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Sawsmith 2000 re-assembled

#273477 by edma194 » Fri Aug 21, 2020 3:54 pm

Here's my Shopsmith 2000 Ultra-shorty. I found this at least 5 years ago and only this week was able to re-assemble it. I have the 48" rails mounted, it came with 71" rails that had been cut into 40" and 31" pieces for reasons unknown. I won't need the extra length any time soon, there are several ways I can join those cut pieces if needed.

It came with the Excalibur fence and rails, two extension tables, an unused Shopsmith Taper Jig, regular and dado inserts. The miter gauge and upper blade guard are the same as the ones on my 510. The picture shows the telescoping legs attached, they aren't necessary for the short rails but I'll probably keep them there when I'm not using them on the 510 (never got those legs with the 510).

The unique feature of the Sawsmith is the sliding blade carriage. Additional pics show the blade at the furthest back and forward positions, and the carriage pull extended in the front.

This is a sturdy saw. I don't know why they didn't move forward with it. The tables have similar construction to the 510 and later tables, but are larger, 10.5" X 31". Each table piece has a Shopsmith miter T-slot. They are very sturdy and cast with several attach points underneath. These castings could have been used with the regular Shopsmith system, and the Excalibur fence is sturdy and smooth riding on the rails. The sliding blade may have been a bridge too far, it's hardly necessary if you have a cross-cut sled, and this machine will accomodate one easily. I needed to assemble this to make sure I has all the pieces. Like magic the missing lock plates I needed to attach the rails re-appeared right after I had finished fabricating some new ones so everything is there.

Powered it up, the motor ran smooth, but I don't know anything about that blade. Before any actual use it's going to get a thorough cleaning and very careful alignment.

Attachments

sawsmith1.jpg
sawsmith1.jpg (361.2 KiB) Viewed 2046 times
rear blade position.jpg
Rear blade position
rear blade position.jpg (385.47 KiB) Viewed 2046 times
front blade position.jpg
Front blade position
front blade position.jpg (354.42 KiB) Viewed 2046 times

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Re: Sawsmith 2000 re-assembled

#273482 by delong94 » Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:48 pm

Very nice saw. Wish I had one.
Here's the link to the manual if you don't have it:
http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/747/18151.pdf

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Re: Sawsmith 2000 re-assembled

#273500 by Ed in Tampa » Sat Aug 22, 2020 10:18 am

I always wished Shopsmith would have built the machine without the razzle dazzle sliding blade. The mechanism to allow the blade to slide added about 1/8 of slop into the blade rigidity. These guys that use certified measuring gauges (Read as high dollar) and dial indicators to setup cuts would go crazy with the machine. Heck if you used a rule in 1/16 inch you would go crazy. You could actually see the blade wobble back and forth with minimal hand pressure.
Also the original price was way too high.

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Re: Sawsmith 2000 re-assembled

#273503 by edma194 » Sat Aug 22, 2020 11:10 am

delong94 wrote:Very nice saw. Wish I had one.
Here's the link to the manual if you don't have it:
http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/747/18151.pdf


Thanks, it came with the manual. This is the most complete Shopsmith so far for me, it was well cared for except for the cut rails. Only some tiny spots of corrosion on the cabinet, the regular insert has some bubbling on the paint, maybe some rust underneath. I don't know what happened to the owner, I bought it from his daughter, he was not available, perhaps no longer with us.

My guess is that he was tight on space in his workshop, cut the rails that came with the saw, then purchased the 48" rails afterwards. That was a standard size for the rails that you could purchase for Excalibur fences. Unfortunately that company is no longer operating and there doesn't seem to be a source for those extrusions except to find them used. Excalibur did sell 72" rails also. There's even a web page at Rockler offering the fence and 72" rails even though they discontinued the product. I could actually mount the cut pieces on my 510 table and use the fence there, the rear clamp is on a long threaded rod meant to allow adjustment for different table sizes.

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Re: Sawsmith 2000 re-assembled

#273504 by edma194 » Sat Aug 22, 2020 11:21 am

Ed in Tampa wrote:I always wished Shopsmith would have built the machine without the razzle dazzle sliding blade. The mechanism to allow the blade to slide added about 1/8 of slop into the blade rigidity. These guys that use certified measuring gauges (Read as high dollar) and dial indicators to setup cuts would go crazy with the machine. Heck if you used a rule in 1/16 inch you would go crazy. You could actually see the blade wobble back and forth with minimal hand pressure.
Also the original price was way too high.


It really doesn't add much to the saw. I suppose tenons are a tad easier, but I wouldn't trust it to make a deep cut while sliding. I read about problems in the earlier versions, this one is sturdier than I expected but I doubt I'd even try that feature on anything thicker than 1/2". It's a very complicated mechanism really, it has to move forward and back, up and down, tilt, and of course the blade has to spin too. The slide tubes it uses aren't quite as heavy as what I see on sliding compound miter saws. It could have been made stronger, but that would have increased the cost for improving a feature that wasn't that important (not sure what original prices were). Of course back then people still bought radial arm saws. I'd pick up a Sawsmith Radial Arm Saw to fill out my collection of Shopsmith machines but you couldn't pay me to use an upside down and backwards saw back then or now.

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Re: Sawsmith 2000 re-assembled

#273541 by Ed in Tampa » Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:02 am

edma194 wrote:
Ed in Tampa wrote:I always wished Shopsmith would have built the machine without the razzle dazzle sliding blade. The mechanism to allow the blade to slide added about 1/8 of slop into the blade rigidity. These guys that use certified measuring gauges (Read as high dollar) and dial indicators to setup cuts would go crazy with the machine. Heck if you used a rule in 1/16 inch you would go crazy. You could actually see the blade wobble back and forth with minimal hand pressure.
Also the original price was way too high.


It really doesn't add much to the saw. I suppose tenons are a tad easier, but I wouldn't trust it to make a deep cut while sliding. I read about problems in the earlier versions, this one is sturdier than I expected but I doubt I'd even try that feature on anything thicker than 1/2". It's a very complicated mechanism really, it has to move forward and back, up and down, tilt, and of course the blade has to spin too. The slide tubes it uses aren't quite as heavy as what I see on sliding compound miter saws. It could have been made stronger, but that would have increased the cost for improving a feature that wasn't that important (not sure what original prices were). Of course back then people still bought radial arm saws. I'd pick up a Sawsmith Radial Arm Saw to fill out my collection of Shopsmith machines but you couldn't pay me to use an upside down and backwards saw back then or now.


See here is the difference a Sears Radial Arm saw was my first real saw back in the 70's and it would be the last saw I would ever get rid of. Yes I would sell my Shopsmith before it. I love the fact I can see exactly where the blade is. Plus the way it is designed I can keep my hands well away from a danger zone. I will admit I rarely if ever rip on it.

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