See, it pays to shop at the Habitat for Humanity Restore

Every other weekend or so I drop by the local Habitat for Humanity Restore to see the latest stuff.  This weekend I was hoping that they'd still have a RTA (Ready To Assemble) cabinets that they had on my last visit.  As I make my way past the front counter I noticed that just to my left they had a Shopsmith Mark V model 510 on display with a large price tag.  I was almost past it when I noticed it, so I turned to get a better look at it as I continued to walk by.  I could see that it was one of the first generation of the 510 because it had holes in the table tubes which is how Shopsmith originally bolted the tubes to the table.  (See second pic) I also finally saw the sign that indicated that it was priced only $275!  I though "Wow, someone's gonna get a good deal!"

As I rounded the corner I noticed something that stopped me in my tracks. It was a shopping cart parked next to the Mark V that contained a Shopsmith bandsaw.  The table was cast iron, so it was probably purchased with the Mark V in the mid to late 1980's.  Just behind the bandsaw in the shopping cart and standing uptight was a Shopsmith 4" Jointer.  Now I had to know what all was included in this sale, and if these items were priced separately.  I looked around the outside of the cart and found another $275 sign.  Is that just a coincidence, or are they trying to say that it's included with the Mark V? 

The cart also contained push blocks and what looked like most of the Mark V's accessories, and as I looked-up to take a better look at the Mark V I finally notices the SECOND SHOPPING CART!  This cart also had a $275 sign.  I looked over at the check-out counter and saw that despite a line of a half-dozen customers ahead of me, the cashier was just wrapping-up with a customer, so I made eye contact with her and while pointing at the tools asked "Is that $275 for each, or for all?  She replied "It's for all", and I said "I'LL TAKE IT! 

I still had to check on the cabinet that I was there for, and after anxiously loading one onto a flat-bed cart I made my way back to check-out and paid for my new Mark V! 

There were a couple HFH workers on the loading dock, and their supervisor had them each grab a load and bring to to the back of my van so I could load it.  They were amazed that I was able to load the Mark V by myself, and I explained the little trick that I learned while working for Shopsmith about moving the headstock to the low end while lifting one end of the MKV, and then sliding the headstock up the waytubes and then lifting the other end.

The guys then brought the shopping carts out and a large Rubbermaid tub.  I hadn't noticed it before, but without questioning it I popped the lid to make sure that it was Shopsmith related.  Inside was a stack of new, boxed bandsaw blades, the Mark V's owners manual and several other things.  Yep, they belong together, so I tossed it into the front seat and returned to load the rest of the stuff.

The first cart contained the bandsaw and jointer and to my surprise an early Shopsmith lathe duplicator!

The second cart contained a few surprises too.  It had a SS jigsaw and better yet a SS 6" belt sander!  The pic shows my van with everything including the cabinet jammed into my van. (Click the pic to Biggie Size It.)

Everything needs some TLC, and I'm thinking about shooting some video as I clean her up and do a few repairs and upgrades. 

Finally, let me encourage you to drop by your local Habitat for Humanity Restore or Goodwill or Salvation Army store and leave some of your money.  I used to think that these stores were for folks who were down on their luck; but after working on a few HFH bulids and with a couple Christmas toy builds with St Vincent DePaul, I learned that these stores employ some sweet and hard-working folks who may otherwise be considered unemployable, and the cash that they make from the sales help them do the good works that they do.    

Lots more to come.  Scott


  1. My Dad was at the Habitat store in Atascadero, Ca on day and saw an add for a Mark V. Since he already had like 4 or 5 he called the guy and asked if he can come and see it. Come on for $150 how can you pass one up?? long story short he looked at it and since he did not have a pick up with him the guy said I'll make you a deal, I'll deliver it and you can have it for FREE... Yes, FREE so he got yet another one and this was the 2nd one he has gotten for free, of course he passed 1 on to me. Since then we have "refurbished" 3 of them and have tried to sell them on Craigslist and in the recycler, but have not yet recouped any of the money. Any ideas??

    Simi Valley, Ca

  2. Kris, free is a very good price, but free and delivered is even better! As for tips on selling, there is a good post (if I must say so myself) right here on this blog. I suggest eBay for selling and Craig's List for buying SS tools. I can feel myself wanting to repeat that prior post, so I'll stop and just suggest that you search for it here. Scott

  3. Hi Scott - There's a local Habitat for Humanity Restore here on Cape Cod where I found a 1960 Mark 5 Goldie with a Jig saw and a bunch of accessories for 250 dollars - it was in great shape. The funny part is, I already own a 1960 Mark 5 Goldie! I felt like I found it's twin. It now belongs to my 12 year old daughter and affords us great fun together in my shop. Really enjoy your blog! Alec

    1. That entire story made me smile! Awesome. Scott

  4. You are so right about Habitat for Humanity and other thrift stores. I was in HFH yesterday and saw a shopsmith mark v that had just come in the night before. It had the bandsaw, jointer, router, drill press, along with a ss dust collector. I was not familiar with the shopsmith, so i called an associate over for a price expecting it to be about $1000 or more. He looked it up really quick on ebay and quoted me a price of $400 for all. I came back with $300 and we ended up meeting in the middle at $349.99. I got it to my shop and started going through it all and couldnt believe all the accesories and spare parts that were there. After putting it all together and watching quite a few youtube videos, i realized how good a shape mine was in. Everything so far seems to be there and working fine except i havent found a lathe chuck with it. Im thinking that whomever owned it previously maybe never used the lathe. The cutters all look new and theres drive and tail spurs still in the packages. I think i got a fantastic deal on it. Does anyone know where i can find a decent lathe chuck for it and also, is the dust collector supposed to have weak suction? Mine seems to be working but the suction is very weak. Thanks in advance. Joe

    1. What a great buy. Congratulations. As for a large chuck, you can pick one up at Penn State or Woodcraft. And yes, the DC3300 does appear to have low suction, but it performs very well with Shopsmith tools. Just make sure that all of the three ports on it are full. I tend to keep one plugged, one hose in the tool I’m using and the other one with a hose and the floor sweeping tool. If any of the three ports are left open, the air movement will default to that port, leaving you very little movement where you need it. Scott


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