Shopsmiths #1: I made the leap to a shopsmith

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Blog entry by shack posted 03-04-2010 02:14 AM 1156 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I talked to a family friend yesterday and found out he had 2 shopsmiths that his father had bought just sitting in storage. So I said how much you want for them, since I know he doesnt do wood working.

Well we talked a bit and he said $250.00, so I said deal. They need a little work but they run.
They have 2 scroll saw attachments,tablesaw attachments,1sander attachement and will give me a lathe and drill press. There is some more stuff for them I couldnt get too so when I pick them up I will find out what it is.

I think they are 500 series 1 may be a 510

So why not give them a try,,if I dont like them I will sell them.

-- JohnShackleford,North Carolina

12 comments so far

View dbhost's profile


5705 posts in 3194 days

#1 posted 03-04-2010 02:34 AM

Sounds like a solid plan to me.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 3748 days

#2 posted 03-04-2010 02:54 AM

I have rebuilt mine twice and still use it from time to time.
Lets see some pictures of them when you get those babies home.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3303 days

#3 posted 03-04-2010 03:02 AM

great score ,

they are handy for that odd man out tool .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 2980 days

#4 posted 03-04-2010 03:47 AM

Great price for a great machine! My wife used to have one and I loved it. Unfortunately we had to move and could no longer keep it.


-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Paul M Cohen's profile

Paul M Cohen

86 posts in 3740 days

#5 posted 03-04-2010 03:56 AM

I have had mine since 1982 and uses it all the time (until yesterday when the switch broke), switch is on backorder. There is a great Shopsmith Forum where you can get advice on use, maintenance and repair run by the company.

-- Paul, Beaverton OR,

View deeman's profile


379 posts in 3043 days

#6 posted 03-04-2010 04:17 AM

I have two and they are both a valuble part of my shop. Good luck

-- Dennis Trenton Ohio And life is worth the living just because He lives!

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3925 days

#7 posted 03-04-2010 04:20 AM

Good deal, Shack. Take time to learn to use them and you will enjoy them.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Wolffarmer's profile


407 posts in 3200 days

#8 posted 03-04-2010 05:38 AM

Sounds like a great deal. I use the 12inch sanding disk on mine a lot. and the drill press/boring machine a lot. They don’t make that great of a table saw, just to darn high in my opinion. But now that I have a real cabinet saw I don’t use the table saw portion much, ( but still do occasionaly ). One trick you will wonder about until you do it is to wax the way tubes. Makes life with them much easier in a way you won’t believe.

-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3037 days

#9 posted 03-04-2010 07:28 AM

I’m still a Shopsmith fan. I started with Shopsmith many years ago. I now have a stand alone TS, lathe and DP but I still have my ShopSmith and I still use if for a number of tasks.

There is a great market on ebay in used Shopsmith attachments and accessories.

Shopsmith is a lousy TS but it is a good DP and a reasonably good lathe. The scroll saw and belt sander are great accessories. The BS is good, but small. The jointer is also good, but small.

Sounds like you got a great deal.

Note – If you really like the ShopSmith there is a new power head coming out that will retrofit you SS. It features more power and electronic speed control.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Paul M Cohen's profile

Paul M Cohen

86 posts in 3740 days

#10 posted 03-04-2010 07:43 AM

The 500 might be a lousy TS, but I have been using a 520 to 20+ years and would not trade it for anything especially given the size of my shop at 16×20. If I had a 50×50 shop I might come to a different conclusion.

-- Paul, Beaverton OR,

View dusty2's profile


323 posts in 3391 days

#11 posted 03-04-2010 03:15 PM

I disagree with richgreer regarding the TS feature of his Shopsmith. Now it may be true that the table is too small if he has one of the older models. But to say that the TS is lousy without qualification is, in my opinion, a great discredit to Shopsmith and an incorrect statement.

How big does the table need to get in order to shed this reputation? In a normal TS configuration, my TS is 23” wide and I can instantly and easily add 14” to that by attaching wings on either side or both sides.

I am very satisfied with mine and will continue to be for the next 10-20 years.

-- Making Sawdust Safely

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3358 days

#12 posted 03-04-2010 03:50 PM

I used my 28 year old SS as the only table saw I had until only about 4 years ago.
In that time I did every TS operation needed, though sometimes with difficulty.
I even sawed a full sheet of .75” plywood, once. (I wouldn’t recommend that.)
I still use it in my, now expanded, shop as a sanding center, lathe, etc.
The drill press mode is the best, having a great range of continuously variable speeds, though the table lacks rigidity.
The SS is like any other tool, in that they all have their good points and the bad ones, too.
We learn to adjust to the way our tools work.
If we don’t we struggle constantly.


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

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