Shop Smith Mark 5

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Forum topic by JFFan posted 04-20-2017 02:48 AM 787 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 848 days

04-20-2017 02:48 AM

I’ve seen these systems on Craigslist from time to time, but never seen one in real life. They looked like a toy to me actually. Yet last weekend, my uncle who’s 83 was selling a bandsaw, I told him I was interested so I ran over to see it. His bandsaw ended up being an Mark 5…after the walk around and him showing me not only was it an bandsaw, but also a drill press, jointer, disk sander, lathe and table saw I made the purchase…

I’ve had it for a week, used most every tool except the jointer…this thing is actually pretty decent. Perfect little shop multi-tool.

-- The sense of satisfaction you get from making it yourself...priceless.

12 replies so far

View Robert Keeney's profile

Robert Keeney

86 posts in 3935 days

#1 posted 04-20-2017 09:06 AM

Check out the Shopsmith forum here

-- Robert in Tallahassee Florida,

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1014 days

#2 posted 04-20-2017 01:10 PM

Your uncle is sneaky.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11638 posts in 3851 days

#3 posted 04-20-2017 01:27 PM

Two MK 5s grace my shop. Been a user since 1975. They have their limits but oh so versatile and so well made…in America.

-- 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 Hockey's profile (online now)


170 posts in 835 days

#4 posted 04-20-2017 03:19 PM

The Shopsmith is a good versatile tool. Have had mine since around 1993.

View Rich's profile (online now)


4583 posts in 1012 days

#5 posted 04-20-2017 03:29 PM

Those tools have been the target of jokes and sneers for years. It always seemed to me that for many people, it’s the only option when they’re working in a tiny shop. Clearly the market is there since they’ve been in business over 60 years.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View sras's profile


5115 posts in 3552 days

#6 posted 04-20-2017 04:20 PM

I’ve had mine for 34 years.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View bandit571's profile


23215 posts in 3106 days

#7 posted 04-20-2017 04:36 PM

Even Norm Abrams used one, in the New Yankee Workshop.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View dusty2's profile


323 posts in 3852 days

#8 posted 04-20-2017 05:07 PM

It was good enough for Norm so I got one. I have been a sworn user for 32 years. I am very pleased with its performance.

Check out the forum link listed above.

You’ll discover that there are many users who feel as I do.

-- Making Sawdust Safely

View Redoak49's profile


4052 posts in 2411 days

#9 posted 04-20-2017 05:12 PM

I use mine for a lot of things. Even Gibbs had one on NCIS…it was back in the corner of his basement.

View bonesbr549's profile


1583 posts in 3490 days

#10 posted 04-20-2017 06:53 PM

I had the mark 510 and for what it is it is a great tool. My first shop was 10×12 so space was a premium. I had a great Little bus making screen printing frames. Paid for it, and a jointer and first step up to a real cabinet saw.

sold it for 250$ wiish i’d kept it just for the horizontal boring and that big disk sander :)

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View shipwright's profile


8320 posts in 3220 days

#11 posted 04-20-2017 07:33 PM

I’ve said this several times.
I have a big dedicated shop at home in Canada with big dedicated tools and a ShopSmith with a range of SPT’s at my winter place in AZ and (to say it one more time) there is virtually nothing I can do at home that I can’t do on the SS in AZ.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View EdL's profile


4 posts in 3570 days

#12 posted 04-20-2017 08:36 PM

I’ve been a SS user since 1999. It’s a well made tool and will serve you well.

My current view is that I’m ready to move on. I have a newer shop with plenty of room and I’ve started ‘collecting’ my stand alone ‘forever’ machines. While the SS can do most of the things the stand alones can do… TS, drill press, lathe, band saw (got that), jointer (got that), shaper (got that)... it cannot do it better. Plus, the workflow from rough cut lumber to Greene and Greene dinning room chair is… in a word… tedious. THIS IS NOT A CRITICISM. My SS has been my faithful companion for 18 year and I will never sell it. (I don’t turn much so it will become my dedicated lathe.)

I truly owe a great deal of my woodworking skill building to the capabilities that the SS has. Best of luck with yours.


-- --- Ed

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