Equipment/Sherline lathe

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Class Red equipment: Do not use without specific training.
(More about equipment classes)

Equipment / Sherline lathe


We have a Sherline lathe suitable for turning a range of materials including steel. It is a quality machine in fair condition but it is capable of causing injury so it must only be used by those trained to operate it safely. The 'owners' are responsible for training new users and ensuring that it is maintained in a safe condition.

Using the lathe

The Sherline is a metal turning lathe capable of machining circular cuts in material up to about 15cm (6 inches) in diameter and about 30cm (12") long. The lathe is solidly built so with care micrometer level precision can be obtained. We have a good selection of cutting tools and work handling apparatus so a wide range of different cutting operations can be performed on a wide range of materials.


Risk Assessment: Media:Sherline_Lathe_risk_assess.pdf The workpiece is spun at high speed with great force. Clothing or hair caught in the workpiece will not slow the motor! Before starting take time to check there is nothing likely to be caught in the machine.

Metal chips can be thrown off the workpiece at high speed so eye protection is important.

The chuck key left in the chuck when the motor is started could become a missile. Before starting the motor make sure the chuck, and anything mounted in it, will not hit anything.

Metal turnings can have very sharp edges. Avoid touching them whenever possible and use the brush provided to clean up the swarf.

To achieve real safety operator attitude is key. Trying to achieve unrealistic goals in limited time is the prime cause of accidents. Please take the time to plan your work and gain sufficient knowledge to perform it safely.


The owners are experienced users who have volunteered to ensure members know how to safely operate the lathe before they become approved users. Their next responsibility is to ensure the lathe is in a safe usable condition. Time permitting, they will advise users on how to make best use of the lathe.

The owners are:

Robert Copcutt.



To get the required training to become an approved operator please contact one of the owners.

The owners will help users make the best use of the lathe but it must be emphasised that learning to take full advantage of all the capabilities of it takes months of practice. The owners have limited time so members will need to take responsibility for much of their own training. More details about the training can be found at


We have a Lathe safety manual from the CRC that provides a good overview of safe use of a lathe. If you want to use the lathe, or simple know what it can do, please have a look at it - in Makespace. We also have a book, "Myford series 7 manual", by Ian Bradley available in the workshop that gives more detailed operating guidance (please do not remove it).


The lathe bed should be frequently brushed clean and re-oiled to minimize wear on the precision slides.

The drive belt needs replacing if it gets worn or damaged.