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510 to 520 upgrade

Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 7:13 pm
by Bruce
The Mark V upgrade packages are on sale. I have an model 510 that was upgraded from a 500 back in the mid-80's. I am considering upgrading to the 520, but want to get input from those of you that have used both the 510 and 520. Is the upgrade worth it? Does it fix the problem of the main table and extension table not lining up perfectly? That has been the major complaint I have about the 510 upgrade. It seems that you should be able to put the main table next to the right extension table and have the rip fence straddle the gap between the two and make accurate rips. Mine won't do that. How does the 520 do?

Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 11:55 pm
by reible

I had a 500 that I upgraded to the 520 and am very happy with the new set up... expensive but a great addition.

I then picked up a (used) 510 and debated over the need to upgrade to the 520 on this machine... well, last year they had the sale on and I when ahead and plunged on that one too. The 510 I had did not seem to have the alignment issues that you mentioned (as have others) but I really like the new rip fence and the "scales" upgrades. I was just doing some 1-1/4" spaced cuts yesterday and the fence bridged the gap perfectly and the scale made the whole process of 11 cuts as easy as it could be...

The sale price is a good one and free shipping always helps so if your thinking about it and have the money do it now the costs will only be going up next year. (I paid more for the 500 to 520 upgrade then I did for my whole shopsmith back in 1976.)


510 to 520 Upgrade

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 6:49 am
by dusty
I have recently upgraded to a 520 and I am very satisfied. Yes, it was expensive but I think that it was worth the investment.

However, I am not willing to state that there has been any increase in accuracy that is solely attributable to the upgrade. Alignment of the extension table to the main table has never been a problem for me.

The rip fence does transition the gap between the extension table and the main table more smoothly but I believe that is more the result of the change of the front and rear rails. The new rails are flat and broader, as is the rip fence itself.

I am very satisfied.

510 to 520 Upgrade

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:14 am
by dusty
I reread my previous post and realized that my comments DO NOT address your concerns. I then went to my shop to verify alignment of the main table and the right entension table to one another and to the rip fense when it is straddling a gap between the main table and the right extension table. I remain totally satisfied with the results.

However, there some factors that must be considered.

1. My SS remains almost exclusively in ONE location; I hardly ever put it up on wheels to move it. When I do, I make certain that it is level in its new location. To do that, I start by leveling the "bench tubes" end-to-end and tube-to-tube at both ends. I then check the "way tubes" in the same manner. The floor of my shop is NOT level; therefore, I must shim the feet to obtain "bench tube" orientation. I find that the "way tubes" remain properly oriented - meaning the SS has not racked. We are good to go.

2. Assuming a complete alignment (alignment verification) has been performed
after settleing in to the new location, I contend that you will have all of the accuracy that you can reasonably demand.

3. If you routinely reconfigure (horizontal mode to vertical mode) you must routinely reverify alignment.

Now, your specific concern. Does the rip fence remain in alignment across a gap between the main table and the extension table. Yes it does.

I started by locating the rip fence on the main table to the left of the blade. I then clamped a straight edge (snugged against the rip fence) to the table to establish a fixed point of reference (parallel to the cut line).

After moving the rip fence to a location in the center of the extension table I checked for proper alignment. Distance from the rip fence to the "reference line" is nearly perfect (less than a 16th inch difference); certainly good enough for government work (and anything I do in my shop).

I then centered the rip fence across the gap between the main table and the extension table. The results were equally satisfying. I set the tables with a gap of approximately a 1 3/4" separation

I have both a left and right extension table so I went one step further and checked the left extension table in the same manner. To get equal results I had to touch up alignment but I was able to do so.

CONCLUSION: Assuming that your SS is setting reasonably level when you do your alignments, I believe you would be totally satisfied with the 510 to 520 upgrade. If you move your machine around or change modes, YOU NEED TO CHECK ALIGNMENTS before you can expect accuracy.

I am even more satisfied than I was before.

Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 10:01 am
by Bruce
Thanks everyone for your input. It looks like I will be re-checking my alignment and leveling my tubes. When I originally aligned the tables I just couldn't get it as close as I wanted it, but I never checked the tubes for level, so if I do that then maybe I can get the tables aligned. I've got my fingers crossed.


Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:33 am
by Ed in Tampa
batg4 wrote:Thanks everyone for your input. It looks like I will be re-checking my alignment and leveling my tubes. When I originally aligned the tables I just couldn't get it as close as I wanted it, but I never checked the tubes for level, so if I do that then maybe I can get the tables aligned. I've got my fingers crossed.

I think the 520 will fix your problems. First look at the 510 the tubes are held in the table rails but pressure from the side. The tube can be high or low in the rail. For example you have the tube in the main table and for whatever reason when you tightened the tube it was in the high position. Now you use the aux table or a floating table and when you tighten them down on the tube they are in a low position. You can have a mismatch on your tables of 1/4 inch.

Now look at the 520 the tube is tighten from the bottom. Thus when you put in in the main table the tube is pushed to the top of the rail and locked. Now mount a floating table or aux table again when you tighten the tube, it is pushed to the top of the rail. If the rail are the same height which they are they send you a gauge to make them this way. Your tables will be exactly the same height.

On my 510 it would drive me crazy trying to get the main table, floating table and aux table all adjusted to the same height so the fence would float over them and lock straight. Now on the 520 the problem is totally gone.

I personally think Shopsmith should discountinue the 510 upgrage and only offer the 520 it is that much better.

Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:58 am
by reible

I wanted to mention that in my previous post I did not mention that I must move my shopsmith(s) for all but a few uses. My garage is packed with tools and junk and more, for the most part everytime I need to use one of the machines I need to roll it out on the driveway in front of my house. The drive way is not level but it does have flat spots where I set up to work at. I have a couple of inch drop between the garage floor and the driveway and it is far from a smooth ride out to where I set up.

Despite having to be hauled out this way I don't often have to do any alignment... I do check it several times a year when I do a cleaning and waxing and lubing... It will go for years without any changes being needed.

This was true of it as a 500 and now as a 520... The 510 I had as a 510 for only for a limited time as a 510 before upgrading but I brough it home in pieces, did the alignment and never touch it until I did the 520 upgrade a year or so later. It is almost a year ago that I did the upgrade and I have not had to make any adjustments in that time.

I did make some additional changes by upgrading the extension table to use studs for the height/level adjustments... (it had been a 500 table upgraded to a 510 with the 4 bolts where you add the washers to get it leveled.... much better with the studs).


510 to 520 Upgrade

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:28 am
by dusty

I am curious. In a post earlier in this thread,. you indicated that you were about to realign your tables. How did that go. I am certain that they will align to your satisfaction.

Have you decided to upgrade to the 520. When you do, I know you'll be impressed with the new characteristics and capabilities. The ease/accuracy of setting a rip size is unbelieveable.

510 to 520 Upgrade

Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:55 pm
by banjodan
I recently upgraded to the 520 and I am VERY satisfied, but my reasons for ugrading was somewhat different.

I found that although the 510 had much less deflection than a typical saw fence, it wasn't quite beefy enough when I used it as a backstop in horizontal boring mode. If I was using a large (or dull) bit and drilling into a very hard wood (such as oak), the fence would deflect.

The 520 solved this problem. I had to tweak the adjustment of the fence a bit, but that took less than a minute.

I originally upgraded from a 500 to a 510 and then to a 520, and I wish I had skipped over the 510 and gone right to the 520.


Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 5:18 pm
by twig/al
Thanks to Everyone, I have just been released from the doctors and I am finally going to get to use my Shopsmith again!! I was considering doing the upgrade fom a 510 to a 520, now all I have to do is save up the money to do it. lol...