Incra User Group (Melbourne)

Just in case some have missed the discussion (on the Australian Woodworking Forums), we are going to have a go at getting an Incra Owners Group (Melbourne) started. At this stage there have been no decisions about the structure, frequency etc, but it is intended as a way of users (and potential users) to get together, see techniques demonstrated, be able to pick the brains of other users etc.

It is something we have discussed on the forums a few times (actually going back to October 2006) – getting a collective together to nut out some of the finer points, learn from each other the subtleties of the Incra system so we can start to really master it, and it is time the concept was dusted off. There was some discussion back then of vid casting the sessions for out-of-towners, and is certainly something we will work towards – in the first instance videoing aspects of the session, and particularly the demonstrations and getting them onto the web, with a view downtrack of having a live feed from a meeting that can be watched, and questions etc asked live from remote locations.

Thinking of September, dodging the Grand Final, Father’s Day, Triton Club…. October is a long way away, and is the Melbourne Wood Show anyway.

Looking at the 27th September, and given how sizable this is likely to get, we are looking at a location able to cope – TBA, but potentially somewhere like the Woodworking Warehouse has been proposed (but not yet approached). Professional Woodworkers Supplies is definitely interested in supporting the concept, and will be helping with catering on the day (among other things!)

I was initially looking at existing owners, but with the change in venue, it is certainly open for owners, and interested parties (call them potential owners ). The focus, at least for the first meeting will be the router positioning system (I term it that way so the focus is off any specific Incra Router fence positioning system). Again, down track it will be great to see other aspects of Incra, such as how the positioner improves use of the saw table.

I have managed to make a reasonable dovetail in the past on it, but haven’t had a chance to take another crack at it, so I’d still be an Incra dovetail virgin, but through the Professional Woodworkers Supplies I’m sure some more knowledgeable demonstrators can be arranged. The bottom line of this group is collaboration – learning from each other how to get the best out of the system.

It’s a shame Auld Bassoon won’t be there – he was always keen on the concept – gone but not forgotten.

More details to come shortly, particularly how to indicate interest in attending the meeting – we will probably have an email address set for it, so this is more a pre-head-up!

Interesting tidbits

Got to read the proof of my article / review for Australian Wood Review magazine the other day. Not a big deal, but it’s always nice to get something in print. Is a full page on the Pro Drill Press Table from Professional Woodworkers Supplies.

Finally got to fit the Wixey Digital TableSaw Fence, and the accuracy it allows is awesome! More on that in an article shortly.

I’m in the process of writing some new (interrelated) courses for Holmesglen Tafe. They will be available for the 4th quarter of 2008 (and given the course guide is due out shortly, I don’t have much time to get them written, or at least the blurb for the Short Courses Guide). The courses will be in the workshop, and will be making wooden toys. The courses (at this stage) are going to be based around the age of the recipient child, rather than the skill of the woodworker. So they will be wooden toys for under 3s, for 3-5s and for 5+. They will either be a full Saturday and 1/2 a Sunday, or 3 x 1/2 Saturdays in a row – not sure which as yet. With Christmas approaching, I’m hoping they will get enough of a response to run (need 5 attendees as a minimum).

Got down to Bunnings to check out this weird concept of a handsaw with a laser. Turns out to be a Spear and Jackson saw. Not sure what disturbs me more – the fact that Bunnings are selling them (but that shouldn’t be much of a surprise – they are building a strong reputation for selling cheap tools rather than substance), or the fact that a supposedly reputable company such as Spear and Jackson would even consider it. Cost is $39, so not even in the $7 cheap bracket.

Laser Hand Saw

And finally, am doing a bit behind-the-scenes stuff to get an inaugural meeting of an Incra User Group off the ground. More details shortly. I was going to have it in my shed, but it is looking to be too popular for my limited (space & power) resources, so am looking at one of the local woodworking businesses (one that is closely associated with Professional Woodworkers Supplies, who import Incra, and will be closely supporting the user group).

So I still need to organise some (smallish) function at my shed. Wonder if that will ever actually happen?!

Looking back

Just had a look back through some older posts from earlier in the year to answer a question, and saw again the progress photos of the shed.  Boy, has the place come a long way!  In hindsight, I can say that I didn’t ever think it wasn’t going to be completed, but for a while there it was certainly hard seeing past the then-current situation to even where it is now.

Still lots of work to do, but having a functional space is almost Zen-like in the peace it grants one.

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