Tag Archives: PowerPro

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

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.