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How I set up a stacked dado; test cut using PowerPro

I made some dado cuts using the PowerPro for the first time-big difference! I was cutting 3/4″ wide by 1/2 deep dados and the machine just powered through with almost no effort. I also found (not sure why yet) that the resulting cuts were smoother.

This video shows simple,quick techniques for setting up a stacked dado.

See related post on making a dado fence.

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.

Upgrading and using the Power Pro

Longtime Shopsmith instructor Doug Reid shows how to use the Power Pro controls, and why you should upgrade. (Or get a new Mark 7).

Shopsmith’s new PowerPro headstock is the best thing Shopsmith has done since offering the 510/520 upgrades-maybe the best thing ever.

The headstock comes standard on the new Mark 7, but can be added to any of the Mark V series, all the way back to 1953.

You will get noticibly more power, ease of use, a quieter tool, and most of all,  just more fun.

The new motor (do a google search for DVR motors for more technical details) offers the more power for it’s size and weight than anything else I know of on the market today. The motor is controlled by a preprogrammed computer that sets not only the right speed, but the right amount of torque (usable power) for every operation…and does it on 80% less electricity.

Contact me at for honest advice and opinions, and for the best prices on any Shopsmith products.

Power Pro Headstock Review

pp_cutaway_d_l        sf_speed_control_aIMG_1505m7_cutaway_motor

Now, about the PowerPro: I like it, A LOT! The motor is a new technology that is neither AC nor DC in the way we would normally think of things. They call it Digital Variable Reluctance and a Google search will provide you with a great deal of information about this new type motor.

For me, what is important: I get twice the usable torque at every speed!

This has always been the missing ingredient in variable speed products. Whether slicing through heavy rip cuts in old warped cherry, turning large, out of balance bowls, or resawing on my band saw, the difference is clear. In fact, every operation that is powered by the Mark headstock gets an upgrade. I can take heavier cuts on my jointer, resaw thicker boards, crosscut and rip with ease, turn bigger bowls, more safely and efficiently.

The motor is controlled by a computer that reads and adjusts torque requirements at a rate of 400 times per second, and not only gives me noticeably better performance, the folks at Shopsmith tell me the power usage is reduced by 80%.

I found learning to use the PowerPro quick and intuitive. The only habit I found hard to break was using the main on/off switch, but that was quickly overcome with use.

One of my favorite things about this new technology is the ability to improve it even more by a five-minute conversion to 220…really, five minutes.

It simply involves removing the standard 110v plug and replacing it with a 220v plug, then plugging into a 220v receptacle. (If you don’t have 220v. in your shop, it is easy to add, if your circuit breaker panel is near, and it has room to add a circuit.) IF IN DOUBT, CONSULT A LICENSED ELECTRICIAN.

Other good features: You can set a lock out code to keep kids or anyone else from operation your Mark V or Mark7. You can get so precise; for example, you can set exactly for strip sanding, 180 grit, hardwood, garnet abrasive. It’s just fun to use.

While this is not an inexpensive upgrade, I feel like it leap-frogs Shopsmith owners ahead of anything else on the market. ♥♥♥♥♥

Note: Susan and I contract with Shopsmith, Inc. to produce webinars for Shopsmith. We get paid commissions when people purchase Shopsmith products through us.
However, as we have for 20 + years, we strive to provide honest advice and our best opinions in all of our dealings.

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