Under Shopsmith Steel Storage Cabinets

At some point in the mid 2000's Shopsmith introduced a line of steel storage cabinets (or toolboxes) that could be used in several different configurations, but most conveniently they would fit under a Mark V and were able to roll on included casters.  Below is a screen capture from Shopsmith.com in 2008. These cabinets have long since been discontinued and are shown here for historical purposes and to aid folks in buying or selling on the used market.  

Steel Storage Cabinets roll snugly under your MARK V to hold your Shopsmith Accessories

Designed specifically to work with your MARK V and help you gain control over workshop clutter. Choose from three 16" w X 14" d (front-to-back), 20-gauge steel Cabinets that you can use individually, connect together side-by-side (they fit perfectly between the legs of your MARK V) or stack.

Sturdy drawers support up to 60 lbs each and open on ball bearing glides that feature a gentle locking detent to alert you when closed.

The full width drawer handles are flush with the Cabinet front when closed and hold write-on label strips, with see-through covers.

Each Cabinet comes with four 2" diameter rubber-tired, ball bearing swivel casters...two of which lock with a quick step of the toe.

Outside Cabinet Dimensions: 16" w X 14" d X 17-1/4" h (+ 2-5/8" h Casters).
Inside Drawer Dimensions: 12-14" w X 12-1/2" d (Drawer heights vary)

Connect all three together horizontally with drop-in L-Pins (included) or use the caster mounting hardware to bolt them together vertically. Each Cabinet also includes two steel Handles plus all required hardware.

1 + 1 + 1 Drawer Cabinet
Drawer heights*: 3", 4-3/4" & 6-3/8"

Price $169.99 Sale Price $152.99
Status: Item may be on BACK-ORDER, or is made upon ordering.
Please call 1-800-762-7555 if you have any questions.

2 + 2 Drawer Cabinet
Drawer heights*: (2) 3" & (2) 3-7/8"

Price $179.99 Sale Price $161.99
Status: Item is available.

3 + 1 Drawer Cabinet
Drawer heights*: (3) 3" & (1) 4-3/4"

Price $179.99 Sale Price $161.99
Status: Quantity is low.

All Three Cabinets
Price $474.99 Sale Price $427.49

*Heights are to top of Drawer front. Drawers will close if stored items protrude slightly higher than Drawer front.

Contest to win some COOL Parallel Jaw Pliers!

In an amazing coincidence, I've been looking on Amazon for a couple replacement parallel jaw pliers to replace the pliers that I used to use for clock repair but have gone AWOL, but the Youtube channel "Pask Makes" has not only posted a video showing how he made a similar plier, but there's even a chance to win one. The last time I shared a link to a similar giveaway I wound up winning the contest myself! So, jump into this contest and give me a run for my money: https://vy.tc/pOO1D93 

Also, here's a link to the pliers that are in my Amazon shopping cart: https://amzn.to/3lbLloxwhich appears to be the exact same pliers I purchased back in 1982!

So, how does this blog work?

This blog 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 on its 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

Shopsmith Mark V model 510, 520 and Mark 7 Floating Tables

Video link: https://youtu.be/8KE7U2GrsZ4

In the video below I discussed the introduction of floating tables for the Shopsmith Mark V model 510, 520 and Mark 7 and their evolution over the years since their introduction in the 1960's as part of the original Mark VII. The modern version of the floating table was introduced in the mid-1980s with the launch of the Mark V model 510, which along with improved dust collection, better guards, a riving knife that stays tight against the blade, and T-slots in the miter gauges that improved cutting and jigs and fixtures, the floating tables added to the support system when working with large stock.

In my opinion there are some limitations to the 510 floating tables, primarily being inability to put the fence on the floating table. While this is debatable, and Scott even lands on both sides of that debates, there is a greater chance that the table and the fence rail tubes can be out of parallel with the blade, so care needs to be taken to measure the fence from the front and back in relationship to the blade to make sure that the floating table is locked on properly.

I also discuss the changes that were made to the floating table over the years, such as the holes in the face of the main table tubes being replaced by welded threaded studs and the steel tubes being swapped out for aluminum extrusions in the 520 model.
I conclude by saying that the floating table is an interesting idea to be able to have an adjustable table that moves with the main table, but it does have some limitations. He also mentions that he will show more about the evolution of the floating table in an upcoming video.

Shopsmith Crosscut Sliding Table

Video link: https://youtu.be/xYQkjn83guw

In this video we discussed the Shopsmith Crosscut Sliding Table, which in part was inspired by similar jig used by Norm Abram on the New Yankee Workshop, as well as the "Dubby Jig". The Dubby Jig was a popular tool among woodworkers in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and many customers of the popular brand, Shopsmith, were asking for a similar tool, so Shopsmith obliged.

These are designed to aid in cutting larger pieces of stock. The traditional miter gauge has a small face, only about six inches, which can make it difficult to guide larger pieces of lumber or sheet stock through the blade accurately. This jig, however, has a long aluminum fence that can be aligned to not only 90 degrees, but also to various angles. Additionally, the wood is sliding on a table that moves with the wood, which reduces friction between the wood and the table.

To align the table, the miter bar has a little bit of play when the three cap screws that hold it in place are loosened, allowing for adjustment. Once it is close, it can be locked in place by adjusting the fence. A good square or drafting triangle is a great tool for this.

One issue that can arise with this setup is that as the stock is being cut, it may want to sink down on the opposite side of the blade, because it is not supported on that side, causing a potential kickback at worst or at least a little unwelcome tear-out. To solve this problem, I added a piece of stock to the opposite side of the blade for support. Shopsmith's engineers took this idea one step further and added the ability to lock the support into the miter slot, making it a top-selling accessory.

Overall, this table is a great tool for woodworkers looking to make accurate cuts on larger pieces of stock. The long aluminum fence, ability to rotate to various angles, and added support make it a versatile and effective tool.

I have to admit that I was surprised to learn that the Dubby is still available! Find it here: https://amzn.to/3PYAr15 🟢 Here are links to my favorite 9" long T-handle "Shopsmith Toolbox" 5/32" Hex Wrench: https://amzn.to/3sm3NcJ 🟢 If you are interested in the Shopsmith Cross-Cut Sled you can find them used on eBay: https://ebay.us/n9jduq or new from the Mothership: https://www.shopsmith.com/ownersite/catalog/swd_crosscutslidingtable.htm

My most challenging project to date

If you caught last night’s chat on the “Let’s talk shop with Russ” show you heard me talking about the most challenging project I’d ever made, which was a prototype for a triangular pool cue that a fellow in the Dayton area paid me to make so he could submit it to the US Patent Office. I never did see if he was ever granted a patent or not so I went searching this morning and found it! You can see it in full here: https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/4c/78/2a/38e60e8be73826/USD418884.pdf

If you missed the chat you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/f6VAVCI8vbc

most challenging project I’d ever made, which was a prototype for a triangular pool cue that a fellow in the Dayton area paid me to make so he could submit it to the US Patent Office. I never did see if he was ever granted a patent or not so I went searching this morning and found it! You can see it in full here: https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/4c/78/2a/38e60e8be73826/USD418884.pdf

If you missed the chat you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/f6VAVCI8vbc

Something NEW from Shopsmith? The Mark 4!

Over Labor Day weekend, 2021 Shopsmith posted this cryptic meme on their Facebook page and I'm sure folks are anxious to know more.  The answer is the launch of something old and something new: The Shopsmith Mark V Model 520S and the new Mark 4.  What's the difference between these tools and the current Mark 7? Let's start with the Mark V 520S:
The 520S marks the return of the classic mechanical headstock. This headstock has taken the back burner in favor of the electronic variable speed PowerPro, but thanks to the worldwide semiconductor shortage that has been brought on by the pandemic, Shopsmith will bring the mechanical headstock back to the forefront.  This machine will sell for $3795 USD.

The Mark 4 (Shorty)
Featuring the carriage, main table, and fence rails of the Mark V 520, 

The biggest change from the previous Mark V's and Mark 7 is that the Mark 4 will come with shorter bench and way tubes. That means that the machine really won't be usable for turning, so it's not even provided with turning components. The shorter tubes mean that the drill press will likely be lower. 

The machine will function as a table saw, a disc sander, a drill press, and a horizontal boring machine and will be able to operate all the standard SPTs.  The machine will be upgradeable with longer tubes and all the lather accessories should an owner desire to upgrade. All this will set you back $3499 USD, though it can be purchased as a stripped-down model for $2778 and you can add each of the basic features on an al la carte basis.  Learn more here: https://shopsmith.com/mark4/m4-buy-now.htm

Here's a quick rundown video. 

The Shopsmith Woodworking Academy is Gone... But wait!

When I started working as an in-store sales rep in Shopsmith Inc.'s Factory Showroom back in the Spring of 1987 one of the most impressive things Shopsmith had going for itself wasn't just that they had 45 retail stores and growing, or that they published a popular national magazine titled "Hands-On!" or even that they had recently added the new and greatly improved Shopsmith Mark V model 510 to the line-up.  No, the most impressive thing to me at Shopsmith was the fact that every one of the Shopsmith retail stores had a section carved out for hands-on training by at least one full-time shop teacher, known as the Academy Instructor.  It was around this same time that Shopsmith was made aware that they were the largest private employer of full-time shop instructors!  The then president of Shopsmith Inc, John Folkerth, was smart enough to know that selling someone a tool wasn't enough, but that the tool wasn't living up to its full potential until it was being used and enjoyed and that personally guided education was an important piece of the puzzle.

Fast forward a few months I found myself the newest and youngest Shopsmith store manager as what we called the "Boston" store, in Chelmsford, MA. For the first few months of the stores' existence, we sold tools with the promise that as soon as we could find and train someone to be our Academy instructor we would begin conducting classes.  But as the months dragged on and on we discovered that what was reasonable and customary pay for an Academy in most parts of the US was ridiculously low in New England.  We actually started flying in instructors from our stores in Albany, NY and Cincinnati just to stem the flow of folks who were threatening to return their tools because we weren't living up to our promise of training and support.

It really was an exciting time! I started conducting the weekly Thursday night "Sawdust Sessions" and when one visiting instructor wound-up doubled-over sick in his hotel room for the weekend I jumped-in and conducted the "Fundamentals of Woodworking Class" by myself, while my Assistant Manager, Matt Kottman took over the sales floor. Not only did we hire one instructor, Norm Rose, but shortly after we hired a second instructor, Bill Carrol and a third expert named Bill Donahue. We became the only Shopsmith showroom that stayed open seven days a week and if Norm wasn't teaching, Bill C. was teaching, and regardless of who was teaching Matt and Bill D. and I were there offering additional support.  (See photo from Dec 1999)

Shopsmith "Boston" store team, Dec 1989 L to R (standing) Bill Carrol, Matt Kottman, 
Bill Donahue, Me (Scott Markwood) Sitting on rocking horse, Norm Rose. 
The Boston Academy was one of the few Academy's to give the Dayton Ohio based Factory Academy a run for its money. The Academy in Indianapolis, under Tom Newkirk and Tom Flack, The Academy in Cincinnati under Ted Denman and a few others were also super-busy, but we were setting company records for enrollments and tools sales every quarter. 

Norm Rose teaching turning at Shopsmith "Boston" Academy 1989
During this same time, I also become the proud owner of a Shopsmith Mark V during our showroom's October 1987 grand opening, so if I wasn't making sawdust at work I was making it at home.  In 1989 I got word that there were some changed going on at the Factory Academy in Dayton and I was asked if I was interested in seeing if I could duplicate what was happening in Boston back in Dayton.  We moved back "home' to Dayton and got things going there.  Everything was changing back then at Shopsmith. They had grown to 50 stores and were about to launch an ambitious transition from exclusively Shopsmith branded tools to a concept called "Woodworking Unlimited".
Me and Matt working the Shopsmith booth at a Home Show in Woburn, MA Jan. 1988
If you've been in a Woodcraft store in the past 20 years you may have been standing in one of those very Woodworking Unlimited stores.  Yeah, there were a lot of changes going on during the mid-90's, not the least of which was a flood on stand-alone Tiwaneese and Chinese woodworking tools. On top of that, home centers were becoming popular, the internet was taking off and retails woodworking stores like Woodcraft and The Woodworkers Store (Now named Rockler) were also starting their expansion.
As they expanded, Shopsmith shrank.  Probably a bigger threat than competitive tools was the flood of Shopsmith's own past production that was finding its way back into circulation via eBay and later Craigslist. No longer were owners of their tools forced to return to the mother ship for parts and accessories, but rather they could purchase them used online.  Lord knows they are built like tanks and rarely need servicing.  That's right, Shopsmith became a victim of their own quality!
Scott Markwood, 2019
Shopsmith began selling off some of their more profitable stores to Woodcraft, many of which simply changed the sign over the door and continued on as usual. Then they closed their non-profitable stores and eventually even closed down the showroom and academy at the factory.

So that leads us to today. The factory is still chugging along slowly but steadily in Dayton, and there are more and more used tools to choose from on the second-hand market. But where can a new owner go for reliable information on the safe set-up and use of these tools?

Conducting a class in LA 2018
For the past twenty years, I have been a corporate trainer for a German cabinet hardware manufacturer, and while I love training people about hardware and LED lighting I just can't get enough time in my shop with my own Shopsmith tools. During this time I have had the desire to conduct classes on Shopsmith equipment, but I just travel too much on business for that to be practical. So I've searched for a platform to conduct online classes and after Youtube's recent "Adpocalypse" and Patreon's nebulous changes I was thinking that I'd never find a suitable platform, but then my son introduced me to what just might be the perfect platform.
Working in my shop with my sister Lisa (AKA "Lysol")
So that's where I have to leave this for now, but if you'd like to be kept in the loop on the upcoming launch of our online Shopsmith-centered woodworking school "MyGrowthRings", please subscribe to our mailing list below.  More to come! Scott


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Sears Craftsman Excalibur Elite Adjustable Carbide-Tipped Dado Blade

I can't believe this, but I have been waiting over 20 years to get my hands on an Excalibur Elite dado!

This think is really interesting! The Excalibur dado set was originally a two-blade wobble dado, but the "Excalibur Elite" features three blades, each with carbide teeth around the parameter and a couple offset teeth that work like chippers for the "in between" sizes. You use the two outside blades for cuts from 1/4" to 1/2" and you add a third blade to the stack for cuts from 1/2" to 13/16". The weird thing that took my brain some time to get around is that none of the blades are wobbling, and one might assume.

At the bottom of this post you'll find two videos, one of me opening the dado after receiving it from the eBay seller and the second explaining what I learned studying the manual and the US patent.

Also, I've found very little info about this funky dado set, but as I uncover more I'll add it here.

Please consider joining the 102(!) other channel members in supporting the channel and get access to perks: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGsm... Here are links to a few of the products I used or discussed in this video: 🟢 Interested in the Excalibur Elite Dado Blade? You can find them on eBay here: https://ebay.us/k6C64v Be aware that because these are often mislabeled that this link will show both the original two-blade Excalibur dado as well as the three-blade Excalibur Elite. Take a careful look at photos and descriptions before jumping in. 🟢 My favorite 9" long T-handle "Shopsmith Toolbox" 5/32" Hex Wrench: https://amzn.to/3sm3NcJ 🟢 Shopsmith Molder / Dado Arbor on eBay: https://ebay.us/OS4FP3 🟢 Shopsmith Magna Dado for sale on eBay: https://ebay.us/8X2GIZ (Very light activity) 🟢 Shopsmith Dado Insert for sale on eBay: https://ebay.us/Y5EAHb 🟢 Here's my favorite 6" dado stack set: https://amzn.to/3czlhgE 🟢 Here's my normal go-to 8" dado stack set: https://amzn.to/3w9HxVT Join this channel to get access to perks: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGsm... Visit http://www.MyGrowthRings.com Follow on Instagram @MyGrowthRings I also blog at http://www.tool-hunter.com/shopsmith-... and http://shopsmith-tool-hunter.blogspot... A few viewers have requested I provide affiliate links to help them find the products I use and as a way of supporting the channel through commission. If you purchase a product or service with the links I provide, there is no additional charge to you. I always recommend shopping around for a better price. Thank you for supporting My Growth Rings! #SearsDadoBlade #ExcaliburElite #WobbleDado

Here's the history of Vermont American: https://vermontamerican.com/vermont-american-history/

More to come.

Should a Shopsmith user also own a Track Saw like the Festool, Makita, DeWalt, Mafell or even a clone?

I've owned and used a Shopsmith Mark V since 1987 and over the years have developed a a pretty clear picture of what operations make sense to do with the Shopsmith and which are better handled by some other hand tool. What may not be intuitive at first is the fact that when cutting a large piece of  lumber or plywood, no matter how large your table saw is, it's often easer, more accurate and safer to take a portable saw to the wood rather than the wood to the saw.  

Just think about the space you'd need in your shop (or driveway) to rip down the 8' length of a sheet of plywood.  That's 8" ahead of the blade, 8' behind the blade, and whatever space you'll need for yourself and likely a helper. That's somewhere around 20+ feet of clear space! 

Now, think of that same cut being made with the wood in a stationary position with the saw gliding down its length. Get the picture?  It just makes sense to use a hand-held circular saw to rough cut our stock into reasonable sizes, and then we can move to the Shopsmith for joinery, if needed. 

So have you tried to make accurate cuts with a Skill saw? Yeah, me too. Based on that experience I have been drawn to the European approach of a plunging circular saw that follows an extruded aluminum rail, that itself has a non-skid backing and can also be conveniently clamped in place with clamps that integrate below the track.  These plunge saws were originally brought to market in Germany in the 1980's by the company now known as Festool (formerly Festo), but now that the patents have expired and are now in the public domain similar tools have flooded the market. 

Whether they are called a "plunge saw" or a "track saw", the advantage of these saws over what our dads used is that not only are they guided laser-straight along the rail, but the edge of the rail features a sacrificial strip that supports the edge of the cut, right where the blade is exiting the cut and where otherwise we'd be looking at tear-out. 

I've been playing with a Festool plunge saw at work for several years and finally have decided that in the coming weeks I'll be taking the plunge (#SeeWhatIDidThere?) and will add one to my shop. Which one? You may be surprised, but I've decided that I'm going to buy a WEN saw! WEN you ask? Yep. After much research I believe that for the amount of use most DIYer's are going to get from a track saw it's wise to stay below the $200 investment threshold, including the track.  I'm debating between these two models and may actually buy them both just to get a true comparison.  What do you think? 

WEN CT1065, which uses a 6.5" diameter blade https://amzn.to/3tWGTZN

WEN CT1272, which uses the popular 7 1/4" diameter blade https://amzn.to/3eRFDCK

Keep watching the "My Growth Rings" Youtube channel for more. 

A few of my favorite things "My Growth Rings" 5000 Subscribers Giveaway

5000 subs! Now that's something to celebrate! In this video, we'll first cover the questions from the last video, which was on using Google to perform searches of US Patents, which as the patents for Shopsmith tools, and then we'll conduct a drawing for a few of my favorite shop tools and products that make my time in the shop easier and more enjoyable. Don't forget, if you are selected as a winner, email me with your name and shipping address to ScottMarkwood(at)Gmail.com Thank you ALL for your support! If you would like to learn more about what the 92 other channel members already know about supporting the channel as a channel member, please check out this no-obligation info: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGsm... Here are links to a few of the products I used in the previous video: 🟢 This is the 2" caster upgrade I use: https://amzn.to/3uNmCa8 🟢 These are the pair of LED lamps that I use: https://amzn.to/33MFRVo 🟢 Here's the 9" long, double-ended 5/32" Hex Wrench "Shospmith Toolbox" that I prefer: https://amzn.to/3y7iuEd 🟢 This is the double-sided "SpecTape" that I use: https://amzn.to/3hEMyBl 🟢 Here's my center finder: https://amzn.to/3ofHRiz I wish every small tool was this color! 🟢 This is the remote control switch I now use on my shop vacuum: https://amzn.to/3w1yTb6 🟢 The sliding T-Bevel I showed is very similar to the one I inherited from my father-in-law, and it is handy because it locks from the bottom, which I find is less likely to move when tightening: https://amzn.to/3n2kE2O 🟢 This is the mechanical drafting pencil I'm moving back to: https://amzn.to/33J1WEj 🟢 Here's my 6" Engineer's Square: https://amzn.to/33HoFAz 🟢 This is the 6" Freud Dado Set that I endorse: https://amzn.to/3tKPkal HOWEVER.... 🟢 If you are interested in a great 8" dado set, here's the one I use: https://amzn.to/2RVHGwM 🟢 Finally, this 8" Freud set is a fine compromise. Not as many chippers and fewer teeth on the outer blades, but it's a very good set for occasional use: https://amzn.to/3hv9Jh8

Short notice of a 50% Shopsmith mug sale

 I know this is short notice, but I just learned that today only the web site Zazzle has coffee mugs 50% off, including a couple Shopsmith-related designs of mine that I posted some time back. Click here and search "Shopsmith" to see them all: https://www.zazzle.com/z/amyp4c4w?rf=238282066269549590 also the discount code is "ZAZDAY1DEALS" so be sure to enter it in the discount box at check-out. At 50% they are only about 17% too expensive!

Shopsmith Aluminum Bandsaw Table Upgrade GAME!

 Lets' play a little game, shall we? what differences can you name between the original Shopsmith aluminum bandsaw table upgrade (Circa 1989-ish) and the current version? How about the accessories you can see and the bandsaw itself? Lots of changes to spot, so have fun and comment below. 

A 1950's Shopsmith Mark V PowerPro Headstock

I recently stumbled across a pic from several years back of my sister "Lysol" in my shop working on one of my Shopsmith Mark V 510's that had the beta test 1950's "Greenie" headstock. As part of the beta test, I was asked to add the PowerPro upgrade to the old headstock, and while that process alone was interesting, once the retrofit was done I was instructed to "use it like I stole it" so that any issues would be uncovered prior to the product's public release.  

The most interesting part of the retrofit was the fact that headstock casting of the very early Mark V's was sand-cast, so the walls were super-thick and varied somewhat in thickness from one spot to another. 

I really have to hand it to the engineers at Shopsmith, who not only brought the Mark V into the 21st Century but also made sure that even the earliest Mark V's could come along in the evolution. 

The EZtension bandsaw blade tension gauge and the Shopsmith Bandsaw

In this video, I talk about the new EZtension bandsaw tension gauge and its use on a Shopsmith Bandsaw. I highly recommend this gauge if you own a non-Shopsmith bandsaw, but if you own a Shopsmith bandsaw you owe it to yourself to watch this video first.

Here's the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-03FHNNAExg The EZtension bandsaw tension gauge is available here: https://eztension.com (Not an affiliate link, but tell him I sent ya!)

The Shopsmith Mark V "STRETCHER!"

The Shopsmith Mark V Model 500 front table extension is one of those little add-on gadgets that brings so much more to the party than first meets the eye. In this video, we are in our buddy Isaac’s shop getting his new to him Shopsmith Mark v Model 500 ready for action after years in storage. I’ll link to Isaac’s channel as soon as it launches.

Here’s the vid: https://youtu.be/BoayKDtML40

OEM Shopsmith Accessories made in Taiwan while Clone parts are made in the USA!

An OEM part or accessory is a component manufactured by the "Original Equipment Company" who offered it in the first place.  Every so often someone posts a photo on the Shopsmith forum or on one of the multiple Shopsmith Facebook groups after they were surprised to receive a set of casters, (or a saw arbor, a lathe drive center, etc.) that it was clearly printed on the package that it was "Made In Taiwan"!  This is by no means a new thing.

Shopsmith Headstock Rebuilt Kit
I remember back in the 1980s when I first started working in the Shopsmith Factory Showroom in Dayton, Ohio that many of these components were being produced in Taiwan and were repackaged in packages that disguised the country of origin. I can recall a perforated anti-fatigue matt, that was in use in one section of the factory, that was filled with little gold oval stickers that said: "Made in Taiwan". The workers in that area were instructed to remove these stickers as they repacked the parts into tubes and display packages. Someone eventually called them on it and they began printing the country of origin in small print on the package, but they still don't disclose this information in their catalog or on their website, which is why I think customers continue to react with surprise when receiving their orders. 

So that brings me to the title of this post. Way back in 2010 (I'm typing this in 2020) I received an email from a gentleman asking if I'd be interested in testing an aftermarket Idler Bearing that he was producing and selling on eBay. At the time Shopsmith had announced that they were changing the Idler Shaft because the water pump bearing assembly was no longer available and that they needed to change the bearing to a higher speed version for use in the PowerPro headstock. I wrote about the Idler Shaft change here. Anyway, he sent me two to test and they worked perfectly. At the time he was exploring alternatives to selling on eBay because eBay and Paypal (the owned by eBay) we taking so much from each sale, but all these years later he is still active on eBay and on Amazon. See links below.

His company produces the "BLUE MAX" silicone replacement bandsaw tire, but more importantly, his company is producing with CNC equipment in the USA "clone" accessories for use on Shopsmith tools. I'm talking such things as lathe drive centers, live centers, 5/8" table saw arbors for the Mark V 500, 510, 520 and Mark 7. And of course, they have silicone replacement bandsaw tires. They even sell drive belts, Poly-V belts and Gilmer belts for the old pre-1962 Mark V's. On top of that, they have an adapter that will allow you to mount a Delta, Powermatic or Craftsman faceplate, or any jaw or 4 jaw lathe chuck you might want to mount.  They also offer a "Shopsmith Rebuilt Kit" that includes belts, bearings and even that idler shaft I was just talking about

I certainly do not want to take away profitable sales from Shopsmith, but the fact that these are high-quality American-made parts makes them worth a look.  BTW, they do offer a keyless chuck that is made in China but was modified for use on the Shopsmith in the USA. If you have any questions about the country of origin, send them a note prior to placing your order. 

Click this link to see American Made Shopsmith Accessories for sale on eBay and buy American!  
Here are his items listed on Amazon: American-Made Shopsmith Accessories for sale on Amazon.
I suggest checking the price on the same items on eBay and Amazon before purchasing to get the best value. 

Live Center, Cup Center, Dead Center. What's the difference when spindle turning on a lathe?

Just posted a comment on a Reddit thread about a cup center that was burning and squealing and it occurred to me that we haven't talked about these on this blog yet, so the time is now.

I concur that a live center is preferred, but a cup center is still useful. The keys to using a cup center are: 
  1. Shopsmith lathe centers
    L to R Shopsmith Live, Cup and Drive Centers
    Use a non-metal mallet to drive the cup center into the end of your stock. Make sure that the outer ring of the cup is at least slightly impressed into the end of your wood stock. If you fear that the center is going to split your wood you can use a drill to create a shallow hole prior to driving the center into your wood. Drive the drive center into the opposite end and if you like, hammer both centers into both ends. I do this so I can flip the spindle end for end during sanding.
  2. Add a little dab of paste wax to the cup. This step is often skipped, but a little furniture paste wax is a big help. Use Johnson's or Minwax or Brewax. The brand doesn't matter, just don't use car wax. 
  3. Insert the cup center into the tailstock and the drive center onto the drive spindle and insert your wood between the centers. Put just enough pressure onto the wood with the quill that the wood is trapped, but not clamped between the centers. There should be no end shake or play, but the tailstock shouldn't be under stress. 
  4. Turn, turn, turn, turn but keep an eye and ear on the cup center. It will beige to loosen due to friction, so every so often turns off the lathe and double-check the tension between centers and if needed adjust the quill out to increase the tension.
That's it. Even with these instructions, I suggest that you get a live center as soon as you can justify one. Also, check out the video Doug Read just posted on Youtube on spindle turning. He is using a cup center because that's what comes standard with the Shopsmith Mark V and because he is turning something that he can complete in just a few minutes. 
Here's an eBay seller who is producing on a CNC lathe here in the USA, drive centers, live centers, saw arbors and more for Shopsmith users. Click this link: Shopsmith Accessories For Sale on eBay

Shopsmith SPT (Single Purpose or Special Purpose Tool) Stand and Accessory Stand

Ever since Magna started producing the original 10ER jigsaw and jointer, owners of them have struggled for a good solution to store them when they aren't mounted on the Shopsmith. Other owners have had their shop space grow and desired to mount their excellent Shopsmith Special Purpose tools on their own stands. Enter the SPT stand and the Accessory Stand. Offered on and off since the 1950s, these stands have been sold without motors for use as simple storage stands or with motors and switches.  One interesting iteration featured a centrally-mounted motor with a through-shaft that would drive two tools simultaneously. This stand was even sold for a time as a bade for a Magna tilting arbor table saw and jointer combo.  

These stands show up on eBay from time to time and are listed under a variety of names, so you might need to do some clever searching to track them down. 

Here's a good starting point: Shopsmith SPT Stands for Sale on eBay

Click pics to "Biggie-Size"

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