It only took me 24 years, but I finally own the original Shopsmith 10ER
It was way back in 1987 when I first went to work for Shopsmith Inc, and one of the coolest things that they had in a little room just off of the Factory Showroom was a small museum of sorts with one of each of the major tools that bore the Shopsmith nameplate. I've written several posts about the 10ER, which was the first tool sold as a "Shopsmith" way back in 1947, but I haven't said much about it in the first person because I've never owned one or even had a chance to work on one.
For years I've been trying to find one to buy, but they are usually either priced far too high for my wallet or for their condition, or they are too far away to be viable once I calculate shipping to NC. I've searched eBay every week for years, and now I even check several local Craig's List areas in search of one. I have purchased three Sawsmith Radial Arm Saws and a Total Shop (Mark V clone), but no 10ER... until today.
A couple weeks ago I noticed a local Craig's List listing for the Shopsmith 10ER shown above, and they were only asking $150. Not bad, but better yet the listing said that the price was negotiable. I tossed the seller a note to make sure that it was still available and to confirm a few things, but then I got busy and forgot to follow-up. And the last night I saw the exact same listing, but tis time with a $100 price, and with the same offer of negotiation. I tossed the owner another message asking if it was still available and encouraged him to stop lowering the price until I was there with my wallet! I got a message back that confirmed that the tool was not only available, but that the owner had a sense of humor to boot.
I asked if I could drop by tonight and he replied that tonight was bad because it was his wife's birthday. I suggested the we shoot for tomorrow when a message came back saying that tonight at 6:00 would work just fine. I replied back "Should I bring a cake?" and he (now revealed to be George) replied harshly: "No cake needed :) Fire code prohibits that many candles in city limits". Ouch!
I figured if his wife was anything like mine she was just about evenly spit between wanting the cash and wanting the tool out of the garage, but I wasn't about to show up on her birthday empty handed, so after dropping by the ATM for some cash I ran into our local grocery store and purchased her a small cake and some sugar candy "Happy Birthday" lettering for the top. My son, Boy, met me at their house, and after some fun tool talk George said "So how about $75?" Done. The best news is the bearings sound good, the quill and the headstock slide smoothly and the motor runs smooth and quiet. There are a few things missing, such as the miter gauge, the rip fence, the table insert and the belt cover, but these items are readily available on eBay, and for me the hunt is half the fun. The pic shows my new 10ER packed into my van and ready to head to my shop. now the question is how much restoration should i do to her?
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