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the spindle. (Note: Lighter than normal cuts should be taken when the alignment key is not in place.) The latter method must be used for drilling to keep the drill movement parallel with the machine slide. All machine slides have an adjustable gib to compensate for any "play" that may develop. (See section on adjusting gibs in the "Adjustments" section of the setup instructions.)

In August, 1998, Sherline introduced the Model 2000 mill and related upgrades that allows for eight directions of adjustment. For instructions specific to this machine, click here.

It is assumed that anyone purchasing a vertical milling machine has had some experience working with metal cutting tools; therefore, these instructions are somewhat limited for a beginner. There is enough information, however, to enable a good craftsman to get started. Using a vertical mill correctly takes more skill and experience than is required for lathe operation because of the additional axis (vertical) and the more varied type of work which can be performed. For those wanting to learn more, we have written a 350-page color book called Tabletop Machining (P/N 5301) that covers the subject in much greater detail.

The machine must be well maintained, for it is subject to higher stresses than a lathe. This particular mill is one of the smallest being manufactured and is an extremely useful tool. However, it would be unreasonable to clamp a 3-pound piece of stainless steel to the work table and expect to make a 1-pound part from it. The key point is to work within the capabilities of the machine, and those limitations can only be determined by the operator.


  • This is a small, light duty mill and should not be used to remove large amounts of stock that could be easily removed with a hacksaw. For efficiency, select a piece of stock as close to finished size as possible.

  • Stresses on a mill are quite high when cutting most materials; therefore, gib and backlash adjustments must be properly maintained. (See "Adjustments" section beginning on page 6.)

  • End mills must run true and be sharp. Holding end mills in a drill chuck is a poor practice. Use collets or an end mill holder instead. The 3/8" end mill holder (P/N

    • 3079)

      allows you to use a large range of readily available 3/8" end mills with your machine. (1/4" and 3/16" end mill holders are also available.)

  • Flycutting is an excellent way of removing stock from flat surfaces and leaves a good finish.

  • Normal machine alignment is adequate for most work, but if the work is exceptionally large or requires extreme accuracy, shims may be employed to improve machine alignment.

  • For accurate setups you should have and know how to use a dial indicator.

  • Often, more time will be spent making fixtures to hold work than doing the actual machining.

  • To help save time on many simple setups a good mill vise is a must.

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