Shopsmith Model 10ER #1: And so it begins

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Blog entry by sansoo22 posted 01-03-2020 05:11 AM 677 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Shopsmith Model 10ER series no next part

I posted on the forums about this machine already but figured I would do a blog about it to chronicle my restoration efforts. There will be lots of pics and then probably even more pics. I’m having a lot of fun with this puzzle so taking shots of just about everything I do.

So the story of how I got this beast begins Dec 23rd when I found a Ridgid TP1300 on craigslist. I messaged the seller and set a time to come take a look the day after Christmas. On Christmas eve she messages me that she’d be willing to sell me this Shopsmith for 200 bucks if i wanted it. I didn’t even know what one was so I posted it on the forums to get some more info. When I got to her shop it was in much better shape than I thought it would be so I took it home. Now the lady that sold it was 60+ yrs old and stood 6 foot 2 and helped me load this into a 4×4 Tacoma. Sure we slid the motor/headstock assembly to the end with all the other heavy parts and I lifted that but still for 60 some yrs old she was quite strong.

Anyway on to the show!

Here it is in my shop the day it came home with all or most of its accessories pictured. Apparently I’m a nice guy cuz she tossed in the 1950s Craftsman lathe chisels for free. It even has a couple drives…i think thats what they are called…for the lathe that look like bowl templates or bases. Not sure since i cant turn but i will be learning when she is all cleaned up and running smooth.

Here is a close up of the table top before any work began. This machine was a one owner that was mostly used to turn bowls. The table had been used enough to get some deep scratches and then left to sit for awhile.

Now the fun begins!

Here is the best I could do on this table top. I had to take 80 grit to it to get it smooth and some of the scratches and corrosion still show a bit. The entire table top was sanded all the way up to a wet 2000 grit and then I came back with a 420 abranet (sp?) sanding disc to give the top a satin look. Its super smooth and the miter slots are super duper smooth.

This fence took awhile to get it pretty. It wasn’t even flat so it spent some time on my big surface plate. Its still not perfect but i was afraid of losing the scale on it if i kept sanding.

Here is the fence as found compared to what it looks like now. You can also see the front rail that i polished and flattened along with the mounting screws.

And of course gotta use the Wixey angle finder to see if its square. I wanted a dead 90 but after several hours of work on the table and the fence (like a whole days worth of hours) I settled for 89.9

From the close up of the scale you can see that some of the red paint was starting to “bleed” for lack of a better term from sanding it flat. This the point i decided its flat enough for a drill press fence since I wont be using this as a table saw.

Close up of the fence registered against my try square with a flash light behind it. You can see a tiny dish but like i said for me its good enough for a drill press fence

Close up of the miter gauge. My shop lighting needs improvement but this looks better in person. Rail, scale, and all hardware were polished. I didn’t do the sides of the rail so I wouldnt risk its geometry. To my surprise it actually has detents that can be adjusted with the screw on that little piece to the far right. That’s what i was doing in this pic.

And again gotta check it with the Wixey just for fun. And once again disappointed with the result. I’m leaving it at 90.1 for now. The miter gauge is aluminum so i could tune that up again if i want.

See the Dremel, feel the Dremel, be one with the Dremel

This little part was all polished in place with the Dremel. This has the return spring for the quill and I have no idea how it goes back together so polished in place. You can see yourself in it so im calling it good.

A nice sort of before and after of both sides of the head stock hardware. I think the one on the right looks much better

Just for fun here is both sides polished up

The last part I have done for now is the motor plate and pins

And here we are with some closing shots for this entry. First up is how the tool sits now. Lots of little knobs have been cleaned, polished, and oiled. Table poles are polished and about half of the way tubes are done. I don’t have another big surface to completely tear this down so doing most of the work as it sits. And the last pic is the next piece of the puzzle which is swapping bearings on the tail shaft and quill.

And that closes out this first MASSIVE entry into my restore efforts. If anyone has advice on how to clean this old rough painted cast iron Im all ears. So far very light pressure with a brass cup brush is the best I can come up with but some parts are still dirty. The paint is fragile in some spots so I’m trying to be very careful with it. I prefer the look of a tool that looks used but with expert maintenance over stripping it all down and repainting the whole thing.

Hope you enjoyed my little adventure.

7 comments so far

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1993 posts in 3461 days

#1 posted 01-03-2020 02:21 PM

Very cool. I love machine restores. Keep em coming

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View htl's profile


5628 posts in 2651 days

#2 posted 01-03-2020 06:35 PM

Man that thing was in great shape to start with, looks a lot better that the 1983 Mark V I found and use as my wall mounted drill press.
Tell us more. LOL

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View sansoo22's profile


1994 posts in 1146 days

#3 posted 01-03-2020 09:34 PM

Man that thing was in great shape to start with, looks a lot better that the 1983 Mark V I found and use as my wall mounted drill press.
Tell us more. LOL

- htl

ya im a little OCD about my tools. But the way i see it if its super clean and shiny once i put it to work i can maintain it better. I know whats been oiled,waxed, lubed etc and what hasn’t. Also I learn a lot about the tools in the process.

View htl's profile


5628 posts in 2651 days

#4 posted 01-04-2020 09:10 PM

Check this out and do a search on Face Book for help if you haven’t all ready.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12646 posts in 4920 days

#5 posted 01-04-2020 09:19 PM

The guys on the Shopsmith forum will be glad to help you with the resto including the cleaning
SS Forum

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View sansoo22's profile


1994 posts in 1146 days

#6 posted 01-04-2020 09:52 PM

Thanks for the link HTL. I hadn’t stumbled upon that one just yet. I added it to my bookmarks.

The guys on the Shopsmith forum will be glad to help you with the resto including the cleaning
SS Forum

- Gene Howe

I joined that forum and so far it hasn’t been to welcoming. I’m getting help from one user but the others are kind of assume you’ve never touched a tool in your life. Just not the same atmosphere of friendliness as we have here.

View Knottythumbs's profile


4 posts in 4953 days

#7 posted 10-17-2020 01:28 AM

Nice work. What was your process and materials you used?

-- one of HIS many carpenters

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