Metal working projects

Mechanical clamp

A clamp is an indispensable tool: it is useful to have several of the in the workshop. As usual, I wanted to buy some of them, but why buying when one can build something that exactly fit our needs ?

This project describes the design and manufacturing of a mechanical clamp.

The project is in design phase and documents will be added as I'm creating them.

Support for comparator

A comparator is measurement a tool that is very often used to adjust lathes, milling machine and other workshop tools.

This project has some complexity as several specialized tools are required:

  • Knurling tool
  • Dovetail cutter 45°


Tool for centering milling machine on hole

It is tricky to center a milling machine on a hole of a part to be machined. This small cone that can be fixed on a chuck of the turret can be helpful.

Descend the turret until the cone is adjusted in the hole where the milling machine needs to be centered, in taking care not to fix strongly the part to be machined. When the turret is down and the part can only move around it axes, just fix it, and do not forgot to adjust coordinates in CNC controller.

Automation of a Sherline lathe with Mach3

I have choosen Mach3 to digitalize my Sherline lathe as I did good experiences with this software on my milling machine. I would have preferred LinuxCNC, but, unfortunately, this software does not allow to calibrate a tool in the middle on a machining program (at leasat with the version I used). As I do not have tool changer, I had to create several gcodes files for each tools.

Indexing tool for threading with Mach3 on Sherline lathe

This project is still a work in progress:

  • Wheel is finished
  • Support is finished
  • Power supply is being tested
  • Sensor is being tested
  • Mach3 configuration is being tested

Machining thread with a Sherline lathe and Mach3 require measuring the angle position of the axis.The angular position sensor is constituted by a perforated disk and an optical beam. Mach3 synchronize the rotation speed and the Z axis to machine threads.


This metal working project is another small tool I was missing when I received my milling machine. It was an excellet exerice as a first project.

The fixture is made pf steel, and U uses M5 screws. The T-Slot is another project described here.

As I'm a beginner, I finished the fixture with sand paper to get it looking nice.

T-Slot M5

A T-Slot is an element that allow fixing part to be machined on a mill or a lathe. It is very easy to build and is a perfect project for a beginner.