Shopsmith Mark 7 - Over or Under Table Operation

Over or Under Table Operation

Over table drill press operation

The original Shopsmith Mark V has only tilted to the right... allowing only over-table routing, shaping and drum sanding... the new Shopsmith Mark 7 has been designed to tilt left or right ...allowing both over and under table routing, shaping and drum Sanding, and enabling it to take full advantage of all the enhanced capabilities provided by the revolutionary new Shopsmith PowerPro® motor and headstock.

Since its introduction, the Shopsmith Mark V has always offered over-table operation of these functions... however, some woodworkers prefer the under-table approach... feeling that having the bit or cutter under the workpiece keeps the hands out of harm's way and actually protects them from potential injury. If you agree with this, the new, tilt-both-ways Shopsmith Mark 7 lets you have your choice.

Under table shaper operation

Being able to switch between over and under-table operation also gives you three other options that you don't get with Mark V's:

  1. You can change your workpiece feed direction to whatever is comfortable for you by switching from over to under-table operation
  2. Under-table operation allows you to work more efficiently by setting your depth-of-cut just once when making internal cuts

    For example, if you're shaping or drum sanding the internal edges of a series of identical picture frames or similar projects, you can use the under-table approach and set your cut depth just once. Then you can switch from workpiece-to-workpiece by simply dropping your stock over the protruding bit, cutter or drum and performing your operation. If you were using an over-table set-up, you would have to move your spindle up or down and then reset your depth-of-cut each time you changed workpieces. Not so with an under-table set- up.

  3. Since the rotating bit or cutter projects up from beneath the workpiece, under-table operation allows you to position your hands where required without interference from the bit or cutter. So, you can exert more down-force on your stock during operation than you could with the bit in your way on top of the workpiece, and therefore, usually achieve greater precision on your cuts. And, by the way, this same scenario holds true for drum sanding operations.

However, although many woodworkers believe that the under-table approach is best, simply because it's more conventional, many Mark V owners believe that the over-table approach is best because it allows the rotating bit or cutter to always be in full view, making it easier and potentially more precise when making stop-cuts (such as for mortises) or for routing to drawn lines. Fortunately, the new Mark 7 allows you to select the approach that you like best.

So, what's involved in making the switch?

Changing the Mark 7 from over-table to under-table operation is simple.

Step One: Remove the worktable from the table carriage

Step Two: Rotate the worktable 180° and replace it in the table carriage

Step Three: Loosen the horizontal lock

Step Four: Tilt machine into vertical position and lock the base arm locking knob

Remove Table from Carriage
1. Remove Table
From Carriage

Rotate Table and Replace in Carriage
2. Rotate Table 180° and Replace in Table Carriage

Loosen Horizontal Lock Knob
3. Loosen Horizontal Lock Knob

Tilt Machine Into Vertical Position
4. Tilt Machine Into Vertical Position

Table Post Racks
Note: The Mark 7 Table Support Posts Have a Geared Rack on Both Sides, Allowing the Table To Be Rotated 180°

Continue to next page... for a comparison of the two available Shopsmith table systems

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Mark 7 / Mark V

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