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The Sherline Lathe would have to be one of the best value tools I have in my shop. It is incredibly versatile, very accurate, and well priced. Sherline also have an excellent 'open source' approach to the way customers can access their products. Every single part, no matter how small, is available for individual purchase. This means you can selectively buy what you want and then hack, tinker, and experiment as much as you want, to meet the needs of your project. It makes their products extremely versatile.

They also have a dizzying array of useful accessories for their base lathe and mill. I'm not exaggerating when I say I developed a serious tool addiction when I started collecting extra bits and pieces for my Sherline lathe!

However, one tool that I haven't seen from them is a sliding tailstock die holder, of the type that is so commonly available for larger lathes. So this week, I set about designing and building one.

I hope you enjoy this instructible, and be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more tool making video's!

Required materials:

  • 1 x 5/8" mild steel rod x 4.5"
  • 1 x 5/16" mild steel rod x 2"
  • 1 x 1.5" Aluminum Rod stock x 3"
  • 8 x M5 (or SAE equivalent) Grub screws
  • Super glue

Required Tools:

  • Lathe
  • Dial Test Indicator
  • Milling machine, or drill press
  • Drills and taps
  • Butane Torch
  • Calipers or Micrometer

Step 1: Draw Out Your Design

You don't need a fancy set of drawings, or a CAD program to make this tool. I do it this way because I sell the plans on my website.

But you will need something to keep you on track. You can easily work from a basic "chicken scratch" plan, written down on a shop notebook. Watch the video for a clear idea of the features you need to consider, and then start laying it out in a way that makes sense to you. That's the key by the way - It doesn't need to be an engineering masterpiece; just make it readable for you.

The critical dimensions are:

  • The 2 die recess bore diameters, and recess depths
  • The shaft and inner bore of the tool must be a nice sliding fit
  • The grub screw angular spacing (refer diagram above.)
Well done. You've videos are a work of art. And I've learned a lot from watching them. I will contribute to your Patron account. Please keep up the great work!
<p>I am happy to see you on Instructables as well Chris, Your projects are gorgeous and you present them in a clear, concise manner. As a student machinist, I greatly appreciate your videos. </p>
Cheers Richie, thanks very much. More on the way; I only wish I had more hours in the day to make the projects!
<p>I know the feeling. </p>
<p>great video! I like how you did some relief cuts for the handle so it will be easier to hold </p>
<p>Awesome Job, it turned out great!</p>
<p>Not that there is anything wrong with it, but in step 8, are you chamfering the piece with a hand held tool bit (safely and securely mounted to a suitable handle)?</p>
<p>Yes that tool is called a graver. It is a traditional clock and watchmaker turning tool. It is a real pleasure to to use; it is not unlike a wood turning tool, but a lot smaller. It does indeed have a handle.</p>
<p>That turned out looking beautifully! </p>
<p>Thank you! I'm very happy with the result, and it really is getting a lot of use.</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: Clickspring is a home machine shop channel with a focus on clock making. Join me as I make a clock from raw metal stock. I ... More »
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