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ShopSmith Mark 510 Worthy at all?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Means2nEnd, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. Means2nEnd

    Means2nEnd Supporting Member

    Hello Talkbass luthiers I have been reading your posts for so long and so many are so inspiring. I have been as well as a gigging player a local sort of tech doing fret jobs, preamp and pickup jobs, basic re finishing jobs, and all sorts of minor repairs and set ups. Never thought of it as going anywhere from there but lately I am inspired to start to build from scratch. I just can’t stop thinking about it and gathering information and ideas.

    At first I was going to just start buying essential tools but then realized to do things well I must convert my large basement into the shop I want it to be so I can do a good job and have what I need. Enough lighting and power around the place was the last thing I was thinking of but as I sat to plan everything I realized this was the first thing I need to plan out and set up then work areas and work benches.

    I have a question about larger power tools as in table saws, band saws, and routers with and without tables, drill press, jointer, dust collector and all that jazz. I was looking at DeWalt, Grizzly, Laguna and all individual pieces but starting adding these items up and I was looking at over 7K for new stuff this just threw me back and wind from sails gone. I found something I never heard of a ShopSmith with a bunch of these things already there for less than 1000 locally and the unit is basically new with 7 tools built in. Now I’m not an idiot I realize you get what you pay for and separate units is a better way to go but if I can’t bank all those items it will never happen. This wouldn’t be all I’m going to procure for building but thought it would be a good start and I could always upgrade and switch out later if this thing goes well. Has anyone here ever used a ShopSmith for building? What was your experience with it and its different parts like the drill press the table saw the jointer etc… Any advice would be taken and appreciated. Thanks I hope to be posting builds here in the next few months and will be asking questions as well.
  2. Tdog


    May 18, 2004
    ShopSmiths are a fairly low end machine for the guy who just likes to play around with "stuff" in his garage.......You'll soon get tired of constantly changing the machine over from one configuration to another. This means that you don't have the ability to have a set up for operations that you may need to come back to later in the day...PIA!

    Let's say you need to use it set up as a disc sander for 10 seconds, then you have to change it back to a bandsaw to cut a small part, then see the need to go back to the disc sander.....See where this is goin'?

    We had a ShopSmith 25 years ago. The dedicated space for our shop was very limited at the time (10x10 tool shed)....It was OK for what it did, but It was outgrown very quickly.....My shop is now @1800 sq ft.

    Get the best machines/tooling that you can afford and you won't have to buy it again.
  3. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    This covers pretty much everything I would say. I've had a few friends who got them and just got too frustrated to keep dealing with it:help:. The Shopsmith is great for someone who wants to poke around or do turnings. Would never recommend one if you want to actually complete a normal building project. In my opinion a Shopsmith is really a medium quality lathe with enough exta tooling to rough out your turning blanks. Anything else gets very inefficient very quickly.

    Of course others may disagree. :cool: