Some resawing

Didn’t have much time to get things done in the shed, but I did manage to process a bit of timber I’ve been given recently.  It was a couple of short posts of cyprus pine, one that was approx 150x150mm square that was cracking badly.

I wasn’t sure if there was anything I’d be able to get out of it, but had nothing to loose.

Whacked on a bimetal resawing blade (about a 3TPI in this case), and ran it through for a first pass.  Some definite promise there – some checking that has penetrated deeply, but mostly very useable timber.  I then angled the bandsaw table over so I could run resawing passes parallel to the worst of the cracking, and fired it through for a number of passes.  The timber by and large is extremely useable.  I was cutting boards between 15mm and 20mm thick – it still has some settling and aclimatising to do, so I wanted some extra thickness for when I machine any twists etc out of the boards.

When I got down to the small pieces that were left, these were cut into pen blanks.  No point wasting them!

Cyprus Pine

Cyprus Pine

I will still have to sacrifice the ends that have cracked etc, but there are certainly some boxes etc in that lot.

I know it has good outdoor properties, but what a waste of such a timber, cememting it into the ground and whacking a coat of paint on it and calling it a post.

Cyprus Pine

Cyprus Pine

iPhone, iTunes, iShed

So the last one doesn’t exist (although perhaps it should – hmm Stu’s virtual shed……)

I have been playing around with the other two.  The iPhone is a new toy, and is very interesting. Not that much of a leap from the iPod Touch that I have been using for a while, although having built-in speakers makes watching the latest podcasts even easier.

Speaking of podcasts, Stu’s Shed is currently one of the “Featured” podcasts in the hobby section of iTunes, and we are in the top 4 of hobby podcasts 🙂

Amalgamating the two, I do keep an eye out for apps that have a use for woodworking, and although the level was pretty good (and has been improved even further since, now with a digital as well as a spirit level readout), a few other apps seem very pointless (using the phone as a ruler!?).

One that does look to have some promise is a ShopCalc, able to handle fractions, imperial and decimal. It also has a special division button useful for fractions, so a length can be divided by a length or into equal portions.

Not sure if I understand it yet myself, but from their site,

13 divided by 3 =  4.33333

13 foot divided by 3 inches = 52 pieces

13 foot divided into 3 equal portions = 4 feet 4 inches.



In future they are planning extra calcs for volume, and board feet.

The other benefit this calc has, is you can do the calculations in whichever unit you want, and convert the answer to whichever system (eg get imperial decimal from your plan, and convert the answer to mm).  You can also combine measurement systems easily, so adding 2 63/64″ + 2.756″ – 3mm is easy.  There is even a tickertape display so you can double check that you entered all the units correctly.

(and the answer is 142.8mm or 5 5/8″ or 5.622″) – see, even I can handle the different unit types now (having grown up in a metric education system).

Australian Wood Review

The latest issue has just hit the streets, and as always has lots of interesting content. Including a full-page review by yours truely of the Excalibur EX21 Scrollsaw.  For obvious reasons, I can’t reprint the article here – if you want to see it, you have to buy the magazine!  However, any feedback on it (or the previous review of the Pro Drill-press table) is welcome.


Not been having much luck recently with the short courses at Holmesglen – I don’t have any visibility of the overall performance of courses at the moment, whether overall attendance is dropping, or if just hobby pursuits are having a bit of a downturn in the current economic crisis, but my recent introductory Triton woodworking course, and shed course have both been cancelled for lack of numbers (hard to run a course with 0 attendees), and the same has happened for this weekend’s toy making course.

Bit of a shame really – was looking forward to that, and have done quite a lot of preparation work for it.  Have a number of tools just waiting in the wings to be taken along for people on the course to get to play with (including thicknessers, bandsaws etc), so I guess they can all be moved back into deep storage again – there isn’t another one now until Feb 21, so there is no point having the extra workshop space taken up with them for another 3 months.

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