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View Full Version : buying my very first lathe (5 in 1 tool ?)



sab
13th Apr 2006, 06:44 AM
Hey guys,

I have the oprotunity to buy a wood lathe I have no idea what kind it is and I cant find the one i am looking at online,
I have been looking for a good lathe for a long time now and i want to know if it is a good machine.

you guys seem to be the experts in the field.
and any thoughts advice would be great.

it looks vintage 1950's, but brand new at the same time.
It seems to be made out of light grey cast iron and steel.

the beast stands 3 foot high and the owner says it is also a boring tool also.
there is a table saw attached to the top and he said a drill press is also included.
it is belt driven and has red and silver dials.
he called it a 5 in 1 tool.

has anyone ever heard of such a critter?

thanks in advance.

masoth
13th Apr 2006, 08:40 AM
G'day Sab. I think you would have mentioned a manufacturer's name if you'd seen one, but were any markings on the lathe at all? Have you any pictures you could post here?

sab
13th Apr 2006, 09:13 AM
Hi, thanks for replying,
the tool is called a Shopsmith mark5 model 500
it was built in 1989 and has had very little use.
the guy is an older fellow that bought it brand new and has all of the origional paperwork on it.
he wants 700.00
is this a good buy?

thanks

ubeaut
13th Apr 2006, 09:39 AM
Yep have a friend who had one years ago pretty sure it was a Shopsmith 5 in 1. http://www.shopsmith.com/index.htm

They a bit limited in what it can do size wise but a good machine just the same. Almost impossible to get in Oz.

Oops just noticed you have the name so changed this post accordingly.

Cheers - Neil :)

PS US $700 sounds a bit rich to me but could be right. have included web site info you might get an idea on price from there. I believe they demo them in shopping malls in the US aimed at the home handyman.

Cliff Rogers
13th Apr 2006, 09:54 AM
I have a Shopsmith Mark V (I think).
I bought it new at the very first ever Working with Wood show in Sydney in '81 (I think) It was about $1800 rec retail, I managed to get it ex Sales Tax for about $1400.
I did a lot of turning on it, didn't use the drill press function very often, did use the boring function as you can with a regular lathe.
Today it is permanently set up as a saw bench.
It is possible to parts from the USA. Look here... http://internet.shopsmith.com/

If I was to do it again, I would buy a separate lathe & table saw, not a combo.

Hickory
13th Apr 2006, 10:35 AM
Everyone keeps mentioning a Mark Five or Mark V but if it is a Mark Four or IV run as far as you can as there are no replacement parts available. NOthing fits it.

What you want in a lathe is Solid base or bed. Good head and varible speed. The spindle needs to be running in bearings not bushings, It also needs to be hollow and accept #2MT drive centers as well as the tail stock needs to accept #2MT center (Do-dads can be bought later but these are a must for them to fit.) The spindle needs to be of a common thread. Be it 1" 16 or what ever (check the catalog sites for the common chuck threads. Be sure they will fit should you buy one in the future. Or face plates as well.

Pay Cheap! Don't be railroaded by a lust for a lathe. Listen to it run, Do you hear it? Shouldn't but hardly hear it. Stock up a piece of wood Does it chatter? shouldn't. One feature to look for is a through the head spindle. If the spindle is not accessable from the rear of the headstock, forget it. Most all quality lathes have both sides of the spindle useable.

$500 is a good buy for a Mark Five, $700 is an OK buy if it is with a lot of accessories, I Have friends with Mark Fives and they are well pleased but they have limits.

sab
13th Apr 2006, 10:42 AM
hi ya all
well,
i got the tool
i was also in the market for a drill press and when i saw it transform into one i decided to get it.
plus he threw in all sorts of other tools too.
so it looks like i might become a contributing member here on your forum page.

a little about my self
i am an audio engineer for the government and decided to start doing more wood working.
my last project was this table i built for my wife.
http://static.instructables.com/pub/cb/d9ea6c/7733e05f9e780043b8e6ad91.medium.jpg
http://static.instructables.com/pub/e6/aa3e33/a1605c08db2a94527e2da448.medium.jpg
plus i discovered an amazingly fast way to make desk shelving for an audio workstation i have in my studio
http://static.flickr.com/51/119584091_59a391d815.jpg
now i am getting into woodturning.

i look forward to seeing all of your projects
cheers

sab
13th Apr 2006, 10:48 AM
Everyone keeps mentioning a Mark Five or Mark V but if it is a Mark Four or IV run as far as you can as there are no replacement parts available. NOthing fits it.

What you want in a lathe is Solid base or bed. Good head and varible speed. The spindle needs to be running in bearings not bushings, It also needs to be hollow and accept #2MT drive centers as well as the tail stock needs to accept #2MT center (Do-dads can be bought later but these are a must for them to fit.) The spindle needs to be of a common thread. Be it 1" 16 or what ever (check the catalog sites for the common chuck threads. Be sure they will fit should you buy one in the future. Or face plates as well.

Pay Cheap! Don't be railroaded by a lust for a lathe. Listen to it run, Do you hear it? Shouldn't but hardly hear it. Stock up a piece of wood Does it chatter? shouldn't. One feature to look for is a through the head spindle. If the spindle is not accessable from the rear of the headstock, forget it. Most all quality lathes have both sides of the spindle useable.

$500 is a good buy for a Mark Five, $700 is an OK buy if it is with a lot of accessories, I Have friends with Mark Fives and they are well pleased but they have limits.
yea, i turned it on,
it is dead silent when it runs
and it is a mark 5 500

plus you can use both sides of the spindle head.

i like it because it it fits in my "shop"

plus he is giving me a lot of other tools
all of the origional stuff that came with it ans a table saw and aome other stuff he has lying around.
thanks for the info

hcbph
13th Apr 2006, 12:27 PM
I've used a Shopsmith Mark 5 500, my Dad has had one for 25-30 years. You have one big thing to watch out for, that's trying to change speed while the machine is turned off. You can damage the drive mechanism doing that, always have it running while changing speeds. Thing I don't like about them is the big selling point, alot of things in a small space. You can't leave the drill set up while you saw, etc. The addin units (like the bandsaw etc) are high priced, though they do work.

The Mark 5 500 has been replaced by the Mark 5 510. Bigger saw table, support legs, a bunch of other stuff. There is an upgrade kit available (or at least was) to take a 500 to a 510.

Dad's is still running after all these years, so if taken care of it should last a long time.

Paul

Dave52
13th Apr 2006, 01:54 PM
Hi Sab

Nice table that you showed us pics of.

Howabout a piccy of the shopsmith.

soundman
13th Apr 2006, 08:14 PM
audio engineer for the government?

Rock & roll in the white house!?:D

I could do that job.