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sherlock 10-17-2005 02:34 PM

Woodworking multi-apparatus
Years ago, I remember an infomercial (before they were the norm - late 70's/early 80's?) for an all in one woodworking apparatus. Can't remember all the things it did, but I do remember that it was a lathe, and a drill press, and maybe a table saw. Anyone else remember it? I wanted to buy one when I was a kid, but then life took over. Life's slowing down, and I'm hoping to re-kindle that yearning for woodworking and actually build some stuff.

Anyway, does that apparatus still exist, and can anyone tell me where to find it? Anyone have one that can tell me if it's worth it?

Teetorbilt 10-17-2005 04:57 PM

I believe that you are thinking of the Shopsmith.

I have never owned one but most people seem to be happy with them.

MinConst 10-17-2005 08:37 PM


I too had the dream of owning a Shop Smith MarkV when I was a younger man. My Dad said it was a waste. So life went on. Later I bought my dream machine from an friend that took care of it like a baby. I used the machine maybe 3 or 4 times. I put it up for sale and 2 years later it sold. I only lost a couple hundred bucks so it wasn't all that bed. My Dad was right, he usually was. I must add that I have other equipment that does the separate jobs. So it wasn't the tool of choice for me. It is a quality machine mind you. And does what it says. But the change ups take some getting use to. The table saw is not the best. This being the most used of the tools for most.
If you have the room for separate machines you would be better off with a decent TS, Drill press and lathe, if you use them.
One mans opinion.

sherlock 10-18-2005 10:11 AM

Thanks for the advice. I'll keep my eye on ebay for a used one, and we'll see.

KenTheHandyMan 10-19-2005 10:34 PM

That's the key is the space thing. From what I've seen, they are nice machines but when I'm in the shop, I run from table saw to miter box to drill press to sander to tables saw etc... I've watched that machine being changed and I don't think I'd have the patience for it (or get a lot of work done!) Now, if you had very little room and planned all your pieces so that you did all of the same job before changing, I'm sure it's a good solution.

kesac 10-29-2005 07:27 AM

I have a Shopsmith. I also have another tablesaw and a 12" compound miter saw. I use the Shopsmith quite often as an extra saw when I have a lot of things going on. I wouldn't want it to be my only saw, but it is good for what it is good for. It is a good drill press. I have never used it as a lathe. I do use the disc sander on occasion. The casters are horrible, so don't count on moving it around as easily as a bicycle. You can get any of the accesories you'd ever want on Ebay. You will want the 5/8" arbor for the saw blades, so you can use everyone elses saw blades rather than the 1" 1/8" bored sawblades Shopsmith sells. There selection of grinds on their blades lacks the variety you will need for materials available today.

lalkie 03-25-2013 07:14 PM

I have had a shopsmith mark 5 for a number of years and just recently purchased a model 510. Has anyone tried to take the alumnium extrusion from a model 520 and put on the fence of a 510. Larry

jagans 03-25-2013 07:36 PM

I agree completely with having separates. Woodworking requires going from one station to the next performing different tasks time and again. Constantly having to change a tool back and forth would drive me nuts. Machines like this usually end up gathering dust, not sawdust.

oldhouseguy 03-26-2013 08:27 AM

My dad has a small shop and he is retired, so time is his own.

He has one and he seems to like it.

I have a feeling, like it or not, I will inherit it one day.

I'll put it to some use doing something.

ddawg16 03-26-2013 09:34 AM

Ya's hard to beat a good large table saw, radial arm saw and compound miter saw along with sanders, drill press, about 5 hand drills, biscuit cutter and about 500 wood clamps....

Typical sequence for a bunch of 1.5" width strips of hardwood with the table saw...cut to length with the miter saw...use 2 different drills to drill pocket holes and run the screws.....clamps to hold....45 min's face frame.....repeat as necessary...

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