Canberra Timber and Working with Wood Show 2008

Posted by jerry on September 5th, 2008 — Posted in DIY, Journal, Technology, Woodwork

The Canberra Timber and Working with Wood Show is on again this weekend, and here is a preview 🙂

This exhibition of the latest woodworking equipment, demonstrations and stacks of timber is one of the must-see events if you are a woodworker – whether hobbyist or semi professional.

As you arrive, there are demonstrations of the Lucas saw mill, and the Swedex Logosol mini saw mill. This latter made short work of a large log using a chainsaw mounted in a frame that holds the saw horizontal for cutting slabs. The whole thing is adjustable for slab thickness and slope of the log. Very impressive for such a small mill.

Logosol wood mill

Once inside I went in search of lumber – I have in mind to make a couple of musical instruments – another pochette fiddle and a travel mandolin. Trend Timbers was my first and primary stop as they had some lovely birdseye maple and rosewood. I also found blackwood, silkwood and purpleheart. But alas no spruce. It seems I have to go to Sydney for that, or order it on the internet. I also got the last piece of American sycamore in captivity in Canberra.

Trend Timbers

The guys there were very friendly and helpful – they even helped me carry my acquisitions to the parcel pick-up place. And I learned that Brazil is the only country to be named after a timber! Brazil wood was known before the country had a (Western) name.

There were great demonstrations and seminars – don’t miss the chair making one by Richard Vaughan titled ‘Seat yourself’. Richard Raffan and Bruce Bell did wood turning demos and Roger Givkin showed off his dovetail jig and demonstrated the art of small box making.

While there are many great new toys out there, one really stood out for me this year – the SawStop. This is amazing and will save countless fingers from being injured by table saws. A small electrical current passes through the saw blade, and trips a sensor as soon as the blade touches flesh rather than wood. Within 5milliseconds – ten times faster than a car airbag deploys in an accident, and seven times faster than we blink, a gas charge propels an aluminium brake into the saw blade and the whole blade drops below the table. I just had to film this demonstration:

I hope every educational institution teaching woodworking buys this as it will save countless hands from serious injury.

There was a great selection of books at the Australian Woodworker stand – and you could pick up any back issues you missed on the news stands.

Australian Woodworker

If you are into bush crafts there was Stan Ceglinski with his crosscut saw race – but he is also very skilled with a riving knife too!

Stan Ceglinski

There were also demonstrations of pole-lathe woodturning

pole lathe

and demos of chair making by a master bodger using green wood and a draw-knife


But in case you thought it was all about rough timber – there were excellent displays of fine woodworking from the ANU School of Art and Sturt universities and ACT Woodcraft. For example there was this beautiful cabinet…


If you are into boats – then the Cape Boatworks is a must visit – they are building a canoe from wood strips through the course of the weekend. It’s the first day and the canoe is already well advanced!

cape boatworks

And I came away with new knowledge – and a small stash of rather special timber

timber stash

And a couple of useful chisels…



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