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Forum topic by MrWizard posted 09-27-2010 09:07 PM 6428 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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145 posts in 2223 days

09-27-2010 09:07 PM

Since I’m one of the new kids(LOL) here I thought Id ask how many of us own or have used the Shopsmith machine for doing there woodworking?

I’m still pulling together my shop, so im somewhat limited in machines, but beside the Shopsmith, I have a delta Scroll saw, DeWalt planner, oscillating sanding table by Rigid. My woodworking used to be focused on lathe work and that why I got the Shopsmith as a gift to help fill that need. But I am reading up on some wonderful scroll saw work and jigsaw projects that are easy and fun to do.
I’m also seeing some interest in doing some carving, by hand and with chisels and Dremil tools. so I think I going to be busy. For making furniture, I really like the old school tenon and joint, and making seamless joints with out nails yet super strong.

26 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

8093 posts in 2847 days

#1 posted 09-27-2010 10:08 PM

Well, Wiz, I’ve used a Shopsmith MK V for over 30 years.
It’s remodeled 3 houses, built my shop, built numerous kitchens of cabinets and now, just builds boxes and gun cabinets.
If you haven’t done so already, you might take a gander at this forum, too.
Shopsmith Forum

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View rkh2's profile


12 posts in 2267 days

#2 posted 09-28-2010 01:22 AM

Welcome Wiz. I also am a Shopsmith user. I have a MK V 520 with the bandsaw, beltsander, jointer and use the universal tool rest for my turning and it is my primary tool. I have a small shop so it serves my needs quite well. I also have a DeWalt 735 planner and a DeWalt 12” double compound miter saw and a compliment of corded, battery and hand tools. I have had the Shopsmith for some 17 years or so and love it. What part of the world do you make sawdust in?

-- Ron from Lewisburg, TN

View DaveDelo's profile


86 posts in 2313 days

#3 posted 09-28-2010 02:41 AM


I bought a 1955 greenie Shopsmith in good condition 2 years ago to have a cheap solution for a table saw because I had a flooring project. After discovering this was not a great way to bust up sheet goods, I decided to outfit my humble basement shop with dedicated single machines and have been able to accomplish the task for about the same money as would have been needed to buy all the other Shopsmith add-on’s & accessories or buy a new Shopsmith. The Shopsmith has been relegated to drill press status and does a great job for what I need it for. Maybe if I get into turning I’ll use it for that to learn on. Not dissing the Shopsmith at all, I’ve just found alternatives that work better for me.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2493 days

#4 posted 09-28-2010 03:48 AM

I’m a former Shopsmith user who has evolved to using other machines. I still use the shopsmith for some miscellaneous tasks. In particular, I like the belt sander option and I use the band saw for more delicate work (with a Carter stabilizer).

Shopsmith provides you with a reasonably good lathe and a very good drill press and horizontal boring machine. I think it’s greatest weakness is as a table saw and, IMO, a good tablesaw is essential to a shop.

There is a place for Shopsmith, especially for shops with limited space. At one time I used it with all it’s accessories except the planer with my independent miter saw, router and planer for all my work.

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

View dusty2's profile


321 posts in 2848 days

#5 posted 09-28-2010 09:48 PM

I too am a Shopsmith user and have been for over twenty years.

I originally bought mine so that I could have a shop in the limited spaces available in military housing facilities. Then, later, I moved into my own home and still only had the size of a two car garage. I could now expand but find absolutely no reason to do so. My Shopsmith does absolutely everything that I need.

-- Making Sawdust Safely

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2299 days

#6 posted 09-28-2010 10:54 PM

My dad has a Shopsmith Mark 7 I think. I grew up watching him use it and hes always praised it. Shopsmith used to have a store here in Grand Rapids, MI. He also got the power station and dust collector from SS.

ShopSmith is a great tool, especially for people who have smaller shops and don’t want all the different machines taking up space. The biggest problem with Shopsmith is once you get one you will never have to buy another. This hurts the company in the sense that the shopsmiths from 20 or 30 years ago are still running today. Why buy a brand new SS when there are lots of used ones on the market that still run great. Each attachment runs on the same motor so you never have to worry about the smaller tools burning out. If you do burn out your headstock on an old unit the newer headstock’s will fit the older models. So you have no need to replace the whole thing.

They are so well built and due to fact that most all the parts and add ons work with all the models there is no need to ever have to buy another one… I guess thats why some tool companies make tools designed to break after a few years… They want you to buy a new one to keep them in business…

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View MrWizard's profile


145 posts in 2223 days

#7 posted 09-28-2010 11:32 PM

Thanks everyone for the reply’s. There are needs for every shop and being that mine is stil mostly a garage, space is limit. But Its also organization and we all have challenges with that I’m sure on some level. I’d love to have a huge work table in the middle of the floor that I can spread out and do run offs onto but not today. Maybe on my next property a huge barn would do it, Ive seen some sweet wood shops in barns over the years it just seems to be the place to connect with the wood. Half barn, half curing area, sorry im drooling now have to go clean up

View shipwright's profile


7084 posts in 2217 days

#8 posted 09-29-2010 02:23 AM

Hi Gene, Dusty and rkh2. I’m new here but these guys know me from the SS forum. I have a dream 30’ x 40’ dedicated workshop in Canada equipped with everything from a shaper to a 25” dual drum sander and of course all the normal stuff but when we bought our winter place in AZ. I had only a semi enclosed carport and woodworking withdrawals. The answer for me was a used Mark V 510 that I quickly supplemented with the bandsaw, belt sander, jointer and planer. I didn’t stop there. I picked up and restored a 1950 10ER back home in Canada and if anyone doubts the precision available with SS I would point them to the miters and grain matches on my Oops! project, posted here. The critical (one chance is all you get) miters were all done on the 10ER. So was the lathe duplication work on the legs. Shopsmith, to me at least, represents the most quality woodworking equipment you can fit in a small space. Don’t expect production speed, but the quality and precision are as good as the man operating it.


-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

8093 posts in 2847 days

#9 posted 09-29-2010 05:02 PM

Hi Paul. Good to see you here.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View MrToolHunter's profile


78 posts in 3093 days

#10 posted 09-29-2010 11:06 PM

I’ve had my Mark V 510 since October 1987 and love it. I wax the exposed metal parts and oil the speed adjuster every so often and it’s never had a maintenance issue. I’ve got a lot of tools, including a Delta 14” bandsaw, a Powermatic mortiser, a Delta Jointer, a PM66, a DeWalt 13” planer, etc. but the center of my shop is home for my Mark V. I used to be surprised that even with some fine individual tools that I prefer using the SS tools, but I’m over that now. Unless it’s an issue of capacity (and it rarely is) I would much rather do my work on my Shopsmith. The SS Bandsaw is killer, and I actually hate to have to use one of my other BS’s!

I was a beta tester of the new PowerPro electronic variable speed headstock, and I can’t wait to convert my MKV. Most people who are waiting for the new SSPP are looking forward to high-speed capabilities; but for me the low end and the additional HP is much more desired. Drilling with large Forstner bits, turning large diameters driving the bandsaw through 6” resawing, drilling metal and plastic, etc.

I’m also in the process of talking my bro-in-law to pass his Mark VII over to me since he doesn’t use it. I think it will go nicely in my shop with my SawSmiths.

-- and

View Shopsmithtom's profile


787 posts in 3614 days

#11 posted 11-29-2010 12:44 AM

I’ve got more Smiths than I know what to do with: 2 10er’s, a MK5 and a MK5 “shortie” that are active in my shop, and at least 3 more in storage waiting to re restored. I grew up with them, I love them, and I use them on all my woodworking. They are accurate and well built. The change over time only seems to be an issue for people who don’t own one.

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

View Paul Lajoie's profile

Paul Lajoie

131 posts in 2523 days

#12 posted 11-29-2010 01:52 AM

Hi Wiz, I also started woodworking on my mark5 over 20yrs ago, mostly cause of space and $. I’ve added single purpose tools as $ and skill level warrented. I still use it mostly as a table saw now and to power the bandsaw and jointer, but come spring time I plan on getting a sawstop tablesaw. I’ll keep the mark5 till I can afford to get a standalone bandsaw and jointer. I also picked up 10er that is at least 60yrs old, I cleand it up and it does all my drillpress work, no plans on getting rid of that. Just take the time to set up the SS as accurate as you can and remember a tool is only as accurate and safe as its operator.


View 8iowa's profile


1540 posts in 3180 days

#13 posted 11-29-2010 01:53 AM

I started with a Shopsmith 500 in 1/2 of my garage back in 1983. Since then this machine has been upgraded, first to 510, then to 520, and now to the ultimate, the Power Pro. It’s to Shopsmith’s credit that they have always made it possible to upgrade an older machine, and there are a lot of 1950’s vintage Shopsmiths still “hummin” along with their third generation owners.

Shopsmith deserves to be congratulated for engineering, testing, and introducing the new DVR motor headstock in the face of a downturned economy and a market flooded with Asian tools. Ingeniously, they have made it possible for us to install this new power plant and controller into the old headstock. With a speed range of 40 to 1, and torque sensing ability, the DVR headstock can rip 3” oak at 4000 rpm, turn large diameter panel router bits at 10,000 rpm, and then drill with 3” forstner bits at 250 rpm. I’m packing a lot of capability into my 192 sq. ft. here in Gainesville.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View MrWizard's profile


145 posts in 2223 days

#14 posted 11-29-2010 03:08 AM

It is really great to hear back from so many of you that use the Shopsmith unit(s). Because the main purpose was for me to get back into turning wood, any comments on what chucks to use or other third party turning tools. I really look forward to making some nice bowls for the family and even sell a couple if I get it right.
Best of the holidays to all and to all, “Ill be in the shop.”

View 8iowa's profile


1540 posts in 3180 days

#15 posted 11-29-2010 03:22 AM

My son-in-law is much more into bowl turning than I am, He has a Stronghold chuck with the “jumbo” jaws. I have the Super Nova 2 and get good use out of it.

Actually, Shopsmith has several nice turning chisel sets in addition to the five standard chisels. The 4 piece bowl turning set (518733) will get you going at modest cost.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

showing 1 through 15 of 26 replies

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