|Review by Shopsmithtom||posted 03-02-2008 10:20 PM||18015 views||2 times favorited||23 comments|
The year was 1947. Hans Goldschmidt thought that post war America could use a quality combination woodworking tool. Most do-it-yourself folks at the time didn’t have the luxury of having a large basement or spare building to devote to a workshop. He was right. It became the largest selling power tool of its time.
The ads talked of having 5 power tools in one, with accessories for at least a half dozen more.
In 1952, my dad was listening.
This is a long overdue review of that very machine.
Wow, where to start? This might be more of an undertaking than I figured. Oh well, here goes.
Since I was going to turn a pen, I’ll use that project as the basis for the order of tools used. My machine was set in the most used mode of table saw which I used to cut some larger stock to workable size. The Smith uses a tilt table rather than tilting arbor. This is necessary to give it the ability to convert to the other modes. Most non-smither’s think this to be a big disadvantage, but I found it to be only a minor issue, and when balanced with the resulting versatility, and given the relatively small percentage of non 90 degree cuts I actually make, I’ve never had a problem. When I do a beveled cut, the assembly is moved to the far right so that any long stock clears the end of the machine. the miter gauge is adjustable to get the angles set correctly and the hold down works great. The rip fence adjustment is not up to today’s technical standards, but with a good ruler and a bit of tapping, it’s as accurate as I’ve ever needed for any piece of furniture. Although it’s only an 8” blade, the depth of cut is 2 1/4”.
Next, let’s bore the holes for the pen mandrel. (Change over time table saw to horizontal borer 1 minute, 45 seconds)
The vertical drill press can also be used…add 5 seconds.
If you only have a drill press for boring tasks, you are really missing out. The horizontal borer is one of best parts of this machine. It’s especially great for larger or longer stock like table legs. Utilizing the rip fence, miter gauge, and extension table and a clamp or two, and you can bore almost anything you’ll need to.
Next, I’ll true up the ends of the stock with the 12” disc sander. (Change time 31 seconds)
this is a very useful sander in that you don’t need to move the stock to the disc, you use the quill (think drill press movement) and move the disc to the stock which you can clamp if necessary. Very precise.
Next, let’s do some turning. (Change time, including mounting the mandrel/stock, 1 minute, 20 seconds)
The heft of this old machine is an asset as this lathe feels very solid. The max length is 34”, and the tool rest, while simplistic, is solid. I used the drill chuck for the pen mandrel, but there is also a lathe center that fits the headstock directly which works fine.
Additional accessories available include: bandsaw, shaper, drum sander, grinder and jigsaw. I have used all the accessories as well, and they all work well enough to have completed my posted projects as well as many others. The model 10ER was Shopsmith’s first model, and was replaced in the mid 1950’s by the mark 5 which is still made today, although they are struggling.
These are still available on Craigslist, ebay, and at rummage sales. The price range is about $25.00 to $300.00.
If space is an issue for you, you’d like some backup tools, or you just like playing with cool old tools, you just can’t beat a Shopsmith 10ER.
Well, that’s my review, and I’m stickin’ to it… and I wouldn’t exactly call it unbiased, after all, I’m Shopsmithtom
-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you