SST's Workshop

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Workshop by SST posted 03-10-2007 06:17 AM 4880 reads 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

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790 posts in 5203 days

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I’m leaving old pics of my Wisconsin shop as well as the narrative for now. The new shop is a separate
14×20 insulated shop in the rear yard. My Shopsmith stable has been modified to include my dad’s original 10er, a 510, and a 520.

Well, it’s time to post a couple pics of my shop and of the Shopmiith machines, since they make up the substantial part of my shop. The workshop area itself is in my basement and takes up about a 12×16 foot area. The shopsmiths give me the ability to have more tool capability in a small area. With them I have: table saw, shaper, drill press, lathe, 12” disc sander, drum sander, jig saw, bandsaw, belt sander, and horizontal boring machine, but that’s not why I use them.
I use them instead of separate tools (which I have used, incidentally) because I grew up with the “smith” and it’s simply been a part of my woodworking life from the start.
My oldest machine, a 10ER, was my dads and I learned woodworking on it. I now use it primarily as a dedicated dado saw & I’ve added a second table to it & mounted a router under it.
10ER # 2 is my “low speed” machine with an infinite speed range of about 600 rpm – 6500 rpm, but I use it between about 600 and 1500 rpm for the disk sander and the lathe. I bought it as a couple of boxes of rusty parts & restored it.
Even on these 55 year old machines, it only takes 1 to 2 minutes to change over to a
different function.
My newest machine is a 1986 Mark V, 510 that’s been shortened to about 34”. I use it as a table saw & may put a belt sander on it too. Next newest is a 1962 Mark V that is used mostly as a grill press, horizontal borer, for my jointer and bendsaw, and shaper.
My two workbenches are not fancy, but useful. One is a Sjobergs and the other, mounted on Shopsmith caster sets, for mobility, came from a retired guy in the neighborhood.
I’ve been told by lots of woodworking “purists” that a combo machine can’t work as well as separate ones, or be as precise, but here’s what I believe: (and I really don’t want to start a debate, here) Working with (and loving) any style tool is a mindset. There’s no best type except in your own mind, and no one can change that except you, and precision is not in the machine, it’s in the woodworker. There, that’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it. -SST… which, of course stands for shopsmithtom

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

15 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35270 posts in 5409 days

#1 posted 03-10-2007 06:33 AM

Tom Go for it. The tools don’t make the project. The person makes the project.

Nice shop

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5106 days

#2 posted 03-10-2007 06:40 AM

It would seem that 2 shopsmith’s would greatly improve your flexability and eliminate the limitations of a single machine. Especially, since you can share accessories. It sounds like a great small shop solution.

I’m in agreement with Karson and I know that am no where as good as my tools. I’m am the limiting factor and by the time I would outgrow one of my tools another better one would have long been in it’s place.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5169 days

#3 posted 03-14-2007 05:51 PM

this sounds like the old “digital vs film” camera debate. It’s just a tool – the creator uses the tool and it is the creator that is the true artist/craftsman/creator/tool.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Obi's profile


2214 posts in 5246 days

#4 posted 03-14-2007 05:59 PM

Well, I only disagree on one point. That the presision isnt in the machine. If you have a piece of junk, it’s difficult to over come that. But the rest is like you say, or in my words a “Mental Disposition”. I think the Shopsmith is probably the best single tool you could ever own.

View SST's profile


790 posts in 5203 days

#5 posted 03-18-2007 12:12 AM

Thanks, Obi, for the Shopsmith comment. I know that I’m biased in this regard (when you get as much enjoyment playing with a tool..putzing, tinkering, etc, as you do actually building stuff with it, you know you’re probably not going to be objective about it.
I have used separate tools as well, and the end results have been great…there’s no question about it, but I’m constantly amazed at the engineering/imagination that went in to creating this combination tool (back in 1946, Hans Goldschmidt) that works so well in each mode. My 1952 models are certainly more simplistic in their adjustments than some of the new tools, but with a good combination square and metal ruler, I can get all the precision that need for my use. I know I’ll never convert anyone over to this system. (nor would I want to) I just want have fun, keep them running, and maybe pass them along to the next generation of shopsmith guys in my family. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 5319 days

#6 posted 03-18-2007 06:10 AM

SST, I was looking at the Shopsmith and almost bought one, before I saw the SuperShop, which you can see in my wookshop pics. I like the versitility of these type of machines. Thanks for sharing your shop pictures. I really like how you have drawers on them.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5106 days

#7 posted 06-17-2007 04:40 PM

Hows the shop going? Any new tools or upgrades?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View SST's profile


790 posts in 5203 days

#8 posted 06-19-2007 08:42 PM

Hi Wayne. I’m always picking some kind of little accessory or part off of ebay, I think the last piece was a 2 1/2” jointer head that works with my shaper fence. I can get the speed up to 7200rpm’s so it works ok on a limited basis. I’ve been putzing with ways to make a workable dust collector since the 10ER model never had this option. Also using the 12” disk sander with a jig as a plane blade sharpener works pretty well. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5106 days

#9 posted 06-19-2007 09:33 PM

I hear you on the always picking up small things. One of my bad habits too. The disk sander sounds like a great idea. Especially if you can work out a way to flatten the back of the blade.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4830 days

#10 posted 04-04-2008 03:47 PM


You have a nice shop and it appears as if the Shopsmiths are working for you. If tools were the bottom line we would all have the best tools that money could buy. But it is the operator behind the tool that makes the difference. You are making the Shopsmiths work for you and that is what counts.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View reible's profile


34 posts in 4770 days

#11 posted 02-23-2009 11:53 PM


Thought I’d stop by your shop for a look around. I really like to see these old shopsmiths still is service all these years later. I’ve been watching locally for one of these to get for my brother to use as only a lathe, so far no luck finding one for a good price but the hunt continues.

I’m originally from a bit farther up north and make trips up 51 to visit my brother and my wife’s Dad in the UP. I actually lived in Rothschild a couple of years after I got out of the Army and got me some school’n. We attended the Highland Methodist church and I often wonder if that is still there… We lived in a couple of apartments at Radiant Court Motel… most likely that is gone by now. I should pull off and have a drive around but after 30 plus years I don’t think I’d see much to remember.

Thanks for inviting us into your shop… sorry I got off on memory lane but it happens.

-- Knight of the Shopsmith

View Hal Fitch's profile

Hal Fitch

7 posts in 4755 days

#12 posted 04-07-2009 08:21 PM

I see, + View the posting rules is in bright red. I don’t know what I said that was inappropriate, but my apologies Miss Debbie. I’ll try not to do what I don’t know I did again :). Hal

-- dofitch

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 4773 days

#13 posted 04-07-2009 08:41 PM

I’m not a big fan of the ShopSmith system, but I do like old machines, and other than the bandsaw desperatly needing a paint job, I think you’ve got a pretty neat machine.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4343 days

#14 posted 10-05-2009 08:46 PM

I can see from your shop that you are an experienced woodworker with a great shop and great tools. I agree with your philosophy about combination machines. I have a fairly inexpensive combi with 5 functions. It isn’t the greatest woodworking machine in the world, but it gets the job done and saves me a lot of space in my small shop.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View johnnymo's profile


309 posts in 4214 days

#15 posted 10-06-2009 05:05 AM

Sometimes its the way to go. I recently bought a planer/joiner combo and in my 12×14 foot shop i’m running out of space. Hmmm, maybe i should look into getting one of those.

-- John in Arizona (but it's a dry heat!)

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