Shopsmith - Good ,bad, And Ugly?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Unregistered-1427815803, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. Would welcome any opinions people might have on the goods and bads about the multi-tool Shopsmith. I have a friend who said he would sell me one cheap but I would like to know more about these tools. any experiences and opinions would be greatly appreciated. Also whats a fair price for one of these, this one's about 20 years old but has had very little use? thanks
     
  2. Jan in CO

    Jan in CO Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,938
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Hubby has one, bought new through a state fair "special". Can't say he's used anything except the table saw part, which is well made, but way overpriced, in my opinion. He got all the bells and whistles when he got his set up, but then we saw one advertised for $800 about a week later. Depends on whether or not you will REALLY use all of the stuff, I think. Like anything, I'm sure there is a huge markup on them, but they do seem to last. Jan in Co
     

  3. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,301
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    So Cal Mtns
    A buddy of mine has one and swears its the greatest tool of all time.FWIW....
    BooBoo
     
  4. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,517
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    The ones I've seen look wellmade, but unless you are severely limited on space, think I'd as soon have the separate tools.

    There are internet news groups for everything else, probably if you look there is at least one for the Shopsmith. Do a google search, instead of web, pick group option.

    http://groups.google.com/groups?q=shopsmith forum&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wg

    Ok, also do regular web search for "shopsmith forum". There are some woodworking forums on web with shopsmith sections. Just looked.

    [ame]http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=shopsmith+forum&btnG=Google+Search[/ame]
     
  5. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    224
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    KY
    many used shopsmiths are advertised as "having seen very little use" - is that a clue or what?
     
  6. I bought a Mark V Model 500 in 1979. I choose SS because I had (and still have) a really small shop 12 x 13). (At the time I wasn't aware of the other multi-purpose tools out there. Hmmm, maybe they weren't around then?) I upgraded to the 520 about 3 years ago, it was a good investment (the drill press position is much more stable, the table size is bigger, the fence is better, and the table extension is better.

    Anyway I'm strictly an armature (I'm a printer by trade) so it never gets heavy use but I'm always building something. I've done picture frames, endless boxes, bunk beds, lamps, a sewing cabinet, table, you know a range of stuff. In all that time it's only broken down once, a new switch.

    There's no question in my mind, if I had the space and moolaa I'd get separate tools. The main disadvantage is the change-overs. One really needs to plan ahead and if you make a mistake and have to go back and cut another stile or whatever it's a major pain. I found the performance of the SS improved when I began using a Foresst blade and Freud stacked dado. They are infinitely superior to SS OEM stuff.

    SS stuff if priced very high - by second hand if you can. And try to make your own jigs etc instead of buying from them. I recently and finally made an outfeed table. Cost $35.00, from SS it would be $187.00.

    Keep those fingers out of the way!

    Berry
     
  7. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,332
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2002
    Location:
    Idaho
    When my parents married in the 50s, Pa saved dimes until he had enough to pay for a Shopsmith. I used the lathe all the time when I was a kid. He used everything. Now one of my BIL has it and everything is still working fine. It is getting around 50 years old. I have separate tools now, but could make do with a SS if I had to. I have never looked at new models, just his old one.
     
  8. DAVID In Wisconsin

    DAVID In Wisconsin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,360
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Location:
    Wisconsin & Mississippi
    I had a Shopsmith about 10 years ago. I found it to be a good machine but takes too long to switch functions. I also found that parts and attachments were very, very expensive. I like having separate tools much better. I gave mine away within a few months.