We are now continuing our ShopSmith series of upgrades. We have already completed the upgrade of the Mark V from the Model 500 – Model 520 table upgrade. We also completed the up grade of the unit to the new PowerPro Headstock. Now we are going to transform using the Double-Tilt Base Upgrade Kit. The Mark V normally has the ability to tilt the unit upright to allow for drilling and above table routing/shaping. This upgrade turn the Mark 5 into an under table router, shaper and drum sander. Which in essence is just like the capabilities brought out for the Mark 7.
Many, like me, like the under table approach to shaping or routing. I like the items I am working on to be between my hands and the bit. I feel this is somewhat safer if not more convenient. This approach also makes interior cutting or shaping easier. Also in the under the table method there is not the need to remove the bit and setting to look at the work, you have to do this with over the top processes.
The upgrade process is simple to do. I think it took us about 2 hours and that was taking photos and all. It does take two people however.
- 5.16” Pin Punch
- 9/16/ Socket and wrench
- Ball Peen hammer
- Large flat head screwdriver
- #2 and #3 Phillips screwdriver
- 7/16 wrench
- 5/32” Allen Wrench (ShopSmith long handle)
- Large piece of cardboard
- 2 pieces of 3/4” plywood 3/4/ x 3 3/4 x 10” and a piece 3/4 x 8 X 12”
- Paste wax
The first thing we had to do was to make 2 supports. One is a simple flat piece of 3/4” plywood. This supports the headstock during the upgrade this is the piece of 10” stock 3 3/4” wide. The other piece is to create is the tube support. we ripped a piece 5” wide off the 12 “ side. This gave us a 3/4”x5 “X 8” we then centered this piece perpendicular, creating a “T” to the left over plywood we just ripped and screwed the pieces together.
During the upgrade you are working on the ShopSmith with it upside down. So now remove everything from the Mark V except the main table. Slide the table and headstock to the far right and secure. Then stand the system in the upright, drill press mode, position and secure. Next we loosened the allen/set screws in the way bar ends. Now since our model was an earlier model there is a set of allen/set screws just past the pivot pin connecting the base arm on the way tubes.
Bring the unit down from drill press configuration. Slide the headstock to about 14-15” from the other end and secure. Install the main table so it is about 3/4” above the headstock. You can place the 3/4” piece of wood stock on top of the headstock and make sure the top of the table is in line with the wood you placed on top of the headstock. This will support the unit when you flip it over.
Place your large piece of cardboard on the floor. Put your headstock support piece, the 3/4” piece of stock, on the cardboard in the place where the headstock will land. Now with a helper flip the unit over so it is supported flat n the main table and the support board. The unit should be fairly stable now.
Remove the legs from the unit on both ends. It you have retractable casters DO NOT remove them from the legs.
Release the the head rest lock and lift the way tube up and place the T construction support piece you put together earlier. this is placed between the way tubes and bench tubes. Now using a 9/16” socket loosen, do not remove, the the 2 bolts that hold the bench tube lock bar against the way tubes.
Remove the head rest from the bench tubes and the way tube tie bar from the way tubes. If they do not come off lightly tap them with a rubber hammer to release them. Now remove the bolts and washers from the bench tube lock bar. Save these as you will use them for the new ends.
Nothing hard here. Replace the items with the new ones provided in your kit. Reinstall the legs. Make sure you read the directions included with the kit and you are familiar with the procedure.
Repeat for the other end.
Make sure everything is aligned then make sure you have tightened all bolts and set screws. Clean and wax up the unit. We do this anytime we work on our unit.
Over all this upgrade was very easy. Documentation is great and very detailed. The materials are top grade as you would expect from Shopsmith. Cost of the upgrade is VERY reasonable for the functions it give you. Now our Shopsmith is ready for the over / under table functions. We have included all the pictures of the process.
Well done very happy with this upgrade.