We've been adding a BUNCH of FREE scans of historic Shopsmith articles and ads, and if you happen to have something we should add we'd love to hear from you. Most of these can be seen Biggie-Sized by clicking on them.
Speaking of clicking, if you'd like to enter a comment about one of the posts, please feel free. To do so just click on the bold title line (For example, this post is titled "So, how does this blog work?" If you click on the title it will open that post in it's own page. There you can enter a comment, and after I moderate it, you'll see it there for all the world to see and comment back!
Please do me a favor. If you have a blog of your own or are a member of an Internet newsgroup and decide to flatter me by quoting from the text of my entries, please honor me by posting a link to this blog. Thanks and good hunting! Scott
I've moved several times since then and actually forgot about that handy rack until I saw this video today on Youtube that features a rack for storing the tables on their tubes. I actually like both designs, but at the moment I don't have a copy of my design to share with you. Unlike my rack this one allows you to store the tables on their tubes, or from PVC when the tubes are in use. I like my rack though because I don't have to store mine with tubes installed. What do you think and how do you store your parts when not in use? Feel free to share a pic with me at email@example.com. Scott
Following WWII Europeans learned to make the best of particle board, because that was all they had available to them, and what they learned was that they needed connectors that took advantage of particle board's strength; which is it's dense surface. The winner in this area was the Confirmat one-piece connector. At first glance the Confirmat appears to be a screw, but in actuality it creates a strong connection that can be loosened and re-tightened repeatedly with little loss of strength. How does it do it? The diameter of the connector is so large that it allows the threads to cut into the dense portion of the board.
If there is any catch it's that it requires two different diameter holes to be precisely drilled; one through the face of the cabinet side, and one horizontally into the cabinet top, bottom or shelf. In addition, if the head of the connector is to be flush with the side of the cabinet the head will need to be countersunk. With CNC equipment this isn't a big deal, but in the small shop this means handling the parts several times through several set-ups. Surely there has to be a better way... and there is.
German cabinetmakers learned that if they dry assemble their boxes and clamp them in place that they can drill though the side of the cabinet and into the horizontal member with one plunge of a specialized bit. On top of that this bit will also create a countersink for the head.
These durable connecting bolts are now available from Woodcraft, as are the required step drill bits. Please note that the best time to purchase the replacement drill bit is before you need it!
Note that the Confirmat is available in two diameters; 5mm and 7mm. Use the 7mm version for particle board that's 19mm (3/4") thick, and use the 5mm version for 13mm (1/2") thick board. Also, the drive type is Pozi, which was an improvement over Phillips that was embraced everywhere else in the world but never caught on here in the USA. You might as well pick up a #3 Pozi drive bit while you are at it to make optimal use of this connector.
Find Confirmat One-Piece Connectors for sale at Woodcraft.
Visit Shopsmith at http://www.Shopsmith.com to get your own Shopsmith/Incra miter gauge.
Here are some links to the products shown in the video, which can be found on eBay and Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/ClampingMiter on eBay. Look for MLCS and Woodstock International.
MLCS Miter Gauge on Amazon
Woodstock International Miter Gauge on Amazon
Finally, here's a link to one of my favorite reviews of the Incra V120: http://youtu.be/P9uZ77a7LvI
Likewise, can get this featherboard on Amazon.
This gift is just amazing. Wera is a German hand tool manufacture that I've written about before, and for good reason: Their tools are excellent. They've done something so cool that I've decided to start my list with #1 instead of counting down from ten, because I just can't wait to share it with you: They have made a Tool-Filled Advent Calendar that contains about $150 worth of tools for less than half that price!
Since the early 1800's Advent calendars have been a traditional way of counting down the 24 days leading up to Christmas, and while many of them have small daily gifts hidden behind small doors, I have never seen one that was made for tool fans! These are only available for a short time, so click the link and order yours today.
2.) Retro Shop Stool
This padded seat on this cool Retro Shop Stool swivels 360 degree, and at 14" in diameter can comfortably support 350lbs.
3.) Back and Knee saving Anti Fatigue Floor Mat
Great Anti-Fatigue Mat at this link.
reason guys just don't think to buy for themselves. Every woodworker needs at least two of these in the spots where they find themselves standing the longest: Behind the workbench and either in front of the tablesaw or the lathe. If your woodworker isn't into wood turning (yet) than they may enjoy sawing on the scrollsaw or bandsaw, so I've got a great tip for you both. Position the mat with the short end against the wall and set the saw ON the mat. The mat will absorb vibration better than any anti-vibration pads that are sold for that purpose, and there will still be lots of room left for them to stand on the mat! Add this mat to the retro shop tool above and you will knock the socks off your loved-one. Find an inexpensive 2' X 5' Anti-Fatigue Mat at this link, and a thicker, larger 3' X 5' and frankly, all around more-better Anti-Fatigue Mat at this link.
4.) BESSEY Bar Clamps
For assembling cabinets, tables and large furniture pieces I always reach for the classic Bessey "K Body" clamps, which can be found at the link.
For assembling smaller items, such as gift boxes, jewelery boxes and nick-knacks, the right choice of clamp is the Bessey F-Style clamp.
No, these aren't inexpensive gifts, but they will last a lifetime and will always work effortlessly. Something that will never be said about the cheap Chinese clamps that he's been settling with all these years.
5.) A Wood Lathe
Here's a link to a great small lathe that would be perfect for a new turner who wants to turn pens gift items: Rikon Mini Lathe
If you're looking for a good starting lathe for turning furniture parts, take a look at this link:
Nova 1624-44 Wood Lathe
If money is no option and you just want to cut to the chase and get one of the best lathes available, then I have no reservations in recommending the Powermatic 4224B Wood Lathe. Even if you aren't in the market for a large lathe, you owe it to yourself to click on the link just to see how the other half turns!
6.) A Solid Beech Workbench
Sjoberg work benches here.
7.) Magnetic Shop Light
Magnetic Shop Light at this link.
#8 DeWalt 13" Thickness Planer
DeWalt DW735X 13" Planer
9.) Incra Gauge
Incra Gauge from Woodcraft, or click here to purchase the Incragauge from Amazon.
And last, but not least...
10.) A Wooden WeWood Watch!
WeWood has been making fine timepieces for years and they even feature a 24 month warranty! Check out the WeWood watches on Amazon.
I visited a brick and mortar woodworking store the other day and noticed that they had the Woodstock International Clamping Miter Gauge on display, and seeing that it appeared to be an exact clone of the Shopsmith miter gauge I decided to play with it a bit. Boy, was that an eye opening experience. In fact, after playing with it a few minutes I felt inspired to shoot a video to talk about the original Shopsmith miter gauge and its evolution, and then show you what the copies like the Woodstock and the MLCS Miter Gauge bring to the party.
I'll embed that video here shortly, but in the mean time go ahead and subscribe to my Youtube channel: www.Youtube.com/user/MrToolHunter I plan to start posing regularly to that channel, and if this blog is of interest to you I'm sure that you'll enjoy the channel. Scott
P.S. Here's a link to my previous post that related to the Shopsmith miter gauge: http://shopsmith-tool-hunter.blogspot.com/2010/05/shopsmith-miter-gause-musinings.html
After making arrangements to inspect the tools, and also confirming that the owner was flexable on his price, my bride and I took the 100 mile trek from High Point NC over to Zebulon (Raleigh).
The owner turned-out to be a nice fellow, and to be fair he inherited the tools and admitted that he didn't know much about them. I smiled as he then proceeded to tell me everything about it, as if he had been a long-time Shopsmith demonstrator. Since he seemed to be having a good time I decided not to interrupt and tell him that I was quite familiar with the tool; and I lived to regret that decision.
He showed me a moulder head and said "It comes with a shaper cutter". He picked-up the table from the beltsander and said "This is a tool rest for the strip sander". This was all harmless, but then he plugged-in the Mark V and started to crank-up the speed dial. The problem was he had a sanding disc mounted on the quill and the belt sander (sans belt, thank goodness) coupled to the outboard side. As the speed passed "Magna Dado" the center of the rubber sleeve on the drive drum of the belt sander started to swell due to centrifugal force, and suddenly it impacted the plastic dust chute and all of a sudden "BANG"! The dust chute flew one direction as pieces of the rubber sleeve flew right into my chest! Thank goodness the chute followed a different path, because that sucker would have left a mark!
For all those folks who upgraded their Mark V's to the new two-way tilting Mark VII, and who also swapped-out their headstock for the new PowerPro headstock, the question has been "What am I gonna do with all the extra parts?" The answer is a straight-forward kit of parts and instructions that allows you to build a small Power Station-like work center.
Learn more at http://www.shopsmith.com/ownersite/catalog/shop_deputy.htm
More than most projects, this one was driving me nuts! For one thing, I hate working with pine! Add to that the fact that my sister wanted me to incorporate some used drawers from an old dresser. Of course those drawers were warped and had central-mounted drawer runners. The runners had to go and were replaced with some nice side-mounted slides. The twist is still resenting a challenge, but I believe I've got it licked.
Most of the joints were glued butt joints with pocket screws, but a couple were reinforced with wood dowels. That's what leads me to this post. Wouldn't you know that my 3/8" brad point bits were all toasted and dull, so I had to resort to using a Forstner bit. Now I need new 3/8" brad points AND Forstner bits!
I happened to stumble upon a neat 20 piece mixed set from Woodcraft that contains both brad point and Forstner bits.
The set contains:
13 brad points, sized: 1/8", 5/32", 3/16", 7/32", 1/4", 9/32", 5/16", 11/32", 3/8", 13/32", 7/16", 15/32", 1/2"
And 7 Forstner bits, sized: 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", 7/8", 1"
See it here: Woodcraft.com
See them new and reconditioned on Amazon at these links: New DW788 Scroll saw for sale.
Reconditioned DW788 Scroll saw for sale.
Learn more at this link: DeWalt DW788 Scroll Saw at Woodcraft.
This bench is very similar to the current Anke model 166, which you can see here: http://www.fine-tools.com/hbank.htm for € 1099.0, which at today's conversion rate would make it $1435.07+ shipping from Germany!
Thanks to a great GPS app on my cell phone (Waze) we arrived 5 minuets ahead of our scheduled time and from the road I could see the bench. My heart sank yet again when in the driveway I could see the bench and even at that distance could tell that it had been left out, exposed to the elements.
The owner's son came to the door and led me to the bench and it was everything I could do to not vomit. The bench had clearly been covered, as there were no signs of water stains on the surface, but it was cracked and checked all over. I asked and the owner's son explained that they were using it as a stand for the Harbor Freight lathe that can be seen in the background of the photo above, and that while it was left in the driveway it was covered by a tarp. Lovely.
There was no way that the bench was worth the $300 they were asking, but believe it or not the hardware was in decent shape, and who knows, the bench might be OK after some time in a dry shop and with a little TLC (and Danish oil).
So after some negotiations on the phone with the owner we arrived at a price that I could like with and we loaded her into my van. Click on the pics to Biggie-Size them, but you might want to have a Kleenex handy, because they are disturbing.
Shopsmith Workbench Pro's are rare these days, but here's a link to your next workbench on eBay
Woodcraft has some excellent benches that are worth a look, as well as a nice selection of vises if you'd like to take a stab at building your own bench. Check out the workbenches for sale at Woodcraft at this link and don't forget to check their clearance link.
These words have stirred a child-like excitement in me ever since Mr. Stone (a family friend) stopped by our home in Beavercreek Ohio to visit my parents while on a trip to Wright Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. Mr. Stone had just paid a visit to a factory in Dayton where he made a large purchase of a power tool. Now, my dad is the son of a Cabinetmaker and because his mother died when he was three, he and his two brothers were raised in the shop while my Grandfather worked. So here's Mr. Stone and my dad sitting on the couch looking at a brochure for this neat tool, and I vividly remember standing behind the couch staring over their shoulders in amazement at this wonderful new tool. This was around 1977, which would have made me 13-14 years old, and at that time I had no idea that the Shopsmith Mark V had been in production since 1954! (A conflicting date of 1953 is given on the official Shopsmith Inc site, but I've not been able to confirm this dating with any official documentation or witness. Go figure.)
I convinced my dad that we needed to get a catalog, so he returned the postcard that Mr. Stone left with us, and for years we continued to get the occasional catalog and better yet the awesome woodworking magazine "Hands-On!".
Fast forward to 1987 and though I had visited the showroom at the Shopsmith factory in Vandalia Ohio (North Dayton) several times this time I was actually there just to kill time while I waited for a near-by job interview. It was on this visit that I met Ron Hittle. Ron was a playful and intelligent man who instantly won me over with his silly puns and jokes. When you met Ron it was like meeting a long-lost brother for the first time. He was totally engaged in our conversation as we talked about woodworking, tools, Jim and Tammy Baker (they were falling from grace at that very moment) and Shopsmith. I was having a great time when I suddenly realized that I was now a half-hour overdue for my job interview! Ron noticed that I was looking at my watch and getting stressed so he asked me what was wrong. I told him that I was late for a job interview and he said "Are you looking for a job?" I thought that was a silly question following my previous statement but I said yes. At that Ron smiled and said he had an opening and would love to continue our conversation in his office. About an hour later, with my face aching from laughter, I was an employee of Shopsmith Inc!
Lots of other things happened after that, but in total I was an employee for 10 years, as an in-store salesman, a store manager (twice) and as an Academy Instructor. Oh yeah, in 1987 I finally became the proud owner of a Shopsmith Mark V Model 510!
Click the pics to Biggie Size them.
I've been looking at the units that are on the market for some time now and have come up with my personal wish list, and have finally narrowed it down to my prefered unit: the 2HP Mobile Cyclone from Laguna. One of the best features of the Shopsmith unit has been it's portability. After owning a 3HP Grizzly unit that was ducted throughout my shop, I came to appreciate the DC3300's ability to move around the shop, or even out of the shop for that matter.
That Grizzly had amazing airflow, but it came at the expense of my hearing! Running that monster was like having a DC10 landing in the shop! So, my plan was to find a unit that could be portable, but that also had the airflow to allow me to pug it into a central duct system. The Laguna generates 1450 CFM of airflow, with a static pressure of 10-1/2". This gets a little "nerdy", but if you're like me you might enjoy this site: http://billpentz.com//woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm were you'll find more than your fair share of dust collector information.
Anyway, having owned a couple cyclone units in the past; One was a shop-built unit from an old issue of ShopNotes was fun to build, but the blower that I chose was way too powerful for it and wanted to crush it like an aluminum can! I wound-up having to mount a much smaller blower to it, and in the end it just didn't have the guts to keep up with my 20" Powermatic planer. After that I purchased an 11HP Torret that was just the opposite extreme, and ultimately I sold it.
What I did learn though was that the cyclone on both of these units did an amazing job at separating out all of the chips and dust before the air entered the blower, eliminating the problems that I had with the Shopsmith unit's single stage blower arrangement.
So here's the unit that I'll be purchasing shortly: Laguna 2HP Mobile Cyclone Dust Collector
This video isn't of the unit I'm buying, but there's some good info about Laguna cyclones.
Laguna Cyclone Dust Collector from Laguna Tools on Vimeo.
The show ran from Wednesday through Saturday and when Saturday finally arrived the traffic at the show slowed down enough that I was able to slip away from our booth to walk the show a bit. It was then that I was surprised to learn that we were only four booths from the Shopsmith booth the entire time! The booths in the center of the show are very big booths (ours was 40' X 150'), while the SS booth was 20' X 20', so it was easy to miss. The other odd thing about their booth was that the Mark VII was not front and center, but instead the Shopsmith abrasives from ALI Industries abrasives were. I introduced myself the the guy in the burgundy Shopsmith apron and though he told me they really kicked butt I couldn't help but notice the clean carpet and the dust collector with the mostly empty bag. One of the non-Shopsmith guys manning the booth said that really it was a ALI booth, ans as I've written before, ALI is the trademark owner of the Shopsmith Abrasives brand.
I hope they were able to sell a few PowerPro upgrades, but I suspect it was a tough crowd. The vast majority of the folks in attendance are using CNC equipment and very large tools, and the Shopsmith line was as out of place as a Yugo at a Lamborghini rally.
Click the pic to Biggie-Size and visit this link to see Shopsmith Sandpaper on Amazon.
I found a video on Youtube of one of those early episodes that features the Mark V. I'll post others below as I discover them
They've come a long way since their humble start. For example, for three years running Signature Custom Cabinetry has been named one of the 100 fastest growing wood products manufacturers in the country!
Anyway, as I walked down the hall of their corporate headquarters with their VP of Development, I stopped dead in my tracks by the sight that you see in the photo.
I learned that the Martin's started their business on a Shopsmith Mark V, and that a couple years back the brothers had it restored and put on display just outside their offices, along with photos of their original shop and of each of them as kids on that very Mark V.
These men have sure come a long way as they built on their passion for excellence that was born on that amazing tool.
The following is excerpted from my Delta-Rockwell-Tool-Hunter.blogspot.com blog:
Certainly this will be sold by Woodcraft, so check it out here: Link to Delta Scroll Saws for sale at Woodcraft.
While my subject line really says it all, here's a link to the Woodcraft blog where you can learn even more: http://blog.woodcraft.com/?p=16399
I love that the photo in the blog post shows the winner, Robert, with his Shopsmith Mark V! Even though for many years when I was a Shopsmith store manager, Woodcraft was my competitor, I developed a strong respect for the way they service their customers, not only with their product selection, but with their excellent corporate and retail crews.
Sweepstakes like this are an exciting way for tool manufactures to show-off their latest innovations, and a great way for Woodcraft to spread a little excitement. Congratulations to Robert, and thank you Woodcraft for being a true leader within our industry and more importantly, within our communities.
I don't know if there is anything I can say about this jig beyond what you already know. I got my first aluminum K2 Kreg jig over 15 years ago, and though it is still in good working order I purchased the plastic K2000 Kreg jig a few years ago because my original jig was designed only for 3/4" stock.
The K2000 jig that I own and use today requires that I partially disassemble it and add shims if I change the stock thickness. Seeing that my old jig wouldn't even accommodate this I thought it was a huge improvement. The new K4 (shown at right) has a slick feature that allows you to quickly adjust it for a wide range of stock thicknesses.
I originally thought that I'd use the K2 in the drill press mode of my Mark V, and though I did use it that way once, it just didn't make sense. I now have a dedicated corded drill that I picked-up at either Big Lots or Harbor Freight for drilling with the step bit, and I usually drive the screws with a small cordless lithium ion powered driver.
My K2000 Kreg jig was used extensively in the construction of a sleigh that was the focus point of our daughter's winter-themed wedding, and on the six-cheese nacho cheese fountain that was featured at my son's wedding. Yeah, you read that right. We even made a build-blog about that one, but that's another story. Anyway, while I am still a big fan of traditional Mortise and Tenon joinery, there's no match for the ease and speed of a pocket joint for face frames and simple butt joints, and let's face it; not every project deserves that degree of craftsmanship.
If you don't already have one of the newer adjustable Kreg jigs, Woodcraft has a great deal going on the current K4 Kreg Master System that deserves your attention. They are throwing-in a bunch of screws that themselves make-up the difference between this offer and their standard $99 kit. In addition to the screws they also include a handy assembly clamp and a few other goodies that will come in handy.
Check it out. Scott
Kreg K4 Jig at Woodcraft.com
For fun, here's a link to our Instructable where we show how we built our 6 Cheese Nacho Cheese Fountain. You can even see the K2000 in use: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Build-A-8220Talladega-Nights8221-Insp/
I "liked" Shopsmith's Facebook page some time ago, and for the most part their posts are short versions of the same content that I read in their marketing emails. But every now and then a photo on their post will catch my eye and draw me in. If you didn't know, Shopsmith is promoting a new line of abrasive products, and some of the posts on FB have been about their excitement about being added to the inventory of LOWE's.
Here's the text from a recent post, and a couple pics.
We are proud to announce a ShopSmith line of professional quality abrasives that are sure to set the new standard in abrasive performance and quality for the "Next Generation"! A nation wide launch in coming in August, but a sneak peak of the product offering will be coming soon on future post.
Something about their packaging seemed familiar to me, so I did a little Googling and confirmed my suspicions: This product is made by Ali Industries. Ali is located in my birthplace of Fairborn, Ohio, and is a manufacturer of a lot of the private label "store brand" abrasives that you may have purchased over the years. Normally when I think of store brands I think generic, but after discovering Ali abrasives some 20 years ago I actually look for their little alligator logo in the small print on the back of the package. I've found it on Ace Hardware, True Value Hardware and a few other packages over the years, but so many of these products have gone to the lowest bidder now.
The most interesting thing that I learned was about the name or branding of the product. Here's the first part:
On Monday, July 18, 2011, a U.S. federal trademark for ALI INDUSTRIES, INC. registration number 85046037 was abandoned having the name G2 CERAMIC 2000. The Reason provided as ABANDONED - NO STATEMENT OF USE FILED
So, Ali Industries abandoned their trademark for G2 ceramic abrasives. Here's where it gets interesting though:
On Wednesday, July 13, 2011, a U.S. federal trademark registration was filed for SHOP SMITH ENRICHING LIVES THROUGH FINISHING. This trademark is owned by ALI INDUSTRIES, INC., FAIRBORN, OH 45324. The USPTO has given the SHOP SMITH ENRICHING LIVES THROUGH FINISHING trademark serial number of 85369944 The current federal status of this trademark filing is NEW APPLICATION - RECORD INITIALIZED NOT ASSIGNED TO EXAMINER. The correspondent listed for SHOP SMITH ENRICHING LIVES THROUGH FINISHING is R. WILLIAM GRAHAM of A PAT..., 3340 ..., P. O. BOX 752125 OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 73120 . The SHOP SMITH ENRICHING LIVES THROUGH FINISHING trademark is filed in the category of Cosmetics and Cleaning Products , Machinery Products , Hand Tool Products . The description provided to the USPTO for SHOP SMITH ENRICHING LIVES THROUGH FINISHING is Abrasive products for sanding, namely, coated abrasives and sandpaper in the form of sanding strips, sheets, belts, spindles, and discs, emery cloths, and sanding screens in the nature of abrasive cloth.
Interesting, huh? RLFShop is the owner of the Shopsmith and Shop Smith trademark, but it looks like they've licensed the name to Ali, who has trademarked the "SHOP SMITH ENRICHING LIVES THROUGH FINISHING" slogan. So what does all this really mean? Nuthin'.
Ceramics are excellent abrasives, and I also see that some of their products are what is called "film back". Cloth and paper has a texture to it, and when you cover that texture with abrasive particles they points of the abrasives will protrude from the paper at different heights, which causes scratches that will be amplified by your finish. With a film back the abrasives are bonded to a dead-flat piece of film, so you don't get these flaws.
I've used a LOT of brands, and have been impressed by ceramics and film back products, so I can't wait to try it and to see how this all works out. As I said, Ali Knows abrasives, and I know that Jim McCann of Shopsmith knows abrasives, finishing and sharpening better than 99.999% of the Woodworkers you've heard of, so with their powers combined (like the Wonder Twins) this could be a very good thing indeed.
Here's a video of the man himself, Mr. Jim-Bob McCann, playing with this new abrasive on a Shopsmith Mark V.
Learn more at Shopsmith's site.
Below is a video from "John the TIA guru" that runs the Dewalt Owners Group. In the video John does a run down on the DEWALT DWP611PK Compact Router.
These kits are priced in the $199 range for a fixed base and a plunge base, but at this moment they are both on sale at Woodcraft. The DeWalt has an even sweeter deal going:
You can save 10% Now Through August 27, 2011 AND... Receive a FREE 1/4 Sheet Palm Grip Sander with Mail-In Rebate through August 15!
Click this link for the DEWALT DWP611PK Compact Router Kit at Woodcraft
Click this link for the Porter-Cable 450PK Compact Router Kit at Woodcraft