Shoptask owners?

This forum is dedicated to those hobbyists with the 3-in-1 metalworking machines. Mill-Drill-Lathes. Tips, techniques, modification and use of these machines is topical.

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Shoptask owners?

Post by pfarber » Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:44 pm

Looking for fellow Shoptask owners.

Most boards ppl really beat us up... I like mine.. but I'm sure there are improvements that others have made.

Sound off.. what have you done to make your Shoptask more ?????

Jose Rivera
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Post by Jose Rivera » Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:54 pm

Is Shoptask a machine ?

Can you give a little more info about it ?
Last edited by Jose Rivera on Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Steve_in_Mich » Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:28 pm

If a Shoptask is like a broom handle and a bunch of loose strings on one end I don't think I'm going to have allot to say about it, but, if it's anything else ... well that's another thing. The suspense is building.
Just because you don’t believe it - doesn’t mean it’s not so.

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Re: Shoptask owners?

Post by Harold_V » Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:23 pm

pfarber wrote:Most boards ppl really beat us up... .
That isn't permitted on this board. Our objective isn't to criticize others, it's to educate.


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Re: Shoptask owners?

Post by mixdenny » Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:47 pm

pfarber wrote:Looking for fellow Shoptask owners.

Most boards ppl really beat us up... I like mine.. but I'm sure there are improvements that others have made. Sound off.. what have you done to make your Shoptask more ?????
I am quite happy with my Shoptask Eldorado, which I have had since 2000. Problems have been minimal, and since I added my own design fifth column, the machine is nice and stiff, fully capable of machining steel parts with heavy cuts.

I have 40 years experience using Bridgeports and nice lathes at NASA and wanted my own machines for when I retired. The only space I had indoors was one wall in my utility room, so that made it difficult to fit anything other than a 3-in-1 machine, and I have never regretted it.

I have a small page showing some of my upgrades. I have posted it various places before so bear with me if this is a repeat.

I recently improved the noise level on the lathe. I found most of the gear noise in mine was coming from the chain idler sprocket, which had an open bearing exposed to metal chips. I replaced it with a sealed bearing and things are much quieter. I recall someone working on a timing belt drive to replace the chain and I think I will look into it. It appears the widest belt that can be easily used would be a 3/4", I'll have to see if it will take the power.


Post by pfarber » Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:46 pm

I really like the enclosed cabinet idea. Will have to do that.

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Post by TomB » Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:23 pm

I have a year old TriPower and am quited pleased with it. I've been looking to make some improvements, but I bought it to make real parts and I've been doing that. Typically my things are big, I buy 6" by 2" channel and 2" by 2" square tubing. I'm looking to add bored holes for pins and chains or to make pins and coupligs. Mostly I've turned 1 inch and larger diameter steel and have not been trying to hold tolerances that are less than .005".

The mill certainly needs a 5th colum that is substantially beefier than the 2" by 3/4" post that is part of the table/tray. Right now a 3/8" 2 flute mill in steel struggles to take a .1" deep slot. Maybe flood cooling would help but I've not taken the time to install it. Doing so requires plugging up the extranious holes the factoy drilled and adding a well placed drain hole. I've bought the tank and pump but just haven't had the time to get it all connected. Beyond that I've been thinking about how to do something that would both beef up the bridge and make it move up and down in parallel with how it moves on the headstock end. I've ideas but not a design.


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Shopmaster Patriot

Post by hgporter » Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:31 pm

Hope you Shoptask owners are still around. I took delivery about a month ago on my 2nd Patriot. First one was dropped by Roadway. It took about 10 weeks to get another. I get the impression Shopmaster is selling out their cargo containers fairly quickly.

Things are progressing slowly because it has been a lot of years since I have cut metal. I spent yesterday trying to tune the stepper motors and set the CNC parameters. Hope to cut metal soon.

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Shoptask owner

Post by laskaboots » Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:57 am

New member and this is my first reply to a posting. I have a 10 year old Shoptask 17-20 that I bought at auction. Part of a divorce settlement and the ex-wife said her former husband had never used it after the first couple of days. Appeared to me to be in nearly new condition other than for the years of dust. I have used it for making a 5/8 x 18 threaded bolt for my MGB and a few practice parts. I plan on working mostly with steel, and the lathe operations work well, milling with end mills or fly cutters seems to suffer from flexing of the support post. I have some bronze bearing material, some aluminum and some delrin plastic that I have not tried yet. Overall I am happy with the machine, although I have never used any other.

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Re: Shoptask owners?

Post by crhea » Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:33 pm

Count me in... I just picked up a barely-used Shoptask Tri-Power. Still going through all the parts/pieces to see what's missing (original ower bought it with the user-install DRO and CNC options-- lots of parts still in boxes).

So far, I'm pretty impressed with the quality/construction. Yes, you do need to spend some time going through the machine making sure things are tight/adjusted properly. The owner's manual isn't much, so I'm figuring it out as I go.

--- Cris

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Re: Shoptask owners?

Post by laskaboots » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:26 am

glad to hear that there are a few of us Shoptask owners still out there. I still use mine quite often, but not daily, mostly to create replacement parts as needed. Last I recall, the company was for sale by the original owner/founder. I don't know how that came out. If there is a new owner, I would like to receive an e letter of some sort to let us know what the company is doing now.

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Re: Shoptask owners?

Post by TomB » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:11 am

From dealing with JT I have gotten the impression that Shopmaster is basically a one man company. I suspect there is some accountants and order processors in the background but they only provide services. JT designs, sets the policy and probably also sweeps the floor. From the letter that JT wrote to all his machine purchasers (about 18 months ago) it seemed like he had been looking to retire, had not found a buyer and was asking the people that own his machine if they wanted to buy the company. I suspect most of his buyers fall into three categories: (1) institutions/schools that would not buy a company, (2) older men that either are retired or nearing retirement and want a hobby and (3) a variety of hobbyists that are mostly interested in cars, old farm tractors, model trains, etc. I doubt that any customers like that are interested in or have the where-with-all to buy out JT.

Given the current economy I'd bet that JT may have a hard time finding a buyer. From the viewpoint of us users that could be bad or good. Good in the sense that JT keeps it going and he does a pretty fair job of supporting his customers. Bad in that men nearing retirement age can get tired and just give up on a company or worse can have medical problems that end a one-man company. Or even if he finds a buyer it may not be someone interested or capable of running the company as it has been run. People have been known to buy a company so they can close it and eliminate competition. But to end on a positive note a new buyer could run it better.


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