"Wood is Green".
When we hear the word "green," images of lush forests, vibrant leaves, and thriving ecosystems often come to mind. However, the concept of "green" goes beyond the color of foliage during the growing season. In today's understanding of sustainability, the use of wood as a material is an excellent example of how something seemingly simple can be incredibly "green." While trees may turn green with chlorophyll during their growth phase, wood, in the context of sustainability, is also a vital part of creating a greener future.
The Role of Wood in Human History:
Throughout history, humankind has relied on trees for more than just their green leaves. Trees have provided us with sustenance in the form of fruits and nuts. They have also offered shelter, giving us shade and protection from the elements. Additionally, trees have been harvested for their lumber, enabling us to construct our homes and furnish them with wood products.
The Circle of Sustainability:
What's truly remarkable about wood is its role in the circle of sustainability. When we harvest a tree for its wood, it's not the end of the story; it's just the beginning. By responsibly managing our forests, we ensure the continual replenishment of this valuable resource. When a tree is felled, it opens up space for new growth. This act of harvesting is just one part of a natural cycle. When we take a tree, we can give back by planting a new one, continuing the cycle of renewal.
Wood as a Renewable Resource:
Wood is, fundamentally, a renewable resource. Unlike non-renewable materials, such as fossil fuels, wood can be continually replenished through responsible forestry practices. Sustainable forestry means that for every tree cut down, another is planted. This not only helps to combat deforestation but also ensures the longevity of our forests and the many benefits they provide.
Another remarkable aspect of wood is its ability to sequester carbon. Trees naturally absorb and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow. When we use wood in construction or furniture, we are essentially locking away that carbon. This makes wood a carbon-friendly alternative to other building materials, reducing our carbon footprint.
In a world where the term "green" is synonymous with sustainability, wood stands out as one of the most environmentally friendly materials we have. Its historical significance in human survival, along with its renewable nature and carbon-sequestering capabilities, make it a standout choice for a greener future. By using wood responsibly and planting new trees in its place, we can ensure a sustainable and vibrant planet for generations to come. Wood is not just green in color; it's green in its contribution to a sustainable world.
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.
*Heights are to top of Drawer front. Drawers will close if stored items protrude slightly higher than Drawer front.
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!
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
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.
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.
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
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.
|Norm Rose teaching turning at Shopsmith "Boston" Academy 1989|
|Me and Matt working the Shopsmith booth at a Home Show in Woburn, MA Jan. 1988|
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|
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|
|Working in my shop with my sister Lisa (AKA "Lysol")|
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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 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
|Shopsmith Headstock Rebuilt Kit|