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Old 03-06-2010, 12:22 PM   #1
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Default Sherline, Microlux or the Taig lathe/mill?

Hello all,
I bumped into this excellent forum while I was looking for information on building engines (lucky me ha?). I must admit that I was very impressed by the quality of the work here.

I have several questions I hope someone can help me with. Please understand that I am new to this, I initially intended to buy a woodworking lathe, since I am now working mostly with hand tools on wood.

Then I was exposed to the metal milling/turning world and started reading and was enthusiastic about it (making engines, clocks etc) . I am trying to decide now what would be best for me a lath or a mill and from which vendor (Micromark, sherline or taig) and which one can work well with wood as well as metal.

Do you think a lathe would be more suitable if you are new to this sort of work?

I am especially interested in making a small (steam?) engine, from a plan, without using a CNC machine.
I looked at these:
TAIG-2019CR-ER ( )


and of course Sherline which is available in my country (Israel) without the need to ship internationally.

Any comment would be appreciated especially from those who own any of these machines and used it to build their first engine. would this be considered a good first project?

Another question i have is, do any of you use CAD software such as AutoCad even if your mill is NOT CNC ready?


Thanks and have a wonderful weekend,


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Old 03-06-2010, 12:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Sherline, Microlux or the Taig lathe/mill?

Hi Shlomo and welcome to the forum. I am sure you will get lots of responses as to the various machines out there. Personally I use sherline and have for 12+ years and like them very much. I have both the lathe and mill and neither is CNC. If they are available in Israel I would think that is a plus, but with any of these smaller machines you do need to think in advance about the types of projects you want to do, not just now but in the future as their size can be a limitation. Think also about the tooling and accessories you will need in addition to the basic machine(s). Again I find one advantage with Sherline in that there are many quite useful Sherline accessories available which work seemlessly with their equipment

As for CAD, I use AutoCAD LT 2007 for 2D drawings to work from, but also have access to SolidWorks at work when needed.


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Old 03-06-2010, 01:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sherline, Microlux or the Taig lathe/mill?

Any of the listed machines would work well to set up a model engineering shop. and all should have decent availability of accessories and tooling.
Sherline is top notch made in USA.
Taig imHO is also another good made in USA brand I do not think quite as popular as the Sherline.

The micro mark brand is Chinese import and should be available in your part of the world with a different paint color and label.
These machines are made bySEIG
These machines are quite popular .I started with these types of machines and still use them.
If you want to learn single point threading the seig lathe is the only one that will thread out of the box. the others need add on tooling.
as far as cad this software is quite popular here and value priced. it is what I use although i do have a lot to learn with it.

Print out the scec sheets for each machine and compare what you are, or are not getting with each one. what features are important to you ? Then ask questions. each of those machines will have some advantage and disadvantage compared to the others.
Learn manualy but all of the above can and have been converted to cnc . cnc ready with manual handles for now is a nice feature.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sherline, Microlux or the Taig lathe/mill?

I've got a Taig and it's a nice quality small mill. The lathes are roughly the same size as the Sherline, but the Taig mill is a little larger, though the Sherline has more attachments. I've seen super nice work come off both (some posted here), so it may come down to availability and parts and support that decides it for you if you like the work envelope.

Most people these days seem to start with a lathe then obtain a mill fairly soon thereafter, although in the 'old days', home shop mills were fairly few and far between; my copy of "The Amateurs Workshop" says it was unlikely to have a mill in an English hobby workshop circa 1950. I think they did a lot more filing in those days.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sherline, Microlux or the Taig lathe/mill?

Welcome to the forum shlomo.

I started this hobby about a year ago with no experience.
I have the blue Seig mini-lathe and an X2 mill. I'm pretty happy with both but they do need some care and adjusting...especially the lathe.

But the lathe/mill is only half the equation. Be sure to investigate accessories and tooling. They represent an investment that could equal if not exceed the cost of the machines.

Think about what projects you want to do in the future and whether the machines will be capable. Size of part is a big factor.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Sherline, Microlux or the Taig lathe/mill?

Greetings Shlo,

I believe that if Sherline is available in your country that in order to save any VATs or other unforeseen duties, shipping charges etc., that would be my choice in the matter. The other machines are decent, I also am a fan of the Taig, but I chose Sherline when I started out and still have their lathe and mill and it is high quality and the accessories are endless. This of course is just my opinion and I am sure that you will make a educated decision that will bring you a lifetime of machining pleasure. Again, welcome to HMEM.

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Old 03-06-2010, 04:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Sherline, Microlux or the Taig lathe/mill?

I strongly recommend Sherline. Join the Sherline forum at:

Dan Pines, a Sherline distributor in Israel, is a regular participant. Drop him a line, drop my name.

I am occasionally tempted to get a Sieg machine. All I have to do to talk myself out of it, is to monitor some of those forums for a few days, and read all the horror stories.

David Clark in Southern Maryland, USA
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sherline, Microlux or the Taig lathe/mill?

Thanks to all the participants who replied to my questions, I really do appreciate it

This is the sherline model I am now considering:

So if I understand correctly the Lathe would by sufficient to construct lets say this beginners model?:

Do you think there is really a need for the longer Sherline version (e.g. ?

Once again, thanks,
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Sherline, Microlux or the Taig lathe/mill?


Welcome to our forum.

Best Regards
Its hard to remember your objective was to drain the swamp when your up to your neck in alligators.Если вы у Тетушки были яйца, она была бы Дядюшкой
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: Sherline, Microlux or the Taig lathe/mill?

Welcome to the forum! I don't know what sort of parts you plan on turning... but I bought the 4400 Sherline last month.The majority of parts I'll be making won't need the long bed length, but when I do need it, I won't have to go hunting for another lathe.

Cranking that table all the way down the bed takes FOREVER, though.

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