Custom Designed and Built Machines and Components

(Click on photo for larger image.) This custom two-headed lathe was created from mostly standard Sherline components. The headstocks are fitted to custom belt driven stepper motors to drive a shaft between them for a wire wrapping operation.

Sherline industrial components can be combined in many ways to create custom tooling to meet your special needs. In addition, we can design and manufacture custom components to make tooling for unusual needs that go beyond the scope of our normal parts stock. Below are some of the custom machines we have put together for customers who had needs that could not be met by off the shelf parts.

Selected Sherline Custom Fixtures

Following is a list of the types of custom machines that Sherline has built for various companies and colleges. To see which companies and colleges are using Sherline products CLICK HERE.

  1. Wrapping machines (one head and two head)
  2. Winding machines (one head and two head)
  3. Automated painting machines
  4. Two-head, laser-welding machines
  5. Two-head, glass-tube blowing machines
  6. Extended lathes for catheters
  7. Extended lathes for pool cue’s
  8. Numerous components used as part of a larger machine as a rotary axis or slide
  9. 3D scanning
  10. Laser engraving

(Click on any photo to see a larger image.)

2-Headed Lathe #1

A standard model 4400 Sherline lathe was modified to mount an industrial tapered headstock in place of the tailstock. The headstock end was raised with a custom riser block to align the centers. A NEMA 23 stepper motor mount was fitted to each headstock. One motor was run clockwise and the other counter-clockwise using the stepper motors to control speed while a wire was wrapped around a mandrel. The crosslide is adjusted manually with a handwheel.

2-Headed Lathe #2

Similar to the above lathe, this one utilizes two industrial headstocks with one moveable by means of a stepper motor. The headstocks are driven by NEMA 23 stepper motors. The crosslide also has a mount for a NEMA 23 stepper motor.

Extra Long Lathe #1

A part is rotated between two NEMA 23 stepper motor driven headstocks located at each end of the lathe bed. The crosslide is also controlled by a NEMA 23 stepper motor. A stepper motor on the long axis drives the saddle leadscrew. Sherline can also provide the computer and drivers to drive up to four stepper motors using industry standard G and M codes.

Extra Long Lathe #2

Similar to above but with DC spindle motors mounted to each headstock for higher speeds. One motor is custom mounted on the opposite side of the headstock so they both turn the part in the same direction. The crosslide is stepper motor controlled

Extra Long Lathe #3

Similar to above but with one spindle motor at each end, turning in opposite directions or in same direction if current to one motor is reversed.


(A goniometer is an instrument that either measures an angle or allows an object to be rotated to a precise angular position. )

Using two Sherline rotary tables and a number of custom machined parts, this special machine was built to the customer's specifications. A product can be rotated and swung through an adjustable arc for examination and testing. An adjustable counterweight is utilized to offset some of the weight of the fixture to take load off the stepper motor. The part is held in a 4-jaw chuck mounted to the lower rotary table.


CNC Coil Winding Machine for the Medical Field

This machine was built by our customer using Sherline Products parts which included an extended spliced lathe bed, headstock and spindle with cog pulley, stepper motors,  leadscrew, and Computer with LinuxCNC software.

CNC Mini-Grinding Machine

Designed to grind cam lobes for miniature engines, this small grinder has found its way into many uses in industry besides grinding cams. Software is provided that creates G-code from measurements of a cam lobe entered into a simple spreadsheet. 4" diameter grinding wheel is 1/4" wide. A wheel dresser is provided on the back side of the cutting wheel. Available with or without a computer and drivers. Linux/EMC2 software included. See for more details.

Sherline Tools in Use in a Clean Room

Sherline offers special coatings and materials to enhance the ability to use them in a clean room environment. These photos show a typical lab set up with Sherline tools for making special parts.

If you have any questions about the feasibility of your proposed project or the capabilities of our equipment, call us at (800) 541-0735 or (760) 727-5857. The best time to call is Monday through Friday between 11 AM and 3 PM (Pacific). Please ask for Karl Rohlin or Charla Papp.


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