1985 ShopSmith a good deal?

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Forum topic by HorizontalMike posted 06-29-2010 04:10 PM 2937 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View HorizontalMike's profile


7749 posts in 2881 days

06-29-2010 04:10 PM

As a newbie, I am just now populating my WW shop with equipment. Thus far I have new 13” Ridgid Planer, 14” Rikon BS, 3 1/4hp Triton Router, and a soon to be delivered G0690 TS(comes Friday!).

My question is how useful and how much of a value/problem might the following ShopSmith be at $350? I am kinda looking at this for the lathe turning ability for table legs. What should I be checking out as far as wear items, etc.? FWIW, this is within a couple of miles of me.

Shopsmith Mk V, 1985. Saw, disc sander, drill press, lathe, horizontal boring, band saw. Several 10” blades, “wobbler” dado blades (carbide), 5 lathe chisels, several other “throw-in” tools.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

6 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


5402 posts in 3630 days

#1 posted 06-29-2010 04:21 PM

Mike … if this machine is in good shape (as it appears to be in the picture) and has been well cared for, it is a steal at $350.

I don’t have a ShopSmith myself, but a couple of the guys in a woodworkers group I belong to have them, and really like them. There are some inherent limitations (like the small tablesaw), but with a G0690 headed in the door, that shouldn’t be a problem.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View HorizontalMike's profile


7749 posts in 2881 days

#2 posted 06-29-2010 04:32 PM

Are there any particular wear points that you may know of to check?

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 3873 days

#3 posted 06-29-2010 04:34 PM

The bandsaw alone sells for 1/2 the guys asking price every day on ebay. I would say it is a good deal too.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7749 posts in 2881 days

#4 posted 06-29-2010 05:48 PM

Boy I love the LJ search function! Sure comes in handy and I apologize for not going there first as it sure answered many questions. I also got a call from the gentleman selling the SS. Between him and the LJ advice we determined that the SS is pretty much redundant (got the TS, BS, DP) and not a best use of my resource$.

The best part of this is that I picked up a new WW friend 5 miles away that shares the hobby, has a US Navy background, and is a fellow educator. LJ rules!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3042 days

#5 posted 06-29-2010 06:36 PM

The SS will provide you with an okay lathe. You’ll be happier with the lathe if you buy the universal tool rest (I have one to sell – if interested send a PM). Eventually, you will want better lathe chisels but the starter set will get you started.

SS is great for horizontal boring and it is a reasonably good drill press. You could easily get by with a small, (cheap) bench top drill press and use the SS for the heavy duty drill press work.

It’s very convenient to have a second bandsaw.

If this SS has the old 1 bearing quill, you will want to upgrade to the newer 2 bearing quill (about $100 if I remember correctly).

At $350 it is a steal.

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

View SST's profile


790 posts in 4162 days

#6 posted 07-06-2010 05:56 AM

That machine would be a steal at $350. I’ve bought, rebuilt & re-sold many “smiths”. Get it & check out the various Shopsmith sites for tips. I suggest you get familiar with the manual & do a complete lube before using it much. It’s easy to do & will keep it running forever. I know, I have 4 that date to the 1950’s & they run as well as the new ones. If you need any help along the way, feel free to PM me. -SST

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

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