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Slowly but surely, I continue to raise from the dead all the accessories on the old man’s ShopSmith. This weekend the jointer came out of retirement. It took about an hour to disassemble, knock all the rust off, and align correctly, but once it was ready, it fired right up.

The simple fact of it is this is still a great way to get the job done in my shop. I don’t really have the room to set up full units of each power tool station I might need, but this rig works just the same in the end. As many have pointed out, there are better jointers in the world, and you do pay a setup cost in time with each tool swap — but for the sheer bonus of having one, the ShopSmith pays out in spades with each project.

This was also the first day of service for the accessory coupling that connects the jointer to the head stock. It makes one of 3 parts I’ve paid the rather heavy SS retail price for. However, with the excellent results I’m getting out of the rig, it seems to be worth it.

ShopSmith [Website]


8 Responses to ShopSmith Jointer: Back From The Dead

  1. Jerry says:

    I tend to agree with some others that the SS does take a bit of time to swap out the different tools. However, anyone with limited shop space can quickly discover that they have more incentive to get in the shop and get busy if they have a SS in there. I have never owned a SS but have used one many times and have been impressed at the accuracy I get when taking time to carefully set things up. It’s certain that you can’t just quickly swap out the various tools and get very good results. Of course, that applies to those specific purpose tools as well. Taking time to set up before starting up is always the best plan.

  2. Shopmonger says:

    Jerry I am glad to see someone who understands the idea behind the SS. I too have never owned one, but my grandfather and my uncle have owned one for many years and they do some wonderful wood working with them. I have used them on occasion and I always found them to be a very capable unit. Most of the naysayers and haters have never really used one. They simply go on what they have heard and what they understand to be true. The SS is a wonderful tool, and can be for decades. I am lucky and have stand alone room for stand alone tools, but if i did not …SS is the way to go.


  3. SG says:

    I have Montgomery Ward’s SS 2 that was given to me a while back. While it is decidedly less of a machine than the 5, I can honestly say that it is extremely versatile and does work very well.

    I don’t work with wood much, but do a lot of metal work. I have re-purposed this to handle things like buffing aluminum, drilling, and some grinder work. Just to think that I have three machines in the space of one is something that I do enjoy about it.

    Not the best, but not the worst. And consider that this thing has been running for over 40 years and 4 owners says a lot for this thing.

  4. fred says:


    I’m with you – as the lyric in the Dylan song goes “don’t criticize what you don’t understand”. I’m a woodworker only by avocation – and leave that part of my commercial business to those who have been trained to the craft and carry the appropriate union cards. For my home shop, I have a fair amount of room – and acquired my machine tools over time – starting with a table saw and a jointer – and the shopsmith seemed pricey when I was starting out. I also note that from what I’ve seen over the years – many others coax very good work (better than mine) out of Shopsmiths. This is probably because they are more talented than I am – rather than a result of the machinery we use. I am also humbled by the notion that Colonial craftsman – working mostly with hand tools – produced finer furniture than I will ever even aspire to.

  5. Kurt Schwind says:

    My shop is tiny. I can either have 1 table saw, or 1 shopsmith. I had a 1960 craftsman tablesaw that died a little over a year ago. I opted to get a used, but well kept shopsmith as a replacement and I don’t regret it at all.

  6. pmbard says:

    I just inherited a ShopSmith from my wife’s grandfather. What’d you use to knock off the rust?

  7. Todd Kimball says:

    Have inherited a Shop Smith table saw with the patent #89581 serical No Model 10PE. Any information on the year etc. of the saw would be appreciated.

  8. John Harrell says:


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