Shed Visits

Went for a shed visit yesterday – it was really good getting a few hours of woodworking in again, especially with the current weather….

(aside: a week ago I was working flat-out getting the garden ready for Christmas visitors (other than Santa) in pouring rain, and this week it is over 40 degrees C ambient (meant to get to 43 degrees C today), which makes my shed reach 45 – 50 degrees 😦  Basically, that means no shed time for me)

Getting back to the point, the shed I visited is somewhat more insulated (a brick garage) than my tin box, so was actually usable in the conditions.

First thing was the obligatory shed tour, and it is always interesting having the clash of the familiar and unfamiliar.  Not explaining myself very well… what I mean is when you walk into a woodworking workshop, it has a familiar feel – there are machines that are common, but then they are not identical, and the layout and relationship between the machines is always different.  It is good in another way – it strips away some of that confidence that familiarity with a machine breeds, and reminds you just how important safe practices are.


The first thing we decided to do was to refamiliarise ourselves with the Incra, and specifically to try making some dovetail joints.  The first couple really didn’t work well, so it was back to the books, and it just goes to show that forgetting/skipping steps is a really bad thing.  I’d forgotten just how critical bit height was, and had set it so the bit was higher than the material, but where that works for a box joint, it does nothing for a dovetail.  We got the height right, using the trick of cutting 2 dovetail slots, then flipping one board to rejoin them together.  Any error in bit height is immediately apparent.


Once we had that sorted, the dovetail proceeded very easily.  Next time, we have to try one of the more complex joints!

The other thing we got to, was teaching me some of the basic techniques for turning a wood bowl.  Got a small one made, although with many errors, but at least it looked kind of like it should.

So an interesting day – its always good getting to share ideas and work on a project with someone else.  So often this is such an individual pursuit.

Silly season for another year

What with events from the 23rd to the 28th, there’s no time for sheds, woodworking, or blogs…….

Finally on the right side of all that for another year, I can finally get back to the more regular pursuits.  There’s a whole list of jobs to do over what remains of the break, including to start toddler-proofing the house (wood edging the brick fireplace hearth, a box for the lounge to put all the charger and computer power cables etc), new bathroom wall cupboard, new wardrobe (doubt some of these will get done this break!) etc.

Off to a friend’s workshop on Sunday – will see what ideas I can scavenge!  I might get to try out a real tablesaw (and one fitted with the Incra tablesaw fence too!), and actually try out the Incra 1000se Miter Fence, as well as the 3000se, rather than just surmising how well they work.

So finally back on deck – sorry about the break.

Lots of woodworking toys for my birthday

Certainly can’t complain about the selection of new toys for the shed!


First was from my little girl (well trained!) It is a 1 1/4″ oval skew chisel.  Hard to tell the size from the photo, but it is almost as long as she is!


A couple of very nice dovetail router bits, chosen specifically as they are the correct sizes and angles for some of the Incra templates.  They are not the cheapest bits, as the top portion of the bits are solid carbide – too fine to just carbide-tip, so they are made from a whole piece of Tungsten Carbide, then fitted inside a standard steel shank.


A new subscription to Woodsmith



An Incra Miter1000se with accuracy to 1/10 of a degree.  It is going to be very interesting to get it working, especially on a Triton!


And an essential tool…..ok not! (No drinking and using sharp tools!)

Getting pretty quiet!

Guess most people are finishing up at work, are madly Xmas shopping etc, and are not online as much. I certainly haven’t had time to come online for the last few days, and guess that will be so until after Xmas Day.

So if you don’t get back here until after ‘the’ day, Merry Christmas, and a happy and safe, and productive New Year!

I have been doing a little thinking about next year, and this blog, so some new ideas will become incorporated over time, including new video entrances, and a whole stack of new subjects.

So whether you are a long time reader of Stu’s Shed, or if this is your first visit, I want to thank you all for the support, feedback, comments, and presence during the past 6 months, and hope that we can continue to feed information that you find useful to you, your next project, or your workshop.



New Triton 235mm Saw Announced

This has just been announced on – a new 235mm (9 1/4″) 2300W circular saw.


I don’t have any other information on this saw at this stage, other than what is in the user manual (available here), and the spec sheet (available here)

I believe this saw (Product code TA235CSL) will be replacing the current 2400W 235mm saw (TSA001). The new saw is meant to be available in March 08.

Remember when I spoke about the Global Village?

I thought it was pretty cool then (that I was getting visitors from a number of different countries around the world), so finding Stu’s Shed now getting references on Russian Woodworking Bulletin boards just blows my mind!

Found this on,3967.0.html

Да, кстати, вспомнил. Чтобы было понятно, как эта штука работает, для чего нужно регулировать вылет фрезы и т.д., есть видео

How cool is that? 😀

(I managed to get a very rough translation of it using Babelfish)

Episode 18 Router Bit Review Rail and Stile Stacked Bit

Stacked Rail and Stile Router Bit. As discussed very recently on Stu’s Shed, this is a very impressive router bit, and has sold me on the concept of stacked rail and stile bits, rather than having two separate matched bits to perform the same job.

Tool of-the-month (December 07)

The tool for December is the latest version of the Superjaws by Triton (which will be covered in a video…..soonish).

The Superjaws as a product has been available for a number of years, and is held in high regard by those that have one. With a clamping capacity of 900mm, and a maximum clamping force of 1000kg (2240lb), this thing can squeeze the glue right out of the joint!

At the wood shows in Australia, it seems there is hardly a stand that doesn’t utilise at least one, and in years past, some stands were held together with nothing but. I had a friend who said it was a great tool, so bought one on blind faith. I now have four. (Ok, so I bought one, won one, and two are demo ones, but having one is great, two is excellent (clamping up big jobs, or having one for woodwork, one for metalwork, or one for the shed, and one for clamping logs etc etc), so more is just bonus!) I use them for everything from glueups, to an anvil, to a press for squeezing bearings on shafts, or my turned pens together.

This month though, rather than focus on the Superjaws in general, I thought I’d specifically refer to the newest version.

I think I’m in a pretty good position to give a (relatively) impartial view of this latest version, because I really wanted to dislike it. It is the first model to be made overseas (China), and I still have strong views about that. I know it makes it cheaper, more affordable, and therefore able to break into more markets, but I REALLY liked that its older siblings were made right here in Melbourne, Australia. The other thing I really wasn’t happy about was the loss of the cross-bracing on the legs. So that’s where I started from.

Unfortunately, or fortunately I guess, I have been won over. Here’s why:

The build quality seems excellent. It still feels like a significantly solid tool, can still take a pounding, and clamp like nothing else on the market.

The design changes are great. The legs are a bit less stable, held in place now with a cam on each of the two front legs. I really thought this would be a significant hardship, but it turns out I was wrong. The back leg has a very solid method of being locked in position (for use, and for storage/transportation). When folded up, the unit can now only stand on one end, whereas the older versions could be either way up. The old unit had crossbracing on the legs as I mentioned, and this was one of the things I thought was a serious mistake leaving out. Guess I was wrong…..again – not only have I not missed them (and the extra setup getting them in place), but it makes the tripod design even more stable on very uneven ground.

The actual mechanism is substantially different. No longer is there a plate you have to pull out to lock the jaws, now it is a simple switch. For those of us who have used Superjaws for years, it takes a bit of getting used to! It just works. I will be interested to see how the unit (and the mechanism) stands up to a few years of use and abuse, but at this stage I am very impressed with it.

The locking rod is fully secured at the lower end – a problem experienced on very old model Superjaws that was fixed a couple of versions back.

The jaws now have bearings to give a consistent amount of friction so they more much more smoothly when sliding them by hand. Not a problem on the older model, but now even better!

Some of the accessories have changed, the pole gripping jaws being very obviously different. They have gone from a heavy gauge folded steel to a fully welded rigid design. Not sure which are better! The new ones feel very robust, and grip a pole well. The old ones flexed as they gripped, so they gripped at multiple points, and had much larger teeth that were good for punching through bark to get a good purchase. Think I like the new ones better, but for no good reason, they are just different.

The Engineers Jaws are the same, and can still take a heavy pounding.

The tray is very different, and is now a vacuum molded plastic resting on 2 square steel tubes. The outside of the steel framework is the same height as the bottom of the jaws, so acts as an infeed or outfeed support. I can almost see 2 trays being useful! Now there are no gaps (as opposed to the wire cage of the old tray), you can throw nails and screws etc into it, so that is an improvement.

So all in all, I wanted to hate it, but I am finding it very hard to fault the new Superjaws. If you are looking for a vice, or a clamp, then these are a great addition to your shop.

Incra and the Triton

I’ve been looking at the concept of fitting an Incra mitre gauge (or should I say miter gauge!) to the Triton (such as the V27, or the 1000SE) for a long time. Ok, I haven’t been concentrating on it, or we would have had it done by now! A few brief forays determined that it wouldn’t be as easy as replacing the existing rail with a mitre slot unfortunately. That’s the nature of having a table top made from thin folded steel rather than a fully cast or extruded top. Sadly, I don’t think Triton will ever pursue that concept with a new version of the workcentre. (Think I’ve said before, always thought the Sawstop should hit the Oz shores badged as a Triton).

I was thinking about the concept again the other day, as I was almost to the point of making a cross-cut sled, which everyone who has made one for the Triton seems to swear by. My thought was, if I’m prepared to sacrifice a bit of cut height to use a crosscut sled, why not use that same thickness to mount a mitre track on a removable base, so I can use the Incra?

So this is one of the two approaches I am going to be taking in my quest for ultimate accuracy (at least out of the Triton saw table).

Ideally, a minimum loss of cutting height is ideal, so any way of minimising that loss would be good. Bit of an interesting development then this morning. I was discussing this with the Incra importer to Australia yesterday (Professional Woodworker Supplies), and he ask the question of Incra about a particular type of track that we’d need to achieve this. I got an email today, and it turns out, what we want is currently sitting on Incra’s drawing board as we speak, and could be ready in a few short months!

So, I am going to hold off on that concept until the track is ready, and pursue my alternate method (which I’ll document as I go). All very cool in any respect!

One solution will result in no loss of cutting height of the blade, but isn’t ideal as far as how close the mitre gauge is to the blade (good thing the fence on the Incra mitre gauge is movable!), the other places the gauge at an ideal distance from the blade, but looses 13mm of cutting height – not that that’s too bad when you consider how much is lost with a crosscut sled (which is at least that).

Christmas is definitely coming

Can never figure out why we always so look forward to the Christmas break, when it is always so busy there is never enough (shed) time!

Been doing quite a bit of the Xmas shopping (funny – the smallest one in the household causes a doubling in the number of presents purchased…… (she’s 11 months, or will be by Christmas day)). Every year it also seems harder to know what to suggest to others when they want to know what you want. Not hard to think of things, but trying to explain what an Incra 1000SE is,

and why you’d want one gets rather complicated……

Bet there is a whole stack of those Wixey Digital Angle Gauges under Xmas trees and in Santa sacks this year!

I’ll be having a good look at another one of the Wixey range in the very near future, for the planer/thicknesser.

It provides a much MUCH more accurate final thickness reading (ie, what thickness the board will be once it passes through the thicknesser).

Also too, once Santa arrives……. a friend and I may have figured out a relatively painless way of being able to use tools/jigs designed to run in mitre track on the Triton Workcentre. It isn’t ideal, but until the day comes when I can afford to upgrade to a full cast iron topped cabinet saw (see the image of the Sawstop for one example), I have to work with the tools that I have. I have a definite vested interest in getting it to work out, otherwise I’ll have a very nice Incra 1000SE, and nothing to use it on! (Don’t think there is much point using it on the bandsaw – too much blade tracking for the degree of accuracy that the Incra offers). I also have some ideas on how to use the LS Positioner on the Triton Workcentre as well – that will be an interesting experiment.

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