Shopsmith tools were made in San Francisco by Magna Engineering Corp. from 1947 to the late 1950s. Yuba Power Products, Inc. of Cleveland bought Magna Engineering, but soon sold the Shopsmith line to some employees, who used the name Magna American Corp. They also eventually failed to make a go of it, and the Shopsmith manufacture ceased in 1966.
Shopsmith, Inc., was formed in 1972 to resume manufacturing using all the original equipment. This new company began operations in Troy, but moved to Dayton in the late 1970s.
Montgomery Ward sold "Shopsmith" tools, but they were lesser-quality items manufactured by a third party.
In the 1960s, Magna/Yuba made the Sawsmith, a radial arm saw that could be provided with a set of attachments à la the Shopsmith 5-in-1. One unusual feature of the Sawmith was that the blade could be mounted on either end of the motor shaft, which made it easier for left-handed users and also provided more flexibility when doing miter cuts.
In the 1980s Shopsmith briefly manufactured a planer, scroll saw, 11" bandsaw, and 4" jointer.
A version of Shopsmith is still in business and has a web site.
Other Shopsmith Resources
- Since 1972; the name was registered with the State of Ohio on January 13 of that year.
- Thanks to Skip Campbell of MKC Tools for providing some of the links.
- Dayton, The Gem City, by Bruce W. Ronald and Virginia Ronald, has this quote (via Google Books): "But before the year was over, Folkerth obtained a limited stock offering and a loan to form Shopsmith Inc. "The line of ... In 1976, the company moved to Vandalia and, in 1979-1980, expanded to several different locations in Dayton. ..."