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
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 it.
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
Lee Valley described it as:
Click this link to find your own copy of the Woodworker's Logbook for Sale on eBay.
Try as I might I was never able to get good results mortising with my Mark V. It takes a LOT of force to drive a four-sided chisel into a block of hardwood, and not only does the quill handle suffer from a size problem, but just as you make some progress the table wants to move on ya. This is not a good prize, especially because Murphy's Law dictates that you won't notice that your mortises are not as deep as you planned until some time after removing all of the mortising gear from your Mark V.
My mortiser is a PowerMatic 719, which wouldn't ya know I purchased just months before the 719T with tilting table was released. (Grumble). Before forking out the big bucks for my mortiser I researched all the tabletop units, and I just wasn't going to be able to cut the mortise depths that many of the projects I had planned would require. At the time the market was dominated by Delta, Jet and a couple questionable no-name imports.
As I mentioned in a prior post, I was at my local Woodcraft the other day and at a Rockler a couple weeks back and was amazed at the improvements that have been made in benchtop units. The one that caught my eye was the WoodRiver at Woodcraft, which as a huge base with extensions that expand to 35" in width to support for your stock. This unit has a firm fence and rollers that act as hold-ins to keep your stock firmly against the fence. The fence is made of cast iron and is adjusted with a rack and pinion that reminds me of a mini version of the fence on my Delta jointer.
One of the biggest hassles that benchtop mortisers tend to introduce is caused by very limited access to the drill chuck. The WoodRiver has two HUGE clear plastic doors that swing open for practically unhindered access. Another neat thing about this design is that because the doors are clear they allow plenty of light to make bit changes as easy as I've ever seen.
Another advantage of this unit wasn't obvious from a study of the manual: It's ambidextrous. The two access doors swing open on both the right and the left. Likewise, as you can see from the bottom photo, the lever handle can be mounted left or right. With the switchbox on the left I thought there might be a problem using it on the left, but nope, she worked just fine.
The thing that really surprised me was that it comes with a full set of four chisels and bits and the mortiser has a full 5" depth of cut! Seeing this made me curious, so I measured my PowerMatic and learned that while it has a 6" stroke, all of my chisels are 5" long!
So, if you are in the market for a great looking, reasonably priced mortiser, check the WoodRiver out at your local Woodcraft.
BTW, until Aug 27th this mortising machine is on sale for $234.99 at this link: WoodRiver Mortiser with Chisels and Bits
That was a very odd request, seeing that we didn't deliver, set-up, or align tools for anyone! It turned-out that this was heading to the home of WGBH's Russell Moreash to be used on the set of a new show called The New Yankee Workshop.
I've written about what happened next elsewhere on this blog, but what I've never written about was the one tool in Norm's shop that left me completely amazed. Norm had a stack of the then-new Bessey K-Body parallel bar clamps! These things were AMAZING! I asked if it was OK to play with them a bit, and Russ said "Sure, Mark". My name is Scott BTW, but this time it didn't bother me because there were new tools to be discovered.
There were a couple lose but jointed boards laying on the bench near the clamps and for the next few minutes I stumbled and fumbled with the clamps until I realized that they wood was able to rest on the bars and would be clamped with even, square pressure no matter where they were against the tall jaws. Cool! Under pressure the thick steel I-Beam bars showed very little sign of bowing, and to my pleasure I learned from Russ that they could be used to clamp wood on any side of the jaws. That means they can be laid flat on a board with the jaws running along the edge of the board and clamp with the full 6" or so of their jaw's face. Double Cool!
Over the yeas since this encounter with the Bessey K-Body I've amassed an impressive collection of a couple of these clamps. I mean, come-on, have you priced them? And the new version doesn't impress me at all. The removable/replaceable jaw covers are always slipping! No, for me I'll take the original style parallel bar clamp.
Fortunately several other companies have introduced their own versions of the originalK-Body design, and some of them are very nice. I've used the Jorgensen and liked them very much. The Jet is also very nice, and except for the fact that they aren't sold at many places they may be worth taking a look at. The Irwin was being used at our local SkillsUS contest where I was a judge, and they had a bit of a bending problem that showed itself by allowing the jaws do deflect way out of parallel.
I just noticed that WoodCraft is having a sale on their parallel clamps that's a really good deal. The regular price for this set is $169, but they have them on sale for $99.99! When I saw the flier I though to myself "Yeah, I'll be the set has four 20" clamps, or some such rarely-used size", but boy was I wrong. The kit has four clamps, Two (2) of the 24" and two (2) of the 40"s. This is exactly the sizes I use when assembling kitchen cabinets! The other thing that the set includes is a set of corner blocks that I'd bet a bunch of folks will never use. Big mistake! These four blocks allow you to create a four-sided clamping jig for assembling boxes and cabinets. I use my Bessey corner blocks almost every time I reach for the clamps, andI hate to think what I paid for my set. OK, I'll think about it; I paid at least $25 for my set!
This Four-piece Clamp Set is only $99 throughout Aug 27th, as are some of the individual WoodRiver parallel bar clamps, so this looks like a great time to stock-up for our soon to come Fall projects.
Click this link to be magically transported to the Woodcraft web page for the Woodcraft WoodRiver 4-Piece Parallel Bar Clamp Set
Until the end of August they have sets of 170 titanium nitride coated brad point drill bits for $29!, which is $10 less than the last time I found it on sale!
The set has 5 - 10 bits of each size: 1⁄16", 5⁄64", 3⁄32", 7⁄64", 1⁄8", 9⁄64", 5⁄32", 11⁄64", 3⁄16", 13⁄64", 7⁄32", 15⁄64", 1⁄4", 17⁄64", 9⁄32", 5⁄16", 21⁄64", 11⁄32" & 3⁄8"
The set is in a nice box, and it also includes a drill size gauge.
I'm not usually a sucker for TiN coated bits, because I've seen too many sets at Harbor Freight where the manufacturer obviously coats the bits that have the worse edges in order to hide their sins. What a scam! They take their defective bits and put 50 cents of electroplating on them and charge a premium! Anyway, TiN coatings help to reduce heat on the cutting edge for increased bit life, and this Woodcraft set looks very nice.
Take a look at this set at Woodcraft.com
Pleas note, this sale ends Aug 27th 2011
Revised: Ha ha! Just as I thought. They had a guy call them and invite them to his home where he wanted to show them his old Shopsmith. Rick and the "Old Man" went and it turned out to be an 10ER. As you would imagine, the conversation went something like this:
Rick: What a pile of junk!
Old Man: No it's not, that a piece of Americana!
Rick: How much do you want for it?
After some haggling they paid the guy $50
The 10ER sells for $250 every day on eBay, so as long as they don't put too high a ticket price on it in their store, they'll do just fine on it.
Whenever I can I love to stop by Rockler. Understand that isn't as easy as it once was because they closed the High Point NC (home) Rockler a couple years back, so I have to drop-by their stores wherever I happen to stumble upon them. I'm in Torrance (LA) CA this week and my hotel is less than 1/4 mile for Rockler, so I had to visit today. As usual they have a sale going on and there were two things that I had to tell you about.
The fist one is a simple little do-dad that is simply a rare-earth magnet in a little plastic housing that slips smugly not the end of a tape measure to help you measure over long distances. What's funny is that I've got a rare-earth magnet on the tip of one of my tapes back at home for just this very thing, but because it isn't attached it's always getting attracted t metal stuff and slipping off when I lease expect it. This little thing is called a "Magnatip", and it normally sells for $3.50, but during the sale they are three for $3.49. I left with four of them.
The other thing that I couldn't walk out without was a Rockler exclusive item called Pock-it Hole Clamp. This neat little tool is designed to hold a butt joint together while you drive a picket hole screw into place. This simple little task has caused me countless hours of frustration with parts slipping around, so I was thinking abut picking-up one of these $20 gadgets. In the Rockler catalog they are $19.99, or four for $17.99 each. I had one in my hand and was reading the back if the package when I noticed the sale sign that said they were only $12.99 each!
Check out this new pocket hole joinery clamp in this video from Rockler and get a couple today while they are on this excellent sale.
With as much time as I spend on my computer, smart phone and iPad you'd think I could be better about posting on my blogs and Twitter. One problem is that there are large spans of time between useful thoughts! Seriously, I've been looking for a way to get better at this so I recently purchased this iPad (I'm typing on the silly screen at this very moment) and at my son's suggestion I purchased the app "Blogsy". What's Blogsy? Good question. So far it looks a lot like a Word document or even typing a Blogger post, but the real magic seems to be when you add photos and multimedia to a post. I'll have to do a lot of playing with it, but it promises to make this process a little easer. I'll let you know how that works out.
I've just used the drop and drag feature to add the Youtube video to this post. That was very easy!
Sure, I've purchased my share of duds, but that can also be said of all the brands listed above too. The key is to first know your tool options well and study their construction and use them HARD the weekend you purchase them. If they're going to have a problem it'll be when you need them most, so put them to the test as soon as you get them and return them if something goes wrong.
I'm also a big proponent of buying their tools whenever they are on sale and you can always find a couple of their coupons in my money clip. (click the photo at right of today's actual haul)
The trick is knowing where to get the coupons. Of course you can keep an eye out on the mailers that come directly from HF, but the real trick is to find the coupons and the codes that they use to entice new shoppers. There are the truly sweet deals!
I have three favorite places to get these every month: Popular Mechanics, AAA magazine, National Geographic (Seriously!) and at this link: Harbor Freight Super Coupons: Save 30% to 60% Off!
I'm NEVER without a "20% off a single item" coupon, and usually I have another "Free Gift" coupon worth an LED flashlight, a set of screwdrivers or something generally useful.
Check the link above from time to time because those deals change often. You can either print them and take them to your local store, or click on them and purchase them from the HF site. With the price of gas these days being around $3.50 a gallon I've been finding their shipping charges to be less than a trip to my local store!
As I approached the drive of the home I could see the Mark V out in the lawn near the road, along with an old washer, a table full of glassware and a couple other lawn and garden odds and ends. Sweet, it's a 510!
I jumped from my van and casually walked past the other items, feigning interest in a few, but all the while trying to assess the details of the Mark V. Finally I was standing in front of the tool and my heart sank.
Now, to put this tool into perspective I need to tell you about the Mark V that I saw that was in the worst condition ever. It was when I was working at the Shopsmith Factory store back in 1990ish and some poor fella had an almost new Mark V that went down in brackish water on a boat he had been restoring. It had been under water for ten days when they finally raised the boat, and his insurance man advised him not to touch anything until everything had been inspected. Several weeks later he was finally able to start the clean-up process, and by that time rust had begun to seriously eat away at the way and bench tubes and the quill, and who knew what was going on inside the headstock.
He decided that a trip to the factory in Dayton was in order, so he strapped the Mark V to a borrowed flat bed trailer and started to pull away. Now, I don't know what clued him in, but after a few seconds on the road something made him stop to investigate and what he found was that the Mark V had fallen over and was hanging off the bed of the trailer and riding on one corner of the headstock casting!
By the time we received this dog at the factory it was totally beyond repair. I'm sure his insurance company gave him something for it, but there was really nothing we could do. After an act of God, followed by poor moving skills, his Mark V was dead.
Back to this weekend.
The Mark V before me was missing a few items. No, it was missing a lot of items! The fence, the miter gauge, the upper and lower saw guard, the floating tables and support tubes, the support legs, the sanding disc, any saw arbors, and any safety equipment were all gone. It did have the drill chuck mounted on the quill, but the hex hey and the chuck key were missing, so whoopty freakin' do! But here comes the worst part: The tool was covered in rust, corrosion and for some unknown reason about a quart worth of white paint drippings. It looked like someone had left this poor machine on an open porch and had used it as a work bench for painting bird houses!
Now, I don't know about you, but when I purchased my Mark V back in 1987 it was my most valued possession. To this day I cherish that very tool. The few times that I've entered my shop to see a little rust on the surface of my jointer, I dropped everything I was doing and nursed her back to health.
It is behind this backdrop that I ask, "How can someone allow this to happen?" I mean, I suppose the original owner may have died, and the new owner didn't value it. Or perhaps it was purchased in an auction for a song. I don't know, but I left that Mark V where I found it, and in a weird way I actually felt a loss not unlike the loss of a family member. I debated negotiating with the owner just so I could part it out and perhaps get some benefit from her death; but I just couldn't bring myself to talk to him.
Sorry but this isn't a happy post. I think I need to go wax my Mark V and assure her that this will never be her fate.
As I rounded the corner I noticed something that stopped me in my tracks. It was a shopping cart parked next to the Mark V that contained a Shopsmith bandsaw. The table was cast iron, so it was probably purchased with the Mark V in the mid to late 1980's. Just behind the bandsaw in the shopping cart and standing uptight was a Shopsmith 4" Jointer. Now I had to know what all was included in this sale, and if these items were priced separately. I looked around the outside of the cart and found another $275 sign. Is that just a coincidence, or are they trying to say that it's included with the Mark V?
The cart also contained push blocks and what looked like most of the Mark V's accessories, and as I looked-up to take a better look at the Mark V I finally notices the SECOND SHOPPING CART! This cart also had a $275 sign. I looked over at the check-out counter and saw that despite a line of a half-dozen customers ahead of me, the cashier was just wrapping-up with a customer, so I made eye contact with her and while pointing at the tools asked "Is that $275 for each, or for all? She replied "It's for all", and I said "I'LL TAKE IT!
I still had to check on the cabinet that I was there for, and after anxiously loading one onto a flat-bed cart I made my way back to check-out and paid for my new Mark V!
There were a couple HFH workers on the loading dock, and their supervisor had them each grab a load and bring to to the back of my van so I could load it. They were amazed that I was able to load the Mark V by myself, and I explained the little trick that I learned while working for Shopsmith about moving the headstock to the low end while lifting one end of the MKV, and then sliding the headstock up the waytubes and then lifting the other end.
The guys then brought the shopping carts out and a large Rubbermaid tub. I hadn't noticed it before, but without questioning it I popped the lid to make sure that it was Shopsmith related. Inside was a stack of new, boxed bandsaw blades, the Mark V's owners manual and several other things. Yep, they belong together, so I tossed it into the front seat and returned to load the rest of the stuff.
The first cart contained the bandsaw and jointer and to my surprise an early Shopsmith lathe duplicator!
The second cart contained a few surprises too. It had a SS jigsaw and better yet a SS 6" belt sander! The pic shows my van with everything including the cabinet jammed into my van. (Click the pic to Biggie Size It.)
Everything needs some TLC, and I'm thinking about shooting some video as I clean her up and do a few repairs and upgrades.
Finally, let me encourage you to drop by your local Habitat for Humanity Restore or Goodwill or Salvation Army store and leave some of your money. I used to think that these stores were for folks who were down on their luck; but after working on a few HFH bulids and with a couple Christmas toy builds with St Vincent DePaul, I learned that these stores employ some sweet and hard-working folks who may otherwise be considered unemployable, and the cash that they make from the sales help them do the good works that they do.
Lots more to come. Scott
Woodcraft currently is offering the DeWalt 735X at $30 off their normal price, but in addition to that they are throwing in a spare set of knives, the normally optional infeed and outfeed tables (I'm jealous) and best of all a FREE DeWalt trim router!
Check-out the link below for more details.
Click here for the Killer DeWalt 13" Planer Package
SodaStream is a counter-top "pop" maker (I'm from Ohio), and based on my super-human pop consumption it made sense to me that an in-home soda maker was my "density" :-) . The winner of the contest would win one of their top of the line units, while a couple runners up would win one of the mid-priced units. I figured that even if I was a runner up I would walk away with over $100 in prizes, so why no?
It took a few evenings to write my Instructable and I entered the contest. Here's the OREO Cake-Pie Instructable. Long story short I am now the proud owner of a SodaStream Home Soda Maker!
The unit is self-contained and best of all it's not electric; so it's just about the only think on the kitchen counter that's not hogging an outlet! At its core is a proprietary CO2 canister, which had me a little concerned because the last thing I need is to be locked into an expensive consumable. Fortunately I found these for sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond and was also pleased to learn that the $30 price sticker (!) included a $15 deposit, so that, added to the cost of flavors would make the resulting 1 liter less than .50 cents.
My wife's favorite thing is that for the first time in who knows how many years, the kitchen, fridge and cars aren't overflowing with 2 liter bottles! As for me I like that we aren't hauling all those full bottles in and empty bottles out, and best of all the pop is always fresh!
Here are a few shots of the unit in action.
The top pic shows most of what was included in the kit. The larger bottles were purchased locally and from what I can see from the SodaStream website the unit shown normally comes with one each of the sample packs shown. The unit also came with two heavy 1 liter bottles, which have a nice wide mouth that makes adding the flavors a breeze.
The prize I won included two sets of the sample flavors, so we've been having fun trying them all out. I've enjoyed the diet drinks, including a cola, a Dr. Pepper taste-alike, a wonderful lemon-lime flavor that is probably closer to Sprite than 7UP.
My bride raved about the diet root beer, which like the caffeine-free cola is sodium free. We haven't tapped into the fruit flavoring yet, but one surprising thing we read on the package was that it doesn't require a large amount to flavor water. That'll be nice for when I'm not in a cola mood.
To use the SodaStream you first fill the bottle to the fill line with cold tap water. I originally thought that I would have to break-out the Brita filter, but I'm happy that I tried it straight from the tap first, because it's just fine.
Anyway, you fill the bottle then screw it onto the female threads on the unit. You'll notice in the top photo that there's a short white tube that dangles a short distance into the water. This is where the CO2 is propelled into the water.
It takes a few short bursts of gas to fully charge the water, and you know when it's done when the unit makes a funny buzzing sound as you press the button. The sticker on the unit says that three buzzes will give you the typical fizz, but for the caffeine-free cola I just need a little more fizz, so I've been giving it a few more shots.
One neat feature that I didn't notice at first (no, I didn't read the instructions) was that the threads that hold the bottle in place will allow the bottom the the bottle to swing forward while it's attached to the unit. "Cool" I thought, "That'll make it easier to remove". But the first time I used it I was surprised by the "WOOSH" of gas that was released when I swung it forward. Why didn't I know that before? All the previous batches I made released a rush of CO2 as I twisted them off the unit, and in some cases it gave me an unexpected spritz of mist. Now that I know how to use it I'm able to remove the bottles and stay dry too!
The bottom pic shows the unit in action.
Here's a link to the SodaStream site.
Here's a link to SodaStream items on eBay.
Here's the Cake-Pie video