shopsmith stepstool project
home Frequently Asked Questions and tool tips shop tour projects contact me links build a banjo shopsmith tips miscellaneous stuff top shop tips about


Get the Most Out of Your Shopsmith





A Shopsmith can do the work of several machines, and it can even do a few things that other machines canít, but you need to get familiar with it to understand its capabilities. Seeing it in action will help you think like a Shopsmith owner, and will help you get the most out of your machine.




For this project, weíre going to build a simple stepstool, something that I really need in the shop and should have built long ago. I could build this with the other tools in my shop, but I need it to be stable and square, and only my Shopsmith can guarantee those results.





This is what it looks like without the top. You can see that it has a trestle base, which gives it a wide, stable footprint.

Part One: Building the Top


My vintage Model 500 doesnít have the safety equipment and dust collection youíll find on the Shopsmiths that being built today, so I generally donít use it as a table saw. However, just to show that the Shopsmith can deliver excellent results ripping and crosscutting wood, Iíll be using the table saw function as I build this project.

Incidentally, all of the wood used in this project is leftover two by four stock that was lying around the shop.








Iíve added an extension to the miter gauge.






The extension makes it safer and easier to crosscut longer pieces, and a stop block assures theyíll be the same length.





Hereís a trick I got from my dadóusing the Shopsmith as a workbench. In this case, the Shopsmith works better than an ordinary workbench, allowing me to clamp from above and below.






I can clamp from above and below, which is necessary with these bar clamps, and I can use the tables to make sure that the top will be nice as flat as possible (considering that the boards are not are not entirely straight).

Previous: Back to Shopsmith TipsNext: Building the Trestle Base



Questions or comments? Write me at
This page last updated 11/29/04
Content © 2002-2004 Song of the Great Lakes