Benchmark and Shopcraft Tools by Shopsmith

A chapter in Shopsmith Inc. history that few seem to know is the purchase of the Benchmark tool line from McGraw Edison. McGraw Edison was a tool company located in Jefferson City MO which Shopsmith saw as complimentary to their tools. They're engineers had designed several benchtop tools including a three-wheeled Bandsaw, and Belt Sander, a Drill Press, a Grinder and a Lathe sold under the names Benchmark and Shopcraft.

I don't know all the details, but in the end the best part of the purchase was the acquisition of several of these engineers including two brilliant men which became fixtures at Shopsmith; Jack Legler and Bob Bartlett.

Another great group of inventions which were obtained by Shopsmith in the purchase was the four safety tools we know today as the Shopsmith Push Stick, Fence Straddler, Push Block and my favorite the Festherboard. One interesting thing to note about these four tools is that long before Shopsmith's patent rights expired on these tools they began to be knocked-off. Shopsmith decided not to exercise their rights to have these clones removed from the market because they put the safety of woodworkers ahead of their profits. That's enough of a reason for me to continue to use their safety tools exclusively to this day.

At some point in the early 1990's Shopsmith moved the company to West Carrolton, Ohio (Just south of Dayton), where years later it became Aspen Mfg. Co. before going out of business.

Note that these two brand names have been used by several other tool companies. The only tools which Shopsmith made under these names are those mentioned above.

Click here for Shopcraft and Benchmark tools for Sale

Click here for Shopsmith Safety Kit Items (Puch Stick, Featherboard, Puch Block, Fence Straddler) for Sale

Below is an ad that Shopsmith ran in order to liquidate some of the tools that came along with the purchase of McGraw Edison.