Canberra Working With Wood show

Posted by jerry on September 5th, 2005 — Posted in Journal, Woodwork

What better way to spend Father’s Day in Canberra than to spend it at the Working With Wood Show at Exhibition Park in Canberra. These come around every year at about the same time, and showcase the latest and greatest tools for the amateur or semi-professional woodworker. The show prices are great (more on that later) but the real treat is seeing the demonstrations of woodworking techniques from turning, ornamental turning, box making, applying finishes, and heaps more.

Australian Woodworker magazine recently did a feature on Australian inventors over the past 20 years – and most of them turn up every year at the Working With Wood show – so you get to meet some great people sharing a passion for converting trees into heirlooms.

Among the highlights were seeing Roger Gifkin demonstrating his dovetailing jig; the guy who invented the WASP sander – which attaches to the workshop drill and has to be the fastest way to change sanding belts I’ve ever seen; and Stan ‘The Man’ Ceglinski of Mullumbimby Woodworks making bush furniture, and running his amazing Great Saw Race using a couple of 100 year old two-person saws. Then there was the Ozzie Jigs bloke – whose invention is featured in the Australian Design Museum – and the AngleMagthe list goes on.

There were demos of the Lucas sawmill, and a range of Westford chainsaw mills from Western Australia, such as this one:

chainsaw mill
Westford Chainsaw mill
And there were small slabbing attachments for smaller chainsaws (maybe next year!).

Of course if you set someone like me loose in a giant toyshop like the Working With Wood show you can expect that one or two things might wind up in my car at the end of the day. I even considered taking the motorbike on the basis that I would only get a few small items. Well, I carefully locked my best intentions away and armed myself with the plastic card and dutifully checked out the show specials.

First stop was CarbaTec – they have a shop in Fyshwick here in Canberra, but they were offering special show prices and then 10 percent off that – so I was soon carrying around a lovely Hamlet roughing gouge for the lathe. I ws sorely tempted by Robert Sorby goose necked turning chisels, but resisted manfully. Then it was off to Timbecon – the mob from Western Australia. I decided to leave the 1HP grinder… in the parcel pickup for later – this was accompanied by a great special combining an aluminium oxide wheel and a sharpening rest of really decent proportions:

Grinder, toolrest and roughing gouge
The grinder, the toolrest and the roughing gouge

Then a quick glance at the triton offerings – I love the way their stuff is able to be retrofitted to even the earliest versions of the sawbench. I asked, in an offhand casual way, the price of the saw height winder kit – and the saw chassis upgrade so it would fit my old MK3 saw bench. What I saved there was more than the entrance fee to the show and those items were quickly added to the parcel pickup.

triton height winder kit
Triton height winder kit
And here it is mounted on the trusty Mk3.

I was getting the hang of this now, but needed just a little more practice – and that’s when I saw the router base and guide bushing kit. You see it’s like this. Last year I picked up a dovetail jig and a couple of dovetail router bits with attached bearings. But the bearings kept breaking, leaving me with a couple of perfectly good router bits, but no way to use them in the dovetail jig. With the new router base and guide bushes I can run the dovetail bits through the jig without fear of snagging the sides!

Router guide bushing kit
Router guide bushing kit

So that was the Working With Wood show for 2005 – and yes I had a great Fathers Day 🙂


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