Conceived by Harold Clisby in Australia during 1970, and first manufactured in that country by Ron Sher, by 1972 the rights had been passed to the American Sheerline Company (interesting details about the design and development of the lathe and commercial underpinning firm can be found here: http://sherline.com/about/sherline-history An early example of what was called at first the Sherline 3-inch Precision Lathe can be found towards the bottom of the page.
Under the control of the clever and hard-working Joe Martin, the lathe was further developed together with a range of small precision milling machines and numerous accessories. Today the lathe and associated products are widely exported and have a sound reputation for effective design and efficient working. Although a number of different models have been introduced, the basis of this well-engineered little lathe has remained essentially unchanged since its introduction with the result that the latest accessories can be used on the earliest machine - and spare parts easily and reliably obtained. Some versions of the lathe and miller have also been rebranded for sale in Europe using the "Unimat" name.
For a long time, the Sherline product line was static, due to its founder's prolonged illness. Joe Martin died a couple of years ago and, with his typically generous spirit, willed the company to its employees - who, with great enterprise, are engaged in the production of additional, interesting accessories and working to improve the versatility of their lathes. They have introduced a double riser block, an extra thick cross slide and a new headstock that takes standard 3C collets, an automatic WW-type collet closer for light production work, a newly designed chuck, and additional CNC support.
2350 Oak Ridge Way, Vista, VC 92083 USA
International Phone: 001-760-727-5857 Fax: 001-760-727-7857
Toll Free (orders only) 1-800-541-0735
Formed as an aluminium casting, the base of the Sherline lathe carries a steel bed machined with dovetail ways along its edges. The "leadscrew" runs down the centre of the bed, protected from swarf and engaging with the carriage via a "full nut"; this simple and reliable arrangement means, unfortunately, a lot of hand twirling by the operator to reposition the cutting tools on longer jobs, there being no quick-feed rack as on most larger lathes. The saddle is adjusted to the bed, and the cross slide to the saddle, by long tapered gib blocks - a more expensive but superior method to the usual row of small adjusting screws and loose, thin, flexible gib strips.
Non-backgeared, the box-form headstock casting carries a20 mm sealed-for-life bearings and is bolted to the bed but can be rotated on it, to a limited degree, to allow taper turning.
With a 0.4.5" (10 mm) bore, the No. 1 Morse taper spindle with its 3/4" x 16 t.p.i thread is driven by a 100/240v 50/60 Hz motor (which adjusts automatically to voltage and Hz) through an electronic controller giving infinitely variable speeds from 70 to 2800 rpm. The drive from motor to headstock is via two-step pulleys, giving high and low speed ranges and effectively increasing the torque at lower rpm. - a very useful feature when trying to turn larger diameters in more resilient materials..