Rubber Corrosion

Had an interesting experience with the rubber matting I have on the floor in the shed.  A week or so ago, I noticed a bit of an oil pool had gathered under where the SwordSaw was sitting on the edge of the table, and obviously the blade oil was slowly dripping down the blade and onto the floor.

Didn’t think anything of it (other than the mess itself that needed some cleaning up).

Noticed a pile of black,  insect-like flakes underfoot, and wondered where they had come from.  Looking closer, and I realised that it was the floor mat itself, slowly dissolving in front of me.  Guess the floor mat, sold for sheds etc is definitely not petrochemical resistant!!

Triton in stock again

As much as (to the disappointment of some readers) I have moved on from Triton personally, there is a nostalgic moment getting to see them back on shelves.

Has the world moved on too much for them to still prove to be a cost-effective product? That will be an answer for others to answer I think. As close as it got, the brand survived, but I don’t think it will ever recover to its pre GMC position – too much damage done, too much time lapsed.  But for existing owners, at least there is some hope spares can be again sourced (hope being the operative word here), and the Triton router is back.  Pity the original saw has not reappeared – it is still the new Chinese version.

Triton Router Tables

Router Tables – this equipment brings so much early woodworking memories back, even early Stu’s Shed memories.

Dust Buckets

So there is again a smattering of orange around woodworking again.  It will be interesting how sales go, and whether a new generation of woodworkers are encouraged to take up the hobby/passion/obsession because of the brand.

If you are looking for Triton – check your local Carbatec (in Australasia).

There’s a hole in my pocket…

Spent the morning down at Carbatec, drilling lots of holes and screwing in a stack of screws at precise angles and depths 🙂 Even sold some Kreg Pockethole Jigs apparently – bonus!

Drilling Pocketholes

Getting ready, and to the demo was dead simple with the Festool gear – used a couple of empty systainers as tool boxes, secured to the top of the Cleantex and wheeled the whole thing in, plugged in, ready to go. Vac started and stopped with the drill, no dust, very little shavings escaped – it was all good.


I also got to try the Festool drill/driver (T-12) with Ec-tec – rather interesting, with electronic control over the cut-out torque. When the torque exceeded the setting, the drill simply stopped and beeped at you, rather than having that grinding sound of the mechanical solutions of cheaper drills. (Am using my corded Bosch drill in the picture, if that is confusing you!)

So an interesting morning. Be sure to catch future demonstrations – at Carbatec Melbourne on the last Saturday of the Month.

And thanks to the Roving Reporter for the lift while I am still down a car!

Shellac Stick

Tried my hand at making a bit of a shellac stick based on a flimsy memory of what Terry briefly discussed during the Hall Table course.  I got something that vaguely resembled what I remembered of the final product, but it was a rather burnt, small version.  Guessing I should have tried researching it a little better before just giving it a try!

I did pick up a cheap soldering iron that can be dedicated to melting shellac stick into faults, and at under $8, it isn’t an expensive option.

Shellac is great for filling holes and knots (and self-inflicted defects).

The theoretic method is: Start by making a pile of shellac flakes – about a handful on a piece of tin, then sprinkle a conservative amount of metho on it.  Ignite it then mix with a screwdriver until the shellac starts to lightly bubble and cook.  Blow the flames out, then roll the shellac to form a cigar shape.  This is the shellac stick.

To use the shellac, hold the stick over the hole/defect then use the soldering iron to melt the stick so it drips into the holes.  Once hardened (takes a few seconds) it can be sanded, and finished over.  More can be added if required.  The nice thing is that you are not specifically hiding the defect – many, many projects are accentuated by the clever use of defects, and showing a defect off is a great way to really show your skills, and deflect the observer from the rest of the project!

When making the stick, you have some control over the colour/brightness.  The basic rule-of-thumb is simply the longer it is on fire, the darker it gets.

Carbatec Demo Day

Tomorrow is the last Saturday of the month, so that means it is the Stu’s Shed demo day at Carbatec (Melbourne) from 10am to 12pm.  This session I will be running through some of the Kreg Woodworking system, including their pockethole joinery jigs and clamps in particular – and making sawdust!

Kreg Pockethole

Kreg Clamp

If you haven’t seen the advantages of pockethole joinery, come along and get to see the jigs in action.  They are obviously not applicable for all operations, but that is true for any joinery system.

There are full kits with all the possible components you may desire, down to the simplest and cheapest of Kreg Pockethole jigs available – see which is the most appropriate in your workshop.

Not with a Bang, but a Whimper

And thus another career slowly, quietly drains down the plughole.  Not relevant to Stu’s Shed, but rather relevant to Stu!  I signed the contract for my new role, leaving behind 9 years of IT and taking on the position of Facilities Manager for the Faculty of Arts.

A contract signed with my Fire Pen – it may not have been the one that I got as a momento of my recent trip to Denver, but still came from Rockler which was all part of the trip that contrasted so strongly with what I was involved in at the time.

So Monday is the start of my new role – can’t wait to get into it!

Invisible Pens

I know it is hard to see anything in the photo below, but you’ll just have to trust, that like on the battlefield, the pens are actually there.

This is a collection the “Roving Reporter” did as a commission to some currently serving personnel. The acrylic is made locally and is skillfully colourmatched to the actual current camo used in the field.

Camo Pens & Keyrings

New Festool Product Launch!

Just received an invite to the new Festool / Protool product launch, which is exciting in itself, let alone the fact there are new Festool products floating around!

Sadly (very very sadly), I’m not sure I will be able to go to it – I will have only just started a new job, and it isn’t exactly the best look with a new job and heading off to something non work related.  And yes, this does mean I am leaving my current job of 9 years in IT, and that also means that I am leaving IT altogether.  Long story, not going into it, but regular readers of this site might have had some inkling something was on the cards.

Getting back to the much, much more interesting news at hand, and all I know to be able to reveal is the graphic that Festool sent out with their invitation email – who knows if the info on each bottle means anything (but my guess is that it does have relevance)

Festool Product Release

So, 4 things Festool, one Protool. Potentially somethings Festool 18V, 400W, 21kg, 14.4V and 400W Protool.

Lots of intrigue in there – especially I’d think about something Festool that weighs 21kg!  The current Kapex weighs 21kg……..

Mmmm.  Christmas coming early this year!

Firewood Anyone?

After watching the log slabbers at the Brisbane Show, I was reminded of the V8 version that I posted on here a year back.

Watching the videos again, I found this one for a firewood processor – it certainly beats dragging the ol’ log splitter out of the shed and swinging that over your head!

Brisbane Day 3

It always amazes me how fast these shows come and go – although my feet (and head) were telling me they’d done enough work, it is disappointing to see them wrap up.

Today was pretty busy – not on par with Saturday from what I could tell, but the term “tyrekickers” was heard a number of times about the place. I know from what discussing MagSwitch on Saturday the conversation typically ended with a handful of stuff being taken to the till. On Sunday the same conversation resulted in the person going that was really interesting and walking away.  Weird.

Before the show started for the day, I had another wander around, snapped a few more photos.

Promac Stand

Promac had a stand there this year (not sure if they have been there under their own banner before) – they’d be familiar to you from the sense they are the importers of Tormek, Flai and BMI.  Their Flai blades will soon appear in the Battle of the Blades here on Stu’s Shed.  I’ve already featured a quick test cut of the Mustang – cutting through timber and nails without any complaints at all, and their “U”(ltimate) and “Z” blades will be included in the side-by-side tests. (Check under the “Tools” tab if you haven’t seen the blade articles before).

043 Turning 1m Blanks

Saw these at 043 Turning ( – 1 metre long resin blanks for pen turning (etc).  A really good idea – results in significantly less wastage (I often find myself throwing away a good 15mm + of resin when using a 1-pen blank, so being able to cut just the right length for the pen from this stock means you’d get a good 2 to 3 more pens out of the same overall length of resin.  Wish more suppliers would do this!  I ended up buying a length of camouflage blank (although I hope I can find the pens when I make them!).

Jim "The Rocking Horse Whisperer" Marshall

Met Jim and his wife (sorry – name slipped), who were staying at the same place I was – Spring Hill Terraces.  Certainly a LOT nicer (like 1,000 time nicer than the last place I tried (last year)  – that place was like trying to stay in a 70’s kitchen, complete with a 70’s bed, on a 70’s vinyl floor, next to a continually running 70’s noisy fridge)  The Terraces I would definitely use again.  Getting back to Jim’s horses – as you can see he does a very fine carving, and finishing, and it is interesting seeing the display which shows a horse head carving in different stages.

Toy Plans

Walked past this place almost without realising what it was about, but finally figured they actually were selling toy making plans!

On the wall behind, the signs read:

We sell the plans, YOU make the toy

We sell the kit, YOU assemble the toy

We sell the toy, YOU do ??????

Festool's Systainer

Festool were there again, with their stand-sized systainer.  There is a new product release coming which I’m hoping to attend the launch on 10 June – they refuse (wisely!!) to disclose what it (or they) are, but I got the impression it involved more than 1 item.  Something to look forward to (and thankfully, not too long a wait!)

I took a guy to look at the Festool Cleantex in combination with their circular saw (he works a lot with MDF), and I hung around the see the demo of the cut and how clean it can be (as in lack of free dust).  With the combination of a fixed guard to encourage as much dust as possible to be picked up by the onboard nozzle, it was an impressive demonstration.  I now have a better appreciation about what these saws are about – not only the unique way the blade is plunged to commence the cut, but the filtration safety as well.

Small turned vase

Saw these impressive turnings (from Camphor) on the Billinudgel Woodworking stand.  Standing at least 18″ high, they are impressive to look at and have a very precise wall thickness all the way to the base.  The right-hand vase was one Stan Ceglinski pointed out to me had an impression of Buddha on it, with Buddha being overseen (from the right) by the outline of a bull.  Doesn’t show up well in the photo, but you can definitely pick it when seeing it in person.

So once again, plenty to look at, and even after so many years (I’ve lost count of how many shows I’ve been to), there is still something to learn.

2 weeks time, it’s the National Trademan’s Expo in Melbourne – don’t forget I’ve arranged 2 for 1 tickets if you are thinking of checking it out.

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