Canberra Working with Wood Show 2007 – day three

Posted by jerry on September 9th, 2007 — Posted in DIY, Journal, Woodwork

It was not my intention to return to the Canberra Working with Wood show for a third day, other than to collect the lathe I had bought from the demonstration stand at Timbecon. But sadly, while assembling the jointer I noticed a problem. As I was wiring up the switch I saw that the motor chassis was not quite sitting right. On closer inspection it became obvious that the base had suffered damage on its journey across the Nullarbor desert, and was badly bent.

Sherwood jointer

The folks at Timbecon were very helpful and quickly substituted the base for one of the display models – and threw in a pair of push sticks for my trouble. And before long I had the jointer fully assembled. It is quite heavy and the instructions were far from clear. So it took quite some time to complete the job. The fence setup was fairly straightforward and has positive stops at 90 and 45 degrees, and once assembled the machine is remarkably quiet.

Sherwood jointer

Another trip to collect the lathe and again it was quick to set up, quiet in operation and adjusting the tool rest and tailstock were a breeze with the L-bolts.

Sherwood lathe

The mortise tapers in the head and tail-stock made it easy to set up for pen turning and within about an hour I had my first rough pen fitted up. It will take practice but the early indications are good 🙂

first hand turned pen

I had bought several pen kits and some acrylic blanks and the kits are fairly straightforward – but it will take practice to get the diameters right and the finish perfected.

Once I have mastered the acrylic – which is easy to turn, but I’m wary of the dust and appreciated the Dust-Bee-Gone mask – I shall look at turning timber pens. There are some excellent Australian hardwoods that would make excellent pens 🙂

I’ll keep you posted on developments


Working with Wood Show Canberra 2007 – day two.

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

I returned to the Working with Wood show today and the folks at Timbecon were very helpful in locating the base to my jointer, and it was quickly stowed in the van. And since I was already there I may as well have another look around. The rain had clearly kept some people away and it wasn’t as crowded as in previous years. But most stands were still doing a good trade.

The weather cleared and I saw the demonstration of the Lucas portable saw mill – it is simple but very effective, as all good designs are.

lucas portable mill

and I bought some timber straight off the mill – who says I don’t buy timber at woodworking shows!

timber load

The wood wizz was demonstrated to good effect on what looks like a wide tabletop to be – this is another great design that does its job very well. Ideal for a furniture business.


I got a better photo of the sail boat kit showing the sail rigging – it looks delightful.

sail boat

And the scouts were progressing on theirs

scout boat
You can see how the boards are stitched together with copper ties, and the framework is being inserted afterwards to provide strength and rigidity, while maintaining a lightweight design.

I also revisited the Triton Club stall and got a photo of the thread holder – it is quite ingenious, using the same principle as a louvred blind to make the threads easily accessible. The thread holder is made from Victorian ash, ply and hardware dowel. You can see the prototype beside it which was used to test the mechanism and to ensure the correct heights for the reels. This holder was built to overcome the frustration of having to dig through drawers of cotton reels, and is wall mounted.

thread holder

At Chris Vesper’s stall I lashed out on a luxury marking knife – sturdy enough to use as a chisel in tight places, this tool is a work of art and the handle feels great in the hand

marking knife

I also watched the great Australian Criicket Bat Race – between Stan Ceglinski and Timbecon – man versus machine!

making a cricket bat
This one was cut out on a band saw and given rough shape on the same machine, then sanded to round off the edges and smooth the handle. Meanwhile Stan began by splitting a piece of timber from a stump and hacked away with a blade – sending wood chips flying all over the guy from Timbecon!

making a cricket bat
Although starting from a raw stump, Stan quickly hacked out the shape – here he is refining the handle

making a cricket bat
And it was almost a draw! with the Timbecon guy raising his just seconds before Stan had finished signing his name – two very different approaches, but Stan sure knows his timber and clearly loves every minute that he spends working with it.

I then watched a demonstration of pen making on a small Sherwood lathe. Afterwards the guy asked if i was interesting in taking up turning. I told him I had an old Rhino (Taiwanese) lathe but it didn’t have the morse tapers to accept the pen mandrel. The guy then pointed out all the other things you can do once you have one so equipped and I noted how smooth and silent this one was – the Rhino makes an audible hum. After seven years with the other lathe it wasn’t too long before this one had my name on it – yes I bought the shop-floor one for an extra (considerable) discount off the show price – I pick it up tomorrow. I even have a bench space just ready for it! See how much I’m saving??

I also bought a resin finish for my forthcoming table 🙂

So it was another good day at the Working with Wood Show in Canberra.


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 😉


Steam powered R2D2 – another crabfu masterpiece

Posted by jerry on September 7th, 2007 — Posted in Journal, Steam, Technology

The video begin: “A short time ago in a garage near, near by…” from the guy who brought you the steam powered centipede comes another crabfu masterpiece – R2D2 from Star Wars, he’s back and he’s steaming!


World’s oldest car sells for US$3.5m

Posted by jerry on September 3rd, 2007 — Posted in History, Journal, Steam, Technology

Picture yourself behind the tiller of a record breaking racing car – 123 years old and still capable of 60 kilometres per hour. This deDion-Bouton et Trepardoux recently went up for auction and sold for US$3,520,000. It’s quite a catch and it runs quietly on steam. The car was built in 1884

DeDion-Bouton et Trepardoux 1884

DeDion-Bouton et Trepardoux 1884 (photos from Gooding & Co)

You can see a video of the car in action here.

DeDion-Bouton et Trepardoux 1884

The downdraft chimney is not unlike the 1889 Serpollet-Peugeot which suggests that the earlier car influenced the later Serpollet design.

Serpollet steam tricar (photo – Everard 2006)