Best Headstock For Taig Mill and Sherline Ever?
(Even better than R8?)
Awhile ago I reported on what I felt was a huge leap forward for Taig and Sherline products by a company called GlockCNC. I use their ER40 and R8 headstock all the time. Because I’m on their email list, I get updates on new products as they come out. The latest offerings are pretty exciting (well, at least to me they are, not so much for my wife when I told her about them). They now have BT-30 & 5C headstocks!
The BT-30 Headstock – https://glockcnc.com/bt30-taig-sherline-headstock/
In watching the video on the GlockCNC BT-30 headstock, I agree with everything he says. I too like and use the Tormach Tooling System in my R8 spindle, however it has flaws. For me it’s the runout issue. There are just to may parts between the bearings and the cutter in the TTS. Using a BT-30 spindle upgrade makes so much more sense. The tooling is very reasonably priced compared to the level of accuracy. I took a look around the internet and I can get .0001″ runout tooling for around $50 and used name brand for about the same. I also love the idea of placing the tooling so far up into the bearings. That also makes great sense. I’m willing to give up the dual contact benefits of the TTS in order to put the load higher into the bearings and get rid of extra parts, like in the TTS, to gain even more accuracy. Here’s the other feature I like; dual bearings to hold the tooling. We all know commercial spindles use two or more bearings on the load end of the spindle. With GlockCNC doing the same thing and moving the tooling taper up into those bearings, it’s now more akin to a commercial spindle units performance. This is simply impossible to do with the R8 system. The taper is so short. Only a small part of an R8 taper could sit inside the bearing area. Most R8 spindles seat the R8 tool way outside of the bearings. The only downside to this was, I dragged my feet and ordered one of these headstocks kind of late. But that’s ok, I’m confident that it was worth the investment. (By the way, I opted for the ABEC7 precision matched angular contact bearings. It was a bigger investment for sure, but I always try to buy “best in breed” when I can afford it. It seems to payoff in the long run.)
The 5C Headstock – https://glockcnc.com/5c-headstock-jaw-chuck-ready-sherline-taig/
Again, another great idea. Taig already has a 5C and it’s pretty nice….however, I still went ahead and ordered one from GlockCNC and here’s why. Firstly, I own both a Sherline long bed lathe and a Taig gang tool lathe. This headstock can be used on both. One huge downside to the Taig 5C and the OEM Sherline headstock is the inability to use bigger chucks. Most commercial grade super precision chucks are 5″ or 6″. Even if the Taig headstock could hold 6″ chuck, I’m afraid their bearing setup just won’t support it long term. GlockCNC did the same thing they did with the BT-30 and put two bearings up front to handle the load. The headstock on the GlockCNC is about as large as I dare put on either the Sherline or Taig. Anything bigger would probably be too big. That being said, I wouldn’t mind it if they also made a larger version of the 5C headstock for one of my bigger lathes. Who knows, maybe that’s next for them. Anyway, I ordered one of these too. (For this one, I also went with the ABEC7 angular contact bearings. It was more than I was originally wanting to invest, but you know my moto…)