Shopsmith #3: My 1958 Shopsmith Mark V

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Blog entry by GreaseMonkey2275 posted 05-06-2015 02:25 PM 2431 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: My 1958 Shopsmith Mark V Part 3 of Shopsmith series Part 4: My 1958 Shopsmith Mark V »

Monday May 4th I took my 1958 Shopsmith 3/4 horsepower motor down to the electrical motor shop and found out that I had a bad capacitor. However, after replacing the capacitor the motor still wouldn’t run and the guy at the repair shop recommended replacing the start-up relay. Being the mechanic that I am and having rebuilt starters before I figured there shouldn’t be too much of a difference between the contacts in this relay and the ones for the starter solenoid, except the size of course, I opened it up and started cleaning up the contacts. Once I had finished I noticed that the contacts were not completely touching so with a little “encouragement” from the needle nose pliers the contacts were once again touching each other. The importance of these contacts cannot be overstated since they are the contacts that disconnect the capacitor from the motor once it reaches enough voltage to turn. Since I still needed to replace the motor bearings I decided to tear apart the bandsaw and see how if I needed any bearings for it and while I was at it I installed the new urethane tires on the wheels and started polishing up the tarnished stainless steel hardware that was on it.

Yesterday, Tuesday morning, I went down to the bearing house and picked up some new bearings, two for the motor, two for the jointer, and 6 for the bandsaw. While I was there I returned the belt that was the wrong size, it turns out that the belts are made specifically for Shopsmith and measure out to 9/16” wide by 25.5” long. It turns out that if you install a 1/2” belt you change the RPM’s and other issues start to arise. Once I got home I installed the new motor bearings and re-inspected the original belt. I decided that it was actually in good condition even though it was 57 years old, there wasn’t any chaffing or cuts and the rubber was still pliable. After re-assembling the upper and lower half of the headstock I noticed that there was still some binding with the speed control arm. I took everything back apart, getting to be an expert at this by now, and noticed that the speed control arm had more than a little side-to-side play in it. Using my Google-foo I came across a guy that had experienced the same problem and using his remedy, “replace the roll pin with a 10-24×2 1/2” bolt and a lock nut”, I was back in business.

After dinner I just had to get it back together since it’s never really run correctly since I bought it and lo and behold I heard that most glorious sound…it ran and it ran like it had just come off the showroom floor of the tool store! I don’t know how long this old girl has been out of service but after some TLC, patience, and tenacity, I can honestly say that “she’s a runner”! Now all I have to do is get the jointer back together and replace the guide bearings on the bandsaw and I should be good-to-go.

Today should be an exciting day for the restoration since I will finally put the headstock back onto the way tubes!

-- Jake

2 comments so far

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3855 posts in 2882 days

#1 posted 05-07-2015 02:38 AM

Great to hear about your success with your new-to-you vintage Shopsmith. It’s a great machine, especially with the bandsaw and the jointer. You will realize quickly that the tablesaw is the weak link in the Shopsmith system. The tablesaw does work, but the limitation is, in my opinion, the small table size.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View GreaseMonkey2275's profile


153 posts in 1783 days

#2 posted 05-07-2015 03:12 AM

I have heard the same thing about the table saw feature and it is especially easy to see it’s limitations with the Mark V’s original tables. I actually bought the Shopsmith for all of the other functions and plan on doing all of my table saw work on my 10” Delta table saw.

-- Jake

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