Just the right size for many projects

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Review by bkhop posted 05-12-2008 05:58 AM 12311 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Just the right size for many projects No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

SST just left his review of the Shopsmith 11” bandsaw. What you’ll see between my bandsaw and his bandsaw is that both of them are the same “base” units. The saws are exactly the same, even though mine was manufactured about 45 years later, just as he mentioned in his review. The differences are what I’ll point out in my review.

The table, as you can see, is the first main difference.
SST’s bandsaw has a nice, heavy cast iron table. Mine has an aluminum table, which I believe is a bit larger. There’s advantages to either table style. The cast iron table is obviously much heavier and has a lot of heft to it. The aluminum table is lighter but takes more accessory options. Both tables have miter gauge slots – just “borrow” the miter gauge from the Shopsmith “system” and you’re in business; everything shares across tools. The aluminum table has the ability to accept an accessory table extension (which is shown in the picture) and also a circle cutting jig (which has the ability to cut a 36” circle.) If you have an older bandsaw – or any vintage Shopsmith bandsaw, to be exact – you can upgrade it to the current aluminum table – just give Shopsmith a call.

Another difference between the older saws and the newer ones is the dust collection port. Early models didn’t have any kind of port, but one is now built in… and in a very good location: right under the table as the blade comes down (some manufacturers have placed their dust collection ports in the absolute wrong positions to actually suck up any dust.) But, fear not, if you currently have any older Shopsmith bandsaw (or come by one used), Shopsmith has a retro-fit kit that you can install yourself to bring an older saw up to speed with dust collection. (See a recurring theme here… Shopsmith doesn’t sell you a tool and then leave you hanging.)

I have also installed the made-for-Shopsmith Kreg rail and fence kit on my bandsaw – this upgrade, however, is only available for the newer aluminum table models – though I suspect a fellow really could adapt the cast iron table pretty easily to make it work also.
With the Kreg’s longer rails, the cross-cut capacity is increased to 9 3/8”.
Resaw capacity is 6”. The Kreg fence is great for resawing, as it allows you to micro-adjust a measurement on a thumbwheel. I’ve made veneers for smaller projects or just sliced up figured wood to get more out of it.Photobucket

One thing that I just about forgot to mention is that when mounted on the Mark V, the bandsaw is powered by a 1 1/8HP motor. -And with variable speed, no less! The bandsaw, as with any of Shopsmith’s “Special Purpose Tools,” can also be set up on its own dedicated stand if you so choose.

The Shopsmith bandsaw, obviously, is not a huge Powermatic or Laguna. For most hobby woodworking, the Shopsmith is more than sufficient and fits into the whole Shopsmith “family” of tools very nicely.

-- † Hops †

View bkhop's profile


68 posts in 4840 days

11 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4595 days

#1 posted 05-12-2008 01:18 PM

Hi Hops,

Thanks for the review. I found it interesting, especially with the comparison between the two models.

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

View SST's profile


790 posts in 4968 days

#2 posted 05-12-2008 05:26 PM

Great additional information. I think it’s safe to say that none of the Shopsmith stuff is cheap. But as any tool owner knows, cheap won’t get the job done.

After seeing your table setup, it’s got me thinking about an upgrade, it looks like a great addition. I’m glad you mentioned the variable speed. Even though I added the optional speedchanger to my old 10er, I forgot to bring it up. It really is nice to adjust speeds incrementally, and there’s actually enough power even with my 1/2 hp motor, I can’t even imagine the punch the Mark 5 motor has.

While I don’t intend this to be some sort of “mutual admiration society” for SS owners, I do believe that separate tool woodworkers shouldn’t ignore some of the SS peripheral tools. The planer is also a terrific unit and puts most benchtop planers to shame…but, again, it’s not a cheapie. -SST

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

View bkhop's profile


68 posts in 4840 days

#3 posted 05-12-2008 10:51 PM

The planer is also a terrific unit and puts most benchtop planers to shame…but, again, it’s not a cheapie.

-- † Hops †

View Grumpy's profile


26427 posts in 4624 days

#4 posted 05-13-2008 12:32 AM

Nice piece of equipment Hop.

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

View Kipster's profile


1076 posts in 4526 days

#5 posted 05-13-2008 01:14 AM

Informative review Hop

-- Kip Northern Illinois ( If you don't know where your goin any road will take you there) George Harrison

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5533 posts in 4850 days

#6 posted 05-13-2008 05:28 AM

i have been looking at the Kreg fence…and I do like the table extension you are showing…mine does not have the measuring and extensions…

I just chatted with an LJ who has 3 bandsaws…but uses and like his SS bandsaw the most…

thanks for the review…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View dusty2's profile


323 posts in 4202 days

#7 posted 01-06-2009 03:31 AM

There is nothing wrong with mutual admiration…is there?

If there is, then I am guilty. I too have a Shopsmith bandsaw. In fact, I now have two. Surprisingly, I often find myself with both of them in operation at the same time. The kids and grand kids always seem to show up when I am in the shop with a schedule to keep.

I hardly ever run my bandsaw mounted on the Mark V anymore. I have a Shopsmith Power Station and a Crafter’s Station that can be used to power the bandsaws. They all get used regularly. One real nice feature – they are easily and quickly reconfigured or relocated.

Being as portable as they are, we often load parts of the shop into the back of the truck and relocate to one of their homes for remodeling tasks or gift construction.

-- Making Sawdust Safely

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3 posts in 4146 days

#8 posted 04-07-2009 03:45 AM

Could you post the information about the blade you use, the general speed range and the tension on the blade? The cutting appears to be excellent, thank you for a very nice article.

-- B-1

View Pelican's profile


1 post in 3580 days

#9 posted 09-18-2010 05:06 PM

Hi, im new on this site so bear with me . Im thinking of buying a shopsmith Mark v with lots of accessories is it a good buy or not I can get ita pretty good price on considering how much they are new.

View truxton3's profile


9 posts in 3561 days

#10 posted 10-08-2010 12:13 AM

I have a Shopsmith band saw circa 1960’s and it still works great. I was just re-sawing a spalted maple short cant and it breezed through it. Its not a 600 lb laguna or a Mini-max, for the typical job its functional and the fact that these Shopsmith tools have lasted unchanged over time says it all.

View Camero68's profile


64 posts in 2954 days

#11 posted 07-11-2012 07:33 PM

This is a good review. I hope you find time to also post your review at . That way, you can help people decide which band saw is best suited for them.

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