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How useful is a 2inch machinist jack on my Sherline?

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Chris TickTock28/08/2019 13:44:01
361 forum posts
25 photos

Time for another project out of my book. The next one suggested is this little screw jack to support stock. it is called a machinist's jack and you adjust the height, essentially a bolt sitting in base metal and rest the stock on it.

Have to say at face value can't see any use as my Sherline is the 8 inch variety and therefore long stock not likely?

But as always when you don't know you ask so is this little thing worth making, how often do you guys use one?



JasonB28/08/2019 13:47:01
17813 forum posts
1948 photos
1 articles

Not a lot of use as they are used mostly when working on a mill not a lathe.

Tailstock die holder would be a useful thing to make as would a small tap wrench, pin vice to take your collers also

Edited By JasonB on 28/08/2019 13:48:40

Brian G28/08/2019 13:51:08
671 forum posts
26 photos

I don't quite understand why the length of the stock would make a difference, even a short casting can need support at one end when setting up on the table?

Personally, I haven't needed one so far, and have got away with parallels and 123 blocks, although I will probably get around to making some one day.


Chris TickTock28/08/2019 14:13:41
361 forum posts
25 photos

Thanks Guys, Some useful ideas for other projects from Jason and Brian has made me at lease see a use for it.


Nicholas Farr28/08/2019 14:25:25
2202 forum posts
1063 photos

Hi Chris, I've seen the machinists at my last day job use two, one each side of a vice, when having to mill a long bar. I don't have one, but when needs arise, I just use a set bolt with a nut, just supported on a piece tube or a larger nut that the bolt will fit through. Of course you can always make your jack only 1" high or even higher if need be.

Regards Nick.

Nicholas Wheeler 128/08/2019 14:56:24
310 forum posts
19 photos

I made a pair when I bought the mini-mill because they looked useful. They never have been.

You're over thinking this. Buy some material, and make some of it smaller and round. That will teach you what you need to know, and what you ought to make/buy.

not done it yet28/08/2019 17:04:01
4473 forum posts
16 photos

Most pieces made on any lathe are not for use on the lathe. Do they make a milling attachment for a Sherline?

larry phelan 128/08/2019 17:17:15
647 forum posts
22 photos

I bought two of them many moons ago, never really found much use for them, still in the box !

Neil Wyatt28/08/2019 17:41:14
17698 forum posts
697 photos
77 articles

I made a tiny one. Blacked the body. Nice little decorative item for a workshop shelf.

You can always bodge one out of a bolt and a couple of nuts.


John Haine28/08/2019 17:50:28
3000 forum posts
160 photos

I think a useful skill is learning to adapt easily available products to make things like this. Have a look at...



Chris TickTock29/08/2019 08:46:07
361 forum posts
25 photos

Some good posts here and Johns LINK is super good and useful. As the intent is to improve my lathe skills whilst making something useful I may go for something else.


SillyOldDuffer29/08/2019 10:00:27
5607 forum posts
1153 photos
Posted by Chris TickTock on 29/08/2019 08:46:07:

Some good posts here and Johns LINK is super good and useful. As the intent is to improve my lathe skills whilst making something useful I may go for something else.


Depends why you're making it. Although a small screw-jack isn't particularly useful in itself, making one will stretch your skills in new directions. For example, it will teach you more about threads than buying a Whitworth gauge and asking what it's for.

If you wanted a punch for practical reasons, the quickest way to get a good one is to buy it. Chances are shop-bought will be better and cheaper than a home-made version. However, there's an excellent reason for making your own, which is the value gained learning how to do it. Actually cutting metal gives the operator a sense of what his machine can and cannot do, exposes problems you didn't notice in the book, and teaches the characteristics of materials, cutters and more. It's about problem solving and technique.

Apprentices used to be set to file steel into one inch cubes. The finished cubes were useless and of course could be made in a lathe or milling machine in a fraction of the time. But the point wasn't producing cubes, it was to develope manual filing skills for real use later. In the early stages of fun-with-metal, learning how to make things is more valuable than the object itself. Nice if you can combine learning with making a useful tool, but I found new challenges more useful than simply making stuff.


mark costello 129/08/2019 16:40:10
583 forum posts
12 photos

If You have the basic mill clamping kit with the coupling nuts, You already have the parts for a machinist jack.

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