My Story (Sept 2011 Update)
I have been a ShopSmith fan and owner for over 25 years now. Over the years I have collected almost every tool Shopsmith makes. About two years ago, my son was looking for a project that would allow him to learn more about electronics and control systems. I had always wanted to have a CNC machine in my shop, so my son and I bought a CNC mill kit from buildyourcnc.com and he built the control system while I built the machine base. We have made a number of projects over the past few years and love the precision and creativity allowed us by the CNC mill.
Now after a couple of years of learning how to use the CNC machine, I have built a desire to have a CNC wood lathe. I have looked all over for plans or a kit for a CNC lathe, but have not found anything that fits my desires. Recently I looked at my Shopsmith and I could just see the attachment it would take to make it a CNC lathe
My first thought was, what a pain this will be to build an attachment to this machine and try to use it to make the parts, so enter Craigslist and eBay. After doing some research, my wife and I went a couple of towns over and purchased a second Shopsmith. After purchasing all the other parts I needed, and a little time in the shop, I was able to make the picture in my head a reality. I now have a working CNC lathe. Paste either of the two links below into your browser to go to YouTube and see the machine making some advanced cuts. The first video shows the machine in what I call lathe mode, making a roughing cut on a spindle. The second video shows the machine in what I call mill mode, where it is carving a design into a spindle. In both cases I have replaced the drive on the ShopSmith with controlled rotation from a stepper motor.
I have other videos on YouTube so you can see many things I have made using the machine including a hollow spiral. Some of my finished products are shown in the latest video. I will continue to post more things as I learn more about what the machine is capable of.
So how did this get me listing Shopsmith parts on eBay. Well my original plan was to use this second machine to build the attachment, and then resell it. My wife had a better idea; she suggested that I should clean up the second machine for my son. Well that changed everything, now I was going to need to find all the parts that it takes to make a Shopsmith the most versatile tool around. I did more research and found out that there were many people selling parts on eBay, but there did not seem to be many in the mid-west. This drove the shipping cost for parts way up as most of them were coming from either coast or way south. The economy in Michigan is, to say the least, a little weak. This has put a number of Shopsmith units on the market. My thought was, if I can buy used ShopSmiths with various add-on tools and then resell the parts to the Shopsmith eBay community, maybe I can outfit a shop for my son at little to no cost other than my time.
My goal is to become a mid-west Shopsmith parts seller on eBay, but my plan is to do more than just buy and resell. I love the Shopsmith tools and I know a lot about them, so I plan to sell only parts that I have tried and know how they work. I will also be cleaning up and restoring the parts to as good a condition as possible (no hidden rust or damage, cleaned, waxed, sharpened? etc.). I have been burned (literally) by a few listing and pledge to you that I will get you parts that are fairly described and working as described or will do whatever I need to do to make it right. Please be assured you are buying from a tool lover and user and not someone who is trying to make a living selling stuff on eBay.
Over the summer I suffered with back problems, so I did not list many items and I did not have any time in my shop to play with my CNC machines. I did however get some help from my son and picked up a few more machines. I will start listing a few items in September and add larger ones in October. I may even list the three basic 510 machines for sale here or on Craigslist.
Thank you for looking and reading my story. I hope you find what you are shopping for and, if you purchase from me, I hope that you are very satisfied with your purchase.