What’s Your Shopsmith Connection?

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What’s Your Shopsmith Connection?

Post by BigAl »

I’ve always enjoyed wrenching on old machines and using them. I’m not sure if I’m more of a nuts and bolts guy or a sawdust maker. I always found the Shopsmith concept intriguing and I wanted a retirement project so I jumped on buying one when it became available locally. Now that I have one, I’m really enjoying the machinery and the lore and history of it.

I’m wondering about how others here got to be Shopsmith fans. Family Shopsmith connections? The usefulness of the equipment? A personal history with the company? User? Collector? Rebuilder? Service tech? Woodworking enthusiast? Vintage machinery enthusiast?
1982 Mk V upgraded to a 510.
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Inherited WWII vintage Atlas/Craftsman drill press
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Re: What’s Your Shopsmith Connection?

Post by twistsol »

I was at the MN State Fair in the mid 70's and the Shopsmith was being demonstrated. Dad and I stopped to watch the demo and when the guy flipped it up to drill press mode I was blown away. Dad thought it was gimmicky but as we watched he became more interested. Dad's SS 500 was part of building multiple houses, cabinets and furniture. He rarely used the tablesaw because he had an early 60's DeWalt RAS. My nephew ended up with dad's machine.

I later bought a used 510 with bandsaw, jointer, biscuit jointer, and some other accessories for my shop that was in nearly perfect condition. The guy selling it had the same story as many initial Shopsmith owners. Bought it, did a project or two, and pushed it to the back of the garage for decades. He did keep it covered and waxed but most of the accessories were still in their original packaging when I got it.

Picked up a second one as a barn find for a couple of hundred dollars and cleaned it up. It is parked under the stairs in my shop and is seldom used but it was too good a deal to pass up. Both of mine have been upgraded to 520s
Thanks much,

Chris Phelps
Cheap tools are too expensive
2x Mark 5 520
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Re: What’s Your Shopsmith Connection?

Post by DLB »

My addiction started not long after we bought our first house in the early 80's in AZ. I have the DIY gene, and happened to see a demo (in a mall I think) at about the same time I had planned to build storage and a workbench in my garage. It looked like a superior alternative to the benchtop style 'stuff' I had been looking at for many reasons, including that I did not yet have said bench. I took my wife to see the demo, she says 'I think my Grandpa had one of those. I wonder what happened to it?' So I instead bought the used Greenie from her Grandmother. Other than repairs and accessories I was still using the Greenie until I gave myself a shop upgrade as a retirement treat. It is a process, over the years my woodworking skills have improved and I'm kind of growing into the capabilities of the Marks. I like working on them and do some repairs and rehoming when I come across the right deal. I have a Mark 7 via upgrades, a Mark 4 via the shop made shorty path (trying to be a 4P but not there yet) and recently made a Mini because I didn't really love my Power Station and had a pile of parts.

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Re: What’s Your Shopsmith Connection?

Post by edma194 »

Saw magazines ads and at least one article about throughout my life but never encountered an actual machine until I bought a used Greenie back in the 90s. It turned out to be all and more than I knew about. I had a second machine within a couple of years and now I've accumulated a small collection of various Shopsmith products. In most cases I would rather have another Shopsmith instead of any stand-alone machines.
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
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Re: What’s Your Shopsmith Connection?

Post by Matanuska »

Saw a demo while I was living in Anchorage, AK in the mid-80's. Bought a model 500, jointer, and bandsaw. Don't remember what shipping cost, but I think it came up on a boat. Have since upgraded to a 520 table system and DIY PowerPro. Was given a 60's vintage jigsaw and recently purchased a belt sander.
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Re: What’s Your Shopsmith Connection?

Post by chapmanruss »

Some great stories so far and some similarities to mine.

The Shopsmith Mark V had caught my interest early on when I saw them demonstrated at the fair or other places. The things it could do amazed me but it took a long time for me to get my first one. That one was my father-in-law's Shopsmith tools. He had purchased a used mid 1970's Mark 5 with a 1977 Belt Sander, 1979 Jointer and a 1980 Jig Saw. The Mark 5 was stolen and unfortunately he didn't have the serial number of it anywhere to be found. A mistake I have not made and I know the serial numbers of all the Shopsmith's I have owned. He replaced it with a 2001 Mark V 520. When he began downsizing he gave me the Shopsmith tools. There was a catch as I had to find all the parts that had gotten spread around his barn-shop area. That exercise of finding all the parts led me to learning what does go with a Shopsmith Tool. When the Mark 5 was stolen not all of the parts were taken with it. The Tailstock, Lathe Tool Rest and more were still around the shop so I was not only looking for Mark V 520 items but pre 500 parts also. I do say pre 500 parts since the Mark 5 he bought used was from the 1970's. Many trips to the barn and digging around in the "stuff" there I believe I was able to find all the Shopsmith parts. Between each trip studying manuals, parts lists and the catalog I began to learn what parts go to a Shopsmith.

So now I had a Shopsmith tool and began learning how to use it. Through studying what parts to look for in my father-in-law's barn I also began to learn about the Shopsmith history. It wasn't to long before I became fascinated by that history and found a Shopsmith Model 10ER for sale which I bought and restored. I found I enjoyed working on the tools as much as using them so began my restoration of old Shopsmith's as a hobby. To date I have restored 7 Model 10E's, 15 Model 10ER's, 2 Mark 5 Greenies, 1 Goldie and a 1982 Mark V along with many SPT's and accessories. This doesn't include the Mark V 520 from my father-in-law which has been upgraded to a Mark 7 or the other Mark V I own. I still have 2 Mark 2's (both Greenies) and 2 Model 10E's ( S/N 1033 and 1076) I am restoring of which I am keeping a Mark 2 and S/N 1076.
Last edited by chapmanruss on Fri May 20, 2022 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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. Mark 2 S/N 85959 restored. 10E S/N 1076 & others to be restored.
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Re: What’s Your Shopsmith Connection?

Post by BigAl »

Thank you for sharing your Shopsmith experiences! Great to hear these great stories!
1982 Mk V upgraded to a 510.
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Inherited WWII vintage Atlas/Craftsman drill press
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Re: What’s Your Shopsmith Connection?

Post by rpd »

I had read about the Mark VII in on of the "Popular" magazines back in the '60's, in the aughts I looked at a few Mark V's at garage sales, but at that point they were out of my price range.
2011 I got a Greenie, and while I was learning the history and rebuilding the headstock (stalled due to an incorrect bearing), I got an incomplete 10ER for $25, while fixing that one up I found another one for $75 with lots of extras. Over the years I have added a bandsaw and planer on stands, a Jointmatic, another 10ER, and recently, another Mark V that had started as a Greenie but with a 1980's headstock, that came with a bandsaw, beltsander (what I really wanted), jointer, biscuit joiner, outfeed table(s) one has hardware the other just the table, jigsaw, router shaper fence, a couple of double bar clamps, and a lot of books and documentation.
I think I am hooked :)
Ron Dyck
10ER #23430, 10ER #84609, 10ER #94987,two SS A-34 jigsaws for 10ER.
1959 Mark 5 #356595 Greenie, SS Magna Jointer, SS planer, SS bandsaw, SS scroll saw (gray), DC3300,
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Re: What’s Your Shopsmith Connection?

Post by RCZ »

I think the first time I saw a Shopsmith was either 1990 or early 1991. We were doing a job in Alexandria VA and the customer had this strange looking power tool in the garage. I asked one of the other guys "what is that thing?" He said "Oh, it's an all-in-one tool called Shopsmith. It converts from a table saw to a drill press to a lathe etc etc". Being that I was used to a large cabinet saw I couldn't imagine how this thing would work.

A few years later I was telling my grandfather about this, and he started telling me about Shopsmith and a bit of the history. He had the basics down about how the machine worked and how to do the changeovers. I was interested but had no way to pursue more information.

Fast forward to semi-retirement and the move to a smaller house and the need to sell the big shop equipment....I started surfing the web to learn more about Shopsmith. I bought some used and some new equipment. It has been extremely interesting researching and learning about all the features and engineering that has gone in to all the SS models and variations over the years.
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Re: What’s Your Shopsmith Connection?

Post by JPG »

Way back in the 50's my neighbor's dad had a 10E(R?) with a speed changer. (I remember it had that crank)

That was my first exposure to either a SS or a home shop for wood working. (their half basement)

Prior to that it was hammer and hand saw (Disston type) and sometimes a garage.

A decade later I was intending to make some window screens and used that as an excuse to purchase my Goldie.

Another decade later I moved in with my new bride and there was NO place for a work shop. So the Goldie went into semi-retirement (sparse duty in the carport).

Then a few years later it went into very inadequate temporary storage. (It was outdoors and one leg became rusted (since Rube Goldberg repaired). However it was the go to thing while construction was going on. (see next)

The reason for the need to store was the inception of a 30 x 32 addition to the house. First step was remove the storage shed (that contained the Goldie) at the end of the car port.

BTW did I mention the addition was an excuse to acquire a RAS?

So after completing the addition (some day that will occur) it went back into semi retirement but at least now had an indoor home. No major projects, but a lot of tinkering.

Forward to the internet and the spark was reignited.

Then along came MickyD.

Then I acquired an early 520 with and a truckload of other stuff. (another project still under way)

Then I acquired a Mark VII. (95%complete)

In the mean time I acquired some Mark 2 parts.

And a bandsaw(2) and another belt sander and couple power stations.

I have restored a couple of "A" headtocks (one for a Mark 2 portable setup and one for a shorty with reversible motor )

Throughout that period I started my posting of Restoration threads (set by MickyD's poisoning of my mind).

I have an "A"headstock casting with certain other parts in anticipation of some day getting a power pro upgrade. With so many other operating ones it is kinda hard to justify satisfying that wish.

Some other 'stuff'' has gotten in the way recently (see some recent posts for example)

The Goldie is still patiently waiting for restoration and is serving me faithfully though not without some complaining recently.

So I dare say I AM connected!
╟JPG ╢

Goldie(Bought New SN 377425)/4" jointer/6" beltsander/12" planer/stripsander/bandsaw/powerstation /Scroll saw/Jig saw /Craftsman 10" ras/Craftsman 6" thicknessplaner/ Dayton10"tablesaw(restoredfromneighborstrashpile)/ Mark VII restoration in 'progress'/ 10
E[/size](SN E3779) restoration in progress, a 510 on the back burner and a growing pile of items to be eventually returned to useful life. - aka Red Grange
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