Woodworking Talk banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I work at a wood shop as an engineer. I know how to build the product we make but I cannot actually do it. I have started wood working as a hobby based on getting scraps from the trash and building boxes and such.

My desire is it build furniture. I have a bedroom set in mind. I am VERY far from my dream in both abilities and equipment.

Right now my shop consists of the following

  1. Harbor Freight $100 table saw
  2. Craftsman router table
  3. A borrowed Rockler router table
  4. A Harbor Freight miter saw
  5. A Harbor Freight scroll saw
  6. A few hand tools

The nice thing is I have only junk. However, the work I have done so far is quite nice. I have spent a great deal of time making the most of what I have.

I would like eventually to find a great deal on a combination machine. I a put the links of all the combination 5 in 1 machines that I know of. I have seen videos on the web sites that make me droll on how accurate and versatile these machines can be. My shop right now is one bay in my garage and the scrap lumber takes up a good deal of this space.

My Questions Are...
  1. What are these machine Gotcha's?
  2. Where can I find the best deal on these little beauties?
  3. Does any one have any success stories and pictures?
  4. Did I miss any manufacturers?
  5. Is the ShopSmith difficult to set up and get square as it looks?
  6. I can buy and afford a $600 shop smith right now. But the only thing I would be adding is a lathe. Is $600 a good deal?
  7. Should I buy a shop smith until I figure out if a 5 in 1 would be worth it?
  8. How do you justify a 5 in 1 purchase?
  9. I would be willing to purchase a 5 in 1 now if I found out a year later that wood working as a hobby was not right for me. How can I hedge my bet with a purchase?

I live in Denver, Colorado. So any location specific advice would be appreciated.

Platinum & Knapp
Shop Smith

I have also included all these links for future people who would like to buy one.

where's my table saw?
29,637 Posts
I have a 13" Mini Max jointer/planer

It's the closest thing to a multifunction tool I have. I primarily use the jointer function and have 3 other planers from a lunch box 13" Ryobi to 20" Grizzly. WHY?
For me I'd rather have the immediate use of the tool when I want it rather than waste time converting it from one to another type. My opinion the reason for these multifunction tools exist is to save floor space since they can be purchased as stand alone tools for roughly the same price. If you aren't totally restricted on floor space, I would look into stand alone tools for their immediacy of use. The other advantage of stand alones is that settings and setups can be left in place while operations are performed on an adjacent machine, not so with the mulitfunction tool. :thumbsup: bill

SS user
2,688 Posts
I've owned a Shopsmith for over 30 years. It was the first woodworking machine I ever purchased.
While everything Bill stated is correct, my Shopsmith has built several kitchens, a load of water beds (remember those?) numerous frames and boxes and several cutting boards and much more that I can't remember.
It's a pretty good lathe, a great drill press, a good disk sander, an unequaled horizontal borer and a so-so table saw. With shop built tables, it's an excellent saw. There are numerous tools that can be added to the basic machine. A planer, jointer, band saw come to mind. I only have the band saw. My planer and jointer are stand alone tools.
If I were starting over outfitting my shop, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Shopsmith. But then, I don't do production work and speed is not paramount.
Finally, I don't think you will find a better engineered and as durable a machine for the money.

3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
5 in 1

Thanks for the opinions.

I am a hobbyist with 3 boys 2,7,9. We are making things together.

The major factors are Safety, Space and quality.

Dedicated equipment is not an option.

I also picked up a 28-560 today for 50 bucks. It does not have the miter, fence, blade and one thrust bearing. But I thought it was a good deal to split my 4/4 lumber.

1 - 4 of 4 Posts