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Thread: Shopsmith Help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Near Winchester, VA
    Posts
    58

    Shopsmith Help

    Hello again! I've been absent for a while here due to some personal issues and having to do some other things.

    Yesterday, my husband and a friend of ours helped me get my old Shopsmith setup and inventoried. While the motor needs to be re-wired, it works!! The motor turns on, and the arbor turns. I can even slide all movable parts back and forth on the railways. I was absolutely delighted to see the old thing working.

    The Shopsmith I have is labeled "ER" and I believe it's the one marketed by Montgomery Ward's after WWII. It's got a low serial number, I think it's 43092 (I'm not down in the shop right now). There were a lot of "parts" chunked in with it when I bought it some years ago, and I've now got them inventoried. I have a complete table saw setup (including some incredibly rusted blades and a dado set complete with all the chippers), and a bunch of rusty drill bits. Fortunately, the lathe tool rest was also there as well as the lathe tail stock and a couple tail pieces for lathe mounting.

    What I'm concerned with is getting a chuck for it. As I understand it, it's a 5/8" 8tpi on the spindle (quill). Since I'm really REALLY a newbie at lathe anything, I would assume I need to get a chuck that mounts to this? Or do I take that out and mount a smooth, keyed piece and mount a chuck to that? And if so, where do I get this piece?

    I'll get some pictures of it today. It's really in pretty good shape considering it's been idle for many many years. Any help with this machine is welcome. I'd like to use it as a lathe, as I find myself with the "urge to turn" lately!
    I keep cuttin, but it just ain't gettin any longer!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Floydada, Tx
    Posts
    1,941
    The standard shopsmith chuck would be a 5/8" non threaded. It will have a set screw instead of threads.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Coastal plain of North Carolina
    Posts
    564
    Sandy, when I first started turning I turned on my Shopsmith. I have had 3 in my woodworking career and currently have a Shopsmith Mark V 500 in the shop now. My first one was a 10ER just as you described.

    While a Shopsmith will do a lot of things it will not do a lot of them well. It is far better for spindle turning than for faceplate turning with a chuck. You are asking a lot of a 5/32" set screw to hold a 3,4 or 5 pound chuck on a tapered flat that is on a 5/8" spindle. I tried it and had some scary moments while roughing bowl blanks when the set screw vibrated loose. I strongly recommend you taking great care when mounting a chuck on that flimsy 5/8" spindle.

    I still use my Shopsmith as a drill press, horizontal borer, drum sander and 12" disc sander but not for much else. I used it for many other things over the years and it did a fine job as long as you were careful about checking the alignment which needs to be checked every time you change set ups. As I said a Shopsmith does a lot of things but it does not excel at any of them.
    I may be getting a little older physically but mentally I'm still tarp as a shack.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Near Winchester, VA
    Posts
    58
    Thanks for the input. Knowing little to nothing about the tool, I've done a bit of research and have checked out the shopsmith site. Unfortunately, they don't support the ER version.

    I think what I have to do is get the saw blade arbor off and find a smooth arbor to mount the spindle chuck to. I have the spindle chuck, but not the smooth arbor. Getting that threaded arbor off is proving to be difficult. Any hints on how these things are supposed to come off?
    I keep cuttin, but it just ain't gettin any longer!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Floydada, Tx
    Posts
    1,941
    Have a pic of it?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Southeast Pa
    Posts
    2,019
    Sandy
    What do you want to turn.

    If you want to do small stuff like pens I'd start with the Pen State industries stuff designed for the shopsmith. They also have some 5/8 to threaded chuck adapters.
    Some of it is listed here.

    http://www.pennstateind.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?


    I believe the catalog has more listed. I have an old shopsmith and you must be very careful when turning with it...




    Contrary to what many think I have found shopsmith support to be less than desirable.
    Many of the parts for the newer stuff will still work on the real old units. But you are more or less on your own to figure it out...


    Good Luck!
    Garry

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Near Winchester, VA
    Posts
    58
    Wow...got some things done today. Got a new belt. I figured it was a 38" but that may be a tad too long...not sure. The motor is off, awaiting an inspection/rebuild. I got the threaded rod off the arbor, and have the spindle chuck mounted now. What I thought was the arbor was actually that threaded rod held on with rust and an allen screw!

    As far as I can see, I need to take the head unit off the rails to really get to the innards and clean it. I *may* end up drilling the Shopsmith logo plate off and threading the holes, and replace the rivets that held it on with a couple screws. That way, at least I can get to the upper unit to lube it.

    I have new cord to replace what's on the unit. It's in horrible shape, obviously original.

    I have a good amount of original pieces for it. It came with the drill chuck and key (OMG the KEY is there!!!), the 12" sanding disk plate, the threaded chuck and several saw blades along with all the mounting pieces, and all the extraneous pieces for the table saw setup, including the fence and guard and the extension table piece. They all seem to be in ok condition, but the drill chuck is way rusty. I'll see if I can clean that up tomorrow. Even the bench. Original bench, complete with wheels! They turn and lock down and everything.

    Thank you guys for all your help. I have the spindle chuck mounted, and I'll stay with spindle turning. If it happens that I want to move into bowls, perhaps my financial situation will allow me to get a better, single-purpose lathe in the future.

    I'm all a-twitter at how good the machine is turning out to be. Let's hope my luck holds. We'll see how the motor looks tomorrow.
    I keep cuttin, but it just ain't gettin any longer!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Floydada, Tx
    Posts
    1,941
    Sandy, soak the chuck in penatrating oil or do a electrolis(sp). I had to do both to get my chuck cleaned up after sitting fo 10+ years.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Near Winchester, VA
    Posts
    58
    Motor is re-wired and working great! I actually mounted a small piece of pine and was able to do a tiny bit of work on it. I'm learning, so it looks pretty awful. I don't have the proper chisels, but that will come in time. The machine works perfectly. It sounds smooth and there's no vibration at all. Now all I need is some skill!

    I'll get some oil and soak the chuck. I may sell off the parts I don't need to buy chisels and what-not. I'd like to keep it all together and be able to sell the entire machine later on, so we'll see how things go. For now, it's a beauty of a machine!
    I keep cuttin, but it just ain't gettin any longer!!!

  10. #10
    These are great machines. I learned to turn on a 1953 ER-10. I did bowls up to 12" in diameter with it. You can get modern chucks with inserts to fit the 5/8" plain spindle with no problem.

    Good luck!

    -Joe

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