Prices on ShopSmith seem excessive...

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I could quite fancy a Shopsmith for some chairmaking jobs (mainly drilling) but I sure wouldn't pay real money for one.
Why is it that most of the US combi-machines I've seen have been like Shopsmith - basically a lathe headstock on a stick, whereas all the European combis are a jointer / tablesaw with protruding attachments that look like they ought to have Goldfinger tying James Bond to them.
--
Smert' spamionam

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You can park a Shopsmith in the space of a bicycle and, contrary to popular opinion, we don't all have gobs of extra space.
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Think of the Shopsmith as a small leatherman multi-tool, like we used to be able to carry on a keychain, until three years ago. It appeals to the small shop, primarily hobby/homeowner types.
I bought one, used it a while, and then bought better, less expensive dedicated tools when I started making larger, more accurate pieces. Mine is stored in my dad's garage, but I've been thinking of retrieving it, particularly for the sander and lathe functions. The table saw is roughly equivalent to the $99 Delta in function and accuracy.
The add-ons are horribly expensive, and add no particular value that I can see.
The ability to use it for horizontal boring could make it useful for chairmaking, if you wanted round tenons.
Patriarch
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On Wed, 20 Oct 2004 16:50:57 GMT, patriarch

with the 1/2" router chuck, it's also a workhorse in the shop...
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<snip>

Yeah, but don't go mistaking this for a real router. Nasty things can, and sometimes do, happen.
Patriarch
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On Fri, 22 Oct 2004 03:05:06 GMT, patriarch

ok.. now you've got me worried... what kind of nasty things??
I'm trying to follow a dual path: learning more wood working and keeping all of my body parts intact..
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One of the problems I had was using the quill to get the depth right, particularly as it was an overhead configuration. Fine adjustment was next to impossible.
Another had to do with the (relatively) slow speed of the bit. I had problems because the bit wasn't spinning fast enough to cut efficiently, and things tended to grab. The larger the bit, the bigger the problem. But a 3/4" straight cutter shouldn't have been a problem.
The experience was _much_ more akin to trying to route with a drill press, in general a bad idea. But the Shopsmith was never designed to spin a bit at 20,000 rpm.
I solved the problem, as I have many problems, with a credit card. A new 3.25 hp router, bolted to the bottom of a slab of melamine, and a simple fence, all clamped to a pair of sawhorses, was _much_ safer, and much more effective.
One of the lessons I learned from all of this was that you can use a chisel as a screwdriver, but it makes a poor hammer. Or something like that.
I'm keeping the Shopsmith around because it's paid for, and I'm thinking I'd like to try turning a little bit, without dropping another grand. It's not the world's best lathe, but then, I'm not the world's best woodworker, either. I may not even be the best on my block. ;-)
Of course, YMMV.
Patriarch
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Check your elbow height with the quill (head down). The difference is how much you'll have to raise the SS or lower yourself to avoid crippling your back while trying to use it as a lathe. I'm 5'6" and it was bad enough for me that SWMBO took to calling me Quasimodo after I'd spent a few hours turning on it. Other than that and the limited slow speed, it is pretty decent as a lathe.
YMMV.
LD
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On Fri, 22 Oct 2004 04:46:27 GMT, patriarch

Actually, the main thing that I've been using it for (when used as a router) is with a 3/4 straight carbide bit, doing dado's and rabbits on drawers and stuff... seems to work very well at the "rout/shape speed and give a very clean cut... If it's down on "saw/joint" or below, it tends to tug and rattle and the cut is not clean..
I've learned not to use it as a corner or edge router, unless I'm using boards that aren't warped or odd sized... not having a thickness planer (yet) I've found that routing with the bit over the table results in uneven patterns, as opposed to the bit under the table in my router table..
I don't think that was very well said.. *g* An example was my 1st set of drawer faces... I sanded most of the warp out of the blanks that I'd cut but gentle application on the belt sander, but the problem was that in this process, some of the faces were thinner then the others.. The difference wasn't that obvious until I ran them through the SS with a 3/8" rounding bit along the edges... Some edges came out nicely rounded with a crisp line at the top, some were just rounded with no line, and the rest had a mixture of the 2.. really ugly and a lesson well learned..
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