Air Spindle for Sherline Mill

Air Spindle for Sherline Mill

Postby Bernd » Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:51 pm

I just got done running 50feet of air line from my garage to my basement shop so I can finally run the air spindle for the Sherline mill.

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Now I'll be able to mill smaller parts at a faster rate than using the motor drive. I'll be able to start thinking again about making some masters for plastic injection.

Here's what some of the cutters look like. These are more for engraving than milling large amounts of stock. The one on the right with the very sharp point can be used to engrave doors on the side of cars and engines.

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Going to be a busy TT scaler here for a while.

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Last edited by Bernd on Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Air Spindle for Sherline Mill

Postby ConnRiver » Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:51 pm

Bernd, that's really slick! Would you please mention where you bought the air spindle? Did it come with instructions for mounting? (Or, do you do all this on your own, which would be over my head.)

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Re: Air Spindle for Sherline Mill

Postby Bernd » Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:21 pm

ConnRiver wrote:Bernd, that's really slick! Would you please mention where you bought the air spindle? Did it come with instructions for mounting? (Or, do you do all this on your own, which would be over my head.)

Brian C.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Thanks Brian. I ordered the air spindle with the Sherline mill as a package. I also have the CNC rotary table. I'm going to try and see if I can make spoked wheels.

Link to pdf of the air spindle. http://www.sherline.com/8900inst.pdf

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Re: Air Spindle for Sherline Mill

Postby ConnRiver » Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:12 pm

Bernd, I have a manual rotary table. I have a note here somewhere about converting it to CNC, although some have said it can't be done. At some point I'll attempt the conversion. My software handles four axes (I wonder if I can). . . .

I've got 3-4 articles about making drivers, if you'd like copies, let me know. Maybe you're all set. I've wondered if this might work:
* Cut a complete master from plastic but without a flange profile yet (a full rim like a Conestoga wagon wheel)
* With a jig on the mill, cut center holes (center bit, larger bit, reamer?)
* With fixture mount wheel through center hole on lathe, cut flange

Just random thinking without attempting to pin a routine down yet.

Good luck with your wheels, looking forward to learning how it goes for you.
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Re: Air Spindle for Sherline Mill

Postby areibel » Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:15 pm

If you guys are thinking locomotive drivers, may I suggest a Yahoo group? It's called "Brass Loco Builders" or something similar, if you can't find it on the Groups page I'll post a link.
It's not terribly active but there have been a couple discussions of building drivers from scratch, and a lot of it applies to drivers of any size. They had some great suggestions, like using Mylar for insulating the rim from the center, making a jig to make sure the crank pin holes are a constant distance from the axle centerline and making a cutter to cut the correct flange and taper on the tires. A lot of it was over a non-machinists head (like mine) but ther eare some pretty sharp guys on there!
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Re: Air Spindle for Sherline Mill

Postby Bernd » Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:54 pm

ConnRiver wrote:Bernd, I have a manual rotary table. I have a note here somewhere about converting it to CNC, although some have said it can't be done. At some point I'll attempt the conversion. My software handles four axes (I wonder if I can). . . .


I checked Sherlines website, plus took a close look at my rotary table. I think you maybe able to buy the separate parts and covert it over to CNC.

I've got 3-4 articles about making drivers, if you'd like copies, let me know. Maybe you're all set.


Won't know if I have until I take a look at what you have. You can send via e-mail if you prefer or post here in this thread. I'm fine with either way.

I've wondered if this might work:
* Cut a complete master from plastic but without a flange profile yet (a full rim like a Conestoga wagon wheel)
* With a jig on the mill, cut center holes (center bit, larger bit, reamer?)
* With fixture mount wheel through center hole on lathe, cut flange


I've studied some articles in the O scale magazines and other articles written in the model railroad press. I just need to give it a try. Problem is right now I've got many projects in the hopper and I want to get the straight track jig done first. That's taking all my time right now.

Just random thinking without attempting to pin a routine down yet.


Random thoughts tossed out to the general public is a good idea. Never know what's out there till somebody mentions something about the subject and how to approach it.

Good luck with your wheels, looking forward to learning how it goes for you.


I'll definitely be posting my results when I give it a try. Might be a while so don't hold your breath. You might turn blue. :lol:

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Re: Air Spindle for Sherline Mill

Postby Bernd » Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:04 pm

areibel wrote:If you guys are thinking locomotive drivers, may I suggest a Yahoo group? It's called "Brass Loco Builders" or something similar, if you can't find it on the Groups page I'll post a link.


No offense but I'm not to keen on Yahoo Groups. Don't care for their format.

It's not terribly active but there have been a couple discussions of building drivers from scratch, and a lot of it applies to drivers of any size. They had some great suggestions, like using Mylar for insulating the rim from the center, making a jig to make sure the crank pin holes are a constant distance from the axle centerline and making a cutter to cut the correct flange and taper on the tires. A lot of it was over a non-machinists head (like mine) but ther eare some pretty sharp guys on there!


Through the years, more like the 60's and 70's there were articles written. In Model Railroader, don't remember the exact date, Gorden Odegard did an article on making locomotive drivers. It was quite an intensive article. I just have to dig it out when I'm ready to give this idea a try.

And with this air spindle, I can mount it on the lathe and perhaps grind a tool for the tread profile. All things that need to be tried out.

I've been studying anything I come across on wheel making. I've want to do this since for ever. Now that I have the tooling I can do it. I've always like spoked wheels, I'm talking about the ones used on pilot trucks or other equipment, like the Class A Climax I want to build in TT scale of course. This will be something to get into once the track jigs have been put to bed so to speak.

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