I have the opportunity to buy a 1960s model "Anniversary Edition"
Shopsmith Mark V.
The machine is not running possibly because the speed control is in
need of replacement (stripped or something).
It comes with a bandsaw attachment.
Should I buy it?
Can I easily bypass the speed control to test the motor?
I have never seen these machines before other than in pictures.
The speed control has nothing to do with the motor running I would remove
the motor and use compressed air to blow it out. Probably dust in the start
circuit or contacts if that doesn't do it check switch and wiring if still
no go maybe replace the capacitor. Oh yes I would buy it if I were you lots
of parts are available on ebay and the ssusers web site Good luck Russ
Russ is correct in his recommendations. If you are at all mechanically
handy, you can make this a really useful machine in your shop. Almost all
the parts and diagrams are readily available.
There's a pretty good users group on Yahoo, I understand.
I was leaning that way and you cinched it for me.
It does seem like a really good deal. I got on the
phone with the company and they said that all parts
can be replaced even on old machines such as this one
(that is if I can't fix or find used).
The used market has gone down on Shopsmiths the last couple of years. The
result is that there are folks out there buying used machines cheap and parting
them out on ebay. You should be able to get most any major parts needed used at
good prices (compared to Shopsmith's rather high prices at least). Certain
things should NOT be purchased used though and these include the parts to fix
that speed control. Go to the Shopsmith.com web site and look in their on-lone
catalog for the 17 most ordered parts. You will find that the handle and the
"porkchop" gear are there. They are not outragous and they give good directions
for the install. You will find that customer support ranks right up there with
Lee Valley (amazinga US company anywhere near Canadian Customer Service
levels). Other things I would not buy used are belts and the upgrade 2 bearing
quill. Last advice is to keep in mind that you have what is now called a model
500 and you do not want to be buying certain parts that fit model 510s and
520s. These would be saw tables, extension tables fences, arbors, sanding disks
(the actual steel disks, not the sandpaper), etc. Have Shopsmith send a printed
catalog - everything is clearly labeled as to which models of Mark V they fit (
as well as whether they fit the 10E's, 10-ER's, Mark II's and Mark VII's no
longer in production). The catalog also has a very detailed exploded diagram
and parts list for the Mark Vs and major add-on tools such as the bandsaw,
jointer, beltsander, strip sander, etc.
Part of me says $100 - What the heck give it a try. You can afford to spend
a little more money on it.
The other part of me says for a little more money you might be able to pick
up a newer machine on ebay or from a local classified. It is not all that
uncommon to see 10 - 15 year old machines priced in lower hundreds.
Shopsmiths are well made machines but they lose their attractiveness with a
lot of users. I have seen several posts, very similar to yours, here and on
ABPW during the past few months so the market is active.
If you decide to buy, grab all of the rotating and adjustment parts (shafts,
trunnions, etc) and try to detect looseness. Also rotate them by hand to
detect rough bearings, binding, etc. As another post suggest, if you are
mechanical minded it might be a fun restoration project. You might also
want to check SS for parts prices. A machine can collect a lot of wear in
30 to 40 years.
On 25 Aug 2004 10:06:44 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (BobsGoogle) wrote:
The Mark V speed control is mechanical. The crank knob moves an
adjustable sheave, altering the effective ratio of the belts and
pulleys. Even if the speed adjustment is busted, the motor should run
when you turn on the switch.
IIRC, SS has a powerhead reconditioning program where they completely
recondition the power head for a fixed charge, which used to be
something like $400. Don't know if they still offer that or what the
current rate is; you may be able to find it on the web site.
I've had a Mark V (now upgraded to a 510) for over 20 years and it
still runs fine. I replaced one little bearing a few years back and
that's it for repairs. Other than the stuff in the powerhead, there's
not too much expensive that tends to wear out. Even if you had to
spend the $400-500 to have the powerhead reconditioned, if everthing
else is in good shape, you end up ok in my book.
I've graduated to separate tools now that I have space, but I still
find the SS handy for lots of stuff so I keep it around.
If you search the wreck archives for shopsmith, you will find endless
threads debating pro's and con's. Read up and decide if you would be
happy with it if you had to spend a few hundred to fix it up, and if
so, go for it.
email@example.com (BobsGoogle) wrote in message
Done Deal. I bought it. As you said, the motor does actually run
even though the speed control is shot. It looks like its age for sure
but I am going to buy a catalog and fix it up. A whole new head unit
is like $1140 with the new motor and all that so who knows, maybe I
will get that if the rest of the machine is performing well. It is
still in pieces in my basement at this point.
Thanks for the help and I will definitely be back in here with
questions and maybe at some point, advice for the next newcomer.
firstname.lastname@example.org (BobsGoogle) wrote in
The speed control may not be shot, the dial may just be loose. On mine,
the dial loosens up and turning it to change speed does not produce the
desired result. After getting the dial appropriately tightened (at this
instant I can't remember how) I'm back in business.
Take a look at the SS web site and get the SS book and the Parts Manual
*before* you buy anything for it. There is a lot of good information on
maintenance, repair, and tuning.
Good luck with it.
Check ebay. The headstock units, used but much newer than yours,
regularly sell in the $300 range. That should get you upgraded to the
1 1/8 hp motor, the two bearing quill, the new poly V belt system
(compared to your gilmer belt system - SS chaged systems in the early
1960's), and the new switch type. Look for units from at least the
middle 1980's but you can usually find one from the 1990s if you check
ebay periodically. On the other hand, those 1950s headstocks are
running all over and all parts are available. If all it needs is the
speed control I would get the parts and fix it up.
On 30 Aug 2004 06:37:42 -0700, email@example.com (BobsGoogle) wrote:
if nothing else, you've probably bought $500 worth of parts, from what
I see selling on ebay..
I'm on my 2nd mark V.. (lost 1 in a divorce)
Great machine for folks with limited space.... very good table saw for
small, intricate cuts but you'll need a radial or cutoff saw to
I love the lathe but use it mostly for a router and drill press.. you
can do all 3 without tilting it, which can get old quickly.. once you
get used to horizontal drilling and routing, you'll only tilt it up
for special jobs..
Also, lots of shopsmith sites and groups out there for help and
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.