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Shopsmith mark v

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  • Shopsmith mark v

    A little off topic, but it's a tool, anyway. Anybody know about this machine? It's a five-in-one table saw, drill press, lathe (wood), etc. I don't know what else it can convert to, disc sander maybe, and something else. Question is, is it a decent machine or is it just junk? There's one locally for sale, and if it's any good, I might pick it up.
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2
    They are ok as a "better than nothing, fits neatly in the corner" machine. But seperate machines would be much better. As a table saw the table is way too small for most folks. It's most unique feature is horizontal boring* capability, as that's one of the few tools the Asians haven't flooded the market with. Depending on what kind of woodwork you're doing it's worth it for some folks just for that horizontal feature alone.

    As to quality, not bad...most folks seem happy with the quality. A much heavier duty version of the Shopsmith was concocted back the the late 1970's by Fox Industries, called the Fox Supershop. The SuperShop could even turn alumium and had power feed. Never took off though, the line changed hands a few times and last I saw it, Smithy had taken over the line. I played with the Smithy version once and it was crap...brand new machine with slop in the tube (way) bearings I couldn't believe.

    *for some reason that has always escaped me, drilling in wood, esp horizonal drilling, is called "boring"...when it really isn't boring (i.e. enlarging an existing hole) And then there's the mystery of why a router cutter and drills are called "bits"....

    [This message has been edited by D. Thomas (edited 04-02-2004).]


    • #3
      I've heard people swear by them and at them. In way they are like the 3 in 1 mill/lathe/drill press combos. Probably a better lathe than the rest of the functions. As I recall there was ametal working machine like this back in the '70s. very similiar just heavier
      Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.


      • #4
        I've never used one but I've talked to people who have owned them and I've seen the 'show and tell' demonstrations. Take what I say with a grain of salt.

        They're supposedly engineered to last virtually forever. Very nicely made.

        Every job they do is a compromise due to the smaller size and being made to be a 'transformer' type of machine.

        I think their table saw should be outlawed because the arbor doesn't tilt, the table tilts. I asked the guy giving the demo about that and he acted like that was a great feature because it is a 'European style tablesaw'. I told him that style of tablesaw hasn't been made in the US for how long? He was furious. It's dangerous, IMHO.

        Their accessories are oddball sizes and expensive. Their tablesaw blades made even have an oddball size center hole.

        If you're very short on space and can afford a Shopsmith and it meets your needs go for it! For the price of a new one you can usually get better new individual power tools that will do a better job.

        I've heard of several people buying them and eventually setting them up to do just one thing and leaving them that way. Then they buy individual tools to do the other things.



        • #5
          I have had a mark v for 20 plus years. Agree with comments about the table saw. Got it for space saving feature. Table saw is not very handy to rip with, depending on size you have to rip. You can get a lot of tools in small area if that is your goal, and horizontal drill/bore is nice when you need it.


          • #6
            Used one for many years. I made some nice stuff with it, but I am glad its gone and I don't have to deal with it anymore. When I bought superior eqipment, I found out how much I was missing. Unless it is very cheap, let it pass.
            Location: North Central Texas


            • #7
              Thanks for the comments, guys. I'll go take a look at the machine anyway, with these comments in mind. Thanks again.
              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-