Shopsmith - Good or Bad? - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #21 of 28 Old 02-08-2019, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTracy138 View Post
I was thinking of getting one of these that i saw on craigslist super cheap. I really just want it for the lathe function. I've been looking for a lathe for what feel like forever now and the only ones I see on craigslist are either tiny bench top models or those massive industrial metal lathes for a small fortune, lol

Is the lathe function any good on these? I'd like to turn bowls eventually.

Thanks,

Bill

Are you tall? Because if you're not short they suck. I own two, and I hate them both. The lathe function isn't good. Since all the parts you'll need to use one as an effective lathe have to either be shopsmith brand or custom made it can be expensive finding the right parts. The people generally trying to get rid of one (Especially if they're selling it for cheap) either have no idea what it is or it's been beat to heck and back. They can get screwed up pretty easily, where the gears are stripped and the spindle in the head stock wobbles. look it over really well if you are honestly going to consider buying one. I could go on and on about every little thing that can go wrong with one but I'll just leave at this. No, I don't think they're good.



-T
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post #22 of 28 Old 02-09-2019, 08:07 AM
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Ok thanks! Yeah I’ll pass then. I am somewhat tall at 6 foot. Thanks for the heads up!

William Francis Tracy III
but you can just call me Bill
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post #23 of 28 Old 10-19-2019, 06:24 PM
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Beware buying older Shopsmith equipment

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Originally Posted by TS3660 View Post
What are everyone's thoughts on a Shopsmith? Personally, I like the idea but I had one once and didn't like the lack of accuracy or the lack of power. Not to mention you had to really plan your work so that you weren't spending all your time changing over to different set ups. But I guess if you're limited on space, they're the best option.

Just spent three days waiting for Shopsmith to return my calls, in reference to the purchase of a set of molding knives from them. The cutters that they sent do not fit my Shopsmith molder head. Apparently they now farm out orders for the knives to Corob which makes a thicker blade, than all of my other Shopsmith cutters. Beware!
I have a deadline on this project and just ordered a newer head off of ebay.
When you call the Shopsmith order desk at the start of business (0900) and the message they have on their machine is that "unusually heavy call volume" prevents them from answering, leave a message (which is never returned) it should tell you where this company is going.
Sad. I've been with them since the 80's and reading the on-line forums many folks have great ideas on how to fix this company and its not by selling Shopsmith sanding pads at Lowes.
Mike
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post #24 of 28 Old 02-12-2020, 04:06 PM
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I had a shopsmith for 25+ years, first real project I tried to make, I spent hours getting the table saw square and that worked well until I had to change setup, when I went back to table saw it was not square. I tried various things but while setup it was good, you have to spend time between setups to get square again. I bought a real table saw and never looked back. I kept the shopsmith all those years because the horizontal boring was ok, the big disc sander was nice and its a decent lathe once you have the right stuff. I thought about selling it for over 20 years and when we remodeled, I just threw it out into the rollaway and off the to dump it went with construction debris. Perfectly functional, just spur of the moment, kind of miss the lathe but there are much better lathes out there, this one was decent for occasional wood turning. As to the height of the saw, its tall but I found it to be a good height when doing really small work, didn't have to bend over as much when cutting tiny pieces for HO railroading stuff, bigger stuff, the height was not ideal.

I just play with wood in order to make sawdust, I make the very best sawdust.
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post #25 of 28 Old 02-12-2020, 10:00 PM
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Interesting thread.
I learned a lot of my wood working on a SS. In the late '50s, my
dad demoed them at the local Monkey Wards. My sister and I thought
he was like a movie star. We would watch him behind the plexiglass
making things. Our house was awash in bowls, candle stick holders, etc.
It's my SS now. I rebuilt the pork chop that is the speed controller.
Blew out 60yrs of dust and lubed everything. I still need to overhaul
the quill. I use it mostly as a sander. Disk and drum sander in the
drill press position. Also use the drill press a lot. I got the casters for it
and it is easy to move. It has a corner in the garage. I consider it
a really valuable tool. When I was in high school, I built a bunch of
dulcimers. The only way to cut the head and tail blocks I moved the
table saw table outside the blade. I built a real Rube device to hold
the blocks. It worked....but would probably not be OSHA approved.
It has run like a champ for going on 70 years. If my obsession w/bandsaw
boxes every wains, I'm going to renew my interest in the lathe.
If you need help w/your SS there is a SS forum.
It is where I got all the info to rebuild the pork chop and quill.
Very helpful folks.
https://www.shopsmith.com/ss_forum/
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post #26 of 28 Old 02-13-2020, 12:48 AM
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This is a 2008 thread.

If you don't have room for a full shop, then a Shopsmith may be your best bet.

Rich
In furniture 1/32" is a Grand Canyon
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post #27 of 28 Old 02-13-2020, 08:08 AM
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I have had my SS for over 30 years and although most of my equipment is stand-alone, I have found it a very useful piece of equipment, for all the interesting and quirky things that it can do.
Using the SS as a sanding station, as Don's 2008 post suggests, is what I use it for the most, but slipping on that little joiner, rather than uncovering the 8", was very handy just 3 days ago.
I went to an SS hotel room demonstration/discussion once in Denver and found myself in an entertaining groupie session, with lovers of these machines talking about older model "brownies' and "greenies", there personal collections, and all the modifications that have been made to SS over the years.
Unfortunately, the demonstration portion was spent showing how to align the table saw, which just about everyone in the room, including me, said that they never used.
The new motor has plenty of power for my use and if you follow the youtube channels you can find many clever things to do with it.
My advice, set up your shop with the largest number of stand alone machines that your space allows, beginning with a table saw, then look for some old guys who may want to teach you some interesting uses for that SS, that you found in your grandfather's garage.
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post #28 of 28 Old 02-13-2020, 08:12 AM
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Shop Smith

I have had my SS for over 30 years and although most of my equipment is stand-alone, I have found it a very useful piece of equipment, for all the interesting and quirky things that it can do.
Using the SS as a sanding station, as Don's 2008 post suggests, is what I use it for the most, but slipping on that little joiner, rather than uncovering the 8", was very handy just 3 days ago.
I went to an SS hotel room demonstration/discussion once in Denver and found myself in an entertaining groupie session, with lovers of these machines talking about older model "brownies' and "greenies", there personal collections, and all the modifications that have been made to SS over the years.
Unfortunately, the demonstration portion was spent showing how to align the table saw, which just about everyone in the room, including me, said that they never used.
The new motor has plenty of power for my use and if you follow the youtube channels you can find many clever things to do with it.
My advice, set up your shop with the largest number of stand alone machines that your space allows, beginning with a table saw, then look for some old guys who may want to teach you some interesting uses for that SS, that you found in your grandfather's garage.
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