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Why everyone needs at least one Shopsmith & other ramblings #1: Now that I have your attention...let's talk

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Blog entry by Shopsmithtom posted 1345 days ago 6181 reads 2 times favorited 49 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Why everyone needs at least one Shopsmith & other ramblings series Part 2: (actually reason #1) The dedicated extra tool »

I’ve been wanting to do this for a long while now…waiting til I had the time, and the time never seems to materialize, so I figure I’ll just make the time & get started.

First of all, and because my title might seem a little like bait, I don’t intend this to become a debate about the Shopsmith vs separate tools, or an argument over which way is best, nor am I trying to convert guys (& gals) to “my way” of seeing the world.

Rather, I’m simply going to talk about why I really do believe that everyone’s shop would be better with a Shopsmith in it. That doesn’t necessarily mean dump your separate tools in favor of a Shopsmith, but I will try to make a case for supplementing your other tools with a Smith. (also, from now on, I’ll just say “Smith”...quicker to type. I just believe that it works better in some configurations than some of the separate tools out there.

I’m not going to make this a daily thing. Even I don’t like to read my stuff that much, but I’ll try to come up with some useful stuff from time to time. I’d like to have “non-Smithers” drop by and I’d love for all the Shopsmith users to find their way here. If the discussions (assuming someone actually does show up) drift into other Smith areas like troubleshooting , maintenance, or repair issues, that’s fine. I would encourage anyone with any creative jigs or special setups to chime in. Don’t wait to be asked.

I know there are several good Smith forums on the web, but I figure it never hurts to add more info.
Oh, and by the way, I don’t work for Shopsmith, but I have been using them for 50 years.
I have restored and rebuilt many, both 10er’s and Mark 5’s. And besides putzing with them, I actually build things with them.
Speaking of putzing, here’s a couple of variants. A shorty 510, and a “double header”.

So there. It’s begun. Now I’ve just got to figure out what to write about next. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you



49 comments so far

View DaddyZ's profile

DaddyZ

2380 posts in 1666 days


#1 posted 1345 days ago

Nice Setups !!!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1741 days


#2 posted 1345 days ago

they were speciel ….but why not…LOL
well I will look forward to hear more about them
except for some advetising in an american magasin translated to danish in the fifty´s and sixty´s
I had never seen them before I joined L J and I most say there has been some beautyfull
coloured posted after restoring
not that itn wasn´t a nice new electronic , digital ,with flashing light and dinling bells that was posted
yesterday but I prefer old maschinery with real gearbox´s …...and steamengine ..LOL

so ceep let them coming
take care
Dennis

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 1609 days


#3 posted 1345 days ago

While they may be for some people they’re not for everyone. I’m not knocking ShopSmith but tend to disagree with everyone having one in their shop. Yes, Ive had one in my shop that I ended up giving away because I didn’t have the need for it and was taking up space. I’ve since be offered 2 more for the taking and turned them down. Which may raise the question why they were no longer wanted. By the way both units that were offered did work and had more attachments than the one I gave away. I guess they are like the Radial Arm Saws, some like them and others don’t. Not trying to start a debate here, just a non smither stating that I have no use for one. I have all the tools that shopsmith offers for their attachments so maybe thats why I have no use for one. I know several who have them and like them and have used one my self, so it isn’t a question of quality either. Its just that I don’t have a use for one.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Shopsmithtom's profile

Shopsmithtom

780 posts in 2820 days


#4 posted 1344 days ago

Wow, it’s starting already.

OK, maybe I didn’t explain myself very well about that. Let’s try this. If I do a piece showing how I can sharpen hand plane blades, chisels (even lathe chisels) & jointer blades to a mirror sharpness in 5 minutes on a shposmith, and as a bonus, have a lathe, horizontal borer, vertical drill press, etc, etc, in the same space as a benefit of having a Smith in your shop, I’m showing a way to do something that might save you time or give you a good result.

There’s really nothing to challenge there. I’m simply showing how to do something that works well on a Smith. If my conclusion, therefore, is that I like one in my shop, all that is is my conclusion, my opinion. Nothing more.

But if every time I write something positive or show a way to do something in the shop that has worked well for me someone comes back and argues that there’s a better way that doesn’t involve a Shopsmith, all we get is the old separate tool vs Shopsmith thing again. And then the positive “let’s learn new stuff” turns into nothing more that an argument. I’m not trying to be controversial, here, I just want to show folks some good stuff about Shopsmiths. If someone draws the same conclusions that I have, so what. If someone else sees the same stuff & draws the opposite conclusion, so what.

I just thought it would be fun to show off some stuff that can be done on my favorite woodworking machine, talk problems, talk possibilities, exchange tips, that kind of stuff. If it turns into a big polarized discussion, it’s easy to just crawl back into my hole & hibernate for the winter…it’s COLD in Wisconsin.

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5508 posts in 2054 days


#5 posted 1344 days ago

I’ll watch and read your blog, Tom.
I’m sure there is plenty more to learn about the Smith.

-- 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 Manitario's profile

Manitario

2298 posts in 1508 days


#6 posted 1344 days ago

Tom; sounds like you’re a real Shopsmith enthusiast! I have no idea what a “Smith” is, other than the few references and pics I’ve seen on LJ’s, but it looks like a really interesting piece of classic machinery. I look forward to your future posts about this.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Broglea's profile

Broglea

665 posts in 1716 days


#7 posted 1344 days ago

Hey Tom. I’m not in the market for a Smith, but I am interested in what you have to show. Who knows, maybe I’ll see a need for one in my shop some day.

View RonPeters's profile

RonPeters

708 posts in 1506 days


#8 posted 1344 days ago

Seeing’s how I’m the one who asked the question that spurred this blog, I will follow it, as I am interested in learning about the shopsmith. Thanks for taking the time to tell me about this interesting tool.

So, please read on and post if you are interested. If you want to argue for no reason, yahoo finance boards are all about that kind of stuff.
R

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 1609 days


#9 posted 1344 days ago

Whoa, Hold the phone here a second Tom. I think you might be jumping the gun here a bit, You did say. I’d like to have “non-Smithers” drop by Which was what I did. Just because I didn’t agree with you, or say that I have no need for or use for a ShopSmith by no means, mean that I was debating separate tool vs. ShopSmith. In fact when I set up shop years ago I weighed that debate with myself before making any tool purchases. In fact the reason I didn’t choose the ShopSmith when I made that decision was for one reason and one reason only. I simply didn’t want to be dependent on only one motor to operate all my machines. I never said anything bad about ShopSmith or negative about ShopSmith owners. I didn’t say you can’t do this or that with one. In fact there isn’t much a ShopSmith can’t do that a seperate tool shop can do.
In fact there isn’t anything you can say about the Badger Land that I don’t know or understand. I was born in Beaver Dam and lived in the Badger Land half my life, and its cold here in Sooner country as well. It doesn’t mean I’m not willing to discuss either with you. It just means that I don’t have a need for either. In fact truth be known I’ve learned a thing or two from the ShopSmith site in my early years of woodworking. Who knows there might be something that would come up that I might learn to do in my shop.
So let me pose a question here, I can set up my RAS (radial arm saw) in just a couple of minutes to use as a pin router, so whats involved in setting up the ShopSmith as a pin router? If you don’t mind my asking?

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

5508 posts in 2054 days


#10 posted 1344 days ago

My Smith over head pin router stands alone. But, with the new Power Pro motor, It might take 3 minutes to convert to pin routing. When I get the new Power Pro, you can bet I’ll be selling my stand alone unit.

-- 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 Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 1609 days


#11 posted 1344 days ago

Gene, I assume your setting it up in the drill press position and have a jig with a pin clamped to the table, or is there a place already for the pin?

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1467 posts in 2190 days


#12 posted 1344 days ago

Always been mildly interested in Shopsmith’s, and somethings may transfer to other tools as well. Thanks for posting Tom, I’ll be reading too.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View lou's profile

lou

340 posts in 2068 days


#13 posted 1344 days ago

Hi Tom.Would you mind listing some of the forums for the Shopsmith.thanks.

View Shopsmithtom's profile

Shopsmithtom

780 posts in 2820 days


#14 posted 1344 days ago

Gregn, I’m glad you’re here. I was responding earlier to the “one sided double talk” comment and really just trying (probably not too effectively) to say that I didn’t want this forum to end up simply as a place to argue points of view. I love these machines & can’t understand how everyone doesn’t feel the same, but that’s just me. I also know that there a lot of folks who look at the way I see things & just shake their heads.
I’ve not been one to make non-productive or argumentative comments to people here. That doesn’t mean I’m just stroking them, it just means that if I don’t have anything productive or constructive to offer, I just read & move on.
Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see where it goes. I’d like it to be interesting & informative, that’s all. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View Shopsmithtom's profile

Shopsmithtom

780 posts in 2820 days


#15 posted 1344 days ago

Here’s the ones I’m aware of. There’s probably more.

http://www.ssug.org/index.php
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Shopsmith10ERusers/

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

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