Lathes and Mills


I love tools, and there are many opportunities to make or modify things in G scale.

Here's some information on lathes, mills, and my experiences

EMCO Unimat 3

I purchased a used EMCO Unimat 3. I use to to make small aluminum and plastic parts.

The milling head takes ER16 collets. I need to find a good source.

It's not super powerful, but will do light jobs.

A good site for info and parts:

traverse tool supply.... production tool supply detroit


Sherline 5410 Mill

I decided to go a step up, in quality, capacity, and also get a CNC mill for some routine work. I don't expect to be an expert, but automating some tasks would be good.




I bought the Sherline “A” package, which contains:

    • 1072 1/4″ drill chuck with key, #1 Morse arbor and drawbolt
    • 3013 Step Block Hold-down Set
    • 3020 5/32″ Sherline Hex T-driver
    • 3021 3-piece Center Drill Set - 1/8", 3/16", and 1/4" shanks, 60 degree countersink
    • 3052 Fly Cutter with 1/4″ carbide cutting tool
    • 3060 3-piece Mill Collet Set with Drawbolt
    • 3079 3/8″ End Mill Holder
    • 3551 Milling Vise
    • 5327 Sherline Accessories Shop Guide book (Softound, 8.5 x 11″ 224 pages, black and white)

The picture below shows the CNC stepper motors on a 5400 series mill. I did not buy the Linux computer, I am using a windows 10 laptop with an i7.


And below is their motion control box, with the parallel interface (which I also purchased):


Note that it is a 4 axis box, so I can add a 4th stepper for a rotary index:


CNC software & interface to motion control h/w

I purchased the CNC option for the Sherline, and decided I wanted software that was not on Linux and would run on windows 10. The reasoning is that I want to devote a single computer to the CNC and to the upcoming 3D scanner and printer I'm going to get. I have a powerful laptop, and I want software that runs on a current operating system, since most people want to stay with the same software for a while. Going to a product that only works on XP would be stupid in my opinion.

So, this moved me to Mach4 (Mach3 is popular but barely works on win8 32 bit and the parallel port support is poor).

This solved my Windows software version issue.

So needed an interface between the parallel port motion control hardware from Sherline and my Windows 10 computer.

Enter dPP Engineering, David Peled is the owner. He makes an interface, but it also has a micro in it to stage the commands properly to the parallel port. If you don't queue up commands properly, you can have issues. they have been a Sherline dealer since 1996.

Fast and helpful, I purchased my Mach4 from them also. 800-621-8334, in NY

My tips on installation are here:  Mach 4 software installation

Books and Resources

Just some notes:

Machinery's Handbook -

Tabletop Machining - Joe Martin - founder Sherline

feed rate / spindle speed calculator -  recommended by Dwight Ennis


MIT TechTV - Machine Shop 1

MIT TechTV - Machine Shop 2

MIT TechTV - Machine Shop 3

MIT TechTV - Machine Shop 4

MIT TechTV - Machine Shop 5

MIT TechTV - Machine Shop 6

MIT TechTV - Machine Shop 7

MIT TechTV - Machine Shop 8

MIT TechTV - Machine Shop 9

MIT TechTV - Machine Shop 10

Where to buy mills, accessories

Sherline  sells a set of 6 end mills - 1/8, 5/32, 3/16, 1/4, 5/16, and 3/8.  All are 3/8 shank double-ended and center-cutting.  The sets are available in 2 flute (Sherline P/N 7400 and 4 flute (P/N 7401).  Each set if $50.00.  They are also available separately for $9.00 each.

MSC Direct    (formerly Rutland Tool) also sells all kinds of end mills.  I've used both suppliers and both are good outfits with excellent service.If you are using HSS use a good brand. like Weldon, Fastcut, Nachi, etc For Carbide Imco, Garr, etc  Chinese tooling is not a good buy.

1/8 cutter diameter on 1018 steel, should be run around 150 to 175 rpm

Misc to do:

 buy metal from either or online from McMaster-Carr.

buy a couple edge finders


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