Thursday, June 18, 2015

CNC Is Coming!

The only sensible solution is to upgrade my Sherline 5000 vertical mill to CNC.  I can order the upgrade kit (no computer) for $1050.  I have a PC running Ubuntu Linux already.  With what CNC machinists quote me, the capital investment makes sense, and all the existing Sherline tooling can be reused. Just verifying mt antique can handle this.

Soon I hope to be doing this!


  1. So, Gonna get yourself an 80% AR Lower? :-)

  2. Assuming there's enough depth available, he'll be set up for a 0% receiver!

  3. Haven't worked directly with CNC types. However, lots of good hold-down tooling and fixturing is a good thing to have for a mill. And, some measuring equipment. Never turn down really good deals on milling bits, even if they are too big for your current equipment. You may get a bigger unit later. (machine shop auctions should not be missed. Even if you don't buy, you get to see lots of shop stuff up close. Educational)

    A granite block for precision dimensioning of milled parts is very useful. 18"x24" is good. You may be able to get away with smaller, due to the tiny mill you have. (Requires a rolling cart at that size. Smaller may just set on a bench. Heck, get a big enough rock to mount your mill on it, maybe. Might save a bit of shop space.)

    The rock needs to be big enough to slide micrometer holder bases around to reach various areas of a milled piece to check the accuracy of the job, and to check/confirm that purchased parts/tooling is correctly made. Don't just hope that someone else did their job correctly. Generally, every time I assumed a new to me part was made properly, I was unpleasantly surprised. Confirm before developing trust, and always do a careful eyeball of new shipments in or out. In addition, checking parts tells you how consistent a manufacturer is, and how they work to actual spec. This can be useful data to make design and purchasing decisions with.