This is my first post on this forum, but I have owned a Shopsmith for 2 decades now and before that used my Dad's Shopsmith. I have always been a fan of Shopsmith, but unfortunately my Shopsmith has collected dust in the intervening years as work and family took precedent for a while. I have recently started using it again and became aware of this forum. I have nothing but respect for the users of this forum and I am excited by some of the unique solutions I have seen members come up with, e.g. fixes to dust collection issues on the lower saw guard, sliding saw table, etc. I want to thank all of you for creating this great collection of advice and debate on many aspects of Shopsmith.
Having read the comments on this thread, I felt that I had to offer my 1.5 cents here. Like many of you, I have some concerns about the viability of Shopsmith. I continue to be a fan and supporter. A few years back when it looked like they were going out of business, I bought accessories that I needed and some that I didn't...just to make sure that I had everything should the unthinkable happen to them. I have been salivating over the PowerPro the past few years, but I just have not been able to pull the trigger for the following reasons:
1. It is just too expensive. The Striatech guts can be had for about a third of what Shopsmith wants. I have been unemployed all year since having a double bypass heart operation last year, so now I really can't afford it. If the DIY version from Shopsmith was maybe a grand then I could consider it, but it costs practically as much as a brand new PowerPro headstock now.
2. It "can" overheat (not to mention RFI/EMI issues). As an engineer, I understand the problems here so I am just not quite ready to jump on board with the PowerPro...not unless I have some backup controls for when it fails. Keeping my existing, lower power headstock should last the rest of my lifetime with routine maintenance.
3. I hate the controls. I know this might be my own quirk, but I hate membrane keypads. Tactile feel is not good and they often fail prematurely compared to other switch choices. Honestly, for the price of a PowerPro, I should get a decent size LCD screen with touchscreen control.
Does this PowerPro competitor solve all these issues? No, but at least someone is making an attempt. I know there will be legal challenges, but either way this alternative solution won't survive. The PowerPro has been out long enough that those who can afford it and want to switch have already done so. As a result, Shopsmith continues to hike the price of the PowerPro since its debut to maximize revenue on limited sales volume. I would guess that the number of people on the sidelines, like myself, are relatively few. I predict that he is selling to a niche of a niche market and before long will decide this isn't worth it. At least he made an attempt to address some of the weaknesses that I perceive of the PowerPro. Sorry my first post was kind of long, but just wanted to give an alternative viewpoint. I am looking forward to the future when we hopefully have a PowerPro Model 2 version and I can afford it then.
Mark V 520 (Bought New '98) | 4" jointer | 6" beltsander | 12" planer | bandsaw | router table | speed reducer | univ. tool rest
Porter Cable 12" Compound Miter Saw | Rikon 8" Low Speed Bench Grinder w/CBN wheels | Jessem Clear-Cut TS™ Stock Guides
Festool (Emerald): DF 500 Q | RO 150 FEQ | OF 1400 EQ | TS 55 REQ | CT 26 E
DC3300 | Shopvac w/ClearVue CV06 Mini Cyclone | JDS AirTech 2000 | Sundstrom PAPR | Dylos DC1100 Pro particulate monitor