How to Buy a Used Shopsmith Mark V

Written by sam williams
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How to Buy a Used Shopsmith Mark V
You can make anything on your work bench, from a candle box to a rocking chair. (handmade candle box. image by Tom Oliveira from

The popular 5-in-1 Shopsmith Mark V home woodworking system has room for a table saw, drill press, lathe, boring machine and disc sander. The company has manufactured the woodworking bench since the 1950s, and the current model was introduced in 1972 with very few modifications ever since.

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Shopsmith Mark V is a popular workbench that fathers passed down to their sons and that woodworking hobbyists keep for decades. Search through estate sales in classified ads, and search online and offline classified ad sites for sales. Auction sites are another source to find used workbenches. Compare prices. New Shopsmiths can cost as much as £2,275, and five- to 10-year-old used models can go for £975.

Main Table

The table tiles should move easily and should also lock in place securely. Look for a smooth level surface for your working area. Look the table over carefully, and move the tiles around to make sure they continue to function as they were intended.

Motor/Speed Changer

The motor needs to be running before you test the speed changer. When you check the speed changers, ensure that they move easily. Remove the cover, and look closely inside.

Headstock Locks

Locks can wear down over time and use, so double-check the headstock locks. Tighten them and loosen them. If there is clicking and popping, or if they are too tight or too hard to move, they may need to be replaced. Replacement lock parts could negatively offset a deal you may be offered.

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