Shopsmith Strip Sander Information, Review and History and a CRITICAL TiP!

Don't get so excited with eBay prices that you pay more than the price of a new tool! At the time of this post, the current MSRP of the Shopsmith Strip Sander is $389.00. (As of March 2021)

FYI, The Shopsmith Stripsander is one of the best on the market! You can power it on your Shopsmith 10er, Mark I, Mark II, Mark V, Mark VII, and even with the Sawsmith Radial Arm Saw! It can also be powered by what Shopsmith calls an SPT Stand (Single Purpose Tool), the Power Station, or the Crafters Station. It can be used for sanding in tight spaces, and is AWESOME for sharpening your lathe tools and knives!

The strip sander does have one accessory which is for sharpening. It allows you to guide lathe tools through the sharpening and honing steps. It's a bit hard to see in the second photo, but note that when this accessory is mounted on the strip sander that it then must run in reverse. That means that on a Mark V you are driving it with the quill side of the Mark V not the SPT hub on the backside. Imagine yourself in the middle of some spindle turning when you realize that you need to sharpen your skew. Now you must remove your work, your spur drive center, and your tailstock. Mount your new drive hub, your strip sander (which hopefully has the sharpening jig in place), and sharpen your skew. Now, reverse that and you're ready to go again. Oops! You dropped your skew! Do you get my drift? On the current Mark V and Mark VII with a PowerPro headstock or on a Crafter's Station, you can run the motor in reverse, so this isn't an issue.

One final critical tip: There have been a couple versions of the 2" idler wheel; one made from aluminum, the other from plastic. If your sander has the plastic version, make sure they are greased. They will run forever with a thin coat of bearing grease on the axle and re-greasing every once-and-a-while. They will melt in about 20-minutes without the grease! If you get a strip sander with wobbly, plastic idler wheels, replacement wheels are available from Shopsmith.

Here's a video showing the Shopsmith Strip Sander being used for sharpening Plane Irons

Here are a couple pics from the 1988 or '89 annual Manager's Meeting when the Strip Sander at the new aluminum bandsaw table were introduced. The gentleman in the green and white striped shirt conducting the demo is Tim Silvers, the product manager for the sander. The meeting was conducted that year at the Carolina Hotel in historic Pinehurst, NC.  I think I tell the story elsewhere on this blog about what happened during this demo when they demonstrated the bandsaw table... that's a funny story.

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