Pen Turning Shopsmith Mark V

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Levier2011 posted 08-09-2013 08:40 PM 4869 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For a Pen Maker, the #1 Power Tool to have is the Lathe
Then the other tools are essentials, important and so on ….!

The Business case made for my Atelier, Garage or Turning studio had
7 key variables

• Space
• Quality of the tool
• Flexibility
• Price
Not Made in China
• Solid (less plastic as possible)
• how to save floor space

Space constrains cannot affect the quality of the work so choosing between
Standalone power tools Vs a Shopsmith took months to make a decision

The basic tools with the Shopsmith included: 3.5” Face plate, live and Dead

My First question was: what are the capabilities of adding other attachments like:
Chucks, Pen Mandrels, Drill Chucks, Collect Chucks and others..?

The Answer is very simple and has 3 alternative methods

1) Dedicated Pen Mandrel
There are several providers of custom made or specially made Mandrels for the Shopsmith
My decision was to purchase from Penn State. This pen mandrel is robust well-made and with an impeccable
Finish; They included several spacers and Allen wrench Please take note that this Mandrel will only work for the
Shopsmith Mark V, VII and 10ER and not with other lathe

2) Using a collet chuck
Collet chucks offer several advantages and for my opinion they are a must to have; no matter if you own a Wood Lathe
(mini, midi, or full size) or if you are a Shopsmith owner
If you have this chuck then you must have several internal adaptors for different diameters using the smallest one
Will perfectly accommodate the shaft of a regular pen mandrel.
As a value added is a quick way to move from turning to buffing just uptight remove buff and to the same
Bottle stoppers are also a project to make with this chuck (if you are turning bottle stoppers with wood dowels to install the cork)

3) Using the Drill Chuck of your Shopsmith
If you are looking to save money or to try before you buy…? The remove the Shaft from your pen mandrel and us your drill chuck
As your holding device
This alternative allows you to change the setting because you have an adjustable pen mandrel

As we can see in this few lines making a proper business case pays in many ways, and it took me to
Make the right decision

Creativity, Imagination, Ingenuity are not only applicable in dreams or projects they are also applicable in the work shop
In tools and also how to achieve a task with Safety, Accuracy with the expected result

This same principle applies for the Shopsmith….

Fine Writing Instruments, and Casting Products

2 comments so far

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

10609 posts in 3481 days

#1 posted 08-09-2013 08:53 PM

There was no case to be made for my purchase. Saw it demo’ed, fell in love and ordered one the next day.
We’ve been partners for over 40 years now.
I’m not a polygamist, but I just acquired another one, too. I don’t think the old girl will mind, though.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3814 days

#2 posted 08-09-2013 10:42 PM

Like Gene above, my son and I were “sold” at a demo back in ‘83. There have been no regrets.

My original machine has been upgraded with the Power Pro DVR motor, which is the same motor used in the Teknatool lathe. With a full torque 40 to 1 speed range this is a great lathe drive.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics