can someone tell me what the issues with the power pro headstock are

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WoOdbEmE33
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can someone tell me what the issues with the power pro headstock are

Post by WoOdbEmE33 »

can someone tell me what the issues with the power pro headstock are
I saw a brief mention of sawdust in the electronics. is it a real problem. Can keeping the headstock blown off inside prevent this
any other issues ?
new to shopsmith and trying to get all the info I can
Got a 1985 MARK V that I might be looking to upgrade to a power pro headstock
Thanks
RCZ
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Re: can someone tell me what the issues with the power pro headstock are

Post by RCZ »

I haven't followed the comments about Power Pro issues here on the forum (or elsewhere) because it's unlikely that I will be buying one anytime soon. But you might find good insights from forum member Tom on his Woodshop Nerdery channel on Youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/c/woodshopnerdery/videos
DLB
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Re: can someone tell me what the issues with the power pro headstock are

Post by DLB »

WoOdbEmE33 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:22 pm can someone tell me what the issues with the power pro headstock are
I saw a brief mention of sawdust in the electronics. is it a real problem. Can keeping the headstock blown off inside prevent this
any other issues ?

new to shopsmith and trying to get all the info I can
Got a 1985 MARK V that I might be looking to upgrade to a power pro headstock
Thanks
I don't see the sawdust susceptibility as a big problem, since you can resolve it on your own. There are some optical sensors, 3 IIRC, that provide motor position information to the electronics used for RPM feedback and possibly timing. Since they are optical, sawdust blocking the light path is a possible issue. They are also in close proximity to the impeller fan, I would think that the probability of sawdust landing there is unlikely. I have not experienced a problem with them, but imagine that compressed air would quickly resolve any sawdust related issue. The primary electronics module is reasonably well sealed, I recently opened a problem 'Power Supply' for inspection and I didn't see any evidence of sawdust intrusion.

Other Issues -
Parts can take a longer time to get than you may be accustomed to, and unlike the conventional headstock there is effectively no used parts market.
I'm not a fan of the 'new' Idler bearing design, but it is not expensive and I just keep a spare Idler.
The machine can get hot running high RPMs and high workload situations. The design monitors temperature and either slows down or shuts down when too hot. It can be a problem if you are planning to use the machine as a Shaper or Router at high RPM. I had originally planned to use it in lieu of my standalone Shaper and ultimately decided not to do so. Similarly, it is one of several reasons that a mounted Planer is not for me.

All things considered, I am a big fan of the PowerPro. I could be better, and I wish it was. But most issues occur when it is doing things that the conventional headstock is not capable of, such as running at 10K RPM. The pros far outweigh the cons for me.

- David
edma194
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Re: can someone tell me what the issues with the power pro headstock are

Post by edma194 »

I did a self-install of a PowerPro a couple of years ago and had no problems with it. I bought used one, expecting problems and it has a problem. Not huge really, but there's a problem when the 12" sanding disk is mounted. It sounds similar to an issue with loose set screws that's been seen before, but they were not loose here. Luckily I have the other one and I'll swap the major components between them one at a time and narrow down the issue although I'm pretty sure it's a power supply problem. There are only 3 major components to a PowerPro, the motor, the power supply, and the control panel. The first two are very expensive, over $700 for a motor assembly, over $500 for a power supply. If either of those is broken it may be a while before this one is working.

There is also an issue with the idler shaft and bearings as David mentioned. The two drive belts are very tight and if not balanced can ruin the idler bearing, shaft, and eccentric from too much tension on one side or the other. I had to replace the idler shaft and bearings on that second unit I bought right away.

If you do a self-install, it can be a tiny bit tricky. You are disassembling the whole headstock and putting it back together with new parts already mentioned, and a new power switch and quill replacement. You also have to drill some holes in the headstock using a template for positioning. Not that difficult and saves some money, but without some experience in headstock repairs you might need some help, and you can get that here on the forum.

I have to say though, the biggest advantage of the PowerPro is that it's cool. It's got buttons and a display, even beeps when it starts up. The conventional headstocks look old and tired in comparison, like a 1960s B&W TV compared to a modern large screen Hi-Def TV.
Ed from Rhode Island

510 PowerPro Double Tilt:Greenie PowerPro Drill Press:500 Sanding Shorty w/Belt&Strip Sanders
Super Sawsmith 2000:Scroll Saw w/Stand:Joint-Matic:Power Station:Power Stand:Bandsaw:Joiner:Jigsaw
1961 Goldie:1960 Sawsmith RAS:10ER
Hobbyman2
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Re: can someone tell me what the issues with the power pro headstock are

Post by Hobbyman2 »

not sure if this could be a issue but is there much of a weight difference ? just curious would it make any difference on the old type casters wearing out or should a caster upgrade also be planned .
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edma194
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Re: can someone tell me what the issues with the power pro headstock are

Post by edma194 »

I believe it weighs 10 lbs. more than a conventional headstock. I think keeping a moving a machine with a joiner or planer mounted puts much more stress on the wheels. OTOH if you have the old style back and legs that extra 10 lbs. might be a problem.
Ed from Rhode Island

510 PowerPro Double Tilt:Greenie PowerPro Drill Press:500 Sanding Shorty w/Belt&Strip Sanders
Super Sawsmith 2000:Scroll Saw w/Stand:Joint-Matic:Power Station:Power Stand:Bandsaw:Joiner:Jigsaw
1961 Goldie:1960 Sawsmith RAS:10ER
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jsburger
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Re: can someone tell me what the issues with the power pro headstock are

Post by jsburger »

FWIW, I have had my Power Pro head stock since Jan 2012. It is a new factory built head stock. I have not had any issues with it at all.
John & Mary Burger
Eagle's Lair Woodshop
Hooper, UT
WoOdbEmE33
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Re: can someone tell me what the issues with the power pro headstock are

Post by WoOdbEmE33 »

many thanks for all the responses

mine will mostly be used for spindle turning .. bowls, cups, candle sticks and such. want to move to resin and wood turning
I do use the bandsaw buts mostly to cutoff the stumps from turning
so the decision is stick with a std headstock and a speed reducer or all in for a power pro
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jsburger
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Re: can someone tell me what the issues with the power pro headstock are

Post by jsburger »

WoOdbEmE33 wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 2:24 pm many thanks for all the responses

mine will mostly be used for spindle turning .. bowls, cups, candle sticks and such. want to move to resin and wood turning
I do use the bandsaw buts mostly to cutoff the stumps from turning
so the decision is stick with a std headstock and a speed reducer or all in for a power pro
The advantage of the conventional head stock and speed reducer is you can get down to 100RPM. With the Power Pro the minimum is 250RPM. That might be a big consideration for turning.
John & Mary Burger
Eagle's Lair Woodshop
Hooper, UT
edma194
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Re: can someone tell me what the issues with the power pro headstock are

Post by edma194 »

I agree with the previous post. A speed reducer and conventional headstock is a better use of your money. You aren't talking about heavy pieces to turn so I don't think you need the extra HP in the PowerPro. The PowerPro is cool, no doubt about it, but the price difference is around $2000. Even taking advantage of sale prices it's going to be very expensive for utility that you won't be using. Cool does have value though, it is way cooler to select the speed you want for turning the piece in front of you by RPM than trying to remember how far you had the speed dial position between after E but short of F. Cool, but expensive, because you could buy a tachometer to check your exact spindle speed for much less money.
Ed from Rhode Island

510 PowerPro Double Tilt:Greenie PowerPro Drill Press:500 Sanding Shorty w/Belt&Strip Sanders
Super Sawsmith 2000:Scroll Saw w/Stand:Joint-Matic:Power Station:Power Stand:Bandsaw:Joiner:Jigsaw
1961 Goldie:1960 Sawsmith RAS:10ER
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