Reply by David Craig

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Posted on Should I buy this?

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David Craig

2137 posts in 3105 days

#1 posted 11-01-2012 09:51 PM

When I first started, I tried to find a shopsmith that was in decent shape for my first tool purchase. Had I found one in my area, in decent shape, I would have purchased it and been better off doing so. There is a great deal of knocks on cheap tools (btw shopsmith is not in that classification) but it is hard to avoid when you first become interested. Budgets don’t allow most to purchase a good deal of top notch quality products when your shop is empty. You either buy cheap or you just simply don’t do. A shopsmith is a better deal than buying a cheap tablesaw, bandsaw, drill press, etc. I purchased about 500 dollars in cheap tools at the onset. Some I learned to hate, but they taught me a great deal. They are in the hands of other new woodworkers now.

On the threads here, there are some very skilled woodworkers with a shopsmith as their primary tool. Use the search function on the upper right and you should get a number of blogs and forum topics on them. Get in touch with the members who post and you will get a great deal of assistance from these folks. The fact that your dad has one is a good thing. You have someone close to you that can help you with any of the quirks of setup. Even if you don’t use is at a primary your whole life, you would have the potential for a 2nd dedicated table saw or have it permanently set up as a lathe, etc. that will keep its usefulness for a long time.

I don’t know the availability in your area, if you see them frequently posted, work with the poster on lowering the price or look for another. If availability is limited, try to work it down a little. Seek your dad’s help a little on this, I can’t think of one shopsmith owner who doesn’t like taking a new owner under the wing and teaching them a few things about it :)

Good luck,


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

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