Canberra Working with Wood Show 2007

Posted by jerry on September 8th, 2007 — Posted in DIY, Journal, Woodwork

The Canberra Timber and Working with Wood show is on again at the Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC). And being on holidays I managed this time to get there as the show opened. And just as the show opened, so did the heavens for a bit of welcome rain. It certainly didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the woodworkers – several had waited for an hour before the scheduled opening time.

I had been anticipating this show for some time. One reason is that this is the one time of the year I get to see the offerings of Western Australian hardware company called Timbecon. This is one serious competitor to Carbatec – the latter being a local company, who were surprisingly absent from this year’s show.


Once there I surprised one of the sales staff by pointing to a Sherwood 6-inch jointer and he made his first sale of the day – he even knocked another $50 off the show special price!


Having saved so much already (you know where this is going, don’t you!) I decided to save some more by buying some clamps … and a mortise attachment for my drill press.

I watched the demonstration of the Wasp sander attachment for a drill press and … um… saved some more by adding one to the parcel pick-up

wasp sander

This is an innovative attachment that takes advantage of the variable speeds available in a drill press, and it uses any sanding belt and when not in use, remains attached to the drill press but sprung out of the way. And it can be set up in moments. Another great Australian design!

There were some great demonstrations of the Vicmark lathe – including one with a neat vacuum chuck. Ozzie Jigs gave a demo of their versatile doweling jig and a neat way to make louvred doors. No I wasn’t tempted – i have a good doweling jig from many years ago and it still does good service.

Jet Machinery was there in strength, although their machines were a bit out of my price range – they looked good though nice finish and good solid construction.

The triton stand – source of many a happy purchase in the past have really developed their product range to include thicknessers, electric screwdrivers, routers, powered dust masks, all manner of things. All great quality and well featured, but I’m happy with my Mark 3 saw bench and accessories. They were doing a special $100 trade-in on any Mark Three saw table top off your purchase of a Series 2000. Sorry guys – you made it too well the first time! But I understand the Mark 3 will no longer be supported in terms of adaptors for new accessories – which is fair enough after 25 years 🙂

Australian Woodsmith magazine was well represented and I bought a pile of back issue mags to read.

Bosch and Ryobi had their stands, and MIK International and Metabo had some good higher-end machinery. Festool had a small stand – again nice gear but not for those on a budget.

I watched the Zeiss Zvice demo and the Australian copy (benchpro) – both very similar – including in price. I’ve had the Zeiss for about 7 years and it still amazes me with its ingenuity.

The givkins jigs were demoed – great dovetail and box-making jigs, as are the Leigh which were also present.

I bought some turning blanks from Bilinudgel Woodworking and Trend Timbers – including a nice piece of purpleheart

wood turning blanks

Microclene did a lovely soft sell on their air filters – nice but pricey – and set to last a lifetime (made longer by not breathing fine sawdust). I took the softer option and bought a mask

dust mask

The dust-bee-gone is a washable cloth mask that looks like a standard surgical mask, but it filters out particles down to 3 microns.

One of the highlights of the show was the amazing Aussie bushman Stan Ceglinski who runs the great Two-man saw race each year, and this time for something different had his own race between one of the Timbecon demonstrators using power tools (including a bandsaw) and Stan with his draw-knife and bodger’s horse – to make a cricket bat. Stan won of course and both turned out quite serviceable cricket bats – finishing within moments of each other. The bats were duly given away to a couple of the kids in the audience – Stan’s like that – a genuine good bloke 🙂

Stan Ceglinski

I joined the raffle for the craftsman work-bench run by the Australian National University School of Art and had a chat with Roger, from the Wood shop there, about the Open Art courses.

Sturt College also tried to tempt me into a course at Mittagong.

The Organoil demo was good – how to get a nice finish using just buffing oil and a sander – very impressive: just brush on the oil generously, sand it with 380 grit on an orbital sander and let the slurry do the burnishing. Wipe off the excess and sand with 600, 1200 and 1500 grit and you have a lovely silky finish. Simple and easy to maintain. The oil dries to a hard finish over time.

The Fein tool was impressive in its versatility and its capacity to cut in awkward places and even to cut metal for car restoration.

Laverre Aboriginal Art had a good stand of digeridoos and tourist-grade bull-roarers and the odd boomerang. But I liked the cut-away didge in the making – showing how termites render the branches hollow and voila! there’s your didgeridoo. And you thought they were carved??

The Cape Boatworks boats were amazing – beautifully finished lightweight sailing dinghies and skiffs and canoes. The Scouts were busy building a couple of their kits and making impressive progress throughout the day. The kits are inexpensive – around $1450 will get you a nice sailing skiff kit. The parts are stitched together with copper wire and then seamed with fibreglass, making light strong hulls remarkably quickly.

Cape Boatworks boats

Soon it was time for a half cold kransky roll for lunch and a wander round the outside timber slab display

Working with Wood Show

and the demos of the Lucas portable mill and the Wood Whizz heavy duty slab finisher – this is like a Triton workbench on steroids, showing the cutting and surfacing of large timber slabs, including some lovely redgum, jarrah and purpleheart.

Soon it was time to head home with all my savings 😉


And this very solid crate that followed me home …


But Timbecon have assured my return tomorrow – they forgot to include the jointer stand! It seems there should have been two crates!

What a pity – I might have to save some more 😉


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