Inherited Grandpa's Shopsmith - Help Please

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Forum topic by jpthewoodworker posted 07-24-2018 09:49 PM 1196 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jpthewoodworker's profile


27 posts in 1469 days

07-24-2018 09:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shopsmith maintenance advice

I’m excited to have inherited my grandpa’s Shopsmith. He has tons of stuff with it as well as a separate power stand for the bandsaw or whatever accessory I mount on it. Anyhow, this machine has been garaged and has virtually no rust. It’s very nice and my grandpa took care of it. He made tons of stuff with it! It’s an awesome walk down memory lane to go through his books and notes!

Anyway, it hasn’t been turned on for 15 years. I called Shopsmith today and asked them if they had any advice on what to do before I power it up. They said to lubricate the sheaves and bearings. Wondering if anyone has any other tips/tricks I should do before powering up this unit? I am not in a hurry and will take my time to do whatever is necessary. Thanks!!!

9 replies so far

View JCamp's profile


1791 posts in 2043 days

#1 posted 07-24-2018 10:48 PM

no advice but congrats on getting something like that with some cool memories too

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12647 posts in 4921 days

#2 posted 07-24-2018 11:34 PM

I own a few. Shopsmith’s suggestion is valid. Simple, rugged machines that don’t need a lot of TLC.
I might suggest you take a look at the Shopsmith forum. Those guys are very helpful.

-- 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 Fresch's profile


520 posts in 3413 days

#3 posted 07-24-2018 11:35 PM

Do not turn the speed selector unless the motor is turning.
Shopsmith is where all the information is, go there first.
What model do you have?
10ER has an eight inch saw blade and you can see the drive belts.
Mark5 (500) has a table with an edge, where the fence attaches.
Mark5(510) has a table with round tubes for an edge, where the fence attaches.
Mark5(520) has a table with big square edge, where the fence attaches.

View Dakkar's profile


360 posts in 3420 days

#4 posted 07-24-2018 11:52 PM

I’ve no experience with Shopsmiths, but I’ve turned on plenty of tools unused for that long—some around my own house. As long as the tool hasn’t been exposed to the elements (not all rusty) it should work OK right away. You might look for bug nests in the motor and maybe blow it out if you worry, but it will likely work anyway. It certainly won’t hurt to lube anything that obviously is made such as to allow it.

View BurlyBob's profile


10776 posts in 3758 days

#5 posted 07-25-2018 12:05 AM

My advice, follow their instruction and fire that puppy up. I mean what have you got to lose? It might open up a whole new world of possibilities. Best of luck.

View BlasterStumps's profile


2410 posts in 1932 days

#6 posted 07-25-2018 12:48 AM

don’t force the speed dial. if it doesn’t turn freely when the motor is on, it will need to be serviced. If you force it, it will damage it. Probably need to clean and lube the machine before using.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." MIke in CO

View Redoak49's profile


5620 posts in 3481 days

#7 posted 07-25-2018 12:49 AM

There are a lot of YouTube videos that could help you.

View Brian Talbert's profile

Brian Talbert

38 posts in 1563 days

#8 posted 07-26-2018 04:50 PM

You’ve gotten some good advise so far … and it’s worth repeating a third time … don’t turn that speed dial while the machine is turned off.

But start here. New Owner Information shared on the Shopsmith forums:


View Jeffery Mullen's profile

Jeffery Mullen

355 posts in 4310 days

#9 posted 07-28-2018 11:07 PM

I bought a shop smith for a $ 100.00 that was just going to get scrapped soon if I wouldn’t bought it. It was in good shape but the motor cord inside the machine plate had worn wires and needed replaced, must of been used a lot.
I got all the accessories with the sale. I had a place rewire every thing inside and got a new on off switch too. The belt was still in the good. The mark 5 shop smith kept tripping my house breakers as it is such a large motor to get started in the first place. I bought a industrial gas 120 / 220 generator to solve this problem and I got all the torque needed to run this beast now. It runs great at all speed. if you like to tinker with stuff the motor plate is easy to remove and see what makes this thing tick. I have lots to learn about it still. one thing not to do is put the saw blade on with out gloves I cut my hand real good as the saw blades are supper sharp.
Have fun from Lumber Jock Jeff.

-- Jeffery Mullen

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