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Thread: ShopSmith

  1. #16
    I've had a Shopsmith since about 1980. It was my first serious tool investment. It's long been superseded by a table saw, jointer, bandsaw, etc. Nevertheless, I've never gotten to the point of selling it. As others have said, the drill press, horizontal boring, and disk sanding functions are very good. I can fold the machine up and tuck it into the corner of my small shop, so it doesn't take up much space. I just shudder to think what I did back in the day with the table saw function. It really wasn't all that safe. Plus, the run-out on the spindle was quite noticeable. Certainly added to the width of the kerf. Nevertheless, I learned a great deal on it when my workshop was restricted to part of a one-car garage.

  2. #17
    And yes, this is my first-ever post. I've been reading Sawmill Creek for ages, and now realize I haven't been contributing. Will work on that.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Pepperell Ma.
    My wife and I live in a townhouse. When my parents passed on I kept some of the money from my inheritance and bought myself a SS (the rest of the money I did responsible, husband things, like refinance, replace HVAC system, remodel bathroom, pay off all debt but the mortgage) I always wanted to have a shop and make things, so I bought a SS, and am learning how to use it, and how to do woodworking. The space I have available is maybe 18 feet by 15 feet, so separate machines are not really a possibility. I have made some things that 2 years ago I would have thought were beyond me. I am having fun. I am learning. I like it. I am puzzled by why some feel the need to put them down. If I won the lottery I would probably have a massive shop with stand alone machines, but the SS is certainly getting the job done for me.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Kapolei Hawaii
    There is no equal to the SS. If you love it, and if you bash it. Space limited, you can do everything you want. If space is not a problem, then I'd pass. No other tool I think is as bullet proof. 25 years and still the original belt. YMMV

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    SE PA, Central Bucks County
    I've owned an older one (60's vintage; I think the Shopsmith folks call them Green Heads), and only had the bearings replaced by the local Phila. Shopsmith expert who used to work at the local Woodcraft store before it moved west of the city. After getting much more shop space and getting individual power tools, it sat in the corner and was only used sparingly (mostly for the horizontal drill). The reeves drive is well done, the motors are high quality and their support is good (the people in Dayton are nice). And, at times you can pick them up rather inexpensively used. I was never a big fan of the add-on tools (I only ended up keeping the belt sander and sold off the bandsaw and jointer). At times, I miss the horizontal drill. As others have said, using the saw with sheet goods is not fun (at least with the older models; I can't speak for the newer ones). But, if someone is just starting out, or is space-constrained, they're a good choice. John Folkerth, who saved Shopsmith, is an interesting guy and has a good entrepreneurial story.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Somewhere in the Land of Lincoln
    I have two of them also. Both purchased used. Both 510 series. While I don't use the table saw function any longer I do use the band saw, drill press, disc sander, and lathe. I also have the stand alone planer and a power station which I use the band saw and scroll saw on. They are quite capable and I've noticed many who criticize them have never owned and used. I don't plan to part with them. Even though I have the room and money to go all stand alone now they are worth having around IMHO.

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