So, how does this blog work?

This blog (short for Web Log) features links to Shopsmith woodworking tools and items that are related to Shopsmith tools which are for sale on the web.

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

The Shopsmith Power Station / Crafter's Station Revisited

I wrote a post about the Shopsmith Power Station several years back ( that summarized the tool and talked a bit about it as well as the short-lived Crafter's Station.  If this tool interests you, and frankly, if you own a Mark V and two or more of the SPT's you really should have one, I'd like to share one interesting little fact that you might want to know.

The original Power Station was introduced in 1989 but one little "flaw" that it had was the moveable carriage that supports the SPT's (Special or Single Purpose Tool) was a little wobbly.  It wasn't that apparent with shorter tools, but the bandsaw was particularly prone to swaying towards the headstock when the stock was forcibly fed into the blade.  The illustration above is from the US Patent for the Power Station and on the left of the drawing and from the photo below you can see the original positioning and size of the carriage.
Original 1989 carriage design on Shopsmith Power Station 

Over time Shopsmith determined that the issue was caused by the way that the footprint of the carriage was causing the top of the sheet metal base to flex and their solution was to create a stamped steel carrier for the carriage to ride on that moved the forces closer to the rigid edges of the top, where the sheet metal gained rigidity from being bent downward toward the legs.  See photo below.

Gen 2  2-part Shopsmith Power Station carriage 
This fix solved the majority of the problem and just in time because what most of us didn't know was that hidden deep in the recesses of the R&D department was the soon to be released (1998) Crafter's Station, which added a table saw table to a stationary carriage which was bolted to the top of the stand tightly against the tool's headstock. It was around this time that Shopsmith created new tooling to diecast the carriage with a larger footprint, eliminating the need to make two parts for the task. This improved carriage was incorporated into both the Power Station and the Crafters Station from that point on. 

Gen 3 Shopsmith Crafter's Station & Power Station carriage
I'll post better photos of these details as they become available.

Here are a couple excellent threads on the Shopsmith Forum that will help you supe-up your Power Station or Crafter's Station by eliminating vibration and by addressing alignment issues with the tablesaw table on the Crafter's Station:

Click here for Shopsmith Power Stations For Sale

Click here for 
Shopsmith Crafters Stations For Sale (Very light activity)

Shopsmith's Heirloom Projects Books and Videos

Back in the early 1990's Shopsmith tasked employee and former Dayton Factory Showroom Academy Instructor Casey Chaffin to create a series of plans, workbooks, and videos that would tackle the fundamentals of woodworking and the construction of what Shopsmith had learned were the most common projects Shopsmith Mark V owners were hoping to tackle.  Casey worked for month creating, refining and testing designs and instruction and creating patterns and videos. If I recall correctly it was a year-long project and the result was some excellent bookshelf-worthy binders that contained a VHS tape, a workbook, and any critical full-size patterns.

Some of the topics that I can remember were:
Click Pics to Biggie-Size
  • Woodworking Fundamentals
  • Workbench
  • Hopechest
  • Crafts & Toys
  • Entertainment Center 
  • Rocking Horse
  • Tapered Leg Table
  • Computer Desk
  • Bookshelf
  • Porch Swing
These are still popping up on eBay with surprising regularity and if you can get your hands on a VCR would be an excellent addition to your woodworking bookshelf or Shopsmith collection. 

Here's a link to eBay's current listing for: Shopsmith's Heirloom Projects  

Note: Some sellers are parting these out and selling the components separately. Make sure that the listing shows the binder, the videotape, and a comb-bound workbook. Not all projects contained a set of patterns as not all projects required them.  

Replacing and Troubleshooting the Shopsmith Mark V Switch

This video is from the old Shopsmith "Sawdust Session" series and covers the replacement of a switch in an A and B series headstock. 

The next two videos are from Jacob Anderson, who repairs Shopsmith tools from his shop in Norfolk, Virgina. He can be found here:

You can source genuine replacement parts for your Shopsmith tools directly though Shopsmith at as well as from 

The best Shopsmith T-Handle 5/32" T-Handle Hex Wrench EVER!

If there is one tool that I use the most when operating my Shopsmith tools it has got to be a T-handle 5/32" hex (Allen) wrench. All of us have the L-shaped wrench that came with our Mark V, and it works very well, but there are times where you just need a wrench that doesn't dig into the palm of your hand, and I've found just that wrench on Amazon.

Here's a link to the wrench I've found on Amazon:  It's a US-made t-handle wrench that is similar to the wrench shown in this video. This is actually a link to a list of many of the tools that I have found to be indispensable in my shop.  You may have to click the "Filter" link to show the items in the list.  I suggest sorting them by priority. I really like this new wrench because the handle is sturdy and stout, but it's smaller than the ole Shopsmith wrench so it shouldn't be so easy to overtighten.

Be sure to check it out. 

Well, it's been a while...

Hey, Scott here. I can't believe how long it has been since I lost posted on this blog, but I just wanted to report in and say "Hey" to those of you who subscribe to the feed or who otherwise check in for new content.  As just about always seems to be the case I have purchased yet another Mark V. This time it's a 50 Year Anniversary edition 520 with a bandsaw.

A friend called and said that a friend of his was moving out of the country and needed to find a good home for it so he connected us together via FB and I tossed him the following message:

"I write a Shopsmith related blog and I worked as a trainer for them for about 12 years. I currently own 5 of them and need another one like I need a hole in my head! It is worth more than I can offer, but if it comes down to you needing to sell it before your move I would pay you $750 for her. As I said, see if you can get more for it but let me know if you just need it gone. Scott"

That part about "I write a Shopsmith related blog" is a little hyperbole, but as it turned out he did need her gone, so a few days later I was putting her into my van.

On that note, I think it's worth reminding people who are in the market for used Shopsmith tools that there have been so many different models and variation of the Shopsmith multi-purpose tool as well as several knock-offs that it is important to do your due diligence prior to making a commitment to buy.  Make sure that you know the model number and I'd suggest printing out a parts list from the Shopsmith web site to make sure that all major parts are present and accounted for.  This Mark V is missing the saw guards and the miter gauge, which would be a disaster for anyone who doesn't have spares hanging around the shop.

So how about you? How goes your Shopsmith tool hunting?

MiterSet crazy-accurate miter gauge setting tool now for Shopsmith miter gauge!

Several months ago I stumbled across a video on Youtube of a neat little tool that looked like an answer to prayers. The MiterSet is actually one of those tools that makes another tool the best it can be and in this case that other tool is the Shopsmith miter gauge.  If you've read any of my previous post related to the Shopsmith miter cause you will already know how great I think it is, but the one issue I've always had with it is that the pistol grip for the safety hold-down is located directly in front of the line of sight for the vernier scale on the protractor. That means it can be tough to set accurately.

Enter the MiterSet. This handy tool is available in two versions:

  1. One that will give you actually degrees, such as 45 deg, 62.5 deg, etc.
  2. The other is even simpler in that if tells you how many sides a box or frame or whatever you are mitering will have. For example, want a 9 sided object? Who cares what the actual degrees are? Just set the pins in the proper holes, slide the loosened miter gauge in the propriatary Shopsmith slot against the pins and tighten. That's it!  
What is that worth to you? How much frustration will it end and how many failed projects will it prevent. I just purchased the "MiterSet Segments for ShopSmith Mark V" version for $69 + postage. 

Order yours directly from the manufacturer at this link: MiterSet Segments for ShopSmith Mark V

Want to see it in action? Check these videos out.
Here's one of my favorite Youtubers Izzy Swan demonstrating the value of the MiterSet:

Here's a video showing the MiterSet being used on a Shopsmith Mark V tablesaw.

I'm always looking for cool gifts for woodworkers, and when they also mention Shopsmith tools they are hitting on all cylinders. This tee shirt is a home run and if you are looking for a neat gift for a Shopsmith woodworker I think we've found it. The shirt lists all the basic functions of the Shopsmith Mark V against a background illustration of a Mark V.  Finally is asks "What's in YOUR shop?"  What a great conversation starter! 

"Super-Versatile Corner Clamps" from Shopsmith and Harbor Freight

I just received an email from Shopsmith promoting their "Super-Versatile Corner Clamps", part number 523056 and after taking a close look at the photos realized that I have seen these before... at Harbor Freight!  Now, everyone knows that in addition to Shopsmith manufactured items they also sell some "allied" tools that are made by other manufactures, but when this clamp is being offered at an everyday price of $9.99 at Harbor Freight (and we all carry a 20% discount coupon in our wallet, right?) how can the folks at Shopsmith justify charging $19.95? 

But wait, there's a limited time sale on them if you buy four: They'll only set you back $59.85, or $14.96 each.  So using my simple math skills it looks like you'll still be overpaying about $20.  

But how about shipping?  Shipping to my home in NC will set me back $10.99 from Shopsmith while from Harbor Freight it's going to cost me $6.99.  But wait again.  There's a Harbor Freight on the drive home, so if I just drop by...

ShopSmart, my friends.  Scott

Cool Woodworking Grandpa Tee Shirt

Looking for the perfect gift for grandpa?  Is he a woodworker?  Of course he is!  This tee shirt will immediately be his favorite tee because it recognizes his coolness.  Yeah, you need this.

Cool Woodworking Grandpa Tee
Cool Woodworking Grandpa Tee by thedovetailjoint
Look at custom t-shirts online at Zazzle

"Woodworking Grandpa... Just like a normal grandpa, except cooler"

Incra Gauge vs Woodcraft's new WoodRiver Offset Gauge

A few posts back I wrote about my most-used non-Shopsmith tool; the Incra Gauge.  Imagine my surprise when I opened the recent Woodcraft sales flier and saw what looked at first glance like a knock-off of this tool.  Upon closer inspection I noticed several differences including the much smaller size of the tool.  Because I figured that you might be interested in this too I placed an order for the Woodcraft WoodRiver Offset Gauge.

As you can see from the photo at right, the WoodRiver Offset Gauge (or "WROG" as I'm gonna call it) is quite a bit smaller than the Incra Gauge, which is shown below.  For example, the max length or depth that the WROG can measure is 4", while the Incra Gauge can measure 7".

So what do they have in common?  They are both made from two identical plastic parts which are held together with a bolt and knurled brass knob.  Because they have a ruler moulded into the body they can both be used as a marking gauge without the need for a ruler for setting, as shown in both photos.  They can both be used to measure the hight of a bit or blade.

Here's where they start to stand apart: The WROG has a feature that MAY be an advantage; it has a rare earth magnet that is designed to help support the tool when it is stood on end.  The only problem I have with this is the fact that I don't own a single tool with a steel table insert! That means that the magnet will be on zero value to me in this function.

I do a lot of woodworking with metric materials and hardware, and you are too but may not be aware of it.  Most all sheet stock, like particle board, melamine board and plywood are produced in metric thicknesses.  The Incra Gauge has only an inch scale, and with it's interlocking toothed rack that make it so accurate, using it for metric measuring can actually introduce unwanted errors.  The WROG features both a standard a metric scale, and because it does not have the Incra Guage's rack system it can be locked in infinite positions.

One of the most useful features on the Incra Gauge is that it has an 1/8" thick tab that makes it a breeze to set a table saw's rip to width +1/8" for jointing the sawn edge.  This is absent from the WROG and while I am trying to explain this I realize that I need to shoot a video to cover all of these fine points in detail.

What else?  Oh yes, there's more!  While they both can be used to quickly find the center of a large piece of wood, such as on the end of a spindle prior to turning, but the Incra Gauge has a nifty center finder built into each end that allow you to quickly locate and mark the center on the edge of end of any board.  I'm not sure why this wasn't emulated in the WROG, but perhaps this is something the Woodcraft should consider for a future iteration of the tool.

Keep an eye on and perhaps even subscribe to my Youtube channel: and I'll post a video on these two tools next week.

Click this link to get your own Woodcraft WoodRiver Offset Gauge at Woodcraft.
Click this link to get your own Incra Gauge from Woodcraft.

Fred and his Shopsmith Mark V

This awesome photo is of Fred from LaCrosse, WI.  Fred is turning 92 in October 2014; and by "turning" we mean turning wood on his Shopsmith Mark V.  Fred is the first owner of his 1953 era Mark V "Greeny", and from the looks of it he has put it to good use.  The pic was snapped by his grandson, Matt, and who graciously shared it with us to share with you.  Thanks Matt and "Happy Sawdust" to Fred.

Click the pic to "Biggie-Size" it.

Finally scored a Shopsmith Crafter's Station!

It's been quite some time since I've had anything to share on either the 
Shopsmith Power Station or the Crafter's Station, but all that changed last week while we were on vacation in Florida.

As I mentioned in my Tips and Techniques for Buying Shopsmith Tools post, far and a way the best place to buy Shopsmith equipment is on Craigslist, and below I'll share my recent experience. (Please note, I do not suggest selling tools on Craigslist.  Yes, I'm conflicted.)

In the days preceding our vacation I started looking on the Orlando Craigslist for several of my common searches, including "Shopsmith", and low and behold a Crafter's Station popped-up just north of Tampa.  Now, here's where things get tricky; You see, we weren't going to Tampa, but rather to Orlando. But small details like that are not insurmountable for a determined tool-hunter like me.

The tools listed included: A Shopsmith Crafter's Station, a Shopsmith DC3300 dust collector, a Shopsmith Jointer, a Shopsmith Band Saw and a Shopsmith Scroll Saw, as well as a storage stand to hold those three SPT's while the Crafter's Station is set-up in Table Saw or Disc Sander mode. 

The biggest concern was that the listing was over 14 days old, so there was a chance that the tools would be long-gone, but fortunately as we were heading South on I-95 a reply from my email to the seller proved that they were still available.

So... somewhere between High Point NC and Orlando I mentioned to my bride that there was a good chance that we'd be bringing home a few tools.  She glared at me with a slight grin and said "So THAT"S why you were so anxious to help me empty my van!"  

We were able to make contact with some friends in Sarasota FL who would be available to join us for lunch on Saturday following our Friday night arrival into Orlando, so off we drove to find the address where the Shopsmith tools were. Ironically it turned out that they were no more than 1/4 mile from my Best Man's house, who was unfortunately out of town, but anyway, it was a straightforward stop, meet, negotiate and load and away we went.  We not only received the tools listed, but were also given a box full of accessories, an almost new 8" Freud Safety Dado, an old PoRyder-Cable router, a Makita pad sander and a heat gun!

I'll share more about this find later, but for now let me just encourage you to get out there and hunt some tools!  Spring and Summer are the best times for tool hunting, because woodworking is the furthest thing from most people's minds while cleaning out the garage is high on the list.  Do your research, play fair and good luck! Scott

Hilarious "Individual tools, eh? Bummer" tee shirt for Shopsmith owner

OK, last one.  Well, for tonight anyway.

"Individual tools, eh? Bummer" woodworker's teeThis one pokes a little fun at the "individual tool" crowd with the inscription "Individual tools, eh?  Bummer"

Like I've said before, this tee shirt would make the perfect gift for the woodworker in your life.

Don't forget, you can change the size and the quality of the shirt, and if you would rather have a light colored shirt, just search the title above for the black print version.

Another AWESOME tee for a Shopsmith Mark V owner

"My Other Saw is a Drill Press" Shopsmith teeOh, I do so love this tee shirt! I don't know about you, but as a Shopsmith Mark V owner I get a little tired of "non-owners" going on and on about their individual tools. Win the argument before it even begins with this great "My Other Saw is a Drill Press" Shopsmith tee shirt. This is the perfect gift for the woodworker in your life. Don't forget, you can change the size and the quality of the shirt, and if you would rather have a light colored shirt, just search the title at the link above for the black print version.  Perfect for Father's Day or any day you want to make the day of a woodworker.

The PERFECT gift for the Shopsmith fan in your life!

"Don't Diss da 'Smith" tee for Shopsmith lovers
How many times have you had the conversation with a "non-owner" who went on and on about "changeover" and how they went the "individual tool" route?  Well, this "Don't Diss da 'Smith" tee shirt gets the final word in for you.  

Perfect for birthdays, Father's Day or any day that you want to make the day of the woodworker in your life.

Some of BEST Woodworking Books

I was scrolling through Amazon tonight looking at woodworking books and was surprised at some of the crazy-low prices on some of these.  A couple of them appear to be out of print, so the only ones that are listed are used, but heck, every book I own is used!  Here are links to a few of my favorites.

Working At Woodworking
I've owned Working at Woodworking since the month it became available through Fine Woodworking back in 1990.  I purchased my copy at the Shopsmith store in Dayton, where I was working at the time, and it was just the push I needed to start taking professional commissions.  The book is an interesting blend of advise on setting up a cabinet shop, a couple indispensable shop tools and a great section of pricing for profits.  The lowest price on this book on the day that I checked was under $5, which is a steal!

A Reverence for Wood
Ever since discovering the book "A Reverence for Wood" in my junior high school library I've had a attraction to the illustrations and art of Eric Sloane. I learned so much about wood movement, how joinery and construction methods evolved and lots of fascinating facts that I get to whip-out on my kids and grandkids as we wander through Colonial Williamsburg.  All of Eric Sloane's books are hand illustrated by Mr. Sloane himself, and I highly recommend "A Reverence for Wood" for the information, if not for the amazing drawings.  

Fine Woodworking on Proven Shop Tips: Selections from Methods of Work
If you are a fan of Fine Woodworking Magazine I'm sure you enjoy the Shop Tips that are in the front few pages of the magazine.  There have been a few tips that were worth the value of the magazine!  This paperback book was the best of FWW Shop Tips at the time that the book was published.  They did other versions of this, but they were not as good as this one, and I suppose that's because all of the basic tips were covered in this book, leaving few universal tips for the other issues.  Anyway, this is on my "Must have" list.

More to come.  Scott

They Say You Can't Take it With You. They Never Met the Wilton ATV Vise.

Wilton, who has been making vises and tools for over 70 years has introduced the most innovative vise I've seen in years.  It can be quickly transferred from your bench to your vehicle's hitch socket and back at a moments notice.  And it's not just a vise.

Here are the specs:

  • 6" Jaw Width
  • 5 3/4" Opening Capacity  
  • 5" Throat Depth
  • 3/4" - 3" Pipe Jaw Capacity
  • 5" Jaw Depth
  • 19 1/4" Overall Height
  • Rear Jaw is a massive 5" X 6" anvil  
And best of all, it is water resistant for all weather protection while it's on your vehicle.   

Wilton ATV Vise for sale on eBay at this link. 

Now the Truth Can Be Told: The NEW Kreg Foreman Pocket Hole Machine Item #DB210

So last week I had the chance to preview the new Kreg Forman Pocket Hole Machine, which is truly a hybrid between their inexpensive bench-top jigs and their previous Foreman machines.  This new tool is sporting a blue plastic base that reminds me quite a bit of the K5 jig.  It features a cast aluminum top and a plastic "chopsaw-style" D-handle with an integrated trigger switch. 

The first thing I thought when I saw it was "The folks at Kreg must have been watching The Wooden Tool Man's" Youtube Channel (See vid below).  The hold down clamp is mechanical and clamps like with a pull of the handle. The clamp is made of black plastic and has an adjustable pad, just like most of their small jigs. The cast aluminum table has a center section that lifts from the front and is held up by a little holder on the left. The motor slips out quickly with the pull of a looped wire ring, and with the motor free of the tool swapping the bits with the keyless chuck is a breeze.

The good news: It has a retail price of $399.99.  The bad news: It won't be available until Aug 1, 2014.  Don't worry, that time will fly by.

Check out the new Kreg Foreman Pocket Hole Machine at  

Here's the reveal video from 6/9/14 from Kreg:

Want to see her work?  Of course you do!

The video below is from a Youtuber named "Wooden Tool Man" and his invention predates the introduction of the new Foreman by many months.

The Double-Secret New Kreg Tool is a BLAST to use!

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to get my hands on the new Kreg pocket hole machine that they are planning on unveiling on 6/9/14, and while I am sworn to secret, what I can tell you is that you're gonna want one.  It's not a simple tool and it's going to set you back the cost of a 6" jointer, but boy, let me tell ya, if cabinetmaking or furniture making is on your bucket list but you don't want to spend all your time doing joinery, it's the tool of your dreams.

My best advise to you would be to click on this link on June 9th and then sort by price, from High to Low, and scroll down until you see what I'm talking (or not talking) about. I'll report back as soon as it goes live to fill-in the blanks.

Here's a teaser vid from Kreg:

How to store your Shopsmith tables and tubes when not in use

Way back in the late 1980's I came up with a design for storing the main table, the floating tables, and the tubes for my Mark V 510 when they were not needed. The design worked so well that several other Academy Instructors started using them in their Shopsmith Academies, and before long customers were building them too. I was truly honored when Shopsmith later added the design to one of the final issues of Hands-On magazine.

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  Scott

Make strong joints in particle board with the Confirmat RTA Connecting Screw

I have to admit that one of my least favorite materials to work with is particle board or melamine board.  In my day job as a corporate trainer for a German hardware manufacturer I interact with melamine board every day and as much as I hate it I have to admit that there are lots of projects where it's the right choice.  The biggest issue with any particle board is that the core of the board is quite porous or as I view it, "pithy".  Imagine driving a wood screw into the edge of particle board and you can easily see the weak link. 

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.

Got some things cooking...

I'm excited to say that I've got some things in the works that I believe you are going to like, but that's all I can say at this moment.  That said, what sort of Shopsmith or woodworking info would you like to see here or on video?  You'll understand why I ask soon enough.  Thanks, Scott

The Shopsmith Clamping Miter Gauge. The Best Miter Gauge EVER!

I finally got around to shooting a video that's been in my head for some time. As you will see, there are some knock-offs of the Shopsmith miter gauge on the market, but at the same time Shopsmith has some new tricks up their sleeves as well. Check-out the video then visit the links below if one of them catches your eye.

Visit Shopsmith at 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: 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:

A Sweet Deal on a Shopsmith-Clone Feather Board

I don't normally like to promote clones of Shopsmith tools, but when it comes to safety products I'm gonna follow Shopsmith's own lead. (Read this post to make sense of that statement) I just received Woodcraft's 2013 Black Friday sales flier and they are featuring one of the better knock-offs of the Shopsmith featherboard that I've seen.  If you've ever felt uncomfortably close to the blade then you know when this tool should fit into your routine.  I'm not sure if this will fit the Shopsmith slot or not, but if you happen to own any other tablesaw that has a 3/4" slot, you owe it to yourself to get to Woodcraft: Miter Slot Featherboard.
Likewise, can get this featherboard on Amazon.

2013 Top Ten Gifts for Woodworkers and DIYers

As the brother of four sisters I learned a long time ago not to title a blog post something sexist like "Top Ten Gifts for Men", but let's be honest; this list is mostly going to appeal to men.  And what's wrong with that?  Let's face it, we can be tough to shop for.  The following gift ideas would be welcomed the woodworker or Do It Yourselfer in your life, and unlike this silly pre-wrapped gifts for men, like the battery operated keyboard vacuum or a shiny new nose hair trimmer, these gifts will still be in use and be remembered for years to come.
    1.) Tool-Filled Advent Calendar
    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
    The last thing most guys are gonna purchase for their shop is a chair or stool.  Have you ever visited the shop and tried to find a place to sit and chat?  It's not because you are unwelcome or that we couldn't make a stool; it's just that we are hard at work on your to-do list that we don't ever seem to get a round to it.  And don't think that we wouldn't want to sit down!  Just take a look at #3 for evidence of the need for more comfort in the shop. 

    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
    Here's another simple gift idea that for some 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
    Bessey is a German clamp manufacturer who makes the best clamps on earth.  If you've ever watched Norm Abrams clamping anything on the New Yankee Workshop you've seen Bessey clamps in use.  I use two different styles of Bessey clamps in my shop, and depending on what I'm building I'll reach for one or the other.

    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
    Ask any woodworker what they would love to build if they had all the time, money and wood that they would need to accomplish it and most would say a Grandfather Clock.  There's just something satisfying about the idea of building something beautiful and functional that will "live" long after we are gone.  Now, ask a woodworker what tool they would love to master and 9 out of 10 of them will say the wood lathe.  Why do so many of us want to learn to turn, and yet so few do?  Because few of us own a lathe.  And there's really not a good reason, because lathes have never been more affordable or as well made as they are today.  Before gifting a lathe it is imperative to do a little spying to find out which size of lathe is appropriate.  Small lathes are great for turning small objects like pens, candle sticks and parts for furniture (like that Grandfather Clock), while large lathes are needed for building parts for furniture like beds, chairs, tables, etc.

    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
    This is a tough one for me to put on a gift list, because I feel strongly that a craftsman owes it to themselves to build their own workbench.  But the reality is few woodworkers will ever have the time or the money to make this dream a reality.  In all candor it's actually more expensive to build a quality bench than it is to buy one, because bench manufacturers have the economy of scale working in their favor.  Just like how you can never have enough clamps; you can never have too large or too heavy a workbench.  My suggestion is to either buy the most expensive bench that fits your budget, or think about buying a gift card for a bench at Woodcraft.  they sell a brand called Sjoberg that are very well made and are worth what they charge.  Just one little reality check: Don't even consider a bench that sells for less than $500 because they will become firewood in fewer years than you can count on one hand.  Buy Sjoberg work benches here.

    7.) Magnetic Shop Light
    Yes, we did install a couple 4' florescent shop lights in our shop a couple years back, but they always seem to cast a shadow right were we need the light the most.  This slick, portable shop light has a magnetic base that will also clip onto tools that feature plastic body parts.  Buy this Magnetic Shop Light at this link.

    #8 DeWalt 13" Thickness Planer
    I've owned this planer for about 5 years and besides my Shopsmith tools this is one of my two favorite power tool in my shop.  In fact, this planer replaced my previous 12" DeWalt planer, which I was able to sell used on eBay for just about what I paid for it 5 years earlier!  Woodcraft often offers this planer with either a free cover, stand or other useful do-hickey, so look around the site to make sure that this link is taking you to the best offer.  Follow this link to the DeWalt DW735X 13" Planer

    9.) Incra Gauge
    This is hands-down my most reached-for tool in my shop.  In fact, for less than $20 I have to say that if you buy nothing else on this list, buy this one!  I'm fairly certain that this is going to be featured in one of my upcoming videos, because it's just such a handy tool.  It's a marking gauge, a center finder, a height gauge for setting the height of your saw blade, dado blade and router bits and more.  Just buy it.  Click here to buy the Incra Gauge from Woodcraft, or click here to purchase the Incragauge from Amazon.

    And last, but not least...

    10.) A Wooden WeWood Watch!
    This gift will THRILL the woodworker in your life, and there is no way that they would ever be able to make a wooden watch like this.  They'll be able to wear a tangible symbol of their passion for wood, and will remember your thoughtfulness every time that look at it.

    WeWood has been making fine timepieces for years and they even feature a 24 month warranty!  Check out the WeWood watches on Amazon.
    WeWood Watches offers a 24 month limited warranty on manufacturer defects. - See more at:
    WeWood Watches offers a 24 month limited warranty on manufacturer defects. - See more at:
    WeWood Watches offers a 24 month limited warranty on manufacturer defects. - See more at:

    Is the Shopsmith Clamping Miter Gauge the perfect Miter Gauge?

    I've always been impressed with the Shopsmith miter gauge, with its comfortable pistol grip and quick-adjusting hold-down clamp.  So much so that it's bewildered me why it hasn't been copied more than it has.  That's not to say that it hasn't been copied, just not faithfully.

    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:  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:

    How to Safely Load a Shopsmith Mark V into a Vehicle

    I recently purchased another Mark V from Craigslist, mainly because I'd been bidding in vain on eBay for a Shopsmith Strip Sander. I finally found this Mark V model 500 that included a Strip Sander, a Bandsaw and a Belt Sander, and I wrote about in in a prior blog post. Anyway, as I loaded it into my van the though occurred to me that other folks might benefit from some tricks that Shopsmith presenters learned during their life on the road. The video below shows how one person and easily and safely load a Shopsmith Mark V into a tall vehicle, like a truck or a van. After filming this I realize that I need to show you how to move one if all you have is a car, so I guess I need to borrow my son-in-law's fugly Scion and film another vid. More to come on this subject. Scott

    Bought another Shopsmith Mark V and lost some hair.

    I noticed a Craigslist ad the other night that listed a Mark V (model 500) along with a bandsaw, belt sander and strip sander.  The ad listed them all for $500, and seeing that I've been bidding unsuccessfully on a dozen or so SS strip sanders recently, it made sense to pick this up and sell off the tools I don't need.

    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!

    Anyway, the seller felt bad enough about his error that I pulled away from his place with a bunch of extra parts and only $340 lighter.  It's six hours later and I've already ordered the replacement parts from and once I give everything the once-over, the redundant parts will be making their way to eBay. 

    The Shopsmith "Shop Deputy" Work Center

    Every now and then Shopsmith comes up with something that just makes sense: Enter the "Shop Deputy" Work Center.

    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

    Who couldn't use more drill bits? Today I needed a bunch.

    I've been spending the week building some closet accessories for my sister.  Our grandmother is moving in with her family, and they are building a new closet for her and wanted a variety of storage options for her.

    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 presenting a challenge, but I believe I've got it licked.

    The other big challenge was the fact that the pine boards were destined to be used as 16" wide boards, and in my move to my current shop I misplaced my cross-cut sliding table.  Not a big deal, and I think like many woodworkers I get as much pleasure building jigs and fixtures as I do building the projects that the jigs produce.

    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:

    Heads-up: a GREAT deal on the DeWalt DW788 Scroll Saw!

    I've said it before that we LOVE our DeWalt DW788 Scrollsaw.  We purchased ours reconditioned and couldn't be happier.

    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.

    You Aint Seen Nothin' Yet!

    If you happened to land on this page via a Google search, you aint seen nothin' yet! Click the title at the top of this page to see this blog in it's entirety.