherline lathe from the Proxxon DB250.  The base model comes with a bed that is 8" between centers.  Is this long enough for mast making?  The Proxxon enables you to slide the mast through a hole in the system opposite the tailstock (not sure exactly what you call it), so you can work with longer pieces, you just have to flip them around.  Is that the case with the Sherline as well, or is it just better to go with the longer bed that is 17" between centers?





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You can do the same with a Sherline, provided the thickness of the stock does not exceed 3/8". I found that turning long lengths of wood into masts was very difficult due to deflection over the lathe bed (on longer yards and masts). I believe it easier to  make them as per the original by turning them into eight, then sixteen sided blanks before rounding them by hand. There is an excellent description in Antscherl's Rigging a Sixth Rate Sloop of War. Personally, if I was to purchase another Sherline lathe it would have the smaller bed.

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If you have to turn longer stock you can take off the tail stock and use sandpaper.  However Greg is right that the eight sixteen way of making a mast is the best way of doing it.   The job can be done quicker and you have more control.  When you use a lathe you can put a twist into the wood that can cause problems down the road.

David B

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