|Review by Shopsmithtom||posted 05-11-2008 06:23 AM||22167 views||1 time favorited||30 comments|
I decided I’d review my 1956 Shopsmith band saw. Why would anyone care about a 50 plus year old band saw???
(except for a couple of old Shopsmith nuts?)
Because it’s a great saw and you can still buy one new today from Shopsmith, or used on ebay, and you’d be getting essentially the same machine as my 50 year old saw.(and I consider that a good thing)
Now, why would anyone build the same tool for a half century while everyone around you changes stuff almost as often as car companies change models or Hollywood celebs change spouses?
You could argue that they just didn’t want to spend the money in tooling and R & D, but I would argue here that the old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies, and here’s why I feel that way. (it also might be said that I’m a bit prejudiced in my love for old Shopsmith stuff, and I won’t deny that, but I’ll try to be as objective as I can here for this review)
This particular saw was made circa 1956,and I bought it 2 years ago along with my second model 10er that came in a couple of bushel baskets. While the Smith needed restoration, this accessory did not, it was mint.
The reason I consider this review of an old tool valid is that this saw is essentially the same as those manufactured today. The design has stood the test of time. I love it because it needs virtually no adjustments. My previous saw (craftsman) needed tracking adjustments periodically….often…actually, always.
This saw has no tracking adjustments. The blade, once installed, just self adjusts, stays put, and that’s it. The only thing to adjust is the blade tension with an allen wrench (#1 on pic). You adjust so the red line matches the blade width (#2 on pic). then adjust one screw for blade depth between the guide blocks, and you’re ready to go.
I’ve never had to re-adjust after it’s set up.
The saw is small at 11” throat and 6” max thickness of cut, but if you don’t need bigger, it’s a great choice.
It mounts to the end of a Shopsmith Mark 5 (adaptor is needed for use with a 10er, & they’re rare, but repros are available) or you can mount it on a tool stand and use a separate motor.
I’ve shown an example of some re-sawing of a 2×4 and you’ll note that I’ve cut down to 1/16” using my sophisticated rip fence system. Real rip fences and larger tables are available on later models and can be added to the older ones, too. I’ve re-sawed some ash from tree branches that, when squared off, were just under 6” across, and the power was adequate, and the saw ran true, so if you have a Shopsmith, or just need a small, well built, simple to operate band saw, this one would serve you well.
That’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it. -Shopsmithtom…-SST
-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you