BREAKING NEWS: Shopsmith, Inc. Has A New Owner

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RFGuy
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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Shopsmith, Inc. Has A New Owner

Post by RFGuy »

edma194 wrote: Sat Oct 28, 2023 9:53 am Scott has asked about the use of the joiner if no auxiliary spindle was available. Unlike other SPTs the height of the joiner is significant. Because operating it requires holding down the workpiece as it is moved over the cutting head raising the joiner would make it more difficult to use and I agree with Scott that should be avoided.
Ed,

I think you both are missing a key point. You are talking about reinventing/reimagining the Shopsmith lineup around a new variant of the PP. I would argue the existing 4' jointer is wholly inadequate for woodworking today in 2023. Not suitable for face jointing any wide or long stock IMHO. Most of the major manufacturers start their product line at 8" jointers, but a couple still have 6" jointers. To be compelling in today's woodworking market, in my opinion, Shopsmith should be selling only an 8" (or 12") jointer with a long cast iron bed and a PP to power it. Standalone tool, of course. Carrying along this antiquated and limiting hardware from decades ago is holding Shopsmith back. Just my 1 cent (majorly reduced now due to inflation :mad: ).

Before you ask, well what about owners who already have a 4" jointer and buy the PP3 or Mark 12 ( :rolleyes: )? Since Saint Nick is fond of the iPhone reference, I suggest a trade-in program like Apple does. Old SPT's like the 4" jointer could be traded into the company to get a discount on the new one for replacement.
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edma194
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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Shopsmith, Inc. Has A New Owner

Post by edma194 »

RFGuy wrote: Sat Oct 28, 2023 10:28 am
edma194 wrote: Sat Oct 28, 2023 9:53 am Scott has asked about the use of the joiner if no auxiliary spindle was available. Unlike other SPTs the height of the joiner is significant. Because operating it requires holding down the workpiece as it is moved over the cutting head raising the joiner would make it more difficult to use and I agree with Scott that should be avoided.
Ed,

I think you both are missing a key point. You are talking about reinventing/reimagining the Shopsmith lineup around a new variant of the PP. I would argue the existing 4' jointer is wholly inadequate for woodworking today in 2023. Not suitable for face jointing any wide or long stock IMHO. Most of the major manufacturers start their product line at 8" jointers, but a couple still have 6" jointers. To be compelling in today's woodworking market, in my opinion, Shopsmith should be selling only an 8" (or 12") jointer with a long cast iron bed and a PP to power it. Standalone tool, of course. Carrying along this antiquated and limiting hardware from decades ago is holding Shopsmith back. Just my 1 cent (majorly reduced now due to inflation :mad: ).
I thought about mentioning that a wider joiner with longer bed would be something Shopsmith should pursue but that was off the main topic I was addressing. The 4" joiner is still sold and I think maintaining compatibility with it in future designs should be considered. How much effort is made to maintain that compatibility is open for argument. I do agree that making larger standalone joiners driven by a PowerPro could open up a new market for Shopsmith. Any standalone machine from Shopsmith also has the potential for multi-purpose based on a versatile headstock design.
RFGuy wrote: Sat Oct 28, 2023 10:28 am Before you ask, well what about owners who already have a 4" jointer and buy the PP3 or Mark 12 ( :rolleyes: )? Since Saint Nick is fond of the iPhone reference, I suggest a trade-in program like Apple does. Old SPT's like the 4" jointer could be traded into the company to get a discount on the new one for replacement.
Unless Shopsmith opens stores within range of customers to carry in their old joiners it might not be worth the shipping costs to return the old joiner. It's the same problem with trade-ins and buy-backs of old machines. iPhones weigh a lot less than headstocks and joiners.
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: BREAKING NEWS: Shopsmith, Inc. Has A New Owner

Post by RFGuy »

edma194 wrote: Sat Oct 28, 2023 10:53 am I thought about mentioning that a wider joiner with longer bed would be something Shopsmith should pursue but that was off the main topic I was addressing. The 4" joiner is still sold and I think maintaining compatibility with it in future designs should be considered. How much effort is made to maintain that compatibility is open for argument. I do agree that making larger standalone joiners driven by a PowerPro could open up a new market for Shopsmith. Any standalone machine from Shopsmith also has the potential for multi-purpose based on a versatile headstock design.
Ed,

But WHY still sell it? That is my point. What is it competing against? I mean even $250 benchtop jointers like Wen, etc. are 6" today. I would really like to understand who exactly Shopsmith is competing against in 2023, because for me it is beyond clear at this moment. :( In certain areas, the competition far eclipsed them some time ago and I have difficulty getting the larger Shopsmith community to wake up to this fact. A 4" jointer should NOT be on anyone's product roadmap for woodworking in 2023 IMHO.
📶RF Guy

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
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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Shopsmith, Inc. Has A New Owner

Post by edma194 »

RFGuy wrote: Sat Oct 28, 2023 11:07 am
edma194 wrote: Sat Oct 28, 2023 10:53 am I thought about mentioning that a wider joiner with longer bed would be something Shopsmith should pursue but that was off the main topic I was addressing. The 4" joiner is still sold and I think maintaining compatibility with it in future designs should be considered. How much effort is made to maintain that compatibility is open for argument. I do agree that making larger standalone joiners driven by a PowerPro could open up a new market for Shopsmith. Any standalone machine from Shopsmith also has the potential for multi-purpose based on a versatile headstock design.
Ed,

But WHY still sell it? That is my point. What is it competing against? I mean even $250 benchtop jointers like Wen, etc. are 6" today. I would really like to understand who exactly Shopsmith is competing against in 2023, because for me it is beyond clear at this moment. :( In certain areas, the competition far eclipsed them some time ago and I have difficulty getting the larger Shopsmith community to wake up to this fact. A 4" jointer should NOT be on anyone's product roadmap for woodworking in 2023 IMHO.
Now you're talking about a whole 'nuther kettle of fish. I don't know if there's any reason to keep selling 4" joiners, and even if the product was dropped I think the used market could supply all the demand. I do think it is useful for edging boards as Scott has done and I have done in the past. Otherwise 4" joiner has limited utility, but IMO a short bed 6" joiner is just as limited.

Shopsmith could use their engineering skills to develop wider long bed joiners. Maybe there are lower cost and/or lighter weight alternatives to conventional cast iron designs to make a useful long bed joiner more affordable, or maybe the market will be satisfied with short bed joiners. They also could consider a combination over/under joiner/planer with a 12" cutter head and more possible options.
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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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Shopsmith, Inc. Has A New Owner

Post by RFGuy »

Ed,

Yeah, I think this is the problem with many of us (myself included in the past) in that we have been too focused on maintaining what has existed prior. Why keep running Windows 3.1 in 2023, but that is what we keep doing here? There are many positive aspects of Shopsmith equipment, but personally I would not be singing praises of the Shopsmith 4" jointer when it is in stark contrast to the rest of the market today. We kinda get hung up on nostalgia in the Shopsmith community, again myself included, but we need to ask hard and serious questions for Shopsmith's future. What is going to compel the new Shopsmith owner in 2024 to purchase a new Shopsmith 4" jointer compared to what is available on the market from competitors? In my opinion, they won't buy Shopsmith. So, then we have to start asking how much backwards compatibility do we need to maintain for existing owners. I am arguing for less because there is a plethora of used equipment as you mention to service that need, which is where your ideas of perhaps standalone tools with PP motors and/or new headstock and Mark designs come in. I would argue a standalone 8/12" jointer from Shopsmith using a PP motor would be a much easier sell to ANY Shopsmith owner in 2024. In my opinion, short bed jointers should NEVER be considered. I don't know too many woodworkers going to their lumber supplier and buying 2-3' long boards.
Last edited by RFGuy on Sat Oct 28, 2023 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
📶RF Guy

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
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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Shopsmith, Inc. Has A New Owner

Post by jsburger »

edma194 wrote: Sat Oct 28, 2023 3:00 am
thedovetailjoint wrote: Fri Oct 27, 2023 11:28 pm
When I use my Mark V for sawing and jointing I am going back and forth from the saw to the jointer, jointing between rips. I don't stop the motor between operations. Using the PowerPro as you describe would necessitate changing the speed between these two operations, or live with a slow jointer, which is one of the reasons I don't run my jointer on the Power Station.
First, a belt and pulley drive used to connect the joiner to the main spindle could provide the same speed differential as there is between the main and auxiliary spindles. So the joiner and saw can be run at different speeds.

Also, for the PowerPro this could be handled in software. The motor doesn't have to be stopped to change speeds. You don't need to do anymore than push a button on the control panel to change speed between operations. If the Gen 2 software doesn't allow that to be done with a single button push then Gen 3 should.
Would that not over speed the saw blade? What happens if someone forgets to slow the speed down before attempting a saw cut?
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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Shopsmith, Inc. Has A New Owner

Post by edma194 »

jsburger wrote: Sat Oct 28, 2023 12:31 pm
edma194 wrote: Sat Oct 28, 2023 3:00 am
thedovetailjoint wrote: Fri Oct 27, 2023 11:28 pm
When I use my Mark V for sawing and jointing I am going back and forth from the saw to the jointer, jointing between rips. I don't stop the motor between operations. Using the PowerPro as you describe would necessitate changing the speed between these two operations, or live with a slow jointer, which is one of the reasons I don't run my jointer on the Power Station.
First, a belt and pulley drive used to connect the joiner to the main spindle could provide the same speed differential as there is between the main and auxiliary spindles. So the joiner and saw can be run at different speeds.

Also, for the PowerPro this could be handled in software. The motor doesn't have to be stopped to change speeds. You don't need to do anymore than push a button on the control panel to change speed between operations. If the Gen 2 software doesn't allow that to be done with a single button push then Gen 3 should.
Would that not over speed the saw blade? What happens if someone forgets to slow the speed down before attempting a saw cut?
I did provide two other options that would allow the saw and joiner to run at the same motor speed as it does now. And RFGuy also suggest that this feature may not be worth supporting in the future. If it is a very valuable feature a new headstock could include an auxiliary shaft with the same speed differential as the conventional headstock.

This focus on this one aspect of a headstock design is missing the forest for the trees. The point of a redesign is to allow more versatility and a modular framework could allow all of the current headstock components to be configured individually. The basic frame that holds the PowerPro motor and electronics could have different mounting components for the main spindle, quill components, an auxiliary shaft, and the way tube mounts and locks. Other headstock attachments currently in use and new ones not yet conceived could also be adapted.
Ed from Rhode Island

510 PowerPro Double Tilt:Greenie PowerPro Drill Press:500 Sanding Shorty w/Belt&Strip Sanders
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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Shopsmith, Inc. Has A New Owner

Post by Matanuska »

+1
Well thought & well written Tom.
woodshopnerdery wrote: Mon Oct 23, 2023 12:09 am I'm glad to see Shopsmith sold to an enthusiastic new owner. Let's face it, it was going to happen someday. And it seems on the surface, for now, that Nick Cupps is the best we, as owners, could hope for. And I think it was something akin to divine providence that the 75th owners' meeting fell during week 1 of his leadership. I believe our presence, knowledge, enthusiasm, and yes spending too, made an impression on him that will benefit Shopsmith customers.

Will Nick Cupps be more motivated by profit than the Folkerths? Yes, of course, he has investors to satisfy, and it's a good thing. He will invest in efficiencies in both the supply chain and the manufacturing and assembly floor. He will take control of the Shopsmith marketing message to increase sales volumes. He will try to bring new products and innovations to the market. I believe he will take an "All Generations" approach in his strategy to connect potential customers to the brand. For 20-somethings that could be supporting their used Mark V. For retirees that will be promoting a new Mark 7. Some of what he tries will fail and some of what he tries will succeed.

Who has $6,000 to spend on a new Shopsmith? Lots of people. Yes, lots don't and thank god there are wonderful Mark V 510/520 machines out there used for very affordable prices. But many people spend $6,000 and much more on yearly vacations, boats, cabins, hunting trips, cars, horses, sports cars, pianos, decks, bathroom remodels, and so on and so on. There is a market, and there is money in the market to support increasing Mark 7 sales multiple times over.

Why would someone buy a new Mark 7 over a SawStop? Some won't, they will buy the SawStop. But many have chosen Shopsmith over the competition and will again. The Mark 5/7 offers many unique features that deliver legitimate value to the hobbyist. These features will attract some people to the brand.

Are people still interested in woodworking as a hobby? I believe so. In my opinion, interest in woodworking as a hobby, even at its peak, is not the result of a bygone culture or a lost element of human nature. It was the result of marketing and education campaigns spearheaded by the major tool manufacturers. For example, it's my opinion that Shopsmith commissioned the writing of "Power Tool Woodworking for Everyone" not to sell books, but to sell machines. They did it because Delta and other major manufacturers were doing the same thing. Woodworking businesses can easily drive a new renaissance of hobbyist woodworking through those same tools, education and marketing. Education and Marketing will look different in 2023 as compared to 1955, but it still will work.

Let's not forget wood. It's strong, beautiful and somehow both simple and mysterious at the same time. I believe people will always be interested in any tool that helps them experience this amazing natural material. Regarding the popularity of CNC machines and other new ways of making things, I think there are probably a lot of parallels to what happened 100 years ago as electric-powered tools became available. Yes, they sold fewer hand saws and hand planes as a result. But those tools have not disappeared from the face of the planet. In fact, many power tool woodworkers are re-discovering hand tools and folding them into their process. The fact is, there are some tasks where reaching for the bench plane is faster and better than a complicated jig set up on a table saw. New exciting items will always draw interest and over time people will settle into whatever works best.

I believe Nick Cupps made a smart choice. Shopsmith has HUGE untapped potential. And he as a smart business man has every chance of making it go.
1985 Mark V upgraded to 520 PowerPro. Shopsmith cast iron table bandsaw, jointer, belt sander, and 60's vintage 610 jigsaw SPT's. Makita 2040 15" planer, JessEm Mast-R-Lift II router table.
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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Shopsmith, Inc. Has A New Owner

Post by JPG »

Y'ALL ARE NUTS!

ANY proposed power plant NEEDS to accommodate ALL currently existing SPTs on their mounts positioned to the prime mover.

Any thing else simply will cause a lead pellet to become embedded in to thy foot.
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jsburger
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Re: BREAKING NEWS: Shopsmith, Inc. Has A New Owner

Post by jsburger »

JPG wrote: Mon Oct 30, 2023 12:40 pm Y'ALL ARE NUTS!

ANY proposed power plant NEEDS to accommodate ALL currently existing SPTs on their mounts positioned to the prime mover.

Any thing else simply will cause a lead pellet to become embedded in to thy foot.
:D :D :D
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