Can't woodwork without a machine.....ShopSmith 1955 Mark 5 restoration

  • Advertise with us
Project by mickyd posted 12-26-2009 05:58 PM 13339 views 3 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the before and after of the ShopSmith Mark 5 multipurpose machine that I restored. It’s the first non hand tool I’ve owned.

26 comments so far

View JAGWAH's profile


929 posts in 3078 days

#1 posted 12-26-2009 06:09 PM

Very cool project. I drooled over owning one of these when I was young. Still wouldn’t mind giving space to one.

I’m told Shopsmith still will rework the motor for a price. Did you have to rebuild the motor and did Shopsmith help you with any need parts?

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 3192 days

#2 posted 12-26-2009 06:14 PM

Wow, you did a great job. Looks brand new.
Thanks for sharing

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View Dudley's profile


742 posts in 3254 days

#3 posted 12-26-2009 06:16 PM

That is beautiful. Looks like a new one. BZ

-- Dudley Young USN Retired. Sebastian, Fl.

View Plane & Simple Neil's profile

Plane & Simple Neil

18 posts in 3304 days

#4 posted 12-26-2009 06:39 PM

You have done an excellent job! It looks brand new. I have a 1954 vintage one of these, although it doesn’t look as nice as this. I had the motor serviced last year by the chap in NC, Jacob Anderson (he advertises on eBay) and it runs really nice – I still use it as one of my main tools – I’ve found it to be ridiculously accurate.

I often take classes and hang out at a local cabinet maker’s shop where I have used Saw Stop, Laguna, Grizzly and PowerMatic stand alone tools – all of which are great but in a small shop like mine I still find the SS does what I need for the most part and I love the fact that its 55 year old.

Great project – very impressive!

-- Hand planing is good for the soul!

View ramon's profile


153 posts in 3178 days

#5 posted 12-26-2009 06:47 PM

una maquina estupenda,te ha quedado muy bien,mi experiencia me dice que estas maquinas antiguas son mas fiables y duraderas que las que venden ahora,tienen un encanto especial que no consigue el aluminio ni el plastico de las actuales,yo tengo una sierra de cinta con mas de 60 aƱos y no la cambiaria por una nueva,enhorabuena

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3879 days

#6 posted 12-26-2009 06:51 PM

Great job!

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View mickyd's profile


31 posts in 3131 days

#7 posted 12-26-2009 06:58 PM

All – Thanks for your great comments. I appreciate them!! Haven’t made any significant sawdust with it yet. Been too busy restoring a similar older ShopSmith multi-use machine called an ER10. Kind of got the restoration bug! Woodworking bug is right around the corner though.

JAGHAW – The motor was fine except bearings, which I changed. I cleaned and serviced it myself. Knew NOTHING about servicing a motor but I belong to the ShopSmith User Forum at and there are a bunch of very knowledgeable people there that walked me through the process There are experts in all disciplines. I wouldn’t even think of sending it out for the work. It’s just too easy to do….nothing at all complicated believe it or not.

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1229 posts in 3993 days

#8 posted 12-26-2009 07:39 PM

Wow, superb restoration, looks better than new. Well done sir!

-- Bob A in NJ

View JAGWAH's profile


929 posts in 3078 days

#9 posted 12-26-2009 07:55 PM

MICK- Excellent, I like easy. Thanks for the site.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View drfixit's profile


318 posts in 3138 days

#10 posted 12-26-2009 08:00 PM

very nice job!

-- I GIVE UP!!!! I've cut this @!&*!% board 3 times.... its still too short!

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3579 days

#11 posted 12-26-2009 08:04 PM

I would not particularly want one of these as I am not a big fan of all in one machines,but I have to say the reformation of this machine is stunning very well done a great job well done.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View mickyd's profile


31 posts in 3131 days

#12 posted 12-26-2009 09:04 PM

SCOTSMAN – Decision to go with an all-in-one came as I reached the point in my life where I ‘thought’ I might like to get into woodworking. This kind of machine is a great place to start since for an initial investment of $200 or less, you get a table saw, lathe, vertical drill press, horizontal boring machine, and disk sander. If I realize woodworking wasn’t in the cards for me, I’ve invested little. Second HUGE advantage is for those with space limitation. The footprint is about 10 sq. ft.

Seasoned ShopSmith guys swear by them. When they are properly aligned and maintained, the performance will be satisfactory for a large majority or woodworkers. We’ll see as time goes on whether or not I outgrow this type of machine. Only time will tell. As I said though, it’s a GREAT place to start. Thanks much for your thumbs up on the resto job I did. Not only is she ‘pretty’ but mechanically, she’s A-1. I know, I did all the work myself.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3068 days

#13 posted 12-26-2009 10:06 PM

First let me congratulate you on the great job you did restoring this classic. WOW!

I began with a Shopsmith years ago and I still have it. However, it gets limited use now. I use it primarily for horizontal boring or as a drill press and I also use the belt sander, strip sander and scroll saw attachments. When I got more space I first bought a “real” table saw. Subsequently, I have also bought a stand alone band saw and a stand alone lathe. Nonetheless, I still like my shopsmith. It is a great way to start. The quality of the workmanship and engineering is excellent.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 3355 days

#14 posted 12-26-2009 11:46 PM

Excellent Resto…well done.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4148 posts in 3569 days

#15 posted 12-27-2009 12:15 AM

Looks showroom new !
Great Job !!

Let us know how it works the wood.

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

showing 1 through 15 of 26 comments

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