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HE30/6082 Aluminium alloy

for a lathe toplside

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geoff walker 121/01/2022 13:23:38
486 forum posts
186 photos

Hi All,

I have a Sherline lathe for which I am currently designing a topslide, I don't like the one offered by sherline but that's another story.

I would like to make it from aluminium alloy and thought that HE30/6082 may be a suitable choice.

It will be a traditional vee slide arrangment using a suitable gib strip and adjustment screws.

Anyone thoughts opinions are welcome. I'm ok with the mechanics of it all it's principally advice on materials that I'm looking for, including the gib strip.

Thanks Geoff

Tony Pratt 121/01/2022 13:32:19
1926 forum posts
12 photos

Cast iron would be my material of choice.


Emgee21/01/2022 13:37:30
2404 forum posts
285 photos

I agree with Tony cast iron would be my choice also, it's as easy to machine as aluminium and will be longer lasting than 6082.

You may want to consider one of the tooling plate aluminiums such as 5083, more suitable than 6082 for your task.


mgnbuk21/01/2022 13:45:35
1175 forum posts
71 photos

Cast iron would be my material of choice.

On a Sherline ?

Which are predominantly manufactured from aluminium. I have seen suggested that Sherline use 6061, but do not know for certain.

Nigel B.

JasonB21/01/2022 13:49:07
22560 forum posts
2634 photos
1 articles

The hard anodising of the Sherline parts allows them to slide where bare aluminium may pick up and gall so I would be wary or running another uncoated metal against the existing carriage.

colin hawes21/01/2022 17:56:11
557 forum posts
18 photos

If you intend running two aluminium surfaces together with a close fit you will soon have a problem with embedded metal dust and also run a very high risk of "cold welding " the surfaces together. Colin

Neil Lickfold21/01/2022 18:31:44
835 forum posts
166 photos

If you get it Hard anodised, it will work well. Another upgrade is the use of thin Turcite in the gib as well. There was someone offering Acetyl gib upgrades for both the Sherline and Taig lathes a few years ago. 6082 is a nice stable easy to cut alloy that also anodises very well. Some are making their own top slide that incorporates the tool holder in the block to take the standard shank insert tooling as well.

Be nice to see what you make if you can share images of the build.

David George 121/01/2022 22:34:40
1808 forum posts
503 photos

The type of alloy used to be hard anodized is critical.

Hard anodising gives best results on 6061 or 6082 alloys, but 6000 and 7000 series aluminium is generally suitable for hard anodising. Hard anodising is possible on 5000 series alloys, but properties such as wear resistance will be compromised. 1000 series are suitable for hard anodising, but may exhibit some crazing which is an expected part of the process.

I have been involved in a few prodjects with hard Anodising from discs for brakes on racing motor bikes to cores for moulding plastic parts. Have a talk with the Anodising company before making part.


Bill Pudney21/01/2022 23:53:23
606 forum posts
24 photos

Following on from what David George 1 said, HARD anodising is a whole different ball game compared to cosmetic or ordinary "anodising". Hard anodising would be perfect for your application, but you may have to save up all your pocket money!!

Personally I would further investigate the use of cast iron..............

By the way, if you get the parts hard anodised be prepared for some dimensional change.  The people doing the process should be able to advise on this.


Best of luck!!


Edited By Bill Pudney on 22/01/2022 00:00:18

geoff walker 127/01/2022 14:01:01
486 forum posts
186 photos

Hi Guys,

Apologies for the delay in replying, life has been somewhat hectic!

your comments have been of interest and of course informative, for which I thank you.

Yes Bill you're right, hard anodising is pricey. I made an enquiry at a company nearby and was surprised how much it may cost for such a small item.

I'm still proceeding with the same design and yes Neil I will post some pictures.

Looks like it may be a "bitsa", of different materials, keeping the cost down but still having a reliable working slide (hopefully).

Cheers Geoff

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