All posts by shopsmithdoug

Do you love the smell of fresh cut pine, the feel of finely finished walnut, and owning good tools? My shop is my sanctuary, and woodworking is my therapy. I feel very fortunate to have been able to earn an income doing something I love. How can I help you?

Owners comments

Thank you for the Webinar.  I very much enjoyed it.I purchased the Mark 7 upgrade last May.

I haven’t had time to use it much, but I did recently rip some ¾” MDF with it.  It cut through it like butter!  I am really looking forward to using my Mark 7 more!

Thanks again,

Steven–Reno, NV

Wow! Life is good!

Wow! I am getting back on my feet after my little tussle with leukemia (in full remission, thanks for asking). I am spending more time in my shop and making videos again.

I also want to get this blog going again, relook at Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.

Shopsmith still wants me to do a video series they will offer on their website, and I think I will enjoy that.

If anyone has suggestions for video topics, let me know and I will discuss with Shopsmith.

Shopsmith Multipurpose Machine History — Mark V / Mark 7

Shopsmith Multipurpose Machine History — Mark V / Mark 7.

The Shopsmith website,, can be a little difficult to navigate, but has a huge amount of good information. I just met with the folks at Shopsmith and they are planning to streamline the site this year.

Susan just found the link above, (reproduced below)and I think it is a great, concise summary of the MarkV and Mark7s from 1953 until now. If you bought or inherited a used Shopsmith, or are looking to purchase, this should be a good resource for you.

Shopsmith Mark V/Mark 7 Tool History

Shopsmith Mark V Model 500 -- An American Classic Since 1953

Mark V (Model 500) Magna America put this American classic 5-in-1 tool into production in 1953. Since its introduction the Mark V has gone through a series of important upgrades to improve its performance, working convenience and safety.

Today, any Shopsmith owner is able to add any or all of these upgrades to their older machines — and do it themselves — to bring their machine up to the latest standards. No other power tool that we know of offers this level of upgrade-ability!

Shopsmith Mark V Greenie

1953 to 1960 — Greenies

Mark Vs during this period were painted green. These units had a Gilmer Drive System (the inside of the top belt is like a tank track). These units were a single bearing spindle. 3/4 Hp motor was the standard. An information packet, including copies of parts lists, owners manuals and more, can be ordered Here.

Shopsmith Mark V Goldie

1960 to 1963 — Goldies

Brown / Gold / Tan / Anniversary Model machines produced during this period were painted tan/gold. An information packet, including copies of parts lists, owners manuals and more, can be ordered Here.

1960 – Poly-V Drive System (the inside of the top belt is a serpentine) introduced, delivering improved belt durability and reduced machine maintenance.

More Powerful 1-1/8 HP Motor

1962 – 1-1/8 HP Motor

The more powerful 1-1/8 HP Motor was introduced. Your can upgrade from a 3/4 hp motor to the more powerful 1-1/8 hp motor. An information packet, including copies of parts lists, owners manuals and more, can be ordered Here.

1963 to 1964 — Gray Crinkle Texture

These were the next units to have the Poly V drive system. An information packet, including copies of parts lists, owners manuals and more, can be ordered Here.

1964 — Was Temporarily Out of Production

The Magna America Corporation relocated and the Mark V went out of production.

1972 — Shopsmith, Inc. Formed — Mark V is Back!

In 1972, Shopsmith, Inc was formed and the Mark V was back! The Mark V now remains gray but now has a rougher splatter texture.

Less Runout and Wobble

1984 — Two Bearing Quill

In October of 1984 (starting with serial number 190000), Shopsmith upgraded the drive system to the 2-Bearing Quill. Older Poly-V Drive System Mark Vs can be Upgraded to the Two-Bearing Quill for greater stability with less runout and wobble. A Mark V information packet, including copies of parts lists, owners manuals and more, can be ordered Here.

1985 — Mark V Model 510

Big 17-1/2 inch x 22 inch Main Table

In 1985, the Mark V Model 510 was introduced with an improved, big 17-1/2″ x 22″ main table. The table system also includes two floating extension tables along with connecting tubes and telescoping legs to provide over 8 feet of table width. A new larger rip fence with t-tracks for mounting accessories and jigs. Other parts of the upgrade include a see-through upper saw guard (with riving knife and anti-kickback device), lower saw guard with 2-1/2″ dust port and more. An Upgrade kit is available to add the larger, more expandable table and fence system to Model 500 Mark Vs. A Mark V Model 510 information packet, including copies of parts lists, owners manuals and more, can be ordered Here.

1991 — “C” Headstock

1991 Mark V Models were introduced with the “C” Headstock featuring a Red Safety Key Switch.

1999 — Mark V Model 520 Introduced

Shopsmith Mark V Model 520 Features the Pro Fence System

In 1999 the Mark V Model 520 (with Pro Fence System was introduced. The Model 520 Pro Fence System features two interchangeable stainless steel scales for direct-reading of rip cut widths… plus… twin locking levers… one for the infeed end of the fence and another for the outfeed end to ensure a positive, precise fence lock-down, even when working with large and / or heavy workpieces. An upgrade kit for the Mark V Model 500, as well as an upgrade kit for the Mark V Model 510, is available to give these advantages to older machines. An information packet, including copies of parts lists, owners manuals and more, can be ordered Here.

2010 — Shopsmith Mark 7

Shopsmith Mark 7The Revolutionary Shopsmith Mark 7

The Shopsmith Mark 7 adds two additional functions (shaping and routing) to become a 7 function machine and features an electronic speed-change mechanism making it one of the most revolutionary woodworking power tools available anywhere!

Shopsmith PowerPro Headstock with Digital Variable Reluctance Motor

The Shopsmith Mark 7 is powered by the revolutionary Shopsmith PowerPro Headstock. The PowerPro’s DVR (Digital Variable Reluctance) motor features • More Power (1-3/4 hp at 120V and 2 hp at 240V) • 120V or 240V operation without any adjustments beyond switching the plug on the power cord • Reduced energy usage and emissions over conventional motors • Dual direction capability • Easy-to-use touchpad controls • Quieter operation • Reduced maintenance… and more! Click here to read more about the benefits the advanced Shopsmith PowerPro brings to the Mark 7 and about options for upgrading older Shopsmith machines.

Double-Tilt Provides the Flexibility of Both Over and Under-Table Operation

In addition to existing functions, the Mark 7 adds Double-Tilt to bring an under-table option to its Shaping and Routing capabilities. An upgrade is available to bring tilt-both-ways convenience to older Shopsmith Mark V machines.

Information about other machines bearing the Shopsmith name (10E, 10ER, Mark II, Mark VII, and Sawsmith Radial Arm Saw is available here.

Using the Mark 7 as a Base for your Chop Saw


A chop saw is the one tool I really want to have in addition to my Mark 7. Yes, I can, and do, make compound miter cuts on my Shopsmith, as long as the project is fairly small, nothing more than a 3′ length.

But for longer cuts, like crown molding on kitchen cabinets, bookcases, etc. nothing beats a compound miter (chop) saw.

Since space is always limited, and a big chop saw base takes up a lot of real estate, it occurred to me that the Shopsmith could make a nifty base for my small Ryobi chop saw.

Here are my requirements: It would have to mount on and off the Shopsmith quickly. It would need to be solid and secure. It would….no, I guess that’s it. (Discovery! I found that if I do it right, I can still use it as the Mark 7 as a table saw while the chop saw is in place!)

My idea is to use the main and extension table of the Shopsmith to provide support on either side of the chop  saw.

New Shop Deputy-funny name, great idea!

I hate to review a product before I have my hands on it, but Shopsmith has something new that for me is a real “head slapper”, one of those “why didn’t I think of that?”, and I wanted to get the word out to everyone ASAP.  They call it the Shop Deputy, and it looks like the perfect solution for those of us that have upgraded to the PowerPro headstock and the Double Tilt.

When you upgrade to the Double Tilt, you replace the two end castings, and if you get a new headstock, you are probably looking for something to do with the old headstock. The Shop Deputy is the answer. The kit consists of two short way tubes, mounting hardware and directions. You use your old headstock and end castings to make this! This is an inexpensive way ($100-$150.) to get a great deal more use from your Shopsmith tools. I will post more here when I get mine set up.

The new Shop Deputy lets us use our old headstock and end castings to make our own power base!
The new Shop Deputy lets us use our old headstock and end castings to make our own power base!


Oversized casters a great investment


556224 3″ Diameter Caster Wheels (Set of 4) …    $42.99  (as of 1-25-13) from Shopsmith

The new casters from Shopsmith are one of my favorite all time upgrades.

I pushed, pulled, and wrestled Mark Vs all over the country for 20 + years, over gravel, in and out of malls, hotels and fairgrounds. If these casters had been available then, I would have paid triple the price.

Simply put: they make rolling the Mark V EASY! Shopsmith says, on their website and in ads, that you can push the Mark V/Mark 7 around with 1 finger…all true.

To install, you  will need to turn the Mark upside down (see my video link below) drill a new set of holes, and install the casters. The new casters come with a paper template to make sure the holes are drilled in the right place. (THIS IS IMPORTANT!)

The only difficulty I had was breaking loose the old nuts that held the old caster assembly in place…some WD40 a half hour earlier would have been a good idea. It took me about 30 minutes to install.

Video on installing the casters: