I returned to the Sherline lathe to try out some tests with a piece of scrap steel I found, driven by my success with the aluminum piece. Things look very promising!
Here's the original steel scrap piece, about 2.5 inches long.
And, obviously, 0.5 inches in diameter.
First, I turned the face of the part at 600 RPM, which was a good speed. Tons of ribbon-like shavings came off the part, which seemed like a good sign.
I also painted some heavy oil onto the part so that it would turn well.
I began to test out different feed rates on the part to see what provided the best finish. The oil is clearly visible on the cutting tool in the center.
The finished part, after several operations. It looks... professional. I never imagined that when I began using the Sherline.
Here are some of the metal shavings from the aluminum and steel experiments. The steel shavings are darker and curlier than the aluminum ones. However, it's impressive that the steel shavings are so long!
Another shot of the finished part.
Some notes I took while working on these two parts.