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Forum topic by richardchaos posted 09-04-2017 03:16 PM 700 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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richardchaos

392 posts in 191 days


09-04-2017 03:16 PM

Have any of you owned/used a SHOPSMITH system?

PROs-CONs

-- “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” ― George Orwell


21 replies so far

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shipwright

7743 posts in 2609 days


#1 posted 09-04-2017 03:36 PM

Check out this blog. http://lumberjocks.com/shipwright/blog/27373
It is just one segment of a series, all of which involves the SS In one way or another.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

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tnwood

255 posts in 2898 days


#2 posted 09-04-2017 03:43 PM

Bought one in mid-1980’s. Still have it but it is relegated to drill press duty for the most part. The table saw function isn’t a very good compromise. Some of the other attachments are better but they are best used for small scale work where only a limited space is available. You can find them cheap as they aren’t status symbols.

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Redoak49

2850 posts in 1800 days


#3 posted 09-04-2017 04:02 PM

I use mine a lot. I have a flat sander for it, a pneumatic drum sander, horizontal boring, and a lathe. It is a great utility tool with variable speed.

I do not use it as a saw.

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MrRon

4412 posts in 3055 days


#4 posted 09-04-2017 06:44 PM

I had one of the earliest model SS (ER5) around 1980 that I bought for $100. It was my first power tool and I did many projects with it. I sold it to a friend after a few years for $100 when I bought a cabinet saw. When my friend told me he didn’t use the SS, I bought it back for $100, but after running out of space, I again sold it for, you guessed it, $100. After I moved and built a large shop, I wished I had kept the SS. It is a great made in the USA machine that does everything.

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richardchaos

392 posts in 191 days


#5 posted 09-04-2017 07:19 PM

I had one many years ago I let go. Funny thing is the table saw was the worse!!! BUT best lathe I ever had the pleasure to work with

-- “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” ― George Orwell

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htl

3053 posts in 971 days


#6 posted 09-04-2017 07:51 PM

I own two one cut down to a shorty and bolted to the wall for my drill press and a full functioning one for my model building.
I too have owned them earlier 1980 or so but got into other per suites and sold them but then three years ago got back into wood butchering and found me a couple a used ones.
Love my SS’s but for the table saw I use a Dewalt contractors saw, this way the SS’s can stay set up for drilling and sanding operations while the table saw is open for it’s work.

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

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sras

4641 posts in 2941 days


#7 posted 09-04-2017 09:42 PM

Got mine is the early 80’s and it took me 25 years to buy a table saw. Yes, the table saw feature is not the same as a regular saw, but it still does the job when that is all you have. The biggest challenge are cuts where you would normally tilt the arbor. The tilting table helps but doesn’t cover all the cases.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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htl

3053 posts in 971 days


#8 posted 09-04-2017 10:23 PM

I do use it in saw table mod, when I need to make some dados, my 5/8’” arbor stays set up for 1/2” dados so just add it to the table and we’re ready to line it up.

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View msinc's profile

msinc

90 posts in 315 days


#9 posted 09-05-2017 11:39 AM

There’s a reason why so many of them are for sale on everyone’s local classifieds…..it’s just like a man who tries to “do it all” he can do a lot and he can amaze some people, but he is never really going to be “good” at anything. I guess if you absolutely know you are never ever going to have enough room to have a real shop…...if you cant hunt with the dog, you gotta hunt with the cat!!!

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Redoak49

2850 posts in 1800 days


#10 posted 09-05-2017 12:00 PM

I have a full shop with plenty of room and still have room for the Shopsmith. It is a great utility tool to do many different things. Not a great lathe but works for the small stuff that I do. It is a great horizontal boring machine and it works great with many different types of sanding tools…large disk, drum sander, pneumatic drum sander, polishing wheels and lots more.

And yes, they are on Craigslist and you can pick one up at a reasonable cost. There are also parts available and people who will repair them. I have had mine for 20 years and have not need a repair.

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

7743 posts in 2609 days


#11 posted 09-05-2017 03:30 PM



There s a reason why so many of them are for sale on everyone s local classifieds…..it s just like a man who tries to “do it all” he can do a lot and he can amaze some people, but he is never really going to be “good” at anything. I guess if you absolutely know you are never ever going to have enough room to have a real shop…...if you cant hunt with the dog, you gotta hunt with the cat!!!

- msinc

1) Sorry but the reason so many are for sale is that thousands of them have been sold and used for seventy years and many of the owners are dying off or getting too old and their children and grandchildren aren’t interested in woodworking.

2) it is a poor workman who blames his tools. Yes, that is a challenge.

3) ........ spoken like someone who has not owned a ShopSmith.

Sorry, just my opinion. :-(

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View Hockey's profile

Hockey

86 posts in 224 days


#12 posted 09-05-2017 05:32 PM

Shopsmith: I wouldn’t be without one.

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Fresch

82 posts in 1732 days


#13 posted 09-05-2017 06:32 PM

I have three, 10er, 500, 510, work for me.

View Holt's profile

Holt

163 posts in 2440 days


#14 posted 09-05-2017 07:31 PM

I have one. Have the Belt sander, Jointer, Jigsaw, one power station, and Bandsaw (cast iron table) attachments. I might have $1000 total invested in mine.I think they are great for taking up the slack when you are putting your shop together. I’d say get a ‘real” table saw to go with it right off the bat. As you can save up the cash, add a planer, jointer, maybe a drill press (so you don’t have to keep swapping back to drill press mode) and keep the Shopsmith as the worlds best sanding station, likely the only lathe you’ll ever need, and maybe a dedicated dado station (only thing I’ve ever used the Shopsmith for in table saw mode).

Plus it’s a great platform for building your own power tools. the rails make it pretty easy to mount your own creations and the power system (motor) is easy to adapt.

I read through the other replies and thought I’d add, the horizontal boring is a game changer. I don’t know anyone that would shell out the money for a standalone horizontal boring machines, but when you end up needing to drill the top of a table leg or similar task…

Did I mention they are practically indestructible? I think that’s why it is so easy to find a used one…

Ha Ha, just noticed my tag line…

-- ...Specialization is for insects.

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pontic

476 posts in 420 days


#15 posted 09-05-2017 09:11 PM


Made this with it. But that was when my shop was an unused walk-in closet.

Had one, the ER5. It was a good tool. did a lot with it.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

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