Though it seems to be a point of contention with shop dwellers the world over, the ShopSmith that lives at my place still continues to prove that it’s up to whatever task I lay down before it. I’m close to a dozen projects into since I set it up and it hasn’t missed a beat yet — except for snapping a 20-year-old belt on the band saw.
It’s true that you can get a bunch of standalone tools that do the same job, and there are drawbacks with the all-in-one setup time that is the rallying cry for nay-sayers. However, after an experience with my hand-me-down rig I can say that it does indeed work great if you’re willing to put up with about 3 minutes of change-up period for the different configurations.
Does it work for everyone? — obviously not. It does work to spec and provide a great deal of functionality in a small package, though. If you hunt one down used it’s not a bad bargain and the things you can accomplish from lathe work to the horizontal boring machine are uber handy to have around the shop. Hate if you want to, but it’s a great piece of gear we love having access to.
ShopSmith [Shopsmith site]