The New PowerPro will soon be a reality.

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Forum topic by dusty2 posted 02-03-2010 06:57 PM 3233 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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323 posts in 3452 days

02-03-2010 06:57 PM

Shopsmith made an announcement on their forum today that the new PowerPro is getting ever closer to the production date. Following is a copy of what was posted on the Shopsmith Site.


I have an update regarding some FANTASTIC news for all current Shopsmith MARK V Owners, as well as those of you who may have considered adding a MARK V to your home workshops.

A new, updated MARK V Headstock is coming soon!
As I announced several months ago, Shopsmith will soon be introducing an all-new, upgraded, computer-driven Headstock for the Shopsmith MARK V. Called the Shopsmith PowerPro, this Headstock will feature a number of new capabilities that Shopsmith MARK V Owners have been asking for. These include (but are not limited to) the following: More power, Broader speed range, Run in forward or reverse direction, Lowered electrical power requirements, Shopsmith product quality and warranty support, PLUS lots more (additional info to follow soon)

As always, this new Shopsmith product will be Spectacular
There have been some Forum comments regarding the delay of this introduction… and that’s why I feel that I need to explain.

First and foremost, Shopsmith’s policy has always been to deliver ONLY top-quality products. Shopsmith Tool owners already know this. Many of you own 30, 40 or even 50+ year-old machines that are still delivering great woodworking results, often with ZERO parts failures.

With Quality as our watchword, we’ve tested and re-tested the PowerPro under stringent standards that even the highest-end competitive machines would have trouble passing… and put it through multiple rounds of revisions and upgrades over the past year or so to ensure that it’s the absolute best product we can produce!

During this developmental phase, some new technologies have been introduced that we’ve been able to incorporate into the PowerPro. Their discovery and eventual incorporation into this new product have also caused some added delays along the way… but you can take my word that although the delays have been longer than we would have liked, the results will be well worth your wait.

You will be able to upgrade your current MARK V to this new technology
The PowerPro is truly a quantum-leap into the 21st century Shopsmith MARK V that you’ve been waiting for… and, of course, as always, you’ll be able to upgrade your current Model MARK V with this new technology at a fraction of the cost of a complete new machine. Our initial offering will be for these Headstock Upgrades, followed by complete, new Shopsmith PowerPro Machines, 30 to 90 days later. PLUS… as always, all of your current accessories will work with the PowerPro Headstock, without having to make any additional adjustments or changes.

Here’s what our MARK V Owners have been asking for
So, watch for our announcement and get ready to step up to the 21st Century Woodworking Wonder… the all-new, Shopsmith PowerPro Headstock. It’s been a long time coming… but you won’t have much longer to wait. I assure you, it will be well worth it!

Here’s a great picture of the PowerPro Control Panel

Bob Folkerth


-- Making Sawdust Safely

6 replies so far

View Bill Hayes's profile

Bill Hayes

29 posts in 3675 days

#1 posted 02-03-2010 07:12 PM

Dusty, thanks for the update. Looking forward to the new machine. Timing for me is bad, just got cut in a downsizing of the company after 23 years so looking for work but still always something new to look forward to. Something that has not changed is my SS is still there and still loving working with wood.

-- Bill, Broken Arrow OK.

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3784 days

#2 posted 02-03-2010 07:22 PM

This new DVR motor technology is truly remarkable and is a power source with capability “way beyond” AC inductionmotors and leagues beyond universal motors.

Woodworking author Nick Engler explains this new technology;

“The new Shopsmith headstock is built around a DVR—Digital Variable Reluctance—motor. Reluctance—also called magnetic resistance—is a property of all materials, similar to electrical resistance. In some materials (such as plastic), reluctance is high and it is difficult to form magnetic fields in them. In others (such as iron) it’s low and magnetic fields form easily. In those materials where it forms easily, the charges that generate magnetic flux (the quantity of magnetism) can be aligned to reinforce one another and increase the power of the magnetic field. You can demonstrate this with two permanent magnets and some iron nails. Align the magnets North-South/North-South (so they stick to one another) and you’ll be able to pick up more nails than with a single magnet alone. The reluctance is lower and the magnetic flux is higher. Now align them North-South/South-North (so they repel), and they will pick up far fewer nails than a single magnet. The reluctance is higher and the flux lower.

An ordinary electric motor is a magnetic engine. Permanent magnets surround an armature with electrical wires wound around iron plates. Electric current passes through stationary brushes to a rotating commutator and into the windings. As the electrical current travels around the plates, they generate magnetic flux and a resulting magnetic field. But it just so happens that the North-South poles in the armature’s magnetic field are opposed to those in the surrounding magnets. High reluctance develops, the magnet repels the armature, and the armature turns so the reluctance will decrease and the magnetic fields will attract. Unfortunately, the moment this happens the commutator contacts switch positions with the brushes, the electric current reverses direction, and the magnetic field in the armature plates switch poles—and the whole reluctance-flux-north-south-attract-repulse thing happens all over again.

The speed of the motor and the amount of work it can do depend on both the current and the reluctance. Decrease the current and the motor slows down. But less current equals less flux, so the motor also develops less torque and will do less work. Shopsmith’s 1954 solution to this problem was variable-diameter pulleys. Let the motor run at a single speed and vary the rotational speed by changing the diameter of the pulleys. The motor will provide a constant torque no matter what the RPM of the drive spindle. It was an ingenious, cutting-edge solution—for 1954. Unfortunately, technology marches on and what was cutting-edge 55 years ago hasn’t the same sparkle today.

Besides, technology now offers a much better solution. Vary the reluctance at the same time you vary the current and you can adjust the available torque at any speed. You have an electric motor that can do amazing amounts of work over a wide range of speeds. Less current may cause a drop in flux, but decrease the reluctance and the flux is back where you need it. Dang. The New Zealand company that developed this motor uses a computer to vary the current and the reluctance. Select a speed, and the computer adjusts the current and reluctance for the motor to run at that speed with no load. Now require the motor to do some work—let’s say you’re ripping pine. As you feed the wood into the saw, the computer senses the load and adjusts the current and reluctance to increase torque and maintain speed. You hit a dense knot, the computer senses increased load and once again changes the current/reluctance to keep the speed up. You decide to feed the wood faster or switch to oak, and the computer changes the current/reluctance for changing load requirements to keep the speed right where you want it. HOT dang. The computer makes thousands of these computations per second, so the saw blade rarely bogs down even when the load changes dramatically. In the tests that I saw, Jim McCann fed hard maple boards through the Mark V in the shaper mode as fast as he safely could, and you could barely hear the motor slow just before it adjusted to keep up. DOUBLE hot dang.”

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View SST's profile


790 posts in 4218 days

#3 posted 02-04-2010 04:33 AM

It will be interesting if this, too, will be snubbed by the woodworking publications. Probably will, but if it’s anywhere as well built as the rest of their stuff, owners will be delighted. I’ll be glad to see it. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3784 days

#4 posted 02-04-2010 02:59 PM

I don’t expect anything from Sandor Nagyszalanczy (Woodworker’s Journal), however, Chris Schwarz at Popular Woodworking will probably give the PowerPro a full test and review.

The leader in the magazine field, Fine Woodworking, is pretty objective, so they will probably give the PowerPro a write-up as well.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View MrToolHunter's profile


82 posts in 3697 days

#5 posted 08-31-2010 03:03 PM

I’m fortunate to be one of the beta testers of the PowerPro and recently completed the retro process and am putting it through the paces. I’ve posted a few things on my blog, but have been asked to hold back on sharing too much until Shopsmith releases more info. They’ve posted videos on Youtube and have recently updated their site, so I’ve added a few posts on my blog:

Shopsmith PowerPro Retro Review
It’s an amazing update and I’ve been having a ball with it. Scott

-- and

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3071 days

#6 posted 08-31-2010 04:34 PM

I did not know that shopsmith still existed

-- Bert

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