Shopsmith 12" Pro Planer, Mark V mounted Planer and Portable Planer Information, Review and History

Most folks don't know that there have been three models of 12" sold under the name "Shopsmith"; One was made to be powered by the Mark I, Mark V Model 500, 505, 510 and 520, and the Mark VII, and can be fitted to a SPT Stand. This tool was offered with a manual crank for feeding the lumber through the tool, but that option didn't last for long.  Later this unit was made available with a feed motor.  Next came the self-contained Free Standing unit with integrated Variable Speed known as the Pro Planer. 
Finally came a private label Taiwanese 12" portable planer, which was essentially a knock-off of the successful Ryobi and Delta portable planers, and was remarkably similar to the first version of the Jet JWP-12.  These were sold during Shopsmith's "Woodworking Unlimited" phase in the early to mid 1990's.

The photo at right was posted in Instagram by user @the.shutter.up.studios and shows a very early Mark V-mounted planer which has been converted to a stationary planer through the addition of the motorized stand upgrade. Note the table hight adjustment wheel, which was shortly replaced by a crank.

As of July 2020 the Mark V mounted 12" Planer is still in production by Shopsmith and has an MSRP of $1590.00. The Pro Planer is no longer in production. 

Click here for Shopsmith Pro Planer and Mark V mount Planer For Sale on eBay

Watch this video for Shopsmith Pro Planer Maintenance tips

Planing on a Shopsmith Pro Planer

Sadly the Shopsmith Pro planer is now out of production.
Among other things, the company who manufactured the variable speed drive motor, Von Weise, required a much higher volume commitment than what Shopsmith was able to maintain, so the two Shopsmith Planers have been retired.  I've heard from some folks who have purchased used SS planers and who have experienced breakage of the plastic drive gears, only to be told by the folks at Shopsmith that they had to purchase an entirely new motor.  This is the case.  You do have another option: contact Von Weise directly at their web site: They'll need some numbers off your motor to get you the correct gears, but they'll only set you back $6 or so.  In fact, you'll probably pay more in shipping than the cost of the gears.    

This is the first time I've done this on this blog, but I'm going to make a recommendation that if you can't find the SS planer at a reasonable price, or if it is out of reach of your wallet, that you consider the DeWalt 13" DW735 Heavy-Duty 13-Inch Portable Planer. This planer is available for less than $900 (Under $600 for reconditioned) and has features that rival stationary planers in a semi-portable design. I'll blog a bit more about this, but for now, if you are in the market for an excellent planer at a great price, take a look at the DW735 at Tool King. Click the link below and search "DW735".

Click here to see the DW735 and DW735R for Sale on eBay.

Click here to see the DEWALT DW735 15 Amp 13-Inch Benchtop Planer

1 comment:

  1. bought a 12"pro planer v.s. i planed about 60bf when i hit a .knot.. it started vibrating ibacked off thickness resumed planing to find out feed roller didnt work.i pulled motor find that S.S. uses cheap plastic gears in there motors they were stripped..called S.S. to get replacement gears only to find out they dont sell them but they can sell you a new drive motor for over$500.00 Woodworkers think it over before you buy the shopsmith pro planer.


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