Shopsmith Mark II (Mark 2) Information, Review and History

The Mark II was a step away from the costly Mark V, and was almost a "Back to the Future" move that borrowed some of the striped-down ideas used in the 10ER. Lots of stamped steel and aluminum was used, and the base "tubes" are actually painted hardwood. The feature that fools the casual Shopsmith historian is the crank on the front of the headstock. What do you think it's for? No, it's not a variable speed crank like the one found on the Mark V and Mark VII. It simply elevates the motor a bit so the user can manually move the drive belt from pulley to pulley. This tool was sold mostly through hardware stores and was marketed with a variavle speed feature under the name PowerKraft by Montgomery Wards. 

Click here for Shopsmith Mark II's For Sale (Very light activity)

Click the pictures below for a great article on the Shopsmith Mark 2.


  1. Hi! I just bought a Mark II and I'm looking for some info. Do the attachments for the Mark V fit this? Do you have the owners manual?

  2. The above Shopsmith Mark 2 History is incorrect. The Mark 2 (not Mark II) was released in 1958 (see "The New Mark 2 Shopsmith" article's date above) and made only a short time. The Mark 5 (later changed to Mark V on the machines in 1980) was for sale beginning in 1954. The Mark 2 was made at Montgomery Wards insistence as a less expensive alternative to the Mark 5 and was sold as the Shopsmith Mark 2 exclusively through them. It was not sold under the PowrCraft name but Magna did make tool accessories for Montgomery Wards for their PowrCraft line. The way tubes used on the Mark 2 are the same 1-3/4" diameter as the Mark 5 and the Mark 5 headstock can work on a Mark 2 (reference Shopsmith Inc.)
    Shopsmith Restorer Russ, Portland Oregon

  3. Shopsmith has a manual for around 12.00.

    1. David, do you know if what SS is selling for $12 is a reprint of the original MKII manual or a synopsis? When I worked there 20+ years ago they wouldn't offer of even touch the old manuals because they had so many antiquated approaches to safety. Anyway, would love to know what you know about it. Scott

  4. Any idea what casters the mark 2 uses?


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