Boring stuff

Currently I’m doing some modifications to my Sherline lathes in order to add a cover, very similar to the one on my cnc mill. This will result in a really big changes in the lathe look. I don’t feel comfortable doing these brutal changes to these beautiful machines, but it’s something I need to do.

cncworkOf course there are always some things that go wrong. If I were a professional machinist working on big machines I will be dead for sure. So be careful when you start cutting on a corner using traditional milling (not climb milling; I’m not saying climb milling is more secure, btw).

cncerrorI’m doing a lot of work with my cnc mill. I’m working on and with a really useful set of gcode routines that I will like share at some point.

Finally, here’s one of the more simpler yet useful accessories you can make for your Sherline mill/lathe, the “no hammer” (not my idea of course).

nut-01 nut-02 nut-03 nut-04

Can’t believe didn’t did this before.

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Aluminum Sheet Cutting

My actual cutting parameters for aluminum sheet:

  • Material: 1100 aluminum (I’ve cut 1mm and 2.5mm sheets)
  • Feed: 600mm-min or 24IPM (I’ve used 800mm-min, but now I’m being conservative)
  • End-mill: 4-flute 1.5mm carbide. I’ve used 2-flute and 3-flute; the more flutes, the more quiet the cut.
  • DOC: 0.2mm
  • Spindle speed: max (2800 rpm)
  • Lubricant: some WD40
  • Finish pass required.


A lot of peoples says 1100 is a┬ánightmare to machine, but as always, you just need to know it. I settle in these parameters by a test-error process, but I don’t now if these are the optimal ones. I just know these values work for me. And of course these small carbide end-mill would enjoy more rpm.

For 5052 I’ve used the same parameters, but you need to lower the feed a bit; a friend broke some end-mills at 800mm-min because of my speed thirst (nevertheless that was fun).

One last thing… the part in the photos is 2.5mm thick, so it was strong enough to withstand all the cutting with just a few screws. If that were a 1mm sheet more screws would be required.

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The Perfect Paper

I’ve been building a leadscrew cover for the Sherline’s I’m going to sell. I think this is a must on any cnc machine.

I like the classical accordion-like cover, originally designed by So far, the main obstacle has been to find an appropriate paper. But I guess here is: Fabriano Tiziano Paper. This is a acid-free, 40% cotton, 160 gsm drawing paper. Very high quality and strong paper.


Folding has a trick; you should use a ballpoint pen to trace each line, pushing hard (kind of emboss). Even if you do this, folding is difficult, though not impossible.

And the best thing… you have a lot of color options!. I like the black-red combination.

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An Incredible Project

DARwIn-OP is a humanoid open source robot developed by some prestigious universities. It’s not just a toy, but an advanced research platform; commercial version cost USD $12,000.00.


Some time ago I found a guy in my city that is building this thing on their own and I was amazed; that involves some serious metalworking, electronic and programming skills. He had some trouble because the largest part has a size larger than the cutting area of his machine (a 5400 Sherline CNC mill), so I provide my machine to do the cut; that was a lot of fun. So here is his site:

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So. My business began in May. The original idea was to build and sell things, but I realized that it’s better to start doing just one thing: sell things. So now I’m Sherline dealer in my country, being my focus to sell cnc solutions. Indeed, it’s not just to buy-and-sell business. I bought cnc-ready machines, add the rest and do some modifications (like to add spindle control). Also, I deviated from this and committed to build a cnc machine from scratch, for a jeweller (lesson learned: never to promise something you have never built).

Things have been hard. Accounting, buys, legal issues, design, programming…. a lot of work, and I’m just alone. I already collapsed but now I’m ok, relaxed and letting things flow. I will close my first deal next month; two machines for a university lab, and hope to repeat the process with less pain and in shorter time.

And, in the middle of all of this, I discover that I can paint, and that I need to paint. Saddly I’m doing just one paint in the month or something like this. Sanddly, because painting it’s a lot of fun… and now I think machining and all of this crap it’s so boring!. Just joking. I will always love machines…. and painting.

No one in my surroundings has been interested on this or said my paintings are beautiful, but I don’t care too much. I just love them.


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