Conversion of a Sherline Mill to CNC

The following describes the conversion of a manual Sherline milling machine to CNC.

NOTE: the following is for information purposes only.  Remember, you get what you pay for.  And, unlike many web sites on home CNC, I'm asking for no money for the "knowledge" contained here.  I will bear no responsibility for any loss or injury resulting from the somewhat crazy ideas below.  Use at your own risk.

Basically, a Sherline Model 2000 8-Direction vertical mill is retrofitted with servo motors on the X,Y & Z axis and the appropriate controls.  The quality of the Sherline mill and the adjustment of the lead screw nuts allows for a relatively simple conversion process.

Above is a picture of the mill with the handles removed and servo motors fixed in place.

Z-axis servo attachment - note a small capacitor is placed on the encoder leads to filter out emf interference

X-axis servo attachment

Y-axis servo attachment

Close-up of the Matsushita GMX-6MP013A servo motors c/w quadrature encoders

The controls are accomplished by using PC based software to convert the CNC g-code and send a signal pulse train to the servo drivers.

Gecko G320 DC Servo drivers are used to drive the servo motors.

Here is the completed controller drive, mounted on top of a 24V/8A power supply.  A parallel cable carries the pulse train from the computer to the gecko drivers.

Here is the completed CNC mill, ready for student's projects.  Note a 1/2" MDF sacrificial board is mounted to the bed of the Sherline mill to protect the end mill and CNC from "mis-programmed" g-code.

Here is an alternate application of using the same Gecko G320 drivers and an old surplus x-y table to power a CNC router.  Yes, that's a regular Black and Decker router mounted on the Z-axis.

Special thanks to Devin, CNC lab Technical Officer for building & troubleshooting the above CNC machines.

created Feb 7th, 2003 by V.Chan.