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Mark V Lift Assist

#1874 by dusty » Sun Feb 11, 2007 9:53 am

I finally saved enough of my mad money to purchase the Mark V Lift Assist. Now, I don't know whether or rejoice or to complain so I'm going to do both.

It works great and anyone who, for whatever reason, has a problem lifting weight should have one of these installed. It performs exactly as advertised. It truely makes the task of putting the Shopsmith into the drill press mode much, much easier. The young folks who read this probably won't appreciate this now but someday they will.

Shopsmith is to be commended; this truely improves the useability of the Shopsmith. Without the lift assist, putting the machine in and out of the drill press mode was a limiting factor for some users. PROBLEM SOLVED.

Now for the down side.

I usually attempt to follow instructions very closely; this time I wish I had not.
In a supplement to the instructions, we are told to loosen the set screws that secure the Way Tubes into the Way Tube Tie Bar and into the Base Arm.

We are then told to 'wiggle each way tube' to seat them into their respective holes and retighten the set screws. Seems simple enough and I did that. I even have a torque wrench calibarated in inch pounds to use to reset the allen screws. Now, how many Shopsmith users have a torque wrench laying around their wood shop?

But, I obviously didn't do something right.

Now, when I lower the machine into the horizontal position, the Headrest Lock is not centered on the Lock Shaft. I have to pull it into postion. There seems to be some torque on the way tubes 'twisting' them out of position. This was not the case before I did the installation.

Upon strict examination, I discovered that one way tube is no longer seated properly in its respective hole. I loosened the set screws in the Way Tube Tie Bar and attempted to reposition the Tie Bar properly but I can not. It springs right back into the incorrect position. When I originally loosened them there was NO torqueing pressure at all. Something is being twisted.

Unfortunately, I didn't notice this until after the installation of the Lift Assist was complete.

The installation instructions very clearly states that the Upper Lift Assist Assembly and the Lower Lift Assist Assembly should be firmly against the Base Arm and the Base Casting, respectively and that all mounting screws should be finger tight.

Then you are insructed to change this position as required to commensate for the length of the gas cyclinder; moving one one way if more separation is required or the other if less separation is required.

Install the gas cyclinder and tighten all hardware.

Up to this point, there has been nothing done that should put anything in torque. What do I do now? I must resolve the out of seat way tube and I must realign the Headrest Lock. I suspect that both will be resolved by a single action.

Seems simple. Loosen all the hardware, let everything seek its natural position and retighten. Didn't work.

Gas cylinder needs to be removed. Think I need to do this with the Mark V in the vertical position but the instructions don't say so. IMO the instruction sheet needs a WARNING. If the gas cylinder is removed from the ball joints in the horizontal position something unwanted is going to happen. I learned this the hard way with a screen door closer.

What has placed the Way Tube in torque? How do I resolve that? Does it need to be resolved?

One last rant. The quality of the photos in this set of instruction sheets is extremely poor. So poor that they might as well not have been there. Why did I notice this? Because I have to remove the gas cyclinder from the ball joints and the instructions on how to do that are pictorial. I can't see anything in the photo clear enough to determine how to pry them off.

No fear, given a big screw driver and a hammer I'll get them off.
Making Sawdust Safely

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lift assist

#1921 by Don13535 » Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:09 pm

I have the same problem. I am about to take it off and just do with out. I was very carfull and followed the instructions precisely. I installed it three times. It still does not work. Two of the things I particularly noted was: first the part that holds the tool rest and saw blade would not move to the end. This is not a particular problem except when using the tool as a lathe. Secondly the gas cylinder would not fit if I followed the instrucitons. I wonder If there are two cylindres and I got the wrong one.
I am going to give it one more try and ask for verbal instrucitons from the office. Then send it back if I cannnot get it to work.

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Mark V Lift Assist

#1923 by dusty » Tue Feb 13, 2007 5:54 pm


I did have some problems getting it installed but when I went back over all of the steps very carefully I was able to complete the task and it (the lift assist) does work.

I am thankful for that because I am getting to the point where lifting the headstock into vertical mode without the lift assist is difficult. That is no longer a problem.

My suggestion would be start all over but do not remove anything except the gas cyclinder. Simply loosen all of the nuts, all sixteen (16) of them. With the gas cyclinder off (or disconnected from the upper ball joint), reposition all of the mounts, both upper and lower, to the far right side of the tubes.

Without connecting anything, check the length of the gas cyclinder. Is it too long or is it too short. What we would like to have at this point is for the ball joints to be separated from one another by a distance exactly equal to the length of the gas cyclinder. That is not likely.

If the cyclinder is too long. Secure all of the bolts/nuts on the lower assembly. You should not have to changes these again.

Now, move the upper assembly up the way tubes just enough so that the upper ball joint matches the height of the gas cylinder. For me, that was about and inch and a half. I used a wedge to move the upper assembly up the way tubes. Tighten the bolts and nuts to secure the upper assembly and recheck the ball joint alignment. If good, attach the gas cylinder. Recheck ALL of the bolts and nuts to make sure they are tight and you are done.

When you check the separation of the ball joints, if they are too far apart, secure all of the bolts/nuts on the upper assemble. All eight (8) of them. Now, reposition the lower assembly by sliding it to the left on the bench tubes. When the distance between the ball joints equals the gas cylinder length, secure the eight bolts/nuts on the lower assembly. Attach the gas cyclinder and you are done.

Recheck all of the bolts/nuts to make sure they are secure. You are done.

Check the operation of your new lift assist and I think you will be completely satisfied.

When I had the way tube set screws loose, I rotated the way tubes to redistribute the wear and tear. Guess what, I really don't see a difference. The carriage and the headstock slide as easy as ever and the way tubes look good. I do keep my system clean, lubricated and waxed so I am not surprised.

I hope this has helped. For a moment I did have some doubt but no longer. I am very satisfied.

Shopsmith can do a better job on the illustrations and they usually do but this particular set of instructions was very poorly illustrated. Almost worthless.
Making Sawdust Safely

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#1972 by Don13535 » Sat Feb 17, 2007 4:50 pm



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Lift Assist

#3336 by mlettini » Tue Apr 24, 2007 7:44 pm

I just finished installing thr lift assist. It works great. I ignored the supplemental instructions. Had no problem at all. Instructions could have been better but, it was easy enough to figure out.:

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#3338 by paulmcohen » Tue Apr 24, 2007 8:56 pm

Don13535 wrote:Two of the things I particularly noted was: first the part that holds the tool rest and saw blade would not move to the end. This is not a particular problem except when using the tool as a lathe. Secondly the gas cylinder would not fit if I followed the instructions.

I have had mine installed for over a year so this is out of memory, age joke here.
1) I am unable to get the top part of the lift assist against the legs, the gap is less than 1", as you said this only effects the lathe and there are two other threads on that topic and what to do about it.
2) I first was also going to return the gas cylinder because it did not look like the correct one. I found out the rod turns in the cylinder. You need to grab it and the cylinder and turn until they are in the correct orientation. You need to be careful not to damage (or scratch) either part and only turn enough so the parts line up. I needed a bug wrench to even turn it slightly, I used an inner-tube to prevent damage.

Despite the issues I love it and would not return it.

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#3363 by PTWFE » Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:17 pm

Has anyone else noticed a binding when sliding the carriage close to the Lift Assist?

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