Shopsmith refurb recomendations

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Drumn2121 posted 03-18-2018 07:32 AM 2047 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Drumn2121's profile


18 posts in 964 days

03-18-2018 07:32 AM

Does anybody have a recommendation for a good place to get a Shopsmith headstock refurbished? I live in AZ so West coast preferred but not required. I got one for free from a friend but the headstock doesn’t want to turn but the motor is definitely trying. It’s been sitting in a garage of his for a good 10 years untouched.

11 replies so far

View mrg's profile


868 posts in 3776 days

#1 posted 03-18-2018 12:30 PM

Shop Smith has an upgraded headstock you can get. If I remember correctly it is using the Nova DVR motor for variable speeds with no belts or pulleys. This would be a direct replacement.

-- mrg

View BlasterStumps's profile


1689 posts in 1217 days

#2 posted 03-18-2018 01:24 PM

Since as you say it has been sitting not being used for 10 years, I wouldn’t try to turn the speed control dial until maintenance has been performed on it. The ShopSmith head is fairly easy to work on. There used to be some videos online that can guide you through most of the repairs/maintenance issues. Manuals are available also.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

View shipwright's profile


8562 posts in 3575 days

#3 posted 03-18-2018 02:10 PM

ShopSmith will completely restore your headstock, swap it for a restored one, upgrade it to a new DVR PowerPro headstock, swap it in for a PowerPro, sell you the upgrade DIY kit, or sell you a whole new headstock.
Call them up and talk to them about what will work best for you. Lots of options and friendly people to talk to.
The PowerPro headstock is expensive but it makes a world of difference. I put off the upgrade for a long time but it really is a game changer.

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

View Redoak49's profile


4748 posts in 2766 days

#4 posted 03-18-2018 02:24 PM

If you look up Shopsmith repair on google, you can find several places. The one I am considering is Jacobs Shopsmith Repair.

The DVR headstock is around $2000 and having someone rebuild your head is around $400 plus shipping. Personally, I will have someone rebuild my head stock.

I am certain the the DVR headstock is really nice. I have the Voyager DVR drill press and really like it. This is the same technology that is in the Shopsmith DVR and would work fine.

View laterthanuthink's profile


58 posts in 906 days

#5 posted 03-18-2018 02:51 PM

I agree with Red Oak. Jacob is THE MAN to refurb your Shopsmith. Don’t wait too long, last I talked to him he was considering retiring.

Also, it’s crucial that you follow his packing and shipping instructions. He knows how it should be done and gets very irritated if he opens a box full of packing peanuts.

Check out these vintage Shopsmith videos: There are 7 of them in the series. Ivan Hahn, the demonstrator is a highly skilled Shopsmith user. Safety standards were different in the 1950s when these films were made.

View Fresch's profile


489 posts in 2698 days

#6 posted 03-18-2018 03:28 PM

Or sign up at Shopsmith forum and ask there.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12185 posts in 4206 days

#7 posted 03-18-2018 03:48 PM

I used Battles Hardware about 20 years ago.
Call to see if they’re still refurbing.
WHITTIER, CA 90602-3051

-- 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 Drumn2121's profile


18 posts in 964 days

#8 posted 03-19-2018 07:42 AM

Awesome. I haven’t used one before but I’ve heard good things about it for the amateur woodworker. I couldn’t turn down a free one. Thanks for the responses.

View laterthanuthink's profile


58 posts in 906 days

#9 posted 03-19-2018 10:03 AM

Free is good. If you’re handy and want to fix it yourself Jacob offers a video to take you through the process step by step. He used to sell the video as a DVD but now it appears to be on youtube only, for less than half the cost. It’s worthwhile even if you are just curious about his repair process and tools.

View Drumn2121's profile


18 posts in 964 days

#10 posted 03-28-2018 07:20 PM

Awesome. Thanks.

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 4538 days

#11 posted 03-29-2018 04:00 PM

If you are on a tight budget, Nick Engler, on Shopsmith’s web site, gives a complete tutoral on re-building the headstock. The above comments regarding the DVR “Power Pro” motor are right on the target. It puts the Shopsmith on a whole new level of woodworking capability.

You can actually purchase the DIY Power Pro upgrade and install it in your existing headstock. The manual and DVD provided makes the installation straight-forward.

I would give this serious consideration before spending money to merely repair the old headstock.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics