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Thread: ShopSmith 500 Restore Project

  1. #1
    Registered Regnar's Avatar
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    ShopSmith 500 Restore Project

    Ever since I was a kid I have always wanted a Shop Smith. Don't ask me why just something about the way it looks and the concept behind all the different ways to use the tool. I had seen an ad in the back of a wood working magazines and sent away for the information not knowing really all that much about them (other than they looked cool). After watching the video I was hooked right up to the point where my wife said the price. 3,000 on a military salary just doesn't cut it for a hobby want. So I tucked the thought away and a few years later I see an add on craigslist for a 10er for 95.00 dollars. Not bad but I didnt react quick enough although it had the wheels turning again. So I checked out ebay. Lo and Behold there was a Mark V Shop Smith with almost every single attachment. Bandsaw, Scroll Saw, Belt Sander, Jointer, plus all the regular functions of the Shop Smith like the disc sander, saw, drill press, lathe. Well it was going for 500 and local pick up only. That killed the auction for them right there because they were out in BFE. It was 150 miles from my house. Next they had no bids so after the auction ended I summited my offer. Well below the min and well now I own it.

    I had seen the pictures in the action and was prepared for the worse and while there is alot of surface rust from being kept in a barn for 10 years and no maintenance done on it for 10 years I didnt think it looked all that bad. Now I know not to start things up that you dont know how they worked but the previous owner had the neighbor come give me a hand loading everything up. I turned around for a moment and sure enough he was plugging it in. I told him it wasn't necassary to start it but he didnt listen. Well I know that the motor works now along with the speed changer. Purred like a kitten. So I get it home and have a closer look at it. The internals of almost everything is beautiful not rust at all. The outside if everything is well coated in it.

    Im going to start this rebuild one piece at a time and will take pictures along the way. This is really going to be fun for me for acouple of reasons. One, the only thing electric on the whole saw is the switch and motor. Two, every thought this saw is over 20 years old I can still to this day get every single replacement part that is needed to bring it back to life. And the prices are not that crazy. This is great because I can see a lot of small hardware already missing and broken. Caster wheels, screws here and there.

    Well with out further due some photos of the rust bucket. Anyone have any suggestion on how to remove the rust from the way tubes. The Shopsmith school said to soak them in potato water for 2 weeks and they should come back really nice. I might just try it to see if it works.

    Link to all the photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/3051900...7607250588159/

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30519006@N08/2851224926/" title="DSC02290 by Regnar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3254/2851224926_13ca506057.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="DSC02290" /></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30519006@N08/2850391145/" title="DSC02286 by Regnar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3084/2850391145_3690b24be2.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="DSC02286" /></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30519006@N08/2851223924/" title="DSC02287 by Regnar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3034/2851223924_755d4ba0d4.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="DSC02287" /></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/30519006@N08/2851223208/" title="DSC02285 by Regnar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3140/2851223208_4018cc44cc.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="DSC02285" /></a>

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  2. #2
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    Good luck with you Shopsmith. I have a Chinese knock off Woodmaster and have used it quite a bit. I like it for what it does, but would also like to get a regular table saw as the tilting table really limits it's usefullness. I used to have a radial arm saw and this satisfied most of the angle cut requirements, but that went to my stepson (I got it from my father-in-law, so it should rightly be passed down!).

    Mine has cast iron tables so it weighes a bit more than the Shopsmith. I have drawings somewhere for cabinet that goes under the machine if you would like them. You can get replacement way tubes from Shopsmith or lots of times on ebay. Unless you can get the tubes really clean and waxed, the headstock and table mount won't slide easily and it becomes a pain to move them for different setups.

    All the best
    David



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    Good luck with you Shopsmith.
    Thanks Dave

    Things are going good so far. I have the way tubes off right now soaking I think I have another 10 days. To get the head stock off I had to sand away some of the rust so that I was able to slide it off. I have also started to strip most of the paint off the stand along with the rust. I threw the casters in to my tumbler for awhile and they came back to life. I just need to order some new wheels. I seems that some just replace them with roller blade wheels. They last longer and move around the shop easier than the hard plastic ones so that might be an option soon. Either way its coming along although a little slow.



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    One you get it cleaned up, paste wax seems to be the best lubricant/corrosion preventitive material for the steel parts. I use it on the ways, on my cast iron tables for the saw, jointer, and bandsaw table.

    There are always lots of parts for sale on ebay, and Shopsmith still sells parts. Good luck.

    David



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    Re:Restoring a Shopsmith

    Don't know about the "potato method" of cleaning the ways, I have used the following steps to restrore rusted areas on my shopsmith(s) I owned starting in 1974, they have all been 500's. Start with an electric drill with a wire wheel (braided stainless), you should be able to get most of the rust, be sure to orient the brush so the bruxh marks will blend with the machining (sideway across tubes). Then depending on what is remaining use either a heavy duty scotch brite scouring pad or 240 grit wet or dry sandpaper with a light oil (wd40, etc.). Wipe off with mineral spirits and they should look almost if not better than new. For protection I use a clear acrylic enamel on the LOWER tubes since they don't have anything needing to slide on them, 2 coats. The upper tubes I rub on a combination of carnuba based quality wax mixed with powdered graphite (like used for locks) applied with a coarse scotch brite pad, or #000 steel wool. I use Macguires Mold release wax. Do a little at a time, wiping off/polishing with a soft cloth after a few minutes. Carnuba wax is one of the hardest waxes when dry and is much more difficult to polish if left to dry completely. I treat the rack and pinions for the saw table, the table, miter gauge, extension table, et al, using the same process. The wax privides protection and the graphite provides lubrication allowing the tubes, gears, and locks to work freely and prevent galling with the casting as the tubes for the aux table and your additional equipment are mounted/dismounted. ALSO VERY IMPORTANT, keep the sliding sheaves/variable pulleys lubed with a quality oil (I use mobil one 20-50), a couple of drops in each shaft every few hours use and they should last a lifetime, make sure the speed changer arm that pushes on the upper shaft (access by removing the round SS logo on the side of the motor head) lubed with a dab of thick grease at the same time. Even though I have never been compelled to upgrade to a 510/520, the aux table for the newer 500's is almost twice as wide as yours and it is sometimes useful to have two, one for each end mount to support wide crosscuts. Depending on what serial number unit you have there is an upgrade for the quill that changes it from a single bearing to a two bearing unit, about 60-70$ from shopsmith if my memory serves me correctly. (both quills work ok, the two bearing unit is just more robust to handle side thrust, like when using the router/shaper function) Last but not least, if you don't have it already, purchase the book "Power Tool Woodworking for Everyone" by DeChristoforo. It is the bible on how to use your machine. Let me know if you have any additional questions or there is anything else with your new system I can help with. Best regards, Joe. (Geezergeek) email: pcfixr@upwardaccess.com

    Last edited by geezergeek; 11-10-2008 at 03:05 AM. Reason: Forgot title


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    Hello Regnar,

    I found a link to this thread on google while searching for tips on how to restore my old ShopSmith! I just bought this one - a model 500 Mark V - a week ago and it was made back in 1989. It came with the bandsaw attachment but is missing a couple of pieces that I'll be buying soon... My main question has to do with all the rust on the bandsaw table... I've used Naval Jelly to remove a good bit of it, but there's still some residual on the table... Would anyone have any further suggestions? I'd like to end up with a nice, smooth polished top if its possible... best regards, Luther



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    Quote Originally Posted by LutherG View Post
    Hello Regnar,

    I found a link to this thread on google while searching for tips on how to restore my old ShopSmith! I just bought this one - a model 500 Mark V - a week ago and it was made back in 1989. It came with the bandsaw attachment but is missing a couple of pieces that I'll be buying soon... My main question has to do with all the rust on the bandsaw table... I've used Naval Jelly to remove a good bit of it, but there's still some residual on the table... Would anyone have any further suggestions? I'd like to end up with a nice, smooth polished top if its possible... best regards, Luther
    Electrolysis
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Elec...val-aka-Magic/



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