Rapid Traverse for the Sherline Lathe

//Rapid Traverse for the Sherline Lathe

Rapid Traverse for the Sherline Lathe

By Joe Katona


EDMHere is an easy-to-make item that can speed up long traverses on the Sherline lathe. This adaptor features two steps, cut to fit both 2” and 2-1/2” handwheels, with clearance slots for the handle.

The adaptor is made from a 4” x 4” x 1/2″ thick piece of Phenolic. The Phenolic is an easily machinable thermoset material and was chosen primarily because it would not mar the finish of the aluminum handwheels.

For those not wanting to modify the original Sherline handwheel, the adaptor can be fastened to the handwheel with a rubber band. While mounted on the lathe, it does not interfere with normal, manual operation of the handwheel.


To drive the adaptor, a short piece of hex-driver stock needs to be pressed into the center of the piece. Loctite or glue can be used to secure it if needed. With the piece of hex in place, a small portable drill is used to power the handwheel.2

For those interested in making their own adaptor, you can download the G-code I used by visiting the download section of the Digital Machinist website:

Digital Machinist Downloads

Some modification to the code may be needed to operate on your machine control. I used a 1/4” cutter, set to the top of the stock, and X 0, Y 0 is located in the center of the part.

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