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Anyone use a Shopsmith?

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Forum topic by TimKane2 posted 02-01-2011 03:23 AM 2889 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TimKane2

9 posts in 2139 days


02-01-2011 03:23 AM

I recently came into a Shop Smith. It is brand new, still in the box since 1985. I put it all together and I’m excited about it. Used the planer and it did a real nice job. Anyone else out there familiar with Shop Smith?


13 replies so far

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2540 days


#1 posted 02-01-2011 03:43 AM

I’m very familiar with ShopSmith (SS). I started with a SS many years ago and I still have my original SS. It does not get used much anymore because I have purchased a separate table saw, lathe, and drill press. Still, there are certain things that I still use if for such as horizontal boring. I am also very fond on the belt sander accessory and I use the band saw accessory despite the fact that I have a large 18” band saw. The large band saw is primarily for resawing and the SS bandsaw is for more delicate work (with a Carter Stabilizer).

In many regards, I am a SS fan. They are a great option for someone with a small shop (like I had at one time). The quality of the tool is excellent.

FWIW – It is a great drill press and horizontal boring machine and the belt sander and scroll saw attachments are great. It is a good (but not great) lathe and the bandsaw attachment is good but small. As a table saw, it is weak but you can put up with it for a while. Tilting the table instead of tilting the blade is a real problem for me.

You’ll find many SS users on this board. Many continue to use their SS much more than I do.

Good luck and don’t hesitate to come here with any questions you have.

Curious – did you get the new Mark 7 with the electronically controlled motor?

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

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TimKane2

9 posts in 2139 days


#2 posted 02-01-2011 05:30 AM

Thanks for your reply Rich, and thanks for the offer to help with questions. I have a lot to learn about this machine. To answer your question about it being a Mark 7, the answer is no. This machine was purchased in 1985 by the original owner but still in the unopened boxes with the original sales receipt. It had never even been touched. Came with vertical and circular sander, table saw, joiner, bandsaw, scroll saw and a separate stand-alone planer. Everything old but new.

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treeman

208 posts in 2915 days


#3 posted 02-01-2011 12:34 PM

The Shopsmith is a great tool and performs functions it was designed for very well. I have owned mine since I bought it new in the 70’s and it still performs as it was designed.

You can get a lot of good information and your Shopsmith specific questions answered here.

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2540 days


#4 posted 02-01-2011 04:18 PM

There are 3 versions of the Mark V – the 500, 510 and 520. Since yours was built in 1985 you probably have a 500.

e-bay is a great place to buy parts, accessories and upgrades for a SS.

If you can get the upgrade (used) for a reasonable price, I think the upgrade kit that converts your 500 to a 510 is a good idea.

Since the SS has been setting around for over 25 years I advise that you replace the belt. They deteriorate with age whether they are used or not. Also, get a can of Johnson Paste Wax and 2 rags. Name one rag “wipe on” and the other rag “wipe off” and use them on the way tubes on a regular basis. Read up on lubricating the Reeves belt system. It’s too hard to explain in this format.

Good luck.

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

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8257 posts in 2894 days


#5 posted 02-01-2011 04:41 PM

Welcome to the forum, Tim. And, welcome to the community of SS owners.
Rich’s suggestions are spot on. And treeman’s web link to the Shopsmith forum is excellent, as well. There is a wealth of Shopsmith knowledge there.

-- 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 Nomad62's profile

Nomad62

726 posts in 2424 days


#6 posted 02-01-2011 07:11 PM

I too own a SS from the mid 80’s, it’s a fine machine that has been well used over the years. My late dad used it plenty, and has been moved along thru the family and I now have it. You need to be wary of the adage that “if it has an adjustment, it probably needs it”; it will work well if you keep your eye on things regularly. Also, when you put on the bandsaw or other slow device turn down the speed knob with the motor running before you turn it on!. Have fun!

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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Nomad62

726 posts in 2424 days


#7 posted 02-01-2011 07:13 PM

I too own a SS from the mid 80’s, it’s a fine machine that has been well used over the years. My late dad used it plenty, and has been moved along thru the family and I now have it. You need to be wary of the adage that “if it has an adjustment, it probably needs it”; it will work well if you keep your eye on things regularly. Also, when you put on the bandsaw or other slow device turn down the speed knob with the motor running before you turn it on!. Have fun!

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View TimKane2's profile

TimKane2

9 posts in 2139 days


#8 posted 02-02-2011 05:22 AM

Not sure if it’s a 500 and don’t know how to tell. What is the upgrade to a 510? With my little knowledge of the system, it looks pretty good to me. Only thing that looks like a weak link to me is the plastic part that connects between the drive motor and the tool in use.

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 2540 days


#9 posted 02-02-2011 03:28 PM

The most noticeable difference between a 500 & 510 is the size of the table. The table is much bigger on the 510. Another 510 trait are the tubes that the fence sits and slides on. The 510 is still sold today. You can see a picture at the SS website.

That plastic link is amazingly durable. I’ve never seen one break.

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

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richgreer

4541 posts in 2540 days


#10 posted 02-02-2011 03:56 PM

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TimKane2

9 posts in 2139 days


#11 posted 02-03-2011 02:55 AM

Yup, it’s a 500. Glad to hear that about the plastic link. When I first saw it I thought it was a bad idea. Thanks for those links to the pics.

View Shopsmithtom's profile

Shopsmithtom

788 posts in 3661 days


#12 posted 02-13-2011 06:07 AM

I just noticed this post & had to chime in. You’ve already gotten lots of good info so I won’t repeat that. I have 4 Smiths in my shop & another at my summer place. I’ve rebuilt many more & gotten them into the hands of friends. I guess you could call me a Shopsmith junkie. I’ll just mention that if you have any questions on setup, problems, or use as you go along, just send me a private message here & I’ll be glad to help you out. -SST

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

View kohalabeeman's profile

kohalabeeman

24 posts in 981 days


#13 posted 09-05-2016 08:00 PM

Aloha Tim,
I don’t know how old the shop-smith was but in 1969 it came with all our goods and it became our work horse as we moved into our new homesteads here in Hawaii . A side from the pro’ tools of the school shops I learned apon , SS was the main shop tool .
It did a fair job of restoring the house the folks found , it had been abandoned for 12 years . We had our work cut out for us and that little old SS just keep giving . As time passes by , I got deeper into Hawaiian wood products and needed stronger machines but still used the SS for a drill press and a lath . It was more then you could ask of a tool that my Dad bought from a friend for less than $100 and used for the next 30 years .
I wish I still had it if for nothing else but to use the drill press .
Safety , this was never an issue , back in the days before ‘Saw-Stop’ , we worked safe on watched out for each other. Don’t try to do something that your in doubt of , don’t over-reach the blade , use a good push stick .
Hope it works out good for you ,too .
Aloha ,
Mark

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