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kmealy

Shopsmith, and other brands

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Sears homes were sold as a kit.  You ordered them and the materials got shipped to a local train depot.  All the parts (studs, joists, etc.) were marked and presumably a manual.   My father in law and his father put theirs together.  There were many styles, but mostly small simple homes typical of the first half of the 20th century.  

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sears_Catalog_Home

 

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Geeze, Keith. Some of those homes were beautiful. Indeed, many of them incorporated architectural details very much like the A&C homes. 

Our SIL's house was probably one of the earlier kits. IIRC, She said it was built in the early teens. 

 

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28611 Main St - Google Maps.pdfI"m not sure which model my wife grew up in.  Without searching through all 370 styles, it was very similar to Winona http://www.antiquehome.org/House-Plans/1935-Sears/Winona.htm 

 

Except no front porch and no third bedroom.    A third bedroom was added later, but in order to get thru to it, you had to go through another bedroom.   My wife and her two sisters, father, mother, grandfather and grandmother all lived in that two-three bedroom, one bath house.

 

On the other hand, you'd pay 2-4x as much for a garden shed kit today.

Edited by kmealy

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Well, Sears is sucking again.   Trying to look up a saw on their web site.   Been trying to load for 20 minutes.  

 

"You can't sell off the back of an empty cart." -- Retailing 101.

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Sounds like you are ready for some serious fun. Looking forward to seeing the results. 

A friend bought a Power Pro conversion kit a few years ago. He says the added weight and the wider speed range possible with that DVR makes the SS a very good lathe. So, there's another source of fun. 

 

 

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@Artie   have only 17 feet, by 15 feet, 8 foot ceilings for a work space

 

Here is a tip for you Artie, it doesn't matter how much space you have - it is never going to be enough!  Go ahead and get started, find out what you enjoy working on and see where that leads.  You might really rather enjoy turning - a track saw isn't going to help you much there...  does your basement workshop have exterior access or must everything be carried in & out through the house?

 

I built a lot of stuff in a similar sized shop - it was less than half a two car garage, so it may have been about 12 x 15 - but squeezing through doorways was not a consideration.

Edited by Cal

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Artie, there are several work arounds to avoid tilting the table. Of course, they all involve jigs. But, that's half the fun.

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14 hours ago, Gene Howe said:

Sounds like you are ready for some serious fun. Looking forward to seeing the results. 

A friend bought a Power Pro conversion kit a few years ago. He says the added weight and the wider speed range possible with that DVR makes the SS a very good lathe. So, there's another source of fun. 

 

 

Turning 2X4’s into toothpicks! When I finally get the wood turning tools, I think I’m gonna just disappear down in the basement and make a lot of sawdust and shavings.

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13 hours ago, Cal said:

@Artie   have only 17 feet, by 15 feet, 8 foot ceilings for a work space

 

Here is a tip for you Artie, it doesn't matter how much space you have - it is never going to be enough!  Go ahead and get started, find out what you enjoy working on and see where that leads.  You might really rather enjoy turning - a track saw isn't going to help you much there...  does your basement workshop have exterior access or must everything be carried in & out through the house?

 

I built a lot of stuff in a similar sized shop - it was less than half a two car garage, so it may have been about 12 x 15 - but squeezing through doorways was not a consideration.

There is a bulkhead to get the big stuff in and out. Not quite sure what is gonna be my favorite, but I know I’m interested in trying most parts of woodworking. The basement is definitely large enough to do what I have in my head, for now. When I was a fisherman that adage applied to boats also, no matter how big, you always want to go up a size.

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I started with a Shopsmith.   Being here in the Miami Valley, there are lots of us (made about 40 miles away).   I quickly found that I was using the table saw mode way more often than anything else.   But the table saw is one of the weak points, IMHO.   Shortly thereafter, they came out with the Model 510, then 520.  Rather than spring some more serious money at it, I just bought a Unisaw (that is my most used tool now).  The other weak point, due to it's design age, is lack of any serious dust collection.

 

I still have it and use it for the other functions.   I would not give it up.   But if I wanted one and didn't have it, I'd certainly looked at gently used ones from widows, heirs, or people who have lost interest or downsized.   I have a lot of friends and relatives for whom it is their only tool and they do lots of fine work on it.

 

A few years ago, my daughter and husband were looking for an inexpensive table saw for some home remodeling work (that continues room by room) on to today.   Rather than spend $400-600 on a saw that doesn't do much but cut 2x material, I got them a used SS 500 with band saw, jointer, and belt sand.

 

But when I got it, there were few choices, Shopsmith, Craftsman (much of which were junk), and industrial brands such as Delta.   Now, Woodcraft, Rockler, Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, and internet offer multiple choices -- Jet, Powermatic, SawStop, Grizzly, General, Delta, for a while Steel City, and so on.   I drive by the SS factory regularly.   It used to be a whole building, then part, then they closed the storefront, then their name is just another box on the sign out front.

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I think they are using the JIT system, now. Not a lot of inventory on hand.

Edited by Gene Howe

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When I was there last, maybe a dozen of years ago, they were doing JIT (just in time) manufacturing.   Nothing wrong with that (except maybe a lot of their sales, at least at that time, were around Nov. / Dec.).  And cellular manufacturing.  For example, the main assembly line was about 35 feet long.   Each of the special purpose tools had an area about 10x20 that was their assembly area.  Mornings were generally main machines and afternoons special purpose tools.   This included jointer, band saw, jig saw, planer, etc. That had significantly cut their footprint in the plant.   Some things, like castings, they still ordered in quantity for economic purposes and stocked them well in advance.   They told us about the "wall of hardware."    The factory rep came in every Friday morning and inventoried.   If they were low,  they'd get a replenishment shipment on Monday, if they were critical, it'd come up from Cincinnati (about 60 miles away) in two hours.

 

It was one of first non-vertically integrated factories I'd ever been in.   I was a bit surprised to see that really all they did was grind surfaces and assemble parts fabricated elsewhere.   This included the castings, motors, table surfaces, plastic parts, hardware, etc.

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A lot has changed since then, Keith. A few guys have had problems getting even wear items like belts. 

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Hey guys, what is the max between centers in lathe mode? Thanks

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