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    •  
      CommentAuthorGene
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    Seems to have been down since 7/11.
    Saw this post on SS_owners list:

    Anybody know anything about it?

    I could not get on-line at the Shopsmith site this morning (happens
    now and then) so I started doing a little searching for another
    possible access URL in case there was one I didn't know about. I ran
    across a discussion of Shopsmith's status that has been running for at
    least two years on Woodworkingonline.com
    The last message was dated July 10, 2009 from someone called Jeff and
    was as follows:
    ==================================
    Shopsmith Inc. is out of business…They fired their staff today w/o the
    last weeks pay and are re-opening under a different business name.
    They couldn’t secure financing under Shopsmith, Inc. due to too many
    lawsuits. Good luck to those who lost their jobs, the Dayton area has
    been hit hard with job losses.

    (posted on July 10th, 2009 at 5:11 pm)
    • CommentAuthordragondncr
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    Wow, I was in the forum, yesterday, but noticed this morning I couldn't get in.
    • CommentAuthorwlhayes
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    We all are wondering the same thing. Maybe it is a weekend thing but never has the whole SS Home site been down before. Hopefully someone close or Nick knows what is going on.
    • CommentAuthorRiot_Nrrd
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    Lets all keep our fingers crossed that this is a massive site redesign and/or changeover associated with this new headstock Nicked about:

    http://www.nickengler.com/Forum/vanilla/comments.php?DiscussionID=72&page=1#Item_15


    -Andy
    • CommentAuthorRiot_Nrrd
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    Umm, that should say Nick TALKED about.
    :-p

    -Andy
    • CommentAuthorRiot_Nrrd
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    Here is a copy of the announcment, I think....

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=115745

    -Andy
    •  
      CommentAuthorGene
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    Saw the announcement on another forum and that is what has me buffaloed. Such an announcement followed by a complete shut down just doesn't make sense to me. But whadda I know, anyway?
    Gene
    • CommentAuthorgutterman
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009 edited
     
    I too have knot been able to access the ShopSmith site. I just tried their 1-800 number and it seems to be working fine, although they are knot open, it being Sunday. As for the announcement, it IS/WAS on the SS site in their community forum. The above link to sawmillcreek looks like an exact duplicate of it, as near as I can tell.
    • CommentAuthorBeeg
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009 edited
     
    JUST another nasty unfounded rumor. That post didn't site ANY sources either.

    Also It's not like this is the FIRST time the site has gone down late at night on a weekend.
    • CommentAuthorlv2wdwrk
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    Just checked the Dayton paper and there is no mention of Shopsmith going out of business.
    •  
      CommentAuthorGene
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    I sincerely hope some of us are just in a tither over nothing.
    •  
      CommentAuthorNick
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009 edited
     
    Unfortunately, folks, it's not a rumor. It caught me by surprise, too, but here's what happened: On Friday, Shopsmith fired everyone, announced that they were closing the company "Shopsmith, Inc." and would reorganize and start up under a different name, "RLF Shop, LLC". The new company then hired 12 of the Shopsmith people -- 6, mostly part-timers, were not hired. The reasons given were lawsuits stemming from debt. Bosch/Vermont-American, I understand, has been extremely hard-nosed with the now-defunct Shopsmith when they sought to restructure their debt. I imagine they weren't the only ones. Some of this may have to do with the new headstock. (Let me warn you -- this next bit is speculation; I have no source.) Shopsmith has been seeking investors most probably to help with the launch of the new headstock. It could be that the accumulated debt was just too scary to attract investors. They may have done this to isolate the debt from the new venture and get a fresh start.

    I apologize for getting everyone cranked up about the new headstock. If I had known that this was coming, I would have been more cautious. All I can say in my defense is that I have (had) good friends at Shopsmith and they didn't see it coming. To make it up to you, if the Shopsmith site remains down for any length of time (a few days more), I'll put up a "Shopsmith in Absentia" section on this Forum and let you guys use it to continue to trade Shopsmith-oriented information.

    In the meantime, I'll report any reliable information I hear about the Shopsmith reorganization on this thread.

    With all good wishes,
    Nick
    • CommentAuthorRiot_Nrrd
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    Thanks for the news, Nick. Sorry to hear it, but maybe it's not totally bad news. A couple thoughts:

    1.) GM is in the process of doing what seems to be the exact same thing - take the valuable assets, sell them to the new company, use the proceeds to pay the debtors of the old company.

    2.) I note in Dave Folkerth's e-mail about the Power Pro, there are a few interesting things:
    a.) It never says they will be selling a new Mark V; it just says that the headstock will cost less than a new Mark V
    b.) Most of the email is about a new headstock for your Mark V (i.e., upgrading, not buying a new unit)

    Given what we know about this DVR technology, maybe Teknatool is an angel investor? Or maybe Teknatool is taking over? Or maybe they will stop selling new units, and totally focus on support (JIT manufacturing, higher costs to us, but at least they are still around)? None of which are necessarily completely bad outcomes.

    So let's not panic yet.

    NIck, any updates you can help would be greatly appreciated (or any push you can give to Folkerth and/or others about press releases). I'd like to get a feel whether I should be raiding E-bay for spare parts or if I should be waiting for a resturcuting to complete. Obviously no guarantees, but I'd hate to buy a used headstock off E-bay as insurance, then find out new parts and/or upgrades will be available. On the other hand, if the DVR motor announcement was just smoke and mirrors to attract investors, it would be good to know that too.

    Thanks again Nick.

    Andy
    • CommentAuthorfjimp
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    Nick,
    Thank you for confirming the sad news. I like many others hope that Shopsmith with a new identity will return soon. It saddens me greatly that these economic times are destroying so many portions of American business. I saddens me even further that creditors in our nation take the tact of drawing unrealistic lines that further damage our nation.

    Like so many others, if it takes awhile to get shopsmith reincarnated I would appreciate your kind offer to allow our discussion members to continue related discussions someplace within your environment.

    Fjimp
    • CommentAuthorlv2wdwrk
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    From Nick "Vermont-American, I understand, has been extremely hard-nosed with the now-defunct Shopsmith when they sought to restructure the debt. I imagine they weren't the only ones."

    Perhaps those that were hard-nosed will need help some day. Like the saying goes "What goes around comes around"
    • CommentAuthorgutterman
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    As of 1:00pm today, the ShopSmith site is back up.
    • CommentAuthorfixit
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    Not on my PC.
    •  
      CommentAuthorNick
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    I've had a few conversations with the people I know at Shopsmith, and what I reported above is the long and short of it. The good news is that the new headstock is still a "go." We could see a pilot run within the next six months.

    With all good wishes,
    Nick
    • CommentAuthorgutterman
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    Try again, fixit. It IS up and running.
    • CommentAuthorfixit
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    Guess it just takes longer for the electrons to make it to south TX. :-)

    I just posted the news in a new thread in this section (so those in south TX can find it!). LOL
    •  
      CommentAuthorCincinnati
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    That going to be hard to say. Going in the garage and fire up my "RLF Shop"
    •  
      CommentAuthorCincinnati
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    Who was it on the Shopsmith forum, first of the year, said SS was going to sell down the inventory and close later in the year. We all jumped on him.
    Guess we have egg on our face.
    • CommentAuthorjudaspre
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    For me, no matter what the new equipment is called , I will always call it Shopsmith.----Dave
    •  
      CommentAuthorCincinnati
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    Wonder what will happen to all the back orders?
    • CommentAuthorlv2wdwrk
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    The good thing about back orders, if we can call it good, is that there are no charges until shipped.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCincinnati
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2009
     
    "The reasons given were lawsuits stemming from debt. Bosch/Vermont-American"

    Anyone know what the Bosch lawsuit was about?
    • CommentAuthortrainman
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2009 edited
     
    On July 13th at 3:15 pm pacific time I just lost the SS website and forum. Acted like someone just pulled the plug and shut'er down. Hope it doesn't coninue. With the rumors flying and Nick confirming that SS is no longer, can we expect this type of thing to continue. Being a loyal SS customer for many years I would think they will notify owners somehow. I just received an email special yesterday that's good until tomorrow. I wonder if they plan on running the site only during business hours, but doing that does kind of defeat the purpose of having a website, doesn't it? And with their website their only source for placing orders and advertising, sounds crazy to shut it down too, to me anyway.
    • CommentAuthorRiot_Nrrd
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2009
     
    Up for me right now. Let's not panic.

    Given what we are seeing, it seems clear to me that they are working very hard to keep everything appear as normal as possible to their customers. I'm going to guess that they are seeing this as a legal move to protect the company and that's it. It counds like they plan to continue to deliver products and services to us.

    I think the website issues may be unrelated. We all know that they occasionally have glitches in their website. When all this was all going down, I did some nslookups and it looks like thier DNS got messed up. So I think this was a technical issue more than anything else - it just happened to have poor timing. Could it also be becasue they hadn't paid their bills? Sure. It's back up now, and it would not make sense that they would take it down intentionally as part of the resturcturing, then bring it up exactly the same on Sunday.

    Lets all just relax and give them some time. We have all had back orders, and we have all had our fears, but if we didn't think they were a good company, we would sell our tools and move on to something else. I think they are working hard to preserve the company, and we should contiunue to stand by them during this difficult time.

    -Andy
    • CommentAuthorfjimp
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2009
     
    I have had access to the Shopsmith Discussion Forum continuously today. I sometimes wonder if some joker delights in messing with web site address's. Hey I even received an email special from them earlier this evening. fjimp
    •  
      CommentAuthorNick
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2009 edited
     
    Stopped by Shopsmith today to say hello. Folks are shaken up, but there is optimism as well. You are right in thinking that this is simply a legal move, although I didn't get the feeling that anybody took it lightly. My impression was that they were backed into a corner by the economy and this was their only viable recourse. It protects the people who work(ed) at Shopsmith and keeps most of them employed, but it also protects those of us who depend on them for tools, parts, and information. It also protects their new venture, the PowerPro headstock, without which recovery would be so much more difficult. I won't pretend to you that the company is fiscally healthy, but it's still standing albeit under a new and somewhat puzzling name. (RLF are Bob's initials, in case you're curious.)

    The name of the tool line will remain "Shopsmith." RLF Shop will manufacture and sell Shopsmith Tools, similar to 50s when Magna Engineering made and sold Shopsmith, or the 60s when Shopsmith was made and sold by Yuba Industries. All orders and backorders will continue to be processed as they had been before. When I asked the folks at Customer Service what I should tell you guys, they asked you to please be patient with backorders. Apparently, some folks (not you guys, of course) have gotten downright nasty. The ranting has no effect other than to make someone's life miserable who doesn't deserve it. The sad fact is that there is no one at Shopsmith who can move these backorders any faster until the general economy improves and cash flow speeds up.

    The web site going down over the weekend was an unconnected event; it had nothing to do with the change of names. As some of you have pointed out before; it's happened before. Neither Shopsmith nor RLF Shop has someone monitoring the web site 24 hours a day who can reset a server when it gets persnickety.

    With all good wishes,
    Nick
    • CommentAuthorrkh2
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2009
     
    Nick

    Just want to pass on a big "Thanks" for keeping us updated on the Shopsmith situation. To most of us, Shopsmith is more than just a name of some woodworking tools. Since the start of their Forum it is like belonging to a big family. With the beginning of the "Sawdust Sessions" after the TA's and SS Academy went away, many of us looked forward to the continuing education of such a fine machine and its potential. I for one am looking forward to what the future will be in regards to your own endeavor here on the Workshop Companion. I look forward to learning many new skills which I can pass on to my friends, relatives and grandchildren. Again a big heart felt thanks.
    • CommentAuthorgutterman
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2009
     
    Nick,

    What others have already expressed, I wood like to reiterate in my own way: I am thankful that you continue to keep us ShopSmith owners informed. I know that you do knot have to do this, and am glad that you do choose to.

    Tim
    •  
      CommentAuthorjoedw00
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2009
     
    I got a E-Mail special today at 5:57 PM for Dado Accessories.
    •  
      CommentAuthorNick
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2009
     
    I'd like to know...who in the heck is "Jeff?"

    Go up to the top of this thread and read Gene's post. It cites another post on another site which cite's another post on another site from someone named "Jeff." I've seen this cite-site/cite-site post on several forums where Shopsmith owners post, but when I go to the supposed source, woodworkingonline.com, and search for it using several phrases in the source, I get nothing. Same at woodworking-online.com. Has anybody actually tracked down the source?

    With all good wishes,
    Nick
    • CommentAuthorlv2wdwrk
    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2009 edited
     
    Nick ,

    Try this link and scroll almost to the bottom to find the source of the quote.

    http://www.woodworkingonline.com/2007/05/18/is-shopsmith-breathing-its-final-breath/#comments

    Don't know who Jeff is.
    •  
      CommentAuthorNick
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2009 edited
     
    Thanks. Just wanted to post a link to this thread so the rumors don't get out of hand. The folks at Customer Service told me today they were getting all sorts of phone calls by people who claimed they had heard all sorts of outlandish things. Apparently there's a story coming out in the Weekly World News Resurrected that says Shopsmith's new DVR technology was pirated from a secret government lab that studies other-world artifacts found in a cave in Tierra Del Fuego and that the server crash this weekend was caused by wierd radiation eminating from the alien motor in the prototype Shopsmith headstock. I just hope WWNR hasn't found out that the shutdown/reorganization on Friday was to allow for a smooth, seamless takeover of the company by beings from another star system. Think of the backorder problems RLF Shop is going to have when the parts are coming from 50 light-years away!

    With all good wishes,
    Nick

    PS Just a thought, but maybe RLF stands for Really Long Flight...
    • CommentAuthorJPG40504
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2009
     
    OR . . . Really Long Frustration?
    •  
      CommentAuthorGene
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2009
     
    Nick, Sorry to cause consternation re: "Jeff". I don't know who he is either. I got the email at the same time the sites were all down. Coincidence? Anyway, I figured this forum, specifically you, would have the answers. As I suspected, you came through for us. Thanks for the info and for the humor.

    Speaking of humor, I am even more grateful for the WWNR information. Will we all need tinfoil hats when we run the new power plant/headstock? It's OK if we do. I have a whole closet full.
    I have plans for them, if anyone is interested.

    Gene
    • CommentAuthorrickblythe
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2010
     
    Is it possible to use a shop vac for dust collection on a ShopSmith Mark V??

    Rick
    • CommentAuthorrolands
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2010
     
    rickblythe all I use is my shop vac and it works fine. I always start the saw first and then the vac.
    • CommentAuthorwlhayes
    • CommentTimeMay 20th 2010
     
    I used my shop vac for years until I got a good deal on a DC. Worked fine and no problems. I don't think the Shop Vac was set up for long periods of sawing but you usually don't do long periods with the SS either.
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