I have been gathering information for many years now that has come from many sources. Besides having copies of the Serial Number by month of manufacture charts that were posted on the Shopsmith website. I did make a chart estimating the production dates for the missing years, 1962 to 1977, for the Mark 5 and filled in the missing months on the original Mark 5/V chart. It is a combination of all the information I have gathered to date that I can answer these questions although once in a while I am wrong. Some answers are a best guess based on what I do know. I went a long time believing that the first 250 Shopsmith Tools, the Model 10E, were originally shipped to the West Coast Montgomery Stores on October 15, 1947 as was listed in several SS histories floating around the web. Everett found in original Magna documents that the actual date was November 15, 1947. Even Shopsmith's own history page has errors in it including this one from the first paragraph.How do you know all this Russ? do you have a chart or something? And yes it does start with SS. So after 1987 they use a date for the SN?
It was Magna Engineering Corporation that put the Shopsmith Mark 5 into production and it went on sale in March of 1954. Magna American, not America, did not become the company making the Shopsmith/Magna tools until the 1960's after Yuba. Also it was the Mark 5 not Mark V (Model 500) which was what the only Mark V being made became with the introduction the 510 & 505. The tools themselves were Mark 5 until changed in early 1980 to Mark V although Mark V had been used in documents and advertising prior to that.Mark V (Model 500) Magna America put this American classic 5-in-1 tool into production in 1953. Since its introduction the Mark V has gone through a series of important upgrades to improve its performance, working convenience and safety.
It is listed by Shopsmith Inc. that date codes began in December 1987. I do not believe all tools changed to date codes in December 1987. The highest Jointer Serial Number I have seen is SS106695 which is 3233 numbers past the beginning serial number for November 1987 but in the few months preceding that less than 300 Jointers were made each month. Otherwise that's a lot of jointers for Christmas.
Mark V 520 S/N 09-11-01 completely upgraded to Mark 7, with all SPT's & more.
Model 10ER S/N R64000 first one I restored on bench w/ Shopsmith metal ends & retractable casters. Has Speed Changer, Model 4E Jointer, Jig Saw with lamp, a complete set of original accessories & much more.
Model 10E S/N 1077 oldest one I have restored. On bench w/ Shopsmith metal ends & retractable casters.