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Using the Mark 7 as a Base for your Chop Saw

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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.

The PowerPro headstock: a great investment for now and the future.

Cutaway of the new PowerPro headstock
Cutaway of the new Shopsmith PowerPro headstock

The new DVR (Digital Variable Reluctance) motor is neither the old fashioned AC or DC motor we have known forever. Rather, it is a magnetic based, computer controlled power plant that provides optimum torque and speeds for any operation.

In the past, many Shopsmith owners complained of the machine bogging down, or even stopping during heavy cuts. With the PowerPro, those days are gone. Torque is double the previous Mark V. I am able to power through cupped and twisted wood, knots, and the hardest woods with no slowing, burning or saw marks.

The PowerPro turns the Mark V into an excellent lathe: soft start, safety cut-out, slower speeds, and reversibility take the Shopsmith into a different league and should satisfy the most demanding turner.

The speed range is now 250-10,000 rpm, and the torque stays constant through all speeds. (All previous Mark Vs offer 750-5200 rpm.) PowerPro owners can now enjoy chatter free shaping at the high end, and safer turning and drilling at the low speeds.

The front push pad can be used with preset speeds, much like using the old system, or can be set for very fine detail; for example, I can choose the tool I am using, the hardness of the wood, the size of the cutter, the grit of the sandpaper, etc. While doing this may add a minute to the process, the results are so much better that it is well worth the time.

The new headstock is quieter, easy to learn, and FREE BONUS: can be converted to a 220v. system by simply changing out the plug on the end of the power cord! (Must then be plugged into 220v. outlet of course.)

This tool is a winner. The price may be beyond the reach of some, between $1300 and $1995; but considering the longevity of Shopsmith products, the nearly infamously great customer service, and the fact that a new Mark 7 sits right at $4000, I think the price is great. I also realized that not just my Mark V, but everything I attach to it benefits from having the PowerPro.

I am an independent contractor, not a Shopsmith employee. We currently host live webinars for Shopsmith, and get paid a commission from webinar sales . But I have made my reputation and my living by telling people the truth for the last quarter of a century. For an invitation to a webinar (subject to Shopsmith’s approval), contact me; shopsmithdoug@gmail.com. Discounts are available to webinar attendees.

http://www.teknatool.com/products/lathes/dvr%20xp/Downloads/DVR%20XP%20Smart%20Motor_April%2007.pdf   (Good technical info on DVR motor)

Oh, did I mention, it is not made in Taiwan?            Image

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 shopsmithdoug@gmail.com for honest advice and opinions, and for the best prices on any Shopsmith products.