Took a trip over to Williamstown today with the family to visit Science Works.  Interesting place – good fun for the little one. I gave a bed of nails a go – almost as painful as it sounds (might have something to do with weighing 1/10th of a tonne), but at least I can now say I’ve tried it (once!)

Had look through the old pumping station too.  Some stunning old engineering.  It is sad to see how much has gone – just because we have modern pumps, machines, technology, is it really a better time?  The shear cost in manufacturing / the commitment to the task and the TLC that would have gone into keeping the place running is staggering.

Real Engineering


Awesome Old Tech

Heat Exchangers

Sad too that so much has gone that there is no way the plant and machines could ever do what they were built to do again. And so much reduced to entertain kids – yes, encouraging and educating them is obviously important, but there is a serious lack of adult-focused information.

So while over in Williamstown, I took the opportunity to drop into Ideal Tools – I hadn’t been there since they had started using their workshop (and mezzanine space) for direct sales.  In the past you had to make an appointment to see the place (other than while on one of their informative courses), but these days they are open during regular hours for sales.  Their stock range of Festool is quite impressive – bit too tempting really!

I didn’t have any plans for visiting (other than saying hi, and showing them the new Tormek DBS22 jig), so it was rather surprising to discover myself coming away from the place with a Walko 3 workbench.  I had a Walko 4 in my shed temporarily about a year ago, and found it very useful, but it was a bit large for my limited space.  I saw the Walko 3 at the recent National Tradesman Expo (on the Ideal Tools stand), and it looked a lot more practical for my situation.

I almost got it all home there and then, but just couldn’t quite get the base into the back of the Mazda 3.  I would have managed except for my daughter sitting in her car seat.  Ah well, the sacrifices of a family man 🙂

A Variety of Configurations

The Walko can be used in a variety of ways.  Even these orientations are not the only ways the Walko can be set up and used too.

More on that when it arrives!

We had a play with the DBS22 on a drill bit – and found it is a pretty easy jig to use.  The primary bevels cut very very quickly, the secondary bevel took a bit longer, but there is more metal to remove so it isn’t surprising.  It was a bit rushed so we didn’t achieve a perfect result, but it looked pretty decent even so, especially for a first effort.

So a pretty eventful day, with some surprising conclusions.

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