broken shopsmith, asking for assistance

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Forum topic by PatrickOOOMazing posted 03-19-2014 01:40 AM 1268 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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20 posts in 3297 days

03-19-2014 01:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: shopsmith question

i have a shopsmith mark V that rendered itself inoperable this week. i am hoping that i can get some assistance from someone who might help me assess the problem and figure out a solution.

i bought my shopsmith second hand, so it didn’t come with all the manuals. i tried googling and looking on youtube for a solution, but no luck.
i noticed a ticking sound coming from the powerhead during some lathe work on lowest speed. the ticking sound reduced in intensity at a slightly higher rpm. i resolved to open the housing up once i finished the piece i was working on and have a look (i thought a belt might have frayed, but the belts seem to be in good condition). once i opened the back (left, smaller) part of the housing and exposed the belt drive, i turned the shopsmith back on and accelerated the speed slightly. at that point the shopsmith stalled entirely, and the unit began issuing a burning aroma.

my belief is that either a bearing froze, or the motor died.. or honestly i have no idea. the drive system and internal mechanisms on the shopsmith are unfamiliar to me.

the quill shifts can sometimes be spun by hand, and sometimes not. the motor appears to have dropped almost entirely in power, but i cant be sure if its the motor, or if one of the pulleys freezing and stalling the motor is the cause. i didnt want to take the machine apart further as first off im not exactly sure how to go about doing that properly, and if an obvious solution can be reached without completely disassembling the machine.. well that would be ideal.

i can take photos and video if it would help, but first id like to know where best to point the camera.

i sincerely appreciate any assistance i can get on this problem. ive been pushing for months to get a portfolio together to apply to my cities art college, and i just got word back from them 2 days ago that i was accepted. so to have a tool that is part of the backbone of my workshop die is kind of crushing just now.

finally, i know that any mention of shopsmith stirs up the ire of certain people. please, if all you want to do is debate the shortcomings of this machine, or to inform me of the poor shopping decisions ive made in the past, can you just not? i need assistance fixing my machine.. not any of that other stuff.

6 replies so far

View Kickback's profile


127 posts in 2658 days

#1 posted 03-19-2014 02:38 AM

Where do you live would be a good place to start? I know if you are close to me I can get that thing fixed up in a jiffy. I have completely rebuilt from the ground up three different Shopsmith’s and currently own a 1984 Mark 5 and they are a pretty simple machine to work on. My bet is that it needs some maintenance to get it back to normal. Also try the Shopsmith forums there are a bunch of very friendly and knowledgeable guys over there always willing to help.

-- "I work so I can fish"!

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2698 days

#2 posted 03-19-2014 02:42 AM
Might learn something here

View PatrickOOOMazing's profile


20 posts in 3297 days

#3 posted 03-19-2014 03:28 AM

i live in alberta canada.. i appreciate the offer, but i dont think i want to take my shopsmith on vacation.

i think what i should do is open the housing up and remove all the belts. then start twisting and turning things to see if anything binds up

if it is a problem with the motor.. i dont really want to get rid of the shopsmith, but replacing the motor would depend entirely on the price.

i can build a lathe for less than the price of the motor if purchased through shopsmith (something ive always wanted to do anyways, but then id still have a shopsmith in need of repairs for resale)

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2820 days

#4 posted 03-19-2014 04:46 AM

If you want lots of help go to the ShopSmith forum.
There are lots of people there who have been there – done that and will give you all the help you need , great bunch of guys!

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

View PatrickOOOMazing's profile


20 posts in 3297 days

#5 posted 03-19-2014 04:50 AM

i just copied this to the shopsmith forum, so thats a go.
im very encouraged from what ive seen on the pro shopsmith side of things. ive had this machine for a couple years, but only actually started using it recently as anything more than a drillpress.

ordering the parts in canada might be hit or miss. i actually just ordered a new pinion for the table height mechanism (out of stock) this morning.. guess i should have waited a couple hours

View emart's profile


445 posts in 2650 days

#6 posted 03-19-2014 05:21 AM

if it is the motor try a local motor motor repair shop and see if they can give you a quote on fixing it. I assume the shopsmith uses a special motor otherwise you can usually pick up a generic motor used for a hill of beans on craigslist. Otherwise I would just go over all the bearings and see if any are in need of replacing and check any other moving parts.

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

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