Shopsmith Upgrade - Before and After

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Project by Festool4 posted 01-23-2008 11:25 PM 16366 views 1 time favorited 44 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a 1956 Shopsmith. I purchased it for around $300.00 (Used, of course, it is considerably older than I am). After another $250.00 and a great amount elbow grease, you can see what I ended up with. The beautiful thing is that Shopsmith sells almost every part and piece that you would ever need for it.

-- Festool4

44 comments so far

View Grumpy's profile


25814 posts in 4395 days

#1 posted 01-23-2008 11:28 PM

That is a great restoration job Festool. It should last you a lifetime.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Irwin's profile


13 posts in 4348 days

#2 posted 01-23-2008 11:37 PM

That’s nice looking. My dad gave me my grandfather’s Shop Smith a couple of years ago. My dad had given it to his dad back in the 70’s but he could never get it to work right and after he passed in the 80’s my dad got it back but never did anything with it. I tore the headstock apart and had the motor rebuilt then put it all back together and it works like brand new. You’re right Shop Smith is still in business and sells everything you could need for it and they also have a search on their website to find out what year Shop Smith you have by the serial number. Mine was built in 1955. I haven’t really used it too much yet, I have stand alone equipment that are a little more convenient. Mine also came with the 4” joiner and shaper attachments. I have tons of stuff that I haven’t even discovered yet. If you go onto eBay there’s a gentleman who regularly sells Shop SMith parts and pieces for much less then the factory. Anyway, great looking Shop Smith I’m sure you’ll get many years of service out of it.

Take Care,


-- If you're walking on eggs, don't hop!

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4532 days

#3 posted 01-23-2008 11:40 PM

Great restoration job!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View rpmurphy509's profile


288 posts in 4399 days

#4 posted 01-23-2008 11:46 PM

What an improvement, great job getting her back up to speed.

My dad is donating his entire shop to me (just have to go get it all),
and along with all of his other tools he has a Shopsmith he purchased
new in the 70’s. These things are table saws/drill press/disc sander/lathe
combination machines right?

-- Still learning everything

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4851 days

#5 posted 01-24-2008 12:24 AM

And wow, it even upgraded it’s location from in front of the garage to inside the house, impressive.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View DustyNewt's profile


690 posts in 4406 days

#6 posted 01-24-2008 12:32 AM

Great transformation! The Shopsmith company may be interested in purchasing your photos for advertising purposes. Worth a shot. Fantastic job Festool.

-- Peace in Wood ~

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4343 days

#7 posted 01-24-2008 12:36 AM

looks great. i agree that the folks at shopsmith would be interested to see it

-- making sawdust....

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 4424 days

#8 posted 01-24-2008 12:40 AM

nice restoration

View SST's profile


790 posts in 4739 days

#9 posted 01-24-2008 04:25 AM

As a life long shopsmith user, I applaud all those who keep them running and especially those who keep them looking like new (or better). Also, the previous comment about ebay is a good one. I would not bother to buy new since there is a wealth of great used (and sometimes new) stuff on ebay. I’ve used several regular vendors for all my accessories. -SST

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

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1254 posts in 4543 days

#10 posted 01-24-2008 05:12 AM

Wow, what a difference! Very nice work, looks new to me!

-- Bob A in NJ

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4506 days

#11 posted 01-24-2008 05:47 AM

Good work, Frank. It will out last you for sure.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4468 days

#12 posted 01-24-2008 05:52 AM

Nice work, What did you use on the rails to polish them?

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4419 days

#13 posted 01-24-2008 11:33 AM

What a great restoration. Good job.

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4535 days

#14 posted 01-24-2008 12:13 PM

Wow! Great job! Is it a functional piece in your shop? Ya know, Shopsmith must’ve really produced a fine product when you consider the model hasn’t been improved on in all those years. Every other manufacturer has gone plastic or cheap steel. Not Shopsmith.

My father-in-law left one of these to my nephew…and he asked me the other day if I wanted it. Think I’ve just made my decision!

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Irwin's profile


13 posts in 4348 days

#15 posted 01-24-2008 03:23 PM


I used some Hoppe’s #9 and steel wool to polish mine but I had to deal with some surface rust from none use. Dadoo, I’d certainly run to get that Shop Smith, you won’t be sorry :) rpmurphy509, yes the Shop Smith is all of those and a lot more. I’ve even seen a small air compressor attachment for them! I think I’m going to use mine mainly for a lathe but it’s nice to have the options, you know?

-- If you're walking on eggs, don't hop!

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