Porta Shop. An interesting mini Shopsmith-like tools

The following is a quote from a current eBay auction:

Now here's something you don't see every day. It's a Porta Shop by Universal Electric Co. Think of it as a miniature type of Shopsmith. Here's a description of the Porta Shop from the Old Wood-Working Machines web site:

"During a five-year period in the 1960s, this company made an amazingly compact little combination unit: drill press, saber saw, scroll saw, shaper, disk sander, tablesaw, and table sander; all contained within a fiberglass case 10"x20"x12" (estimated from a photograph.)
[it is actually 10" x 14" x 21" on measurement] About 5000 were sold, for about $1200 each."

I received an email from a man who worked for the company and he indicated that the dates of production were roughly 1961-1968. And that the $1200 price included a lifetime guild membershp. The unit by itself was around $395. (considering the value of a dollar back then, this makes sense)

This one is in overall excellent condition. I
t appears to have all of its parts except for some drill bits, and a cleaning brush. There is some damage to the fiberglass case, where one of the latches has been torn out. (see last photo). But being fiberglass, this can be repaired and a new latch installed. (The latches are necessary in order to carry the case with the handle.) Nothing else in the set appears to be damaged in any way. There is a bit of caked-on sawdust and a few spots of oxidation here and there, but with a few hours of cleaning and polishing, I believe it could be made to look nearly new.

Most of the metal parts are either of cast aluminum alloy, or of stainless steel, so rust is not a problem. The motor runs smooth and strong, and while I haven't actually used the machine, all functions appear to be working correctly.

It comes with a folder that illustrates the drill-press functions, and shows how the items fit in the case. (hard to do without a map). And there is a goofy cardboard circular slide-rule that displays how the basic unit is converted into the various modes.

I don't have instructions for the Porta Shop, but I think most functions can be figured out fairly easily.
This is a compact, but heavy unit --nearly 40 lbs. We charge actual shipping cost plus insurance. We don't add packing or handling charges. Federal Express Ground is often the most economical way to ship heavier packages. But the shipping calculator will not allow FedEx calculations. So I have set it up to calculate UPS ground. I can ship another way if you prefer.

I hope to have more info on this tool shortly, but I owned one of these some time back and even sold it on eBay. Here's a link to Porta Shop tools for sale on eBay

Visit the Porta Shop Yahoo Group here.


  1. Looks like your are missing the adjustable potentiometer power box for controlling voltage (speed range of motor) to the motor.

  2. Good catch anonymous, but I believe the green "adjustable potentiometer power box" was "optional" along with the lathe attachment and lathe chisel set. I just found the later two in a separate storage box recently (missing from my memory for the last eight years when I searched to find them to lathe a few skateboard wheels last year). I am very pleased to have found these accessories.

  3. I'm selling a porta shop table saw 1963 520 312 1139 ask for David if some one is interested

    1. I have one, but I can't figure out how to remove the circular saw adaptor.

  4. I have a porta shop for sale i am the original owner with original receipt 909-215-6273

  5. GravityRoller,
    do you happen to have a photo of the lathe attachment set up? the manual I have does not cover it, and I'm having a hard time visualizing... but believe I have all the pieces....

    alas, no potentiometer... but I do have an old adjustable voltage controller unit to use...

  6. I just bought one that is unused. It is complete less literature. Anyone have a pdf?

  7. I have a complete portashop for sale. I am the original owner. Gerronsh@gmail.com

  8. I have a complete portashop for sale. I am the original owner. Gerronsh@gmail.com

  9. Correct email: no caps. gerronsh@gmail.com
    Would also like to hear from a club member

  10. Correct email: no caps. gerronsh@gmail.com
    Would also like to hear from a club member


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