Late night TV ads

I’ve been getting a number of emails recently about the new version of the Shop Smith that is apparently (according to the ads) all the rage, and “not your Grandfather’s Shopsmith”

Originally out in the 50’s, the Shop Smith is a machine that looks fit for late night TV “but wait, there’s more”. It’s a tablesaw, disk sander, lathe, drill press, horizontal mortiser, bandsaw, shaper, router, and, well, I’m probably a bit confused about what is on the new current machine, vs the 50s version.


Think I even saw one of the originals when helping a local community shed out selling some old tools.

If you took a Teknatool XP lathe and mashed it with the original Shop Smith, you’d get an idea of the current offering.






In this day of cheap Chinese-built workshop machines, it is surprising to see such a combination machine still on the market, and in production.

Being sold through Lowes in the US, I wonder if their Australian branch (Masters) will sell it down under? Be interested to see it in action through an in-store demo!

If sold via late night TV, I wonder if it’d come with a set of steak knives?

6 Responses

  1. Very, very minor nit-pick, but the Shopsmith actually debuted in the 1940s. The first company to make it was Magna Engineering. They released the Shopsmith 10e and 10er. They were sold through Montgomery Wards from 1947-1953.

    • Thanks for the correction- that is interesting background. They (Shopsmith and Wikipedia) both list 1953, but obviously ignore the original precursor machine(s)

      Have you had any experience of the Shop Smith?

  2. “not your Grandfather’s Shopsmith”

    Whats wrong with my Grandfathers Shopsmith??? I have had it for 10+ years and have found it very useful when starting out. I have gradually replaced most of the separate components with dedicated machines however it still gets quite a lot of use.

    Its a similar concept to the Triton unit but can actually be capable of much more. It didn’t really take off in Australia from what I can tell, there were limited local distributors and being the mid 80’s getting things from OS was much harder than today.

    It would still be a good choice for limited space, but for a larger garage perhaps single machines would be the way to go.

    • No idea what is wrong with your Grandfather’s Shop Smith- that’s the tag line Shop Smith themselves use to describe their new unit!

      It’d be interesting to see if Shop Smith are trying to get the machine to simply be all things to all users, as opposed to the Torque which does one thing exceptionally well and is so good at that it carries across to other tools.

  3. Interesting 3 part demo from the UK on Youtube. It looks a very sturdy machine and a briliant concept with some limitations obviously. At 3-4 thousand dollars in the US, they don’t come cheap but as stated for those with limited space it could be a pretty handy piece of equipment

  4. I owned a Mark V Shopsmith for over three decades … when I bought the machine, it was less expensive than stand alone units … and it fit the space I had. Very well built machine! I sold it last year .. needed room in the shop. Its last use was as the “big lathe” in the shop (I have five others), and I bought the DVR XP.

    Throughout the years the folks at Shopsmith have kept things alive, to be sure. The use of XP technology will, I think, help. Biggest hassle for me was getting the saw in order … great drill press, etc. etc. It spent the last years raised up 8″ on blocks so the lathe was at a proper height!

    I’ve heard that they are in partnership with Lowes … and actually saw a Shopsmith lonely in the corner at the store once. However, a search for “Shopsmith” at the local store online only gets their branded abrasives (saw them when I was at Lowe’s earlier today.

    By the way, I’ve heard of a number of woodworking shops that use Shopsmiths exclusively … having more than one, often set up for different operations.

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