Lathe Accessories

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Project by socrbent posted 04-07-2012 06:31 PM 2777 views 3 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


15881 posts in 3388 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 2931 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


8006 posts in 2851 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 2814 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 3831 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


615 posts in 2323 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


3956 posts in 1213 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!!!

-- Learn More About Making Wooden Models. An Index Of My Model making Blogs.

View socrbent's profile


615 posts in 2323 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

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