Some good news

Finally managed to find a window of opportunity to shoot some new footage for a couple of Stu’s Shed TV episodes.  Not sure when I’ll have a chance to edit it, but at least step 1 is finally done again!

Possible Shed Expansion

As quite a few are aware, I operate in a pretty cramped shed.  It’s 6x3m, but rather full, and when you factor in the space needed for the video cameras and lights etc, it gets rather tight indeed.  Frustratingly so.

I have been considering the options for expansion, not that it would be able to grow much – the maximum size I can get to really is 8x4m, 8×5 at a push.  I’m not adverse to reusing the tin from the existing shed in the expansion either, which could mean that all I need is a new roof, with the existing converted to walls.

The show-stopper for me is being able to afford it.  So what I was wondering is: does anyone know of a source of cheap (or free) materials that would be suitable, or ideally, know anyone in the shed business who’d be interested in sponsoring the expansion, with obvious credits etc on  There are some advertising opportunities, both on the site, and in the videos that could be negotiated.

Anyway, just thought I’d ask on that offchance.

(I also have to increase the concrete slab, and get some more power down there, something in the order of 240V 40A 1Ph)

Upgrade to the 3 1/4HP Triton Router

The US version at least. I hope this will become available in Australia as well, but from the horses mouth (or to be precise)

From the Manufacturer
World’s best router has just gotten better. Here are the new and improved features that make us #1 in the woodworking shop. Changing from free plunge to rack- and pinion mode as become even easier with just a push of a button. Our switch is now fully sealed in a rubber boot to ensure dust free operation. The plunge handle components have also been updated to metal gears for smoother operation and extended life. Our improved ¼ inch collet reducer makes changing to ¼-inch bit safer and easier……<snip>

I’ve seen the new collet, and they are great. I’ve been petitioning Triton/GMC to have them available in Australia. It will happen sometime I think. I hadn’t heard about the change from the old style of plunge selector (the mechanism on the handle you had to twist to change between height winding and free-plunge mode, which on the 1400W router became a much easier push-button). Looks like they have now changed the big router to have that same method of mode selection. Again, I guess at some stage that will become available here in Oz, but in the meantime, lucky Americans!

The Biesemeyer Fence

Even when you just start looking at tablesaws, there is one name that keeps jumping out at you: Biesemeyer. Whether it is the Biesemeyer Fence, a Biesemeyer clone, a Biesemeyer style, there is obviously something about these fences that everyone seems to regard highly.

So I thought I’d do a little web-research and find out what it is all about. I make no assertions that the info that follows is actually accurate, but it seems to be a reasonable version of the story, pieced together for a raft of different websites.

The Biesemeyer fence system is based around a T Square (for those of you who used to do technical drawing back in highschool). This means that it can stay very straight, despite only engaging one one edge. This makes it easy to unlock, move and relock.

(hmm – little aside: early on in my high school years, my folks got called to the school to chat to the Principal – I was down for woodworking, metalworking and technical drawing, and apparently I was too bright to do 3 manual/technical subjects. I needed to drop one and take a language. I dropped metalworking, took German, failed it 2 years in a row and got a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Go figure!)

It was originally developed by General Tools, before becoming known as Biesemeyer.


The front edge engages the rail, while the rear simply supports the load of the fence. The two adjustment screws take out any slack in the front mechanism and the locking handle rotates a cam which locks onto the front rail. The fence itself typically has replaceable laminate fences, and sometimes UHMD (ultra high molecular density) plastic.

I don’t know the history beyond that (nor really care), but the fence design was obviously very effective, and very popular. It was them made by a company: Biesemeyer. This was more recently purchased by DeltaPorterCable, but the name stuck.

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