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Yet another newbie

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  • John
    [lurk mode off] Hello, all - I m about to join the ranks of robotic Sherline owners, and I d like to start things off by thanking the people on this list who
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 31 8:42 PM
      [lurk mode off]

      Hello, all -

      I'm about to join the ranks of robotic Sherline owners, and I'd
      like to start things off by thanking the people on this list who
      have posted so much useful information:

      Thanks!

      I've been waffling between Taig and Sherline mills, but a visit
      to Sherline's factory today convinced me that one of their mills
      will be just about perfect for my intended use of chewing up
      plastic and small amounts of aluminum. btw, Sherline's Web
      site has a standing invitation to visit their factory, and I can
      assure you that they mean it. I showed up unannounced and
      got a cordial welcome from Craig Libuse, followed by an
      enthusiastic factory tour from Joe Martin. Both of them
      cheerfully endured my silly questions and uninformed
      comments. I really didn't want to waste their time, but
      they obviously have a lot of pride in what they've built
      and enjoy showing it off.

      So... now that I've buttered you up and told many of you
      stuff you already know, I'd be grateful for comments
      on the components I've selected:

      - Sherline 5400 CNC ready
      - Sherline CNC ready rotary table (I'll work up to it)
      - Xylotex 3 & 1 channel drivers + switching PS
      - BDI + EMC on a medium-fast Athlon
      - Miscellaneous obvious accessories -- suggestions?
      - (4) Sherline steppers, unless I've missed a great
      deal on good quality new motors somewhere else.
      Their prices and steppers seem decent, but what do
      *I* know?
      - Possibly a long bed Sherline lathe (see below)

      My immediate goals are to learn how to use the
      tools efficiently and to use them to do some top
      secret-eyes-only-hush-hush prototyping work,
      mostly in ABS plastic. 2.5-ish axes will be fine
      to start, though there are a few things on the mental
      drawing board that will need the rotary table.

      Speaking of which, how well does a rotary table + mill
      work as a substitute for a lathe? If the lathe is still truly
      useful when you have a 4-axis setup, is there a lot to be
      gained from adding CNC to it as well? Judging by the
      mill-centric nature of everything I've read, it doesn't
      seem like very many people are doing it. I'll probably
      just grab the lathe anyway to do some longer pieces
      (and, more importantly, to learn), but if anyone has
      an opinion they'd like to share, I'll bet it would
      interesting to other tyros like me.

      Finally, do any of you have a favorite non-California
      Sherline dealer? I've already overpaid my taxes this
      year and would rather skip the 7.75% on this stuff.

      Thanks again,
      - John Noble

      please ignore the blahbalicious@... spam trap
      and reply to the group.
    • Michael Romeo
      ... I have a Taig mill so I ll only comment on the Xylotex and EMC ... I like mine and Jeff gives great support, overall a good choice IMHO. ... First, verify
      Message 2 of 7 , Aug 1, 2003
        --- In SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com, "John" <blahbalicious@y...> wrote:
        > <SNIP>

        > stuff you already know, I'd be grateful for comments
        > on the components I've selected:
        >

        I have a Taig mill so I'll only comment on the Xylotex and EMC
        > - Xylotex 3 & 1 channel drivers + switching PS

        I like mine and Jeff gives great support, overall a good choice IMHO.

        > - BDI + EMC on a medium-fast Athlon

        First, verify support for your video card on the machine you plan to
        use, this seems to give people the most grief. If you go this route
        be aware that EMC has some issues with the rotary axis. The
        development activity seems to have picked up on EMC and I think this
        is one of thier priorities after code cleanup. Sherline has made
        some upgrades to the EMC code in support of thier turnkey CNC package
        so you might want to search the archives and find out how to add
        those upgrades over the base BDI install, I believe you need BDI 2.20
        to apply the patches (The source patch will not compile on my BDI-TNG
        system). You might want to join the emc_users list on Sourceforge too.

        Mike
      • ajordan47
        Hi John, Most Sherline dealers do not have stock. The mills, lathes, and accessories are shipped directly from the Sherline factory. That means that all of us
        Message 3 of 7 , Aug 1, 2003
          Hi John,

          Most Sherline dealers do not have stock. The mills, lathes, and
          accessories are shipped directly from the Sherline factory. That
          means that all of us in California still have to pay the sales tax.
          There may be a few non-California dealers that will ship to you from
          their own stock, but I don't know of any.

          Also, I just saw a notice on Sherline.com that there is a price
          increase scheduled for October 1. Since this price increase was
          originally scheduled for October, 2001, I would expect it to be large
          enough that you (and I) should not procrastinate.

          Al



          --- In SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com, "John" <blahbalicious@y...> wrote:
          > [lurk mode off]
          >
          > Hello, all -
          >
          >
          > ...
          >
          >
          > Finally, do any of you have a favorite non-California
          > Sherline dealer? I've already overpaid my taxes this
          > year and would rather skip the 7.75% on this stuff.
          >
          > Thanks again,
          > - John Noble
        • Charles Hixon
          John, You might make a bid on the new Sherline CNC mill offered on eBay. Charles Hixon
          Message 4 of 7 , Aug 1, 2003
            John, You might make a bid on the new Sherline CNC mill offered on
            eBay. Charles Hixon

            --- In SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com, "John" <blahbalicious@y...>
            wrote:
            > [lurk mode off]
            >
            > Hello, all -
            >
            > I'm about to join the ranks of robotic Sherline owners, and I'd
            > like to start things off by thanking the people on this list who
            > have posted so much useful information:
            >
            > Thanks!
            >
            > I've been waffling between Taig and Sherline mills, but a visit
            > to Sherline's factory today convinced me that one of their mills
            > will be just about perfect for my intended use of chewing up
            > plastic and small amounts of aluminum. btw, Sherline's Web
            > site has a standing invitation to visit their factory, and I can
            > assure you that they mean it. I showed up unannounced and
            > got a cordial welcome from Craig Libuse, followed by an
            > enthusiastic factory tour from Joe Martin. Both of them
            > cheerfully endured my silly questions and uninformed
            > comments. I really didn't want to waste their time, but
            > they obviously have a lot of pride in what they've built
            > and enjoy showing it off.
            >
            > So... now that I've buttered you up and told many of you
            > stuff you already know, I'd be grateful for comments
            > on the components I've selected:
            >
            > - Sherline 5400 CNC ready
            > - Sherline CNC ready rotary table (I'll work up to it)
            > - Xylotex 3 & 1 channel drivers + switching PS
            > - BDI + EMC on a medium-fast Athlon
            > - Miscellaneous obvious accessories -- suggestions?
            > - (4) Sherline steppers, unless I've missed a great
            > deal on good quality new motors somewhere else.
            > Their prices and steppers seem decent, but what do
            > *I* know?
            > - Possibly a long bed Sherline lathe (see below)
            >
            > My immediate goals are to learn how to use the
            > tools efficiently and to use them to do some top
            > secret-eyes-only-hush-hush prototyping work,
            > mostly in ABS plastic. 2.5-ish axes will be fine
            > to start, though there are a few things on the mental
            > drawing board that will need the rotary table.
            >
            > Speaking of which, how well does a rotary table + mill
            > work as a substitute for a lathe? If the lathe is still truly
            > useful when you have a 4-axis setup, is there a lot to be
            > gained from adding CNC to it as well? Judging by the
            > mill-centric nature of everything I've read, it doesn't
            > seem like very many people are doing it. I'll probably
            > just grab the lathe anyway to do some longer pieces
            > (and, more importantly, to learn), but if anyone has
            > an opinion they'd like to share, I'll bet it would
            > interesting to other tyros like me.
            >
            > Finally, do any of you have a favorite non-California
            > Sherline dealer? I've already overpaid my taxes this
            > year and would rather skip the 7.75% on this stuff.
            >
            > Thanks again,
            > - John Noble
            >
            > please ignore the blahbalicious@y... spam trap
            > and reply to the group.
          • John
            Thanks for the replies, everyone. I hate spamming lists with separate & short threadlet replies, so I ll do it all in this post. Charles, thanks for the Ebay
            Message 5 of 7 , Aug 1, 2003
              Thanks for the replies, everyone. I hate spamming lists with
              separate & short threadlet replies, so I'll do it all in this post.

              Charles, thanks for the Ebay pointer. Wow, that thing is gonna
              get bid through the roof! They must feel pretty confident about
              the fourth axis vs. EMC issue if they're selling it with the rotary
              table.

              Michael, I appreciate the EMC advice. I plan on working my way
              up from 2.5 axis stuff as I learn, so I hope the issues are resolved
              by the time I'm ready for it. I know what you mean about getting
              XFree86 to play nice with random video cards ... I had some, ah,
              "fun" with a touchscreen notebook and FreeBSD a while back.
              I'm *very* interested to see how some of the new-ish ITX form
              factor boards with Via processors will work with the software.
              It'd be a big win to be able to run a fanless system right next
              to your tools, and they are a cheap all-in-one solution. Expect
              to hear a report from me in the next few weeks.

              Al, you're right -- death and taxes are inevitable. If I'd used
              my noggin a little, I would have figured that out, heh. I'm using
              the price increase as justification for getting more toys now
              vs. later ... my "better half" seems to be buying this line of
              thinking for the moment, so I better strike while the iron is
              hot.

              Cheers,
              -john
            • wyverndudejfg
              I am reluctant to comment where my experience is limited... but this stuff I do know: 1) Sherline has recently begun offering a full CNC package (complete
              Message 6 of 7 , Aug 1, 2003
                I am reluctant to comment where my experience is limited... but this
                stuff I do know:

                1) Sherline has recently begun offering a full CNC package (complete
                turnkey system) for an extremely reasonable price.
                http://www.sherline.com/cnctemp.htm
                It seems to me I missed out on a fantastic deal (having bought my CNC
                setup some time ago). They do indicate that it is a marketing
                experiment, which may indicate that buyers will be 'guinea pigs' ...
                but for the price, it would be worth it. Besides that, there isn't
                anything 'experimental' about any of the hardware. Only the
                marketing/sales ...and possibly tech support, aspect. Seems like the
                way to go.

                2) Discount Campus
                http://www.discountcampus.com/
                seems to have the very best prices of anybody... that I've seen.
                Their website isn't too great -you will find no useful information or
                descriptions there- and when I contacted them with questions, they
                offered no apology (when I finally got a response), explaining that
                they assume people already know exactly what they want, then come to
                them for the best price.
                They are thus counting on other vendors to provide pre-sale support
                and information.

                I opted instead to buy locally
                http://www.flashcutcnc.com/
                -which cost me more, but working for a small, privately owned local
                company myself- I figured it was the right thing to do.

                I also can figure on getting support, from someone who is local and
                has accessories in stock.
                Mike has been friendly and helpful. I haven't yet needed much in the
                way of support, but the couple of times that I have, he's come
                through for me.


                Rotary table: -OK, caveat time: this is where I'm stretching the
                limits of my expertise, but here goes my thoughts:
                Although a rotary table mounted flat is very useful in manual
                machining, it becomes moot when you have CNC software to interpolate
                any kind of circular toolpath you want.
                So the only way to go (IMHO) with the rotary table is to mount it
                with the 90-degree kit.
                I have a CNC 4th axis setup, but haven't yet had cause to use it -
                though I have some projects that will need it. (cutting a helix).

                A lathe is very well suited to cutting threads (FlashCut is on the
                verge of releasing a CNC threading kit, MicroKinetics already has
                one). Mike knows I'm very anxious to get one and has promised to
                keep me posted on availability of the FlashCut CNC threading kit. It
                should be available some time this month, last I heard.


                Thanks for sharing your experience at the factory; it's really nice
                to know the Sherline folks are really as friendly as the image they
                present!



                --- In SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com, "Charles Hixon" <cehixon@y...>
                wrote:
                > John, You might make a bid on the new Sherline CNC mill offered on
                > eBay. Charles Hixon
                >
                > --- In SherlineCNC@yahoogroups.com, "John" <blahbalicious@y...>
                > wrote:
                > > [lurk mode off]
                > >
                > > Hello, all -
                > >
                > > I'm about to join the ranks of robotic Sherline owners, and I'd
                > > like to start things off by thanking the people on this list who
                > > have posted so much useful information:
                > >
                > > Thanks!
                > >
                > > I've been waffling between Taig and Sherline mills, but a visit
                > > to Sherline's factory today convinced me that one of their mills
                > > will be just about perfect for my intended use of chewing up
                > > plastic and small amounts of aluminum. btw, Sherline's Web
                > > site has a standing invitation to visit their factory, and I can
                > > assure you that they mean it. I showed up unannounced and
                > > got a cordial welcome from Craig Libuse, followed by an
                > > enthusiastic factory tour from Joe Martin. Both of them
                > > cheerfully endured my silly questions and uninformed
                > > comments. I really didn't want to waste their time, but
                > > they obviously have a lot of pride in what they've built
                > > and enjoy showing it off.
                > >
                > > So... now that I've buttered you up and told many of you
                > > stuff you already know, I'd be grateful for comments
                > > on the components I've selected:
                > >
                > > - Sherline 5400 CNC ready
                > > - Sherline CNC ready rotary table (I'll work up to it)
                > > - Xylotex 3 & 1 channel drivers + switching PS
                > > - BDI + EMC on a medium-fast Athlon
                > > - Miscellaneous obvious accessories -- suggestions?
                > > - (4) Sherline steppers, unless I've missed a great
                > > deal on good quality new motors somewhere else.
                > > Their prices and steppers seem decent, but what do
                > > *I* know?
                > > - Possibly a long bed Sherline lathe (see below)
                > >
                > > My immediate goals are to learn how to use the
                > > tools efficiently and to use them to do some top
                > > secret-eyes-only-hush-hush prototyping work,
                > > mostly in ABS plastic. 2.5-ish axes will be fine
                > > to start, though there are a few things on the mental
                > > drawing board that will need the rotary table.
                > >
                > > Speaking of which, how well does a rotary table + mill
                > > work as a substitute for a lathe? If the lathe is still truly
                > > useful when you have a 4-axis setup, is there a lot to be
                > > gained from adding CNC to it as well? Judging by the
                > > mill-centric nature of everything I've read, it doesn't
                > > seem like very many people are doing it. I'll probably
                > > just grab the lathe anyway to do some longer pieces
                > > (and, more importantly, to learn), but if anyone has
                > > an opinion they'd like to share, I'll bet it would
                > > interesting to other tyros like me.
                > >
                > > Finally, do any of you have a favorite non-California
                > > Sherline dealer? I've already overpaid my taxes this
                > > year and would rather skip the 7.75% on this stuff.
                > >
                > > Thanks again,
                > > - John Noble
                > >
                > > please ignore the blahbalicious@y... spam trap
                > > and reply to the group.
              • Tom Hubin
                Hello, ... I cut helices with my mill using the G72 and G73 Gcodes. ... I cut threads with my mill using a thread mill from MSC. I use a $42, 0.25 inch
                Message 7 of 7 , Aug 2, 2003
                  Hello,

                  > So the only way to go (IMHO) with the rotary table is to mount it
                  > with the 90-degree kit.
                  > I have a CNC 4th axis setup, but haven't yet had cause to use it -
                  > though I have some projects that will need it. (cutting a helix).

                  I cut helices with my mill using the G72 and G73 Gcodes.

                  > A lathe is very well suited to cutting threads (FlashCut is on the
                  > verge of releasing a CNC threading kit, MicroKinetics already has
                  > one). Mike knows I'm very anxious to get one and has promised to
                  > keep me posted on availability of the FlashCut CNC threading kit. It
                  > should be available some time this month, last I heard.

                  I cut threads with my mill using a thread mill from MSC. I use a $42,
                  0.25 inch diameter thread mill to make a 1.035"-40tpi thread and a $50,
                  0.080 inch diameter thread mill to make 4-40 threads. The G72 helix
                  Gcode does the threading after you drill the hole.

                  Tom Hubin
                  thubin@...
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