Rattle-free Sherline Handwheels

Knobless Sherline handwheel
Knobless Sherline handwheel

The standard Sherline mill comes with tapered plastic knobs on the handwheels, which is exactly what you want for a manual mill and what you don’t want on a CNC machine: they rattle like crazy during computer-controlled moves.

Some folks contend the knob unbalances the handwheel, but I’m not convinced that’s a real problem. Their advice is to remove the entire knob assembly, leaving a bare shaft sticking out of the motor. Seems a bit extreme to me.

In any event, shortly after I got the mill, I unscrewed the little retaining screw from the end of each knob, put all the parts in a ziplock bag, tucked it in my tool box, and have been rattle-free ever since.

The metal shaft is entirely adequate for those rare occasions when I turn the knob manually, the graduated settings let me detect when if I’ve screwed up the acceleration (on a new installation) to the point where the motor is losing steps, and all is right with the world.

Oh, that orange-barred white tape in front of the motor? That’s a reminder to keep the usual pile of crap away from the spinning knob. That little shaft can fling small objects a fair distance and makes a nasty tangle out of a misplaced red rag…