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Multi Purpose Woodworking Machines

  

Multi Purpose Woodworking Machines

Using multi purpose machines for woodworking...

  My first venture into serious woodworking led me to a local Shopsmith store. It was here that I became aware of all the accessories available to these well made and engineered pieces of equipment. I know many professional woodworkers, just fell off their chair. So I will pause here to allow them time to get up...............

 
 
 
 

Buying A Multi Purpose Woodworking Machine

Okay, that didn't take too long. I left that store about $ 5,500.00 lighter. That was about twenty years ago. I purchased the main machine, a belt sander, a band saw, a jointer, a free standing 12" planer, a dust collection system, and an assortment of blades, and accessories.

For a period of five years or so, That was the only machinery I hade, with the exclusion of a Radial arm Saw. I had a 12", man eating Craftsman saw, which I paid about $ 50.00 for. It seems as though, after the previous owner had used it to shorten several of his fingers, he no longer felt the need to have it. Check under tools and equipment for the story on that adventure.

The shopsmith proved to be a precision made, and very capable machine! With careful planing, The changes between accessories could be made without too much interruption, to the work flow, and being very limited on shop space, it was ideal. We managed to built many fine projects for client's with the set up. I did buy "power stations" to allow me to use the accessories, without changing setups on the main machine. (This helped considerably), in both time and irritation.

I continued to used this equipment until I was able to build a "real" shop. I must say that while I loved my shopsmith, it is now very rarely used. We still use it as lathe, for the occasional turnings we do.

We also use it on job sites, where we buy rough lumber, and need to make a lot of millwork. This use saves us considerable time and money, as most of the building we work on are very old. and wall thicknesses are not uniform. The ability to custom make millwork on site, is a big advantage.

It's kind of comical when we bring these machines to a jobsite, as there is invariably a number of other contractors working on the same building, on different floors. They always laugh at us when they see these tools being brought in.

It generally takes about a week before these other contractors are showing up at our jobsite, rather feebly, wanting us to machine a doorjamb, or piece of custom trim for them. (we do bust there cajones a little, prior to doing it for them).

While these machines have there short comings, they remain a valuable asset to us. The table saw design is somewhat difficult to get used to, especially in ripping miters, but the slight irratation is quickly forgotten, once the piece is completed.

I have found their accessory machines to be well engineered, and the use of the power stands make them more practical to work with.

Written by: Lee A. Jesberger © 2006 - 2010
Inventor of: Ezee-Feed Systems ®

 

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