Category Archives: Personal woodworking stories

I thought I was tech savvy, but…


Well, I guess its true that the pace and scope of computer technology sometimes leaves some of us behind. But the new PowerPro is easy to use.

I try to stay current; I have Facebook accounts (I don’t know why but am told I need them). I have a blog that confuses me and my visitors. I have a twitter account that I don’t get; I had a Linked In account that drove me crazy and was difficult to stop; I have a Tumbler account, unused; I have several unused Yahoo accounts, several Gmail accounts, even some old Aol accounts, long dormant.  I have a YouTube account that actually works well for me. I have a google+account that somehow ties into my YouTube stuff, I think. I would like to be able to email a lot of people at once, but that seems impossible as a DIY project.

In our home of two adults, we have two Mac desktops, two iPhone 10s, one Mac laptop, two iPads, three apple TV boxes, one Kindle, and high speed internet service. I have a closet full of old printers, old computers, and untold numbers of wires and connectors.

I host live Shopsmith webinars through Zoom and that works well. We Skype with the grandkids. I make and post dozens of videos on YouTube.

We buy a lot of stuff through Amazon, with good results.

I like to garden, to woodwork, to play with my dogs, to enjoy my wife, to cook, to follow politics, and I am learning to play the dulcimer.

I don’t want to sound like the late Andy Rooney, (who loved his Shopsmith, by the way…a gift from Arthur Godfrey). But maybe that’s why we greybeards have trouble staying current with technology. We have lives to live.

Anyone feel the same way?


Woodworking in retirement

When I started selling Shopsmith products in 1986, most of the buyers were in their 30’s and 40’s. Almost all of them were husbands, homeowners, and well educated. There were dentists, firefighters, orthopedic surgeons, policemen, service men, engineers, and more.Very few were women, unfortunately.

30 years later, we have seen a big increase in women woodworkers (Hoorah! My wife and two daughters are both skilled with the Shopsmith tools), but the biggest change that I have seen: most Shopsmith buyers now are retired, or close to retiring.

100_2055   In my shop with my grandson, Russell. We were making him a sword…10 years later, he still has it…no longer played with, now hanging on a wall, but still prized. My favorite projects are those I made for, or with, someone else…wife, kids, in-laws, grandkids, hopefully someday great grandkids.

Susan, a pioneer woodworker

And as I think about it, it makes sense. So many men I talked with over the years truly wanted to own a Shopsmith, but family obligations took precedence.

Now, the kids are through college, the house is paid for, and most importantly, they have the time, and money, to fulfill their dreams.                               IMG_2220IMG_4030

If you have always dreamed of making furniture, turning bowls, making things for the kids and grandkids, teaching woodworking to kids or grandkids (or just hanging out together making sawdust and memories), finishing DIY projects, getting out of your spouses hair, earning some extra income, etc. contact me.

Entertainment centers

With the popularity of big screen TVs and sound systems, the market for entertainment centers and custom case work is booming. This is our library. A local craftsman wanted $5000 to do this. We did it for $500.

If you are ready for a Shopsmith, contact me at Good advice, honest opinions, and discounts.

Spending time with my grandson. It doesn’t get better than this!

My brother goes Shopsmith!

My younger brother, Kip, is an excellent woodworker, but recently decided to sell off his PowerMatic table saw, jointer, planer, bandsaw etc.

He has had an old Mark V, unused for years. He is now learning how to work with the Shopsmith system, and I get to play big brother teacher.

I look forward to this experience (really!) and I will keep you posted, pros and cons.

He has already learned to love his Shopsmith bandsaw.

9-7-16: Kip has been using his Mark V for a few months now and he seems to be really enjoying it. He remarked that “I love that horizontal boring!” Not the first comment I expected, but that’s OK.

He is a talented guy and one of the first things he did was to build an indeed-outfeed system that will let him rip 4×8, ¾” hardboard. It is pretty amazing.The slotted pieces are his big “featherboard”. The rig takes about 10 minutes to set up and take down.

img_4539 img_4540 img_4542 img_4541

The ropes are part of a block and tackle for lifting the 90# panels onto the MarkV.


He says he also likes the conical sander (who doesn’t?) We used it for sharpening his jointer knives, and for dressing the edges of the hardboard. Beautiful!

9/20/16 Kip continues to reorganize his Shopsmith-based shop. I was concerned that he would have negative comments after owning individual tools for so long. But so far, he has had nothing but positive things to say.

He had started a project, adding wainscoating to his living room, then realized his shop needed reorganization and cleaning before he could continue. (Sound familiar?)

And he decided that before adding the wainscoating, he really should paint the living room. He removed the drapes before painting, then his wife decided new drapes would be in order. So paint, order new drapes, install new drapes, (borrow Little Giant ladder from his brother, me)…wash the windows…

Anyone have a story they would like to share about starting a small project that turned into something else?

Last week was my birthday, so my brother Kip took me, as a surprise, to a local wood slab supplier that I didn’t know about. It was fantastic!

The people their were super nice and helpful. They showed us slabs from 60″x24″x2″ huge slabs that were 12’x60″x4″ thick…walnut, maple, cherry, and many species I had never heard of.

Kip bought a slab 24″x72″x2″ thick claro walnut which brings me to this post and to Shopsmith.  He wants to make some musical instruments, and need to rip everything down to 6″ or less, and will then resew to ⅛” thick or less.

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.

A Twisted Tale, or Why a 4″ Jointer Works for Me.

Shopsmith's 4' jointer
Shopsmith’s 4′ jointer

Many years ago as a novice and unread woodworker, I decided  to make a dining room table. I had some tools, some wood, and a lot of confidence.

The boards I had were clear pine, good looking, and 10-12″ wide. It went well, I got some nice comments on it, and I thought “well, this is easy-why does any one need training?”

Until… about four months later, when my wife asked if the table was supposed to curve. Curve? The top had curved and cupped so badly that I could have spilled an entire pot of coffee on the top, with none ever hitting the floor.

“OK”, I thought, “I can figure this out.”

I turned the table upside down, put about 300 lbs. of weight on it and glued 2×4 on edge underneath the top. I clamped it securely, waited a couple of days and voila, problem solved.


About 4 months later, in the middle of the night, I was awakened by a loud “crack”! The table top had, in an instant, loudly, recupped. I first assumed that the 2x4s had broken at the glue joints.

No. THE FORCE OF THE WIDE BOARDS RECUPPING bent the 2x4s ON EDGE! The sound was the top boards splitting. I still have the table, and it is still spill proof.

I have since learned some basic, but important lessons: 1) If wood wants to move, it probably will. 2) Flipping boards one grain up, one grain down, only results in a corrugated board. 3) No amount of gluing and clamping will force the board flat for very long. And, 4) If I don’t take the time to do it right, I will spend much more time later doing it over.

And this is why a the Shopsmith 4″ jointer works for me. The best way I have found to keep wide boards from splitting and cupping and twisting, when edge gluing, is to rip them down to about 3 1/2″, then flatten, plane, edge join, and glue back together. If done carefully, the joints will be nearly invisible, and the project will be flat and straight 100 years from now.

Hello Shopsmith owner!

In my old shop with my grandson, Russell/
In my old shop with my grandson, Russell/

cropped-logo2011-copy.jpgWelcome to our blog, Shopsmith woodworker. We (my wife Susan and I) started this blog to share our love of woodworking and all things Shopsmith.

We invite you to share your thoughts, photos, plans, projects, and Shopsmith history with us and other Shopsmith owners.

We will post and share our experiences, answer questions (or help find the answers). We are both Shopsmith owners, and were demonstrators and instructors for more than 20 years.We have been recognized as “Shopsmith’s greatest goodwill ambassadors” by Shopsmith’s CEO Bob Folkerth.

On the Shopsmith Users Group, Susan has been called “flat out the best woodworking instructor ever.”

We are producing videos on how to use the Shopsmith tools, our favorite tips, and unvarnished opinions. These will be posted here, eventually, but most can be found on YouTube-search under Doug Reid Channel, or shopsmithdoug.

Disclaimer: We produce sales webinars for Shopsmith, but are not employees of Shopsmith; our opinions and techniques are our own, and we are responsible for all content.

Doug and Susan Reid