Sherline Lathes

We are proud to offer Sherline lathes for the rodbuilder. These lathes do a far better job of turning reel seat fillers, grips, ferrule stations and making small metal parts better than any wood lathe ever could. Yet they are compact, light and reasonably priced.

We believe that the model 4400A is best suited for the home craftsman, and with the included accessory pack, the best value. Everything is included to get you started immediately with your rodbuilding.

Why A Sherline is a Good Choice for Rodmakers

We are often asked by people new to rodmaking, why would a Sherline be a good choice? I believe it's important to lay out the facts as I see them, so here's my answer.

I have 3 lathes: The Sherline 4400A, a 9x20 Chinese import and a very good Hardinge toolroom lathe. For 90% of rod work I use the Sherline. I use it for cutting the ferrule stations, turning grips, lapping ferrules, polishing, and working on small parts. It's my go-to despite owning the other lathes.

Some advantages of the Sherline: small, very quiet, very accurate, very energy efficient, infinitely variable speed rheostat control so there's no belt and pulley changes to change speeds, good high rpm's for small parts, easy to store, minimal footprint and weight. Because it's not super powerful, it's very safe for newbies provided you use the machine within its recommended parameters and use common sense and proper safety procedures. Despite its size, it's definitely not a toy.(Check out some of the projects people make with them on the Sherline website!) There is a good selection of available tooling at reasonable cost. Think of it as a watchmaker's type of lathe. I also really like the intimacy of working with it....you can feel the tools cut and get right up on top of it.

Some limitations: the hole thru the headstock is about 3/8", which might preclude turning grips on large salmon-type rods. Not really a problem as you can always turn a grip for a rod like this on a mandril and ream it to fit. This is how we do it in our rodmaking classes. If you ever have a desire to make a screwlock seat which requires thread cutting, you need to buy an attachment to do so. The saddle is moved by hand crank, ie, it doesn't have a power feed...this isn't really a drawback for working on small parts, but it is slower when turning long parts vs. a lathe with power feed. Obviously, the Sherline isn't the best choice for turning a 3' long 3" diameter steel spindle. But guess what? A machinist wouldn't like to do that job on my expensive Hardinge toolroom lathe! There is no perfect tool for all jobs!

Ok, so why don't I use the Sherline for everything? To cut reel seat spacers, I use the Chinese lathe because it has a power feed, so it just goes faster. Being in business, you have to be able to produce parts in an economical manner. Hobbyists don't have that concern.The Sherline can do it very well, just not as fast. If I only cut one spacer at a time, I'd use the Sherline. I could also use the Hardinge, but I use oil coolant with that machine and the wood dust and oil would make a mess. I also use the Chinese lathe for polishing as I don't want to bugger up the Hardinge with sanding grit. Although some inexpensive import lathes can be tweaked to do nice work, and the ultimate responsibility for a tool working is largely up to the skill of the craftsman, it's my opinion that if one wants to do serious metalwork you might be better served with other options.

To make ferrules and seats I use the Hardinge, again because of speed and stability, coolant, and power feeds. The Hardinge is one of the best toolroom lathes ever made(and considering its cost vs. the Sherline it better be!), but I don't use it for everything as it just doesn't make sense to do so. For instance, say I'm going to turn a grip or a ferrule station and wanted to use the Hardinge. I'd have to unmount the collet closer, mount a chuck, clean off the oil out of the spindle, turn on the phase converter, use a lot more power than needed, and cover everything to keep the dust out of the oil. By the time I did all of that, I'd already be done on the Sherline! In addition, although the Hardinge is a good choice for making small batches of ferrules and reel seats, if I was making 50(or 500) parts at a time I'd buy other lathes. Again, there's no perfect tool for every task!

Another important consideration for a hobbyist is available space. Both the 9x20 import and the Hardinge require large space requirements compared to the Sherline, so if you are cramped for space that's a big factor to keep in mind.

 Description & Specifications

Model 4400 Deluxe 3.5" x 17" Lathe

Model 4400 w/ Accessory package

If you are interested in a lathe with more distance between centers, the model 4400 (metric 4410) lathe is available and I believe is a better choice than the model 4000. Several upgrades are also included. Standard equipment is the same as on the model 4000; that is, 90 VDC motor with electronic speed controller, a 2.75" (70mm) x 6.0" (152mm) crosslide, pulleys, belt, faceplate, lathe dog, two dead centers, three hexagonal keys, sharpened high-speed steel cutting tool, eight-foot, three-wire power cord and instruction booklet. In addition, the model 4400 lathe has a 24" (610mm) bed that has 17" (431mm) between centers, a 2.5" (63mm) resettable “zero” handwheel on the tailstock, two 2" (51mm) resettable “zero” handwheels on the crosslide and feed screw and a rocker tool post (P/N 3057) substituted for the standard tool post used on the shortbed lathes. The electronic speed control allows continuously variable speed control from 70 to 2800 RPM without belt changes. There is a second pulley position available that offers extra torque at low RPM if needed.

FEATURE

4000(4100)

4400(4410)

Swing over bed

3.50" (90mm)

3.50" (90mm)

Swing over carriage

1.75" (45mm)

1.75" (45mm)

Distance between centers

8.00" (200mm)

17.00" (430mm)

Hole through spindle

.405" (10mm)

.405" (10mm)

Spindle nose thread

3/4"-16 T.P.I.

3/4"-16 T.P.I .

Spindle nose taper

#1 Morse

#1 Morse

Travel of crosslide

4.25" (110mm)

4.25" (110mm)

Taper of tailstock spindle

#0 Morse

#0 Morse.

Protractor graduations

0° to 45° by 5°

0° to 45° by 5°

Handwheel graduations

.001" (.01mm)

.001" (.01mm)

Spindle speed range

70 to 2800 RPM

70 to 2800 RPM

Length overall

24" (610mm)

32.25" (820mm)

Width overall

7.5" (190mm)

8.75" (220mm)

Height overall

6" (150mm)

8" (200mm)

Shipping weight

24 lb. (10.9 kg)

30 lb. (13.6 kg)

4400A LATHE PACKAGE (Metric 4410A)INCLUDES:

• Model 4400 (4100) 3.5" x 17" lathe (with adjustable "zero" handwheels and rocker toolpost)

• P/N 1040 3.1" 3-jaw self-centering chuck

• P/N 1069 Jacobs 3/8" tailstock drill chuck w/ key, #0 Morse arbor, #1 Morse arbor with drawbolt 

Cost is $850 + shipping

All Sherline tools are covered by a one-year warrantee.

Once you get your lathe, you'll be needing some instruction. I highly recommend this book!

The Amateur's Lathe by L.H. Sparey

A fantastic introduction to running a lathe. Covers a wealth of topics, including choosing and installing a lathe, lathe accessories, measuring equipment, tooling, work holding, marking out, turning and boring, screw cutting and much much more! Presented in clear, concise language and well-illustrated, this book will provide you with a nice foundation to getting a lathe and getting started making chips! Nice! Just click on the pic of the book to order!

Copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012,2013 , 2014, 2015 J.D. Wagner, Inc.

Descriptions, table and image Copyright 2001, Sherline, Inc. and used with permission.