Shopsmith Restoration #4: We have identified the machine

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Blog entry by PG_Zac posted 02-26-2010 12:14 AM 3211 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Unpacking - Terrible Condition Part 4 of Shopsmith Restoration series Part 5: Started the Strip-Down »

At least I believe we have identified it.

Shopsmiths have a very active user group forum, and the members there have helped me identify which model I have.

It seems that my SS is a “Goldie” MK 5 (not MK V) model 500, manufactured somewhere from 1960 to 1963 by Magna Corporation before they went out of business in 1964. Shopsmith Inc. (founded in 1972) still supports the Magna machines.

It seems that the clincher in identifying it was this warning label riveted onto the headstock casting – apparently all of the other models have stick-on labels.

The machine has obviously undergone some not too clever repair and maintenance in it’s long career, evidenced by this make-shift power switch.

This machine seems to be almost as old as me, and older than many LJ’s. I just wish I could renovate myself with some electrolysis, sand paper, paint and wax.

The reference to electrolysis is a method employed by several SS refurbishers to remove rust. I know many LJ’s refurbish old tools and machines, but I haven’t seen mention of electrolysis as a rust remover. I’ll post that process and the results when I do it – hopefully it will help someone restore a plane or two.

-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

5 comments so far

View whitedog's profile


651 posts in 2546 days

#1 posted 02-26-2010 12:52 AM

that power switch isn’t stock ? I’m surprised.

-- Paul , Calfornia

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2136 posts in 2197 days

#2 posted 02-26-2010 01:43 AM

Looking forward to seeing the progress. Be careful when using the switch, it might activate your neighbor’s garage door opener…


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View ajb's profile


29 posts in 2150 days

#3 posted 02-26-2010 03:41 AM

good luck on this one I am in the middle of a refurb job myself on a radial arm saw about halfway through I had wished i had just left it alone but now that it is almost done, I* have realized how much i have probably learned about the machinei wouldn’t have know about before. Hope you have a lot of fun with this.

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 3079 days

#4 posted 02-27-2010 07:58 AM

You might try looking through the posts about plane restoration for some electrolysis examples. I’m sure I saw one just recently.

-- Jim

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

456 posts in 2605 days

#5 posted 02-27-2010 11:39 PM

I am mainly posting so that I can keep up with this restoration. I owned a Mark V from about 1980 until 1994 when I sold it to make a cross-country move. I used it mainly as a lathe and horizontal boring machine (not for cutting mortises).

-- jstegall

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