Shopsmith Mark 5 What When and Where

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chapmanruss
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Re: Shopsmith Mark 5 What When and Where

Post by chapmanruss »

Dennis,

That may be true that Shopsmith kept making units with the 50th Anniversary rear inspection plate until they were gone. As for the sticker on yours being listed as a display unit it could have been ordered that way for one of the retail stores around the country back then and then sold to a customer who didn't want to wait for one from the factory. Another possibility is the retail stores starting closing around then and was sold as a store closed. Another possibility is it was for some reason marked that way coming from the factory. I'm not sure when all the factory stores closed around the country. I do know my Mark V 520 (now M7) was purchased through the factory store located in Tigard Oregon in 2001 by my father-in-law.
Russ

Mark V completely upgraded to Mark 7
Mark V 520
All SPT's & 2 Power Stations
Model 10ER S/N R64000 first one I restored on bench w/ metal ends & retractable casters.
Has Speed Changer, 4E Jointer, Jig Saw with lamp, a complete set of original accessories & much more.
Model 10E S/N 1077 oldest one I have restored. 10E S/N 1076 & Mark 2 to be restored plus others.
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chapmanruss
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Re: Shopsmith Mark 5 What When and Where

Post by chapmanruss »

There have been other Mark series tools made and although this is about the Mark 5 and Mark V I feel it is important to talk a little about them and how they related to the Mark 5/V’s. Besides there has already been some mention of them here. For the first one it is important to know that Montgomery Ward was a main seller of the Shopsmith/Magna tools. It was Montgomery Ward that gave the Shopsmith Model 10E it’s start. In the mid 1950’s Montgomery Ward asked Magna to make a more affordable Shopsmith to broaden the market for the 5 in 1 tool. Out of that request came the Mark 2. It was a step back from the Mark 5. It functioned more like the Model 10ER while looking more like the Mark 5. One big difference was the use of step pulleys and having only 7 speeds instead of the variable speed control of the Mark 5. It only lasted a few years. It started out as a Greenie and went directly to gray paint.

The next in the Mark series was the original Mark VII. It came out in 1963 and was the last Mark series tool being sold in the 60’s. The Mark VII was advertised as a 7 in 1 tool adding under-table shaping and routing plus a reversible motor. The same features as the Mark 7 made today but in a much different package. It had features not included in the Mark 7 today. Built in dust collection and way tube racks to raise or lower the headstock while in the upright positions. I won’t go into a lot about the Mark VII but I do believe it was a least partly responsible for the Mark 5 going out of production in 1964.

The next Mark series tool to come out was the Mark I which was discussed in a previous post.

The last Mark series tool is the Mark 7. Unlike the original Mark VII it was totally based off of the Mark V and any Mark 5/V can be upgraded to a Mark 7. My Mark 7 is an upgraded Mark V 520.

Even the newer models of the Mark V have had an effect on the original and earlier Mark V models. As noted in one of my previous posts the Mark V with the original table system AKA 500 is no longer made. The same is true for the Mark V 505 and most recently the Mark V 510. As the newer models have become more popular the older models have been discontinued. Is it possible that the Mark V 520 will someday share the same fate and leave only the Mark 7?

EDIT: April 3, 2021 & September 1, 2021

I wonder if the end of the Mark V 520 is closer than we think. An email ad from Shopsmith today has changed the wording for the table upgrades of the Mark V 500, 505 and 510 from upgrading to the Mark V 520 to upgrading to the Mark 7 Table System. There is a difference between the Mark V 520 table system and the Mark 7 Table system as anyone who has done the Double Tilt upgrade knows. The table posts for the Mark 7 have the teeth on both sides of the posts so it can be reversed in the carriage.
Last edited by chapmanruss on Wed Sep 01, 2021 11:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
Russ

Mark V completely upgraded to Mark 7
Mark V 520
All SPT's & 2 Power Stations
Model 10ER S/N R64000 first one I restored on bench w/ metal ends & retractable casters.
Has Speed Changer, 4E Jointer, Jig Saw with lamp, a complete set of original accessories & much more.
Model 10E S/N 1077 oldest one I have restored. 10E S/N 1076 & Mark 2 to be restored plus others.
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Re: Shopsmith Mark 5 What When and Where

Post by RFGuy »

Thanks Russ. Very informative. So, I have a few questions and hope you don't mind that I ask them on this thread. I learned of the Mark 2 a while back and found pics of it online. I have searched for the Mark 1 (or is it I?) to try to just see it and know what it looked like but can't seem to find anything on it. Does anyone have a picture of a Mark 1?

Similarly, I presume that Shopsmith at least made some prototypes for Mark 3 & 4 before settling on the Mark 5/V? Or did they jump to Mark 5/V because of the symbolism of 5-in-1 tool emphasis? Same question for Mark VI between Mark V and Mark VII or the newer Mark 7? Does a Mark VI exist?

Just wondering if these gaps were intentional or if perhaps there is some lost history or just history that is new to me?

P.S. Please forgive me if I erroneously use Roman vs. Cardinal numerals incorrectly above. I can correct this post to avoid confusion if you let me know what it should be.
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chapmanruss
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Re: Shopsmith Mark 5 What When and Where

Post by chapmanruss »

Asking questions or making comments here keeps the information together so feel free to do so.

For the Mark I refer to the link below that I provided in the previous post about the Mark I. The Manual cover looks like it has a Roman Numeral as opposed to a number.

http://www.tool-hunter.com/shopsmith-po ... olitician-
_
The picture shown there has the Mark I Bench Mounts which were unique to the Mark I. In the picture it has standard length way tubes instead of the shorter ones they came with.

I have never seen anything about a Mark 3, 4 or 6. The use of numbers as opposed to Roman numerals is a puzzling one as to why. Mark 5 changed to Mark V on the tool in 1980. The original Mark VII has both VII and 7 on different places on the tool. The new Mark 7 has just the number. The Mark 5 was listed as a 5 in 1 Tool. The Mark VII was listed as a 7 in 1 Tool. The Mark 2 was a 5 in 1 Tool also but couldn't be called 5 since that was already used.
Russ

Mark V completely upgraded to Mark 7
Mark V 520
All SPT's & 2 Power Stations
Model 10ER S/N R64000 first one I restored on bench w/ metal ends & retractable casters.
Has Speed Changer, 4E Jointer, Jig Saw with lamp, a complete set of original accessories & much more.
Model 10E S/N 1077 oldest one I have restored. 10E S/N 1076 & Mark 2 to be restored plus others.
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Re: Shopsmith Mark 5 What When and Where

Post by thedovetailjoint »

That eBay shopping guide was written by me before I started writing my first Shopsmith Tool Hunter blog. It was a stream of consciousness writing and was never intended to survive to today! I can't believe how right I was when I told my kids that they need to be careful what they share on the internet because it's forever! Scott (AKA Mr. Tool Hunter, MyGrowthRings, Aristocob, etc.)
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chapmanruss
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Re: Shopsmith Mark 5 What When and Where

Post by chapmanruss »

So why is it important to know when a particular Mark 5 or Mark V was made. All Mark 5/V’s are upgradeable to current Models, right? That is true but when parts are needed to replace worn or broken parts it is important to know if the part can be replaced individually or does it need to be replaced as an assembly. Here is an example. Your 1957 Mark 5 has a worn Quadrant Assembly in the Speed Control. It is a common problem and since it comes as a single part you can buy a new one to replace it. What if on that same Mark 5 the headrest casting was broken. Can you buy a new headrest casting to replace it? The answer is no. The Mark 5 Greenies had larger diameter bench tubes so the Base and Headrest castings had larger holes for them to pass through. So, a new casting will not fit properly. It is also a case in which getting an upgrade would require additional parts. If you wanted to upgrade your 1957 Mark 5 to double tilt you would also have to get replacement bench tubes to fit correctly.

So how can I know when my Mark 5 or Mark V was made? For that look at the serial number found on the Headstock Belt Cover. Older Mark 5/V tools made before date coding was introduced in December of 1987 have a serial number on the Belt Cover Vent Plate found around the Idler Shaft. Besides the tool’s serial number, it gives additional information as to which company made it and more. Early Mark 5’s have a 6 digit serial number and we don’t know the actual starting and ending serial numbers for that group. The lowest I have seen so far is 250015 and went up to around 382500 before the Mark 5 went out of production in 1964. When Shopsmith Inc. formed and restarted production the serial numbers had an SS prefix which started with serial number 1001. The plate will also show it was made by Shopsmith Inc. Once Date Coding started it was easy to tell when your Mark V was made. With Date Coding the serial number was now on a sticker instead of the vent plate and was the date it was made. There are serial numbers on the vent plate that are the same as the date codes. This is where it is important to note where the serial number is, vent plate vs. sticker and the SS prefix.

So, when was a particular serial number made? Here on the Shopsmith website is a listing by year of which serial numbers were made that year. There is a problem with that list for tools made prior to Shopsmith Inc. and 1973. A little history – that list replaced the list by month they had there previously. The list by month had missing information in it, months with no starting serial number. If you compare the two lists month and year you will see the problem with the year list. Attached are PDF copies of 2 charts of the starting serial numbers by month list with best guesstimates for the missing months. In the first chart the estimates are in red. The second chart is of the lost numbers and the whole chart is estimates based on a number of factors known about the number of tools made through 1964 but is still a best guess and maybe only correct to within a few months of when a Mark 5 was actually made. From 1973 on it is simply an averaging of the tools made over time.

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Mark V Serial Numbers.pdf
(121.78 KiB) Downloaded 84 times
Mark V Serial Numbers - The Lost Numbers.pdf
(99.56 KiB) Downloaded 62 times
Russ

Mark V completely upgraded to Mark 7
Mark V 520
All SPT's & 2 Power Stations
Model 10ER S/N R64000 first one I restored on bench w/ metal ends & retractable casters.
Has Speed Changer, 4E Jointer, Jig Saw with lamp, a complete set of original accessories & much more.
Model 10E S/N 1077 oldest one I have restored. 10E S/N 1076 & Mark 2 to be restored plus others.
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Re: Shopsmith Mark 5 What When and Where

Post by chapmanruss »

Below is information from a previous thread titled How Far Back Do The Early Mark 5 Serial Numbers Go? My comments have been edited to bring it up to date with what I know currently. It ties in to what I previously posted about serial numbers.

Jpdalton started this thread on April 30th, 2020

Note: his Mark 5 was made in April 1954 according to the monthly chart.

He said
I'm in the midst of a restoration/modernization project on Ser# 263705 - pretty excited to have a chance to work on such an early machine, a 1954 model based on the serial number chart maintained by the folks at Shopsmith, Inc.

Recently, I was puzzled to see this image from a Craigslist post in the San Diego area:

See Picture in his post at (and scroll up) viewtopic.php?f=7&t=23598&p=270168&hili ... on#p270168

I realize it's not a great image, but the serial number of this unit pretty clearly appears to be "250015", which is a range I've never seen on any of the serial number registries. Unfortunately, there were no other images in the posting that would clearly distinguish it as a 1954 model (in working with my 1954, I've seen a few interesting 1954-only features that were modified for future model years).

Does anyone have any background with serial numbers earlier than "263051" from the Shopsmith-maintained chart? Honestly, "250001" would seem to be a logical starting serial number for the new Mark 5s.

Just curious, as it helps me understand just how early a model my 1954 is...
The following information is conclusions I have based on information I have seen and gathered to this point.

As jpdalton mentions above there are some distinguishing features that can be seen on the early Mark 5’s. Only the “A” headstock on the Mark 5 which was made until October 1955 had a high-speed lock at the top of the speed dial held in place by the switch. According to documents the “A” headstock ended with serial number 312507 although I am not sure that serial number is correct. I just recently saw a Mark 5 for sale with a “B” Headstock and serial number 312033. Early “A” headstocks used 8 screws to hold the belt cover in place which changed to 6 screws in 1955 before changing to the “B” headstock in October 1955. Early “B” headstocks continued with 6 screws holding the belt cover until reduced to 2 screws in 1957.

Looking at the Vent/Serial Number Plate at the serial number 25OO15 I notice two things about it that are different than the numbers on other Vent/Serial Number Plates. The numbers 25 are followed by what looks more like capital letters OO than numbers and followed by the numbers 15. Even the 1 is different than those in other production serial numbers. The numbers 15 are out of alignment and slightly different from the first four numbers (letters). This leads me to believe that this Mark 5 was a preproduction machine similar to those Model 10’s made in 1947 with numbers below 1001. The OP’s statement about 250001 being a logical starting serial number has merit. I think that the starting serial number was more likely 260001 and 25OO15 was a preproduction and/or demonstration unit that ended up being sold later. Other than seeing this serial number the lowest I have seen is S/N 260403. Again, leading me to believe that 260001 could be the starting serial number for the Mark 5. There have been Demonstration Model 10’s show up having the Logo/Serial Number plate on both sides of the headstock. So, we know that some were sold to the general public at some point. The extra logo plate on the back side was on the audience side for demonstrations. Preproduction Model 10’s were also used in the manufacturing plant. There must have been some preproduction Mark 5’s made as they tested it’s design and function. The question is over time what happened to any existing preproduction Mark 5’s? The Shopsmith/Magna Tool line changed ownership several times and the plants moved locations over these many years. Did preproduction Mark 5’s get out to the public?

We know from the document Shopsmith Sales History from the Book titled "How to Write a Winning Business Report" By Joseph Mancuso that 11865 Mark 5’s were sold in fiscal year 1953 – 1954. If the Mark 5 serial numbers started at 250001 there would have been 13050 Mark 5’s made by April which would be an extremely large number of units made mostly before being publicly introduced on March 20, 1954. That is considerably more units than were sold in fiscal year 1953 - 1954 and that doesn’t include those made in April and later until the end of that fiscal year. We do not know what was the actual fiscal year used in this document. These comparisons are production vs. sales between the two sets of numbers. Sales didn’t begin until after the Mark 5 introduction in March. Starting at S/N 260001 there would have been 3050 production units made by April which in itself is a large number made but certainly a more reasonable number. If the fiscal year was July to June there would have been 12923 units made with 11865 sold. With shipping and delivery time added that would be a reasonable number of units made vs. units sold for the time period.

If the starting serial number of 260001 is true than S/N 397157 would be the last serial number when the Mark 5 went out of production in 1964 after having sold a total of 137156 units. The actual number could be higher when adding in units such as demos or damaged units not sold. Again, the numbers used are production vs. sales to get to these estimates. Now this does bring me to another problem. I earlier estimated, on the missing serial numbers chart, that the last serial number before the Mark 5 went out of production in 1964 would be about 382425. This was mainly because I estimated the production serial numbers based on the last known starting month of December 1961 and worked only from there comparing the missing years with sales. That was less accurate than if I had compared all of the year’s production vs. sales. If the Mark 5 serial numbers did start at 250001 that would make the ending S/N 387157 and much closer to my earlier estimate than S/N 397157. Either way my estimated chart for the missing Mark 5 serial numbers would be incorrect for 1962 through 1964. Correcting that chart with the ending S/N 397157 would put a known purchase date even further than the current charts three months after the Mark 5 was made. By that time in the production it was believed the Mark 5’s were being made as they were ordered. There lies the problem. How, if they were not made until ordered, could a Mark 5 be sold that was made three or even more months before (if the chart is corrected) than it was sold if sales occurred before production. If the chart was corrected to the starting S/N 250001 and ending S/N about 387157 it would still make the known order date after the production date. Another problem I am having is when comparing all production with all sales years. The number of units made by July 1961 at 118554 if we use S/N 260001 as the first production serial number vs. 126789 units sold puts them 8235 units behind in production. Changing the starting S/N to 250001 than 128554 units would have been made putting them 1765 units ahead in production. That brings us back to the problem of are sales before production by that time. I am making the comparison to this time because all production numbers are missing from 1962 on. The numbers may work better together if the fiscal year started later than July. This is the problem trying to recreate lost numbers from more than 55 years ago.

The document Shopsmith Sales History was created by John Folkerth as part of his business plan to show prospective investors to start Shopsmith Inc. in 1972. It was information he received from the Magna American documents in purchasing all rights to the Shopsmith/Magna line of tools. There is no reason to believe that the sales numbers are incorrect other than the lack of fiscal years 1947 - 1948 and 1948 - 1949 not being included. This was the first two years Magna Engineering Corporation was in business and making the Shopsmith Model 10E. It also left out the Mark 2. Maybe the sales history only needed to show 20 years of sales for the purpose it was created and it was to restart making the Mark 5.

Something I noticed is that in starting this thread I missed the introduction of the Mark 5 anniversary by 4 days.
Last edited by chapmanruss on Thu Jul 22, 2021 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Russ

Mark V completely upgraded to Mark 7
Mark V 520
All SPT's & 2 Power Stations
Model 10ER S/N R64000 first one I restored on bench w/ metal ends & retractable casters.
Has Speed Changer, 4E Jointer, Jig Saw with lamp, a complete set of original accessories & much more.
Model 10E S/N 1077 oldest one I have restored. 10E S/N 1076 & Mark 2 to be restored plus others.
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Re: Shopsmith Mark 5 What When and Where

Post by Fredricks »

I have a "Mark 5" with serial number 260605.
I inherited it pretty well unassembled. Some of the aluminum/white metal parts are broken, but the powerhead works. There is a planer/joiner, and sanding disk. 2 of the rails are pretty clean, 2 others have a bit of a rough 'patina'. I do not know if I should invest in getting it fixed up, or sell it for the parts that are good. I am looking for suggestions, and happy to provide any info to others doing investigations.
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Re: Shopsmith Mark 5 What When and Where

Post by jsburger »

The Federal Government fiscal year started 1 October back then and I think it still does. Back in the 50's and 60's I always thought most if not all businesses used the same fiscal year as the Fed. I don't think that is true any more.
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Re: Shopsmith Mark 5 What When and Where

Post by davebodner »

The federal government fiscal year started on 01 October only as far back as 1976. Before then it started on 01 July.

In my previous life as a US government bureaucrat, I came across lots of government contractors whose fiscal years started 01 July long after the feds changed to October.
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