What's a Shopsmith?


   I have found the Shopsmith as probably the most versatile tool a home owner/hobbyist/aspiring amateur woodworker can have. And since a number of them sit unused, snapping one up for a fraction of its original cost is not a pipedream. There are plenty of resources on the web for those shopping or in the process of refurbishing an older ShopSmith. The core of the tool is a motor (called a head stock) with variable speeds and three output sources, one being a quill with 4 1/4" travel. The whole motor unit slides back and forth along a set of tubes, and can be used in horizontal as well as vertical configurations. There are tables and accessories that come with the base model, as well as a number of attachments that can be added to make it quite versatile a tool. For example, this machine came as a gift from a relative with a number of accessories and capabilities; I've added a couple since then: table saw, band saw, drum sander, 6" belt sander, 1/2" and 1" strip sander (with chisel sharpening attachment), shaper/molder, 4" jointer, biscuit joiner, lathe, lathe duplicator, jig saw, 12" disk sander, drill press, and horizontal boring machine. (I might have missed one or two!) Below are pictorial examples of some of these. And, since I use a number of these repeatedly, it's really handy to have a second machine in the shop. (I picked up the second machine from a church member in exchange for my playing for his wedding. He wasn't going to miss it - he had since upgraded to a newer model, the Mark 7!) Shopsmith has been selling these machines since 1953, but both of my machines just happened to be built in 1984. A number of accessories from the first machine were still in their original packing, so the machine has been lightly and gently used. The accessories designed for the current machines are backward compatible; actually, the overall design of the machine has changed very little, so finding parts & accessories is not the headache one would imagine for a 30+ year-old machine.


Click on any image for a larger picture.