Contemplating 3 Upgrades Looking for Experiences

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KCollins
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Contemplating 3 Upgrades Looking for Experiences

Post by KCollins »

So I'm considering 3 upgrades to my Mark V.

First - The Power Pro Upgrade.
Questions.
How difficult is it to do the upgrade?
What is involved?
How do you like the difference from the old Mark V system?
Better or Worse?
Would you do it again?

Second - Mark V Double Tilt Base Upgrade.
I really like the idea of having a shaper on this machine. I assume this upgrade is based on a more individuals need or intent.
Questions.
How do you like it? Better or worse than say a router table?
How well does the shaper feature work?
Would you do it again?

And the Third - Mark V Model 510 to Model 520 Upgrade
I like the 510 system will enough so is the upgrade really that necessary?
Questions.
Did you have the 510 system prior to upgrading to the 520?
How do you like the 520 over the 510 system?
Is it worth the $600 to make the change?
Would you do it again?

I would love any and all thoughts on this so please feel free to give me an honest opinion.

Thanks guys!!!
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jsburger
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Re: Contemplating 3 Upgrades Looking for Experiences

Post by jsburger »

First the 510 to 520 upgrade. Absolutely the best upgrade SS made at the time IMO. My first SS was a 510 bought new in 1994. I bought the 520 upgrade when it first came out. The 510 fence and rail system was OK with no real issues. The 520 just feels much more precise and solid. The fence is more beefy with more T tracks for jigs. Yes, I would absolutely do it again. I also have a dedicated drill press and a shorty that are also 520 fence systems.

Power Pro. I bought mine at a Lowes demo in Dec 2011. There was a discount plus I got the Lowes Military discount and free shipping. I bought the full up new SS Power Pro head stock. So replacing my old head stock was just a matter of sliding the old one off and sliding the new one on. I used the old head stock to make a dedicated drill press. Would I buy it again? Absolutely! The variable speed motor (lower low end and higher high end) plus constant torque at any speed and much quieter is great.

Double tilt. I got that when I got the Power Pro head stock. I don't use the under table routing/shaping much because I have a dedicated router table. I don't see any disadvantage of it. 10.000 RPM is really fast enough for most things. Just because today's routers do 20,000+ RPMs doesn't mean you always need that. If you don't have space for a dedicated router table it is the way to go. For shaper cutters, they are typically larger and 10,000 RPM should be more than enough. My router table has a Porter Cable 7518 variable speed router motor in it and I never run it at it's 22.000 RPM max. Usually it is set at about 12,000 RPM.

Others will disagree with what I have said but this is my opinion.
John & Mary Burger
Eagle's Lair Woodshop
Hooper, UT
DLB
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Re: Contemplating 3 Upgrades Looking for Experiences

Post by DLB »

KCollins wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 4:41 pm So I'm considering 3 upgrades to my Mark V.

First - The Power Pro Upgrade.
Questions.
How difficult is it to do the upgrade? Time consuming more than difficult. I'd encourage you to watch the full DIY video. Slowest part for me was countersinking new holes in the headstock because I was nervous about making them too deep.
What is involved? Strip the headstock down so the only thing left is the pinion assembly for the quill. Some light machining. Some parts you'll replace with almost identical parts. Others are completely new.
How do you like the difference from the old Mark V system? Love it. Quiet, Powerful, Easier to do speed control.
Better or Worse? Better in almost every way. The additional weight and GFCI concerns would lead me to say it may be less portable. I have a rental house. Its a little harder for one man loading in a pickup. If you don't know about the GFCI aspect we should expand on that, it's easy to solve in your own shop but if you wanted to use it elsewhere it could be a PITA.
Would you do it again? I would. It's a lot of money though. And if you have maintenance issues they can be more time and money consuming than you are accustomed to. Its worth considering buying the full headstock and using your old one in some way that you have it as a backup if you need it.

Second - Mark V Double Tilt Base Upgrade.
I really like the idea of having a shaper on this machine. I assume this upgrade is based on a more individuals need or intent.
Questions.
How do you like it? Better or worse than say a router table? I like the DT for other reasons. Rarely use it for a router of shaper but I think it does well as a shaper with the PowerPro. Router - horizontal router only for me, I have a nice router table.
How well does the shaper feature work? I don't see that there is that much difference between under- and over-table for shaping. Cutter can be above or below the work in either case.
Would you do it again? Yes, for those other reasons.

And the Third - Mark V Model 510 to Model 520 Upgrade
I like the 510 system will enough so is the upgrade really that necessary? Probably not.
Questions.
Did you have the 510 system prior to upgrading to the 520? No. I made the leap from Greenie to 520. It was quite a while later that I first tried 510.
How do you like the 520 over the 510 system? Huge part of this for me is being able to use the JessEm Stock Guides on the 520. Expanding the table system seems to work out better on the 520 due to better fit between rails and tubes. I wouldn't go back for $600.
Is it worth the $600 to make the change? Probably not if you're happy with the 510. Spend it on something else.
Would you do it again? Absolutely. But I bought mine used and the difference was probably closer to $200 for a comparable machine.

I would love any and all thoughts on this so please feel free to give me an honest opinion. You're considering all three mods to get your system from 510 to M7. I'd give at least some thought to buying a new/used M7. Not saying you should buy one, but I'd weigh it as an option if you decide on doing all three. If you sell the 510 I think you are getting close in $$$.

Thanks guys!!!
Great Questions!

- David
RFGuy
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Re: Contemplating 3 Upgrades Looking for Experiences

Post by RFGuy »

I can't comment on the PowerPro or DT being worth it since I haven't done them, but I highly recommend the 520 upgrade. If you want to know more there are many threads on this forum discussing it and this one linked below is quite long with opinions both ways discussing it:

viewtopic.php?p=257831#p257831
📶RF Guy

Mark V 520 (Bought New '98) | 4" jointer | 6" beltsander | 12" planer | bandsaw | router table | speed reducer | univ. tool rest
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edma194
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Re: Contemplating 3 Upgrades Looking for Experiences

Post by edma194 »

jsburger wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 5:40 pm
I bought the full up new SS Power Pro head stock. So replacing my old head stock was just a matter of sliding the old one off and sliding the new one on. I used the old head stock to make a dedicated drill press. Would I buy it again? Absolutely! The variable speed motor (lower low end and higher high end) plus constant torque at any speed and much quieter is great.
I'll second this basic concept. If you don't buy the entire headstock then do what I did and upgrade an old headstock so you can keep the one you have. If you can find a cheap machine on Craig's list with a bad motor then upgrade that headstock and use your old one to make a shortie or a drill press.

I can't comment on the other upgrades, I haven't done either of them.
Ed from Rhode Island

Mark V 510 with PowerPro headstock, Mark V Greenie with 510 headstock, Mark V 500 in progress
Sawsmith 2000 Ultra, 10ER in progress, 10ER undetermined future
KCollins
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Re: Contemplating 3 Upgrades Looking for Experiences

Post by KCollins »

Thanks guys thats all good stuff. You have been a BIG help. I greatly appreciate it.
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chapmanruss
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Re: Contemplating 3 Upgrades Looking for Experiences

Post by chapmanruss »

Not much I can add here. When I did my Power Pro Upgrade I did the DIY and put it into Headstock parts I bought or already had. I kept my original headstock as a backup. It now sits stored away in a box since I have had zero problems with the Power Pro Headstock. With the price difference between a new Power Pro Headstock and the DIY, I did saved a little but not much. If you are going to use your current Headstock do the DIY. If you want to keep your current Headstock than just buy the new Power Pro Headstock.

As for the Double Tilt Upgrade I did that about a year after the Power Pro Upgrade on the same Mark V which is now really a Mark 7. I like the double tilt.

As for the 510 vs. 520/M7 I can't give you an honest opinion since I bought a used 505 and upgraded the tables to 520/M7 before ever aligning it or using it. Beside it was missing the fence and I had 2 520/M7 fences already plus extra floating tables, etc.

Another upgrade to consider, if you haven't done it already, is the 3" Diameter Premium Caster Wheels. Your Mark V will move effortlessly across the floor.
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 1033 & Mark 2 to be restored.
KCollins
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Re: Contemplating 3 Upgrades Looking for Experiences

Post by KCollins »

Yes Chapmanruss... When I bought my Mark V it had the old casters and the first day I had it in my garage I was already frustrated with the way it moved. So that was my first upgrade. and YES they are worth every penny in my book.
bainin
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Re: Contemplating 3 Upgrades Looking for Experiences

Post by bainin »

Mine was a used purchase-it was a powerpro upgrade rather than the box unit from SS.
It is heavy and as such-I would recommend the lift assist.

However with lift assist, I think the double tilt doesnt work unless you disconnect the gas cylinder...and I have alot of trouble disconnecting and reconnecting that damn thing.

b
KCollins
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Re: Contemplating 3 Upgrades Looking for Experiences

Post by KCollins »

I do have the lift assist I just haven't put it on yet. LOL... But I know I'm going to like it once I get around to getting it on there.
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