Shopsmith Mark 5 Donation?

  • Someone emailed us this morning and they are wondering if we would be interested in a Shopsmith Mark 5. Sounds like it has not been used for a couple of years but was stored inside in a garage.

    To me it would make sense to get it if the parts are interchangable with the one we have in the shop. I just want to hear from a few of the woodshop gurus.

    Can we fit it in the woodshop?

    cc @Bradley-Maker @Vaughn @pierre @Wood-Worker @DCHydro @Torren

  • Design Lab

    @arasbm would photos of its condition help?

  • @Vaughn ok, I just replied to her and asked for some photos. The reason for donating it is that it was inherited and is no longer being used. Sounds like there are no known issues with it.

  • Wood

    I would say yes…I beloeve the parts are pretty interchangeble…that being said we can always set one up as lathe and the other bandsaw.

  • Member

    I am for this donation

  • Kind of to reiterate what we talked about at the meeting. I think we need to find the donor of the shopsmith we currently have and see if they would like it back with the understanding we’ve got an opportunity to put one in the building that belongs to the space. If so, it’s a no-brainer, let’s get it in.

  • If this donated Shopsmith has a functioning belt sander, that would let us get one of the most useful features of the SS back online (maybe even let us figure out how it is supposed to go back together… The motor and drive could probably be rigged to run in a different mount to take up less room if we don’t need to have the lathe feature available. The reason the SS is huge is that it has the ability to act as a lathe and a horizontal boring machine. Those two features need the long legs. Most of the other accessories only need about as much floor space as a little contractor saw.

    It should be noted that Brad’s ShopSmith was a stop-gap measure that meant we went from a big empty room with a table saw and a radial arm saw to a woodshop with a bandsaw, a scrollsaw, a jointer, a belt sander, a lathe, a spindle shaper, a boring machine etc. I’m not even sure how many other features the damn thing has, those are the ones I’ve looked into. We do not have replacements for all of those tools. And of the ones we do have, the drill press has much less capacity, the belt sander does not yet work, the jointer does not yet work etc… The machine is a monster for its ability to let me answer yes when somebody comes in and asks “Do you have _____ in your woodshop.” We’ve had people come in on hack, and go “I need to use this tool” and just gone in there and set up a lathe or bandsaw and let them go to work. Yes it is less convenient than having them set up all the time, but it is much better than having to admit defeat.

  • Here is a picture of it, the only one I got:


  • Is someone with a truck interested in picking up the shopsmith? The owner would like it gone before Christmas and they have no problem with us selling it to raise funds for more tools. Let me know and I will put you in touch with them.

  • My pickup will be empty before Christmas. I can go get it.

  • Design Lab

    I am voting this DOWN. Where are we going to store yet another half-working/non-working tool???

    I do not want a second shopsmith in the woodshop.

    In the woodshop we currently have:
    a non-working CNC table
    a non-working huge radial arm saw
    a non-working belt sander
    a bunch of non-working hand tools
    two half-working table saws, one of them half-torn apart.

    I am not ‘for’ anymore donations that take up space and do not actually work.

    If someone wants to take personal responsibility for why we are taking this, where it will be stored (other than in everyone’s way in the woodshop), and what the plan is for it and when that will be done, fine.

    But, unless someone wants to make this 2nd Shop Smith their personal mission and answers the questions above about it, ** I am voting it down**. I encourage others who feel the same way about our space limitations and have a sore back from pointlessly moving junk around to chime in and do the same!

    @arasbm @pierre @Chainmaildave

  • @Vaughn cool your jets buddy. We had a vote at the meeting.

    Also. When you say two half-working table saws, last time I was up there, they both worked. They were not thousand dollar saws, but they worked.

    The CNC table worked before it was moved. Nobody has worked on it since that I know of.

    Belt sander and Radial Arm need 3 phase or a VFD. I’m working on pricing a VFD.

    If you want to do something about the tools that don’t work, maybe make a list so we can fix or replace.

  • Design Lab

    @pierre my jets are just fine, thanks.

    What isn’t so hot is dealing with box after box of junk and tripping over or moving more of the same. We have spent weeks trying to get ahead of the junk here and the place is looking better - but something has to be done to address the junk being brought in. Ergo my post.

    The table saws are not working properly at all, actually. Antons has broken sides that wrecks unsuspecting peoples work. That is if it doesn’t trip the breaker because its power supply cord is not up to it. The other one does kinda work, but the fence is hokey, not square and it cannot rip sheets, anyway, because the bed is not large enough. Any serious woodworker laughs at both of them.

    The CNC table actually did not work before it was moved - ask Tyler (or anyone else who actually tried to do something on it and wasted their time and material).

    Glad to hear you have a plan in place to make the radial arm and belt sander work. Look forward to it.

    I AM doing something about tools that don’t work : I am suggesting we don’t accept any more of them.

  • The fence is not self-squaring. Nor were any table saw of that era that I’m aware of. The way you make the fence square is to measure at both ends. I’ve got half a dozen articles in shop-notes on how to build a better fence for the saw. I’m not sure which one to build. In a lot of ways, I’d rather build a sled than a better fence though. I really don’t like ripping ply on the table saw, it is safer and easier on your back with a panel saw.

    Any “serious” woodworker who does not know how to square a table saw fence would have me questioning their ability to safely use the tool.

  • Wood

    @Vaughn @pierre

    First off maybe I misread the intention behind"cool your jets buddy" but it seems a bit inflammatory.

    As a woodworker I can honestly say I can relate to what Vaughn is saying, there is alot of junk in there, with alot of people with well intentioned ideas about this or that. I disassembled the the radial and lugged it up those stairs along with others, then did a restoration on it cause everyone was in a hurry with power and there it sits today without one single power related progress to speak of, that I’m aware of anyway. I enjoy restoring equipment but I do it to see it run and be used not collect dust, I would happily go over the sander as well but I will not be restoring something to sit in the corner. Who is going to step up and get power to the big radial? And who is going to sell or get rid of the 2 or three other radials up there? Say the word I’ll sell em. And how many other duplicates making a mess up there? I’ll sell em to. Say the word I’ll take em and sell em and give the money to the space.

    And those 2 tablesaws, I don’t touch em, I’d sell them too, buy a 300-500$ saw that has some accuracy with some of the proceeds. Cause those saws 😑.👎 No safeties and no accuracy.

    Just my 2 cents

    Thanks Vaughn for standing up to be counted. I’m behind you.

  • @DCHydro I really don’t think you misread anything. It was probably more inflammatory than I should have been, but it was my honest reaction at the time and I’ll stand by it. I read the “voting this DOWN” (which I took as shouting about a decision that he did not like) as pretty inflammatory too. Especially since we had a fairly involved discussion at a meeting on the topic and took a vote then too. If @Vaughn’s feelings are hurt over it, I’m sure he will bring it up next time we cross paths.

    The plan was to replace Brad’s loaned shopsmith with one that the space owns outright, or modify this one to allow us to power two of the shopsmith accessories at the same time. One of the recurring complaints about having the shopsmith has always been that it only allows us to run one of several tools at a time. The counterpoint to that is that it provided a lathe, jointer, belt sander, spindle shaper, horizontal boring machine, scroll saw, bandsaw, etc that we would otherwise not have at all.

    The smaller of the two table saws in that room is the nicest table saw that I’ve ever owned. I’d considered removing it from the wood shop when Anton’s larger saw showed up, but I’m not terribly comfortable using that saw because of the way that the extension wings flex. Having a second saw came in handy when the power switch on Anton’s failed, and I did not have time to rewire it for a month or so. I’m not much of a woodworker, but I am quite confident that I can rip plywood or build jigs to make either of those saws perform at the limit of my meager skills.

    If you would like to elaborate about what features make a saw more accurate, I’d love to hear about it. My experience with modern table saws is limited to big-box sheet metal toys that are easy to haul around with one hand, but are flimsy. I like a saw that does not tip over or go flying during a kick-back. As I said, I’ve got a good selection of articles on how to add features to a table saw, and am trying to sort out which of them makes sense. I think what I really want is a fence with T-Slot extrusions to mount hold-downs on it, an adjustable outrigger brace to maintain squareness of the fence, built-in dust-collection, and a micro-adjust feature to tweak settings after a trial cut. Maybe independent micro-adjusts so you can tweak for both squareness and absolute distance.

    As for safety’s, do you mean sawstop? Blade-covers? E-Stop switches? Some sort of intelock and power-feed setup to keep the operator entirely clear of the machine? Or something else that I’m unfamiliar with entirely?

  • Classroom

    Okay so some of this is going a bit off topic for this donation thread, but I would like to get my two cents in here. In theory having two shopsmiths seems like a great idea, but we are obviously bumping up against space limitations. I would love to see a second shopsmith, but for the woodshop to be functional something else would have to go (possibly 3phase tools not currently working in the space?).

    From my perspective (an apartment dweller who was attracted to the space by the idea of a functional woodshop) a table saw with a large bed and runoff table would be a HUGE asset to the space. I’m not saying either of the saws in there can’t get to that point, but they are obviously not there currently. My experience with table saws primarily comes from working in high-school and commercial wood shops on saws that have giant beds and make life SO EASY. The larger saw in the woodshop seems to throw the breaker every time it is plugged in (was a large issue for hack night last night, so I threw some tape on there). This may have to do with the cord wired to it that looks like it may be more at home on a table lamp then connected to the sizeable motor that is currently is. The smaller saw seems to have less issues and a more square table, possibly we could take a look at building up what we have into a more functional solution. Another issue is having sufficient free space around the tools to flow materials and make efficient use of them.

    For any tools (hand or otherwise) that come into the space that are not fully functional, I think it makes sense to keep them out of a shop space unless there is a clear plan of action for repairing them (including everything that needs to be done to get it working WELL, who can and will be doing the work, and a timeline for removing/selling the item if it is not fully functional within the timeline).

    I realize that the Kamloops Makerspace is many things to many people, but personally I see more benefit to focusing on creating an efficient workspace with reliable tools, rather than succumbing to entropy and having the entire space packed to the rafters with items that MAY provide some space parts for a project that some member MAY decide to pursue at some undefined point in the future.

    I am aware that everyone might not fully agree with this, but I feel like I had to speak my mind here as I have personally observed the loss of potential members due cluttered/messy workspace and nonfunctional tools. If growing membership (to increase income, purchase new tools, and build capacity) is a real priority, which I feel it should be, this is something that will need to be addressed.

  • Design Lab

    My goal is to improve the shops, make them neater and more useful for the benefit of members old and new.

    I am voting down the 2nd Shop Smith because I don’t know it’s condition, we already have one, we have very limited space in the woodshop already, we have a lot of tools that half-work or don’t work. As things stand, the 2nd Shop Smith will probably end up being beached in the woodshop, in the way, not working and not benefiting the Space.

    As I said, if someone specific wants to do the W5 on the 2nd Shop Smith (What it is, What condition it is in, Why we are taking it, Where its going to go, Who is doing it and When that’s going to happen), then please speak up. Otherwise, I dont think we should be taking it.

    I currently spend 40-50 hours a month at the Space cleaning, organizing, helping other members, doing Maker Monday and Hack Night, teaching workshops, etc. I am doing this because I believe in this model and think it can be a super organization in the City. However, there are serious organizational issues and we need to focus on what we are doing well and improve it and also address problem areas in a forthright way. Shop cleanliness, organization and readiness is clearly a problem - and I am calling it out for positive reasons.

    I am rowing towards:





    • ORGANIZATION, LABELING AND SIGNS so you can find stuff

    Anyway, glad this conversation is happening!

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