Lathe Accessories

  • Advertise with us
Project by socrbent posted 04-07-2012 06:31 PM 2455 views 4 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are the 3 accessories I made to help use the 56 ‘greenie’ Shopsmith as my lathe – tool holder, platform and leg extensions. Leg extensions brought the lathe up to a height I like and the castors make it much more mobile in my shop. Added a straight throw lever on the right end to stop it rolling while turning. I used some scrapwood to make the platform and tool holder.
I inherited the Shopsmith from my dad. It was in sad shape having set many years in an unheated chicken house that Dad converted to his shop.

-- socrbent Ohio

8 comments so far

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2752 days

#1 posted 04-08-2012 11:22 AM

looks great except for the rusty bed bars on the bottom. Wonderful machines.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Florida_Jim's profile


83 posts in 2296 days

#2 posted 04-08-2012 02:20 PM

It looks like it’s not a “greenie” any more.
How do you like your variable speed upgrade?
Is it worth the cost?

View shipwright's profile


7080 posts in 2216 days

#3 posted 04-08-2012 02:41 PM

Ahhh, I see Power pro here. I’ll add my request to JIm’s. Is it worth the money ?

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 2179 days

#4 posted 04-08-2012 03:42 PM

Ingenious upgrade. The Magna Tool ShopSmith was my first serious woodworking machine. It was in pretty rough shape when I got it but after some TLC I had it up and running in no time. I have since permantly mounted it to be used exclusively as a lathe. I’m glad to have it.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View Paul M Cohen's profile

Paul M Cohen

86 posts in 3196 days

#5 posted 04-09-2012 12:53 AM

I also have to PowerPro upgrade and love it, especially for turning. The ability to go down to 250 RPM make is a great lathe. The 2HP motor also is makes it a great table saw for cutting wide dadoes with the very heavy Dadonator blade.

I did the DIY upgrade and sold all the left over parts, it brought the cost of the upgrade down to a few hundred dollars.

-- Paul, Beaverton OR,

View socrbent's profile


408 posts in 1687 days

#6 posted 04-09-2012 02:58 AM

I haven’t done enough turning yet to really know the benefits of the Power Pro headstock. But when I was choosing between buying a dedicated lathe or using the Shopsmith, I narrowed my wish list down to the Nova DVR or upgrading the Shopsmith. When I learned that the Power Pro uses the Nova motor and electronics my choice turned to the Shopsmith upgrade. Like Paul above I converted it to 220 to get the full motor power. The Electronic speed control is a real plus to me along with the reversing. This was a less costly way to go while still keeping a tool inherited from my dad who taught me to turn when I was a teenager on his green Sears lathe back in the early sixties.

The old head stock had bearings that were in bad shape. In fact it was seized up when I first brought it into my shop. The speed control was patched together and the wiring was in dangerous condition.

I was able to swap headstocks at the warehouse in Dayton Ohio which was only a 40 minute drive.

-- socrbent Ohio

View htl's profile


2012 posts in 577 days

#7 posted 08-25-2016 01:06 AM

I keep looking at the upgrade but the $$$ slows me down a bit.
I have one converted to a drill press full time and then my 50 anniversary edition.
Keep on shopsmithing!!!

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View socrbent's profile


408 posts in 1687 days

#8 posted 08-25-2016 01:47 AM

Htl – Wish you lived closer. I am fortunate to be able to buy a dedicated drill press and lathe. My Shopsmith is now disassembled and stored in corner. Awaiting repurposing as a dedicated polishing station or selling at a loss.

-- socrbent Ohio

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