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ShopSmith utilization with other machines ??

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Forum topic by RustyBug posted 12-05-2018 12:47 PM 398 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RustyBug

2 posts in 6 days


12-05-2018 12:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shopsmith shop smith

I’ve read several reviews regarding the ShopSmith and there seems to be a polarization of “Great” at versatile, to “Gagdet” at too many things must mean not good at everything. Nothing really new here, but …

My question is if you were to incorporate a ShopSmith in your shop ALONG WITH SOME other dedicated equipment, which duties would you lean on the ShopSmith for … and which duties would you keep away from the ShopSmith? For instance, I don’t see using the SS planer as viable compared to a dedicated planer, but I see the overhead routing and/or “flatbed” routing duties as viable compared to buying a separate overhead router and flatbed router setups.

As I’m seeing the used market for SS, it strikes me that if it could do 2-4 things well, it might have a place in my garage, even if I wouldn’t try to use it for everything. Not for a production shop, but mostly as a homeowner, hobby and wannabee to grown on who is space challenged … so, I’m trying to consider which duties make good (or at least reasonable) sense to gang together for consolidation effort. Brainstorming here, so all utilization ideas are welcome.

Anyway, been lurking off and on … so, I finally signed up.

TIA


11 replies so far

View Fresch's profile

Fresch

358 posts in 2119 days


#1 posted 12-05-2018 01:40 PM

Go to shopsmith forum.
Most shopsmith anti people never used one or did but it was the oldest model. The bad part of a shopsmith you need to think and work slowly so to not waste time, from doing a function then starting a new one only to see you missed one and have to reset the machine. You know like you are supposed to work with stand alone toe efficient.
The machine can do the work, also the planer is rather good from what I read.

View Holt's profile

Holt

279 posts in 2827 days


#2 posted 12-05-2018 02:04 PM

Based on my actual experience. I’m not thrilled about the table saw mode. The only time I use that is when I need to use a jig (like a box joint jig) or cut dadoes and also need/want to have my table saw setup for “normal” cuts.

My original setup was:

Craftsman Contractor Table saw
Ridgid “lunch box” planer (Shopsmiths planer is supposed to be great, but they are pricey)
Shopsmith Mk V with jointer, bandsaw, belt sander, lathe duplicator (not used yet), and jig saw (got for a great price, not tracked down blades for it yet)

This let me have big shop functionality without spending big money.

The M5 is a good lathe, good drill press, and a great sanding center. Compared to other band saws its size, I think the MK V band saw is superior. As time has gone buy, I’ve added a bigger standalone Jointer and Drill press. I imagine at some point the MK V will become a dedicated sanding station and platform for homemade gadgets

-- ...Specialization is for insects.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3660 posts in 2186 days


#3 posted 12-05-2018 02:14 PM

I use my Shopsmith as an auxiliary tool and use it a lot. I have not used it as a saw lately but am looking to use it for making wooden model wheels.

Pneumatic drum sander
Flat Sander like a Sand Flea Sander
Horizontal drill press—really useful
Lathe- not a great one but fine for smaller stuff works well
Buffing Wheels

I have built a lot of jigs to use on it for specialized jobs.

This last summer I had the head rebuilt and it runs great.

View BlasterStumps's profile

BlasterStumps

973 posts in 637 days


#4 posted 12-05-2018 03:04 PM

Unless you use a speed increasing unit, I would not try to use the SS for routing or shaping. Just doesn’t turn fast enough and will try to hog the wood. I like my SS but mainly for lathe, disc and drum sander, small jointer and keep a resaw blade on the bandsaw for occasion use. I’ve had it since early ‘80s and still enjoy using it today as much as I ever have. One thing it is especially nice for is vertical drilling on long stock.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

View Eric's profile

Eric

70 posts in 71 days


#5 posted 12-05-2018 03:15 PM

I use my for a drill press both verticle and horizontal, lathe, sanding station, and the shapper it was passed down from my father, who purchased it back in the 70’s for $100. I have had to buy a few repair parts, but have been happy with it overall. I tried the table saw a few times, but not happy with it, small table.

-- Eric, Upstate South Carolina

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5190 posts in 3441 days


#6 posted 12-05-2018 09:15 PM

The Shopsmith is a great supplemental machine that can be set up as a second operation machine. In a production setting, it can for example be set up to do countersinking, keeping your drill press set up for drilling holes. Due to the small size of the table, as a saw, it is suitable for small jobs. You could set it up for a certain cut and using your other saw for a different set up. The Shopsmith can be used as a 12” disc sander, handy where sanding is needed to finish wood that has been cut on the saw. I have owned a Shopsmith for many years; in fact it was my first power tool before getting dedicated machines. At the time, i didn’t have enough room in my garage shop, so I sold it. Now that I have a 1200 sf shop, I wish I still had a Shopsmith. If there is any one thing I don’t like about the Shopsmith, is the use of saw blades with a 1-1/4” hole. I believe there are adapters available that can use standard 5/8” hole blades.

View Fresch's profile

Fresch

358 posts in 2119 days


#7 posted 12-06-2018 12:05 AM

5/8th no problem”

View RustyBug's profile

RustyBug

2 posts in 6 days


#8 posted 12-06-2018 12:29 AM

Thanks for the input so far.

+1 @ speed for routing … I’m thinking that I’d upgrade a used Mark 5 to a Mark 7 if it makes sense for me to go down the SS path (still TBD) to get the higher speeds.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3660 posts in 2186 days


#9 posted 12-06-2018 12:30 AM

The shaft on the Shopsmith allows you to put on an adapter and use a blade with a 5/8” hole.

Not the best saw but works. I do not think I have used mine as a saw in many years.

View BobHall's profile

BobHall

43 posts in 1483 days


#10 posted 12-06-2018 12:56 AM

I liked mine for the lathe, the drill press, the disk sander, and especially the bandsaw. All of which benefited from the variable speed feature. Didn’t like the table saw too much, but it cut.

-- Bob "jack of all trades, master of none"

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8163 posts in 2996 days


#11 posted 12-06-2018 01:18 AM

I have been using a SS 510 as the only real stationary tool in my winter shop in AZ for several years now. I have often said that I can build anything here with it that I can at home in BC in my big shop with all the dedicated tools.
It is true and with a little luck in the used market it is quite a bargain.
Two years ago I upgraded to the PowerPro headstock, the 520 fence system, and the dual tilt base, virtually a mark seven. The cost was substantial but the improvement in the tool is amazing. The only knock I could give is the tablesaw, not for its size or accuracy but for the tilting table design. That said I have been able to work around it every time and get great results.
If you have time to plan and don’t mind making the switch overs (most take about 60 seconds) it is an amazingly capable tool without any back ups. With a supplementary table saw you could have it all.
If I had room for a TS I would probably get one but I don’t and the SS has never let me down.
This blog entry shows what I had before the upgrade. I had under $2000 invested as I remember.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

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