Here it comes, and there it goes….again

And as quickly as it was arriving, the show is over for Melbourne for another year.  I really did mean to post updates each day, but what with the long days, and longer drives to and from the show I fell asleep each evening well before I had a chance to write anything, so this will have to be a big summary of all three days.

I heard comments about the show being bigger than previous, others that it was smaller.  My perception was that it was about the same…give or take.

Large Burls

Timber is always a big feature of the wood show, and burls outnumber slabs 2:1 it seems.  There were the usual ones demonstrating the burl as an exotic coffee table, needing nothing but a bit of finishing, and stands selling slab and burl after slab and burl.  Some amazing ones, some seemingly plainer, some surprisingly cheap, some um…. less so.

A couple in the foreground here are Camphor Laurel and I have the third piece sitting at home now – similar to the smaller one in the front (behind the burl).  No idea what I am going to do with it yet – either something will come to mind, or it won’t.  Either way, I might just polish it up and hang it on the shed wall!


Wish I had a bigger house for some of these – they’d make great tables!

More Slabs

A burl is like a tree cancer, sometimes significantly bigger than the trunk of the tree itself.

Bookmatched Burl

This burl is not only huge, but has also been bookmatched, producing an amazing result.

Tool Porn

Lots of tool porn at the shows – beautiful handtools, powerful electron murders, all good!

Stan and the School Girl

Stan ran his normal highly entertaining sessions, and on the Friday had a whole heap of older school kids come through.  This girl was one of a number of kids who had challenges set.  Her friends videoed, so it is probably on YouTube somewhere already!  She looks so incredibly nervous of that saw.

Lindsay and the Tormek Girl

The Tormek Girl is actually a bit unfair on Mel, who is one of the regional sales managers for Promac – the importers of Tormek, Flai, BMI etc.  She is learning quickly the techniques needed for the Tormek sharpener (when Lindsay wasn’t being distracting wanting a photo).


Carbitool were there once again, and I finally replaced my bottle of Top Saver (some would remember me using it to remove rust from some tools)  I also got some replacement tips for my surfacing cutter – they are only about $3.75 each tip, and each with 4 sides, so complaining the bit is blunt is a furfey.

Black Hearted Sassafras Guitar

One of the most stunning guitars I have seen – made from Black Hearted Sassafras by the look

Drowning Sorrows

A small goblet all in timber, and a bunch of profile planes nearby.


The Slabmaster worked much of the weekend – seen here taking a massive Depth of Cut (not that the machine seemed to mind)

American Indian Sand Art in a Dust Bag

The output from the Slabmaser caught in a dust bag looked rather cool, and resembled a landscape sand sculpture.  Trying to guess the different timbers represented would be an interesting exercise.


Turning Burls

One exercise I did decide to try, was seeing just how well the Torque Workcentre would handle preparing an actual burl, and these Back Butt burls were sitting near the workcentre. (After asking permission from the timber stand who was selling them), I fixed one to the surface of the TWC, and begun taking the outside off to produce the first, flat edge.  The piece I chose is the one in the top-right corner, and as you can just see, had a serious chainsaw scar across the surface.

Flattening the Burl Back

The first passes had to be pretty light, and slow – the bark isn’t held on tightly, and even so plenty of chips and waste were thrown all around.  The Walko clamps from Ideal Tools proved their weight in gold time, and time again, clamping down all sorts of odd shapes etc.

Deep Slicing

Each slice removed showed more and more what was deep inside the burl, and each pass revealed a surface with different character.

The Beginning of the Desktop Burl Clock

On flipping it over, I began work on the primary side, slowly removing the chainsaw scar.

The result is a large, freestanding burl, over 2″ thick which will become a clock for my desk at work.

Flattening the Support

To support the clock (or at least appear to do so), I’m using a bit of the offcut and again the TWC proved its’ valve, allowing it to be surfaced ready for attaching to the back of the clock.  Try putting a piece like this through a thicknesser, and watch the shrapnel fly!

So as quickly as it came, the show again is over for another year. Hope you got along if you could!

2 Responses

  1. Looks great Stu. I’ve been looking forward to hearing how the show went. But no pic’s of the chainsaw attachment?
    Can’t wait for the newcastle and sydney shows….

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