Manspace Issue 2

The second issue of Manspace Magazine will hit the shelves shortly, and again with a number of articles by yours truly.

Articles in there by me are:

Quick Drawers – on how to make drawer liners for your tool drawers from foam

Torque the Talk – an article on the Torque Workcentre

Solution with Teeth – a look at the Flai Mustang multimaterial blade.

6 pages in total 🙂

Tis the season to be scary

I have never tried this before, but thought we’d try the Halloween pumpkin carving thing.

Bit wonky perhaps, but for something not tried before, and done freehand, it’ll be be good to have for the trick-or-treaters tomorrow night 🙂


The things you do when you have kids!

And only one cut that drew claret- the ol’ “don’t cut towards yourself”. So if the pumpkin comes to life tonight, you’ll know why (aka Stephen King‘s “Mangler“)

Wood Whisperer Squared

A huge congratulations to Marc & Nicole on the birth of their son Mateo Xavier Spagnuolo


Healthy, and at 33 weeks was just a little impatient to check out Dad’s workshop 😉

(Marc is the American podcaster/blogger/woodworker, well known as “The Wood Whisperer” if you were wondering about the relevance to this blog. First Matt, then Marc and myself were the first three woodworking podcasters.)

What is Old, is New Again

What I find more even more interesting when looking at old magazines, old newspapers, old National Geographics, is not the articles, but the adverts.

Those things that cause us endless annoyance, or at least distractions (unless particularly pertinent, targeted to the audience of the magazine) become increasing fascinating as they age.

That is one just aspect of particular interest in the latest offering from Australian Wood Review.

A digital (DVD media) copy of back issues of the magazine that can be read article by article, or the complete magazine at a go.  There are currently 2 collections, covering issues 1-10 and 11-20, with a third one on the way.

It is a valuable resource, and where the physical magazines sit on shelves, or in boxes, and get to the point where they often will be disposed of, the digital versions take up little to no space (the size of a single DVD case) and remains in pristine condition.

Scanned at high resolution, they don’t suffer from the unfortunate pixellation I’ve seen in other magazine’s similar offerings (Fine Woodworking for example).

See what looks to be an early competing model for the Router Master (or is it an early version?), see early Carbatec adverts (and lament the prices items used to be!  An HNT Gordon Smoothing Plane at full price is $95!), and of course read the pearls of wisdom that have been spread through the various issues over the years.

Available from Aust Wood Review, this is a product worth getting on a number of levels.

For those who used to have early issues of the magazine and for a variety of reasons no longer have then in their possession, here you can own them again without having to sift through pawn shops and the like.

If you have never read these early editions (which is the boat I find myself in), then here is an opportunity to access them for the first time, and I am looking forward to continue reading through these early copies.

Moroccan Bow Lathe

Proving that it is not the tools you own, but how you use them

Wax on, Wax off

Despite having been a long time user of Ubeaut waxes and polishes (almost as long as I have been doing this woodworking caper), just using a product doesn’t make one an expert. So I took the opportunity of last weekend to actually stop by the Ubeaut stand, watch one of Neil’s demos and see what else I could learn.


Turns out, very little!

Oh- no, I don’t mean there was very little I could learn from Neil – he who wrote the bible on polishing called A Polishers Handbook


(a book you should read cover to cover…twice!), but that you needed to use very little of the various Ubeaut products to achieve an amazing result. I have been using a reasonable amount of it each time, so was amazed how fast Neil worked, how little time he spent on each grade of sandpaper, and how little product he used to produce results to die for.

Hmm – going to have to relearn my entire approach again. Either Neil is a magician, or I’ve been wasting a lot of time, and product and not achieving a result anything like what he can in minutes.



So hopefully, the next time I get a have a chance to play in the shed, I can try out these techniques, and see if I can’t get a result that is more like what he can.

One Plane to Rule Them All

One plane to find them
One plane to bring them all
And in the Woodshop bind them.

I was speaking with Matt Reynolds at the show, apparently a long-time reader of Stu’s Shed, and from a plane sock he pulled out something he’d made a few weeks earlier. A plane, and what a plane! You’d gladly spend a lot at a number of fine handtool stands to buy one like it, and even more remarkable, this is the first plane he’d ever made.




I LOVE metal dovetails on a plane – perfection and absolute class.

The timber is also stunning. Matt has gone with using burl for his timbers, much trickier to shape, but a stunning result indeed.

There are also details here you’d easily miss. One in particular is how he has created the blade opening. Instead of trying to mill through a solid block, Matt has made that part of the plane sole in two parts, which are then joined and polished until they virtually disappear. I wouldn’t have seen it if Matt hadn’t specifically pointed it out.


Some specs from Matt
Blade is 01 tool steel, 32mm wide.
Infill and wedge are Red Gum Burl
Sole length is 95mm
Bed/Blade angle is 20 deg
Approx 50-60 hours work, all hand made.  My first go at making a plane, completed about three weeks ago.

So some beautiful results, especially given it is metal and timber. Thanks for showing me.

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