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Well, I looked for an "Introduction" area but didn't find one so I'll take a chance and introduce myself here and ask a question. My wife and I are recently retired starting to work on our hobbies which, for me, include both metal- and woodworking. I've had a Shopsmith Mk V since 2002 with a number of attachments to it and it's served me well over the years keeping up with household projects, even the refacing of the entire kitchen cabinetry. That being said, I don't find much about them here on the world's largest woodworker's website which by the way is wonderfully comprehensive. We'll be building our retirement home (now that didn't come out right!) on acreage we have and so a new shop is in the offing but until then, the 3-car garage where space is at a premium will have to continue to do. While I understand the more solid construction of stand-alone machines make them preferable, I have the Shopsmith with which to work now and was wondering if there were any opinions out there relative to its ability to withstand increased use. As I said, I don't see much about them anywhere.
 

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Most will tell you that a multi-function tool such as Shopsmith requires too much time for any change over from one use to another. The quality of the system is not in doubt. The table saw feature can be "iffy" due to the small size.

If you are comfortable with the process then don't back off from its use.
There have been some great stuff done with a SS without a doubt. Ya just don't see 'em in a production environment.
Bill
 

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Welcome to Ljs
I know many folks are very happy with their Shopamiths but I agree with Bill the time to keep changing things over and the limited size of the table and band saw would all be a royal pain for me. Do and use what works best for you.
If your happy with the Shopsmith and it meets your woodworking needs why change ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've always found the largest downside is the weight of the changeover from horizontal to vertical and the fact that the table elevation in vertical is a PITA. I've always wondered why they didn't simply put a gear drive on the table to move it when in the vertical but what do I know. I see they have some sort of $50 hydraulic assist now for it but… well, I'm a simple guy. The table saw issue I certainly agree with as do I the tool changeover time issue but 1, it's a hobby so time isn't an issue and 2, while we're in the small garage, space is at a premium, especially with a 2X2 CNC plasma on the other side. When we build our home and get into the shop, it'll be a different story but I was interested in all you professional opinions relative to it's ability to turn out quality pieces. Thank you and I'll be reading your postings with great interest.
 

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Making quality furniture has to do with the maker ,not necessary his/hers equipment. When you think about it, the old masters of days gone by of whom now their furniture sells in six figures and more, never had any power equipment at all, having high quality furniture turn out well without power tools is still more than possible for those craftsmen of today that choose not to use power tools.
 

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After 2 replies that would seem to be damning by faint praise, let me say I own 2 Shopsmiths, the oldest of which I bought second-hand over 20 years ago. I also run the Shopsmith Special Interest Group for my woodworking club. We have one member who owns 5, including the new Mark 7. They probably aren't as prevalent as they were 40 years ago, but they still are incredibly reliable, American-made, and well engineered. I did recently buy my first table saw and I find that dragging it out, hooking up the dust collection, and setting it up takes almost as long changing over the Shopsmith. So I leave one Shopsmith set up as a table saw for smaller things and disk sander and the other as a lathe and belt sander. I use my dedicated table saw mostly for ripping large stuff and sheet goods, although I've cut up a lot of plywood on my trusty old Shopsmith. And they take up a whole lot less room than the dedicated tools they replace. As for the gear drive, there actually was one on the Mark VII (not to be confused with the new Mark 7), and that one could tip either direction. There still are places to get more information, besides the obvious Shopsmith company website where there are tons of videos and tips. Yahoo has a SSusers group that is active although somewhat sporadic. And there are still a bunch of us on Lumberjocks, although we may not be actively discussing the Shopsmith.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you ddockstader. I've always like my SS but as I said, except for refacing our kitchen and making all new drawer faces, it's been mainly a multi-purpose tool for around the house fixits and building. Now I'm planning on using it alot more and was inquiring as to the durability and ability to maintain accuracy once properly aligned. I just downloaded the maintenance and alignment .pdf for it I'll be spending the evening with it later on.
 
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