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Introduction

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  • JacobVB@aol.com
    Hi all - I just wanted to give some introductory background of myself and my recent discovery of the Sawsmith and how I came to start this group. My father had
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 8, 2004
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      Hi all - I just wanted to give some introductory background of myself and my
      recent discovery of the Sawsmith and how I came to start this group.

      My father had a 25th anniversary model Shopsmith Mark V in the 1960's. As a
      young teen, I used it a little but it intimidated me. As an adult, I built
      things crudely, usually with a circular saw and hammer. In 2000 I inherited my
      father's outfit. I spent time restoring it, replacing missing parts and upgrading
      it. In the past three years, I have expanded to a very nearly complete
      Shopsmith shop and have built many projects for yard, home, relatives and friends. I
      work out of a 9x10 metal shed which has been heavily modified to become a
      working shop. I have a 10x14 deck in front, which is where I prefer to do my work
      in nice weather.

      I first learned of the Sawsmith just a few months ago through discussion on
      the SSusers group. In January, a local handyman advertised one for just $100 so
      I had to take a look at it. I wasn't sure if I would get it or not, because
      my space is at a premium as you can tell. Seeing it, though, I just had to have
      it. It came with a bunch of stuff I didn't need or want, (45 old sawblades,
      jigs) which I sold on eBay and the end result is I got the machine for free and
      even made some money and still have some of the stuff left for sale. The
      machine was his grandfather's, who lived in Michigan until he died in 1980. Then,
      the machine went to the father, who lived in my area until he died a few years
      ago. It wasn't used during that period, merely stored.

      The seller had restored it a little - new drive belt, motor mounting bolt,
      wiring to the switch. He also put a new Freud crosscut blade on it. He only used
      it for crosscuts and dados and it was more in the way than useful to him. I
      will be doing more restoration as the weather warms. But, it is mechanically
      sound and the motor runs as if brand new. I'm going to take it apart for
      painting and deep cleaning. I have done crosscutting, miters, beveled crosscuts and
      dadoes with it already and it doesn't miss a beat. Before use, I took the time
      to do all alignments and put on a new fence and new sacrificial top.

      It does everything the typical RAS will do plus it seems to have a longer
      than usual arm for more capacity. The table slides forward and back and can be
      locked in position. It has a left and a right spindle. Each spindle has the
      Shopsmith reversed tapered flat spot for set screw security. It has variable
      speeds from 1700 to 5500 rpm.

      Any accessory you could put on a Shopsmith, you could put on this: drill
      chuck, router chucks, drum sander, grinding wheel, dados, molder, shaper, wire
      wheels, cutoff wheels, polishers, disk sander (smaller than 12" though). They
      also had an "add-a-tool" mount bracket for the back side of the machine so you
      could attach your jointer, bandsaw, belt sander, paint sprayer, etc. The jointer
      hooked up as usual with coupler and hubs. The others needed to be belt driven
      from a spindle. The books don't show the jigsaw, so I'm not sure if it's arm
      hit the column or what. In any case, I don't have that mount and don't plan to
      drive the spt's from the RAS.

      My machine came with the original manuals and paperwork. Also, R. J.
      DeCristoforo wrote an entire book on the machine called "Fun with a Saw." I got one on
      eBay for only $5 and, as expected, it is a wealth of info from the jigmeister
      himself. He can make any machine do anything, it seems. This book was
      published by Magna and is worth its weight in gold

      My machine has the optional Magna made (Shopsmith) cabinet with retractable
      casters, 3 drawers and locking cover. The base is rough looking, so I will be
      making a newer base for it. The thing weighs about 250 pounds total - 175 for
      the main part. It was a challenge getting it through my house (wider than my
      back door), across the back yard and into my shop (door height lower than the
      column top) by myself. The machine was painted like the anniversary Shopsmiths -
      brown and gold hammered metal finish. I am only missing one piece and that is
      the right spindle nut so that I can put any 5/8" saw or dado blade on that
      spindle. I do have the reversible 1-1/4" saw arbor so that Shopsmith blades can
      be used on either side. I have the left arbor nut. The saw guard is reversible
      so it can be used on either side of the machine. It even has the original
      vacuum connect elbow to the sawguard.

      My machine was missing the red locking knobs so I made ones out of 1" oak
      dowel and hot glued them to the metal brackets so I can remove them when
      necessary. It was also missing the bolts for the plastic covers, so I made do with
      some from Home Depot. It did come with the anti-kickback arm, but I have removed
      that since the grippers can easily hit the sawblade. Back then I think they
      used 9" blades or smaller, so it wasn't a problem. Also, I don't plan to do
      ripping on this machine.

      This machine is most likely from 1963 because my instruction booklet shows it
      was revised that year. The serial number is smeared so I can't check for sure.

      I'm pretty excited about this machine as you can tell and will use it for all
      my crosscutting and dadoing of longer pieces. I'm going to build an addition
      to my shop to house this machine, my compound miter saw, my mortiser and
      planer. This will free up some space.

      I have run searches for any and all info regarding the Sawsmith I could find
      on the web and if you have done the same, you know there is barely anything.
      Plus, most of what I found was people looking for documentation or parts. I
      decided we needed our own forum so that we can share this information easily.

      Please, share your stories, your photos, your tips, your goofs, your links
      and any other info which will help your fellow Sawsmith aficionados.

      Jacob


      SS 520 w/ bandsaw, strip sander, jointer, belt sander, pro planer, standalone
      scrollsaw, power station, DC3300, SawSmith RAS, ++
      Virginia Beach, Virginia USA

      Tidewater Virginia area Shopsmith owners check out vbshopsmithusers group on
      yahoo


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Michael
      Well hello there. My Name is Michael Strom. I collect shopsmith products and I recently purchased Bob Fulwider s personal sawsmith. I can tell you that he had
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 8, 2004
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        Well hello there.
        My Name is Michael Strom.
        I collect shopsmith products and I recently purchased Bob Fulwider's
        personal sawsmith. I can tell you that he had the find of the
        century. This unit is in PERFECT condition and runs like a top.
        An Ultra nice bonus was the fact that Bob had all his old spare parts
        from his dealer days. It is quite probable that I have the only
        spare parts in the country. There were 3 boxes full of parts that
        Bob included with the sale to me. Now the bad news: for business
        reasons, I have had to place all my stuff in storage and temporarily
        relocate. please do not email me and ask me for parts because well
        all that stuff is in Washington State and I am in Texas. I will
        happily go through the bins and let the group know when I can make
        some of the parts available. Actually my best idea is to take the
        parts I have down to somebody and have new parts custom made for
        people that will match the old parts exactly. I would sell the "new"
        parts at cost plus shipping and handeling because I have a love for
        the machine and dont really need income from a small parts business.

        I wrote a note to John Folkerth today for other reasons but I
        included my suggestion that the sawsmith radial arm saw be re-
        released in some form. It is the only variable speed radial arm saw
        I have ever seen and it is also the only one with a sliding table
        which makes it useful for a whole host of operations. Additionally
        the implementation of the variable speed is through control sheeves
        similar to the Mark V. This means that the blade keeps most of the
        torque and power at the slower speeds...this compares to a variable
        speed motor which looses torque and power as the speed is lowered.

        I too have a copy of Fun With a Saw. It is the bible of sawsmiths
        and radial arm saws in general. I would not be caught dead with out
        my copy. I have seen the documentation for the sawsmith outside of
        this book and I can tell you that it does not help much. How ever
        colectors can contact Skip Campbell through the 10ER group or through
        his web site http://www.mkctools.com Skip has one single set of
        documentation for the sawsmith that I am sure he would be happy to
        copy for people. I might be aquiring that set myself soon...and if
        that happens I would be happy to run off the copies also. Skip is a
        good friend of mine and I have found him to be very fair and honest
        in his dealings with his customers.

        Michael Strom
        McKinney, TX
      • JacobVB@aol.com
        Hello all - We had a pretty good first day with the group - already 7 members! Help spread the word, please. I have no idea how many Sawsmith owners are out
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 9, 2004
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          Hello all - We had a pretty good first day with the group - already 7
          members! Help spread the word, please. I have no idea how many Sawsmith owners are
          out there and we are all in the same boat, looking for info and parts!

          Michael, we look forward to you being reunited with your parts and letting us
          know what you have. It would be great if new parts can be machined or better
          yet if Shopsmith would get on the bandwagon.

          I agree that Skip would be an asset to the group, as he is with the 10er and
          SSusers groups.

          I also have complete documentation available for copying and distribution, if
          anyone needs. My machine came with the owner's manual, an original color
          sales brochure, exploded parts list and diagrams and full set of technical
          bulletins issued by Magna in 1960/61.

          Members, please share about your machines - how you came across them, what
          you have done to them and if you found any source for parts or info. If you have
          parts for sale, this will surely be the place to do that. Due to size &
          weight, I don't know if you could ship a whole machine but give us first option if
          you are selling the whole thing.

          I'll be sure to pass along anything I come across. Definitely look for copies
          of "Fun with a Saw" by R.J. DeCristoforo. It is worth its weight in gold for
          the Sawsmith owner. There are undoubtedly copies out there in used book
          stores, on eBay, on Barnes & Noble's used book network, etc.

          Jacob


          SS 520 w/ bandsaw, strip sander, jointer, belt sander, pro planer, standalone
          scrollsaw, power station, DC3300, SawSmith RAS, ++
          Virginia Beach, Virginia USA

          Tidewater Virginia Shopsmith owners check out
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vbshopsmithusers

          Sawsmith enthusiasts see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sawsmith


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • mmmmm1964
          Hi I m a new member. I just bought my husband a Magna Sawsmith 70000 at a garage sale. We really need a copy of the manual, parts list, etc. I have a
          Message 4 of 5 , May 18, 2004
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            Hi

            I'm a new member. I just bought my husband a Magna Sawsmith 70000 at
            a garage sale. We really need a copy of the manual, parts list,
            etc. I have a scanner and would be happy to scan it in for the
            group. Let me know if you can mail us a copy. One thing we need to
            know immediately is how to change out the blade... will standard size
            blades work and is there any tricks to removing the arbor nuts?

            Thanks,

            Ben and Merriann

            --- In sawsmith@yahoogroups.com, JacobVB@a... wrote:
            > Hello all - We had a pretty good first day with the group - already
            7
            > members! Help spread the word, please. I have no idea how many
            Sawsmith owners are
            > out there and we are all in the same boat, looking for info and
            parts!
            >
            > Michael, we look forward to you being reunited with your parts and
            letting us
            > know what you have. It would be great if new parts can be machined
            or better
            > yet if Shopsmith would get on the bandwagon.
            >
            > I agree that Skip would be an asset to the group, as he is with the
            10er and
            > SSusers groups.
            >
            > I also have complete documentation available for copying and
            distribution, if
            > anyone needs. My machine came with the owner's manual, an original
            color
            > sales brochure, exploded parts list and diagrams and full set of
            technical
            > bulletins issued by Magna in 1960/61.
            >
            > Members, please share about your machines - how you came across
            them, what
            > you have done to them and if you found any source for parts or
            info. If you have
            > parts for sale, this will surely be the place to do that. Due to
            size &
            > weight, I don't know if you could ship a whole machine but give us
            first option if
            > you are selling the whole thing.
            >
            > I'll be sure to pass along anything I come across. Definitely look
            for copies
            > of "Fun with a Saw" by R.J. DeCristoforo. It is worth its weight in
            gold for
            > the Sawsmith owner. There are undoubtedly copies out there in used
            book
            > stores, on eBay, on Barnes & Noble's used book network, etc.
            >
            > Jacob
            >
            >
            > SS 520 w/ bandsaw, strip sander, jointer, belt sander, pro planer,
            standalone
            > scrollsaw, power station, DC3300, SawSmith RAS, ++
            > Virginia Beach, Virginia USA
            >
            > Tidewater Virginia Shopsmith owners check out
            > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vbshopsmithusers
            >
            > Sawsmith enthusiasts see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sawsmith
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • JacobVB@aol.com
            Ben & Merriann - Welcome to the group & congrats on picking up a Sawsmith. I can send you a copy of all documentation I have. Email me privately your address &
            Message 5 of 5 , May 18, 2004
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              Ben & Merriann - Welcome to the group & congrats on picking up a Sawsmith.

              I can send you a copy of all documentation I have. Email me privately your
              address & I'll get it to you.

              There are two types of blades you can use. The standard 5/8" arbor size 10"
              blades out there will fit if you have the arbor nuts, the one which screws onto
              the spindle. The larger, two sided arbor nut holds the Shopsmith sized
              sawblades with a 1-1/4" holes. This nut attaches to the spindles with an allen
              setscrew to the flat of the spindle.

              To remove, either, take off the blade guard. It is attached with an allen
              setscrew on its frontside near the motor housing.

              Arbor nuts should come off with a wrench. Turn the wrench towards the front
              of the table (same direction as blade spin). You might have to tap the end of
              your wrench with a hammer to get it moving.

              If you have the larger nut, loosen the allen headed setscrew and it will pull
              right off.

              Words of caution to all: the Sawsmith was made at a time when smaller blades
              were the norm, so the anti-kickback device can swing and hit the blade. You
              can either use smaller blades or, at your risk, remove the anti-kickback device.

              Look for a copy of either of these books: Fun with a Saw by R.J.
              DeCristoforo; or DeCristoforo's Complete Book of Power Tools by the same author. The first
              book is encyclopedic coverage on the Sawsmith. It covers everything you could
              ever conceive of wanting to do with the machine and 20 times more, written by
              a genius jigmeister. The second book (which I just got a copy of) has a 70
              page chapter on the radial arm, an abridged version of the first book.

              I have been keeping an eye out for these books on eBay, and if I see any more
              (as well as any other Sawsmith items) I will alert the group.

              Take care. Look through the archives for things we've already covered. Feel
              free to post pics, links, etc. If you scan in the literature, that would be
              great for the files area.

              Jacob


              SS 520 w/ jointer, bandsaw, pro planer, scrollsaw, strip sander, belt sander,
              power station, DC3300, Sawsmith RAS, ++

              Sawsmith aficionados check out our free Yahoo web group:
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sawsmith/

              Tidewater Virginia area Shopsmith owners check out our free Yahoo web group:
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vbshopsmithusers/


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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