Episode 92a Enter the Dado

Episode 92A Enter the Dado

A short (approx 5 min) version of the dado video, on the Amana Tool Dado from Toolstoday.com

Spa Wars

I wasn’t originally planning on mentioning it here, but as the eBay sale fell through (original buyer reneged), I have to relist the spa pool I am selling (all part of the great cleanup!)

So if you are interested in a spa pool, and are somewhere in the vicinity of SE Melbourne, this one is available. Auction starting at 99c – more details over on eBay.


There is also a 14′ above-ground swimming pool, but you’d better be quick – there is only 10 minutes left!

A Question

This has been bugging me for years, but not enough for me to get around to actually finding out the answer.

When you buy DAR (dressed all round) softwood, it typically comes with faint grooves running the length of the timber.  (These are about 1mm apart).

Other than the possibility it is used to identify soft wood from hard, why are the grooves there, and how are they produced?  Grooved blades on the thicknesser I assume.  But to what benefit?

One brand is laserwood, but these days if you google that, all you get are countless ads for laser engravers!

When dust bags turn bad

Who knows what drives a dust bag to a life of crime, of living on the darker side of life, of resenting their role and walking away from their responsibilities.

Whatever it is, the results are very obvious if and when your dust bag turns bad.



A Welcome Surprise

Headed down to Masters today to buy some paint while we prepare our place for the rapidly approaching move.

While standing at the paint shop, choosing the paint we were buying, we were approached by a staff member, who asked us what we were working on.

“Painting the house”.

“Sounds like a great Aussie Day project – here’s a $20 Masters voucher”

Very cool – Thanks!

The Right Tool

One of the lessons I learned from the old man (hi Dad 🙂 ), who in turn got it from my grandfather, is the benefit of purchasing the right tool for the job, when you need it. You then have that tool the next time, and the time after that and so on.

It is also worth buying quality – as much as you can afford. I have no idea, for example, how many pop rivet guns I bought (or used) over the years, and each one only lasting a job or two before failing. Once I discovered the accordian pop riveter, I was hooked, and it pops rivets all day long without failing, and is a pleasure to use to boot. Sure it is heavy, but you can put your whole body weight behind it to really drive a stubborn rivet home.

It also holds true for the caulking gun I bought a number of years ago – still a perfectly capable tool today, and working without failing, needing replacement etc.

While finishing off the post removal with the chain hoist reminded me of this – I bought the chain hoist a couple of years ago for a specific job, and it has sat there for quite a while now. But when it came to the post removal, it was the perfect tool for the job. I started using rope from a tree to the hoist, and then around the post. The rope was strong enough, but in this application there was just too much elasticity in the rope. Replacing the rope with chain, and the full power of the hoist was able to be transferred into the post. Good for me, bad for the post!


Chain Hoist

As the force of the winch was transferred into the post, you could feel the tension in the hand chain – not that it was difficult to keep winding the winch with it – the power multiplier is quite impressive. The post got to a point, then there was that incredibly deep powerful crack sound, that only timber can make as it gives up the fight. Lumberjacks get to experience the concept on a regular basis, each time a tree is bought down by hand. There is no other sound quite like it.

One of the things I really want in the new shed, if possible. Enough height to have an I beam running the length of the shed, so I can use a carriage, with the winch attached.

Block & Tackle Trolley


ManSpace 2013

It may seem way too organised, but ManSpace is out for 2013 already!  We collectively achieved it by getting the articles submitted mid December, which was busy at the time, but we reap the rewards now 🙂

Problem for me is, the next articles are due mid March, right when I am moving house (and shed!), so I will have to get the next set of articles in early as well.  After a discussion today, I have a plan for the next set of articles, so now I just have to make it happen!

The articles in the current edition include the Melamine blade from Amana Tool and Toolstoday.com, the TURBOPlane from Arbortech, a Borescope that wirelessly displays the image on your iPad, iPhone or Android device, and a step by step on using the Tambour door router bits.

There are a bunch of other articles too – the Navy Steam Club (and their steam truck which I have actually driven while living at the Cerberus Naval Base), urinals for the shed, collectables, beards and a whole heap more.


Where there is a weekend

Somewhere, there is a wood show.

They may not be as large as a Melbourne show, but the provincial shows can also be very rewarding.

Some I am aware of include:

Loch Woodworking and Timber Festival in Loch, Victoria, Sat 2—Sun 3 February
Tools and Techniques, Stuart School for Wood, Mittagong  NSW,  Sat 16—Sun 17 February
Artisans Expo, hosted by Artisans on the Hill, Tinonee NSW [near Taree], Fri 22—Sun 24 February

If you happen to be in the area, drop in and check em out.  These shows may not always attract the big players of the large woodshows, but in these cases I know that Gifkins Dovetail will be there.  Check out their Jumbo Gifkins too – It is great having the larger version of the original.  I was going to use it to make a microwave to complement my daughter’s toy kitchen, but ran out of time.  A project for another day!


Self Propelled, Rail Guided, Mobile Panel Saw

From the “That’s not a rail guided panel saw, THIS is a rail guided panel saw” school.

Festool in the House


Ok, so it doesn’t have the same ring as Ali G, (and I suspect there are very few who even get the reference!  Oh well).

My Festool CT36 has managed to find its way inside, and it looks a bit out of place – when you get it in a small room, you realise just how large it is (particularly combined with the Oneida cyclone and Festool Boom arm).  If I hadn’t cut down the height of the boom arm by 6″ or so when I got it to fit under the shed rafters, it wouldn’t have been able to get through the doors either (without lifting and tilting the whole setup that is).

I have bought it inside as I am doing some patching and plastering, and wanted to sand without dust.

Speaking of dust, before I bought it inside, I gave the unit a quick once-over with compressed air, and emptied the bags.  Well that is not strictly true.

My Festool has the Oneida Dust Deputy Ultimate II on it from Professional Woodworker Supplies.


Dust Deputy Ultimate II

I hadn’t checked it for a while (other than to quickly confirm if the bin was full or not), but certainly hadn’t checked how much carry over there had been.

The Ultimate II has a small tube that provides suction to the bucket, and as such means the bin can have a plastic bag for dust collection.  This is very convenient, and a significant improvement over the Ultimate (I). So I was able to lift this bag out, and it was full of the worst kind of dust that your parents warned you about.  Not the sort of dust you want to bring home to meet the folks.

The dust that had been collected was so fine, that if thrown onto an open fire (or ignition source), it would create a serious fireball.  It is all about the surface area of the fuel, and the abundance of oxygen.  Not the sort of stuff you want to be breathing.

So then I went and tried to empty the Longlife Festool dust bag.  I tried, but there was nothing to empty.  It had all be captured by the Cyclone.  If there was any carryover, it was too fine to see, or capture easily in the vac bag, and would have then been caught by the HEPA filter.  What was going in was definitely not coming out!

So bad news for the Longlife bag – with this system, you can stick with a disposable bag, and even that for a long time.  You don’t actually need the capacity of the large vac either if that isn’t as important.  It also makes emptying much easier, as you are not lifting off the whole motor to get access to the dust bag.  Not to say that the Festool vac is redundant – having a combination of autostart or direct power through ports on the vac, boom arm, combined power lead and hose, variable speed, HEPA filter etc etc, still sets the Festool Cleantex apart.  The Ultimate II just makes it even better.

It was a pretty convincing demo of the Ultimate II cyclonic dust separator.

Well I was impressed.

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