I never realised

I have just arranged for those pulleys to be couriered from Sydney to Melbourne, and the price range is phenomenal when you get quotes.

One company had quoted online for about $40 (but I couldn’t find their website again – forgot just what Google search I’d used, dang it!)

I then got another online quote (was around $60) through a company that uses one of the main courier/freight companies.  Thought I’d just check with that freight/courier company directly how much they’d charge, and the quote came back at almost 3x the price. ($158)

Rather bemused, I didn’t proceed, and did some more online checks, and again got figures much closer to the $60.  So I rang up again, and with exactly the same details, they then quoted $170.

What sort of rip-off bull is the courier industry running?

I did challenge them on the price – they had no answer why they cannot quote the same amount twice in a row, and their answer about the cost difference ($59 vs $170) is because I am not a regular customer.

Seriously?  How about any other industry that treated their customers the same way?  Go into McDonalds and a regular pays $5 for a Big Mac, and a non-regular is expected to pay $15?  How about Australia Post – post a letter regularly and it is $0.50, but if it is once in a blue moon, $1.50?

I can understand some variance for customer loyalty, and regular purchasers of a service, but to sting a non-regular for so much seems criminal – the price obviously has no reflection on the actual cost to conduct that business.  The distance is the same, the parcel is the same size and weight, fuel is the same, driver time is the same.  Sure, give regulars a discount, but charging a non regular 3 times the price is like saying “sure, we will deliver your parcel, but we are not interested in you, or your business.  If you want to send it anyway, here’s some bullsh*t price you can either accept or not, either way, we don’t care about you”.

So thanks.  I’ll remember that next time I am looking to do business, or establishing a long-term business relationship in the future.

A SawStop Virgin

Hilarious watching the reaction of a newby to what happens when a SawStop activates. Here Matt Vanderlist demonstrates on his new saw while videoing what happens.

No- Matt is not the newby….his wife behind the camera is 🙂

Damn- I still want one of these saws!

Guess what was on the menu that night in the Vanderlist household 🙂

EasyWood

These are an interesting concept as found by the Roving Reporter, from Easy Wood Tools.  It is a concept I have seen elsewhere, but these look a well refined solution.

easyEach has a carbide tip, so sharpening on the fly is not necessary, as the tool dulls with use, rotate the cutter, and finally replace it.  Of course, if you have the Tormek Sharpener with the Blackstone Silicon wheel, then you can resharpen the carbide cutters.

Haven’t seen these in person, so I don’t know how they shape up in reality, or how they would compare to my Hamlet chisels for example.  Although carbide cannot be sharpened to the same degree as tool steel, in practice most wood turners don’t sharpen their chisels to the nth degree in any case, and the long durability of a carbide edge has a lot of appeal.

(Not the) Sale of the Century

This isn’t the big tool sale I hinted out a month or so ago (which is still on its way).  I need the new shed to be commissioned so I can sort through the machines and tools that will be going in there, and leave (and sell) those that are not.

In the meantime, I am still applying the same principle to other items around the house.  Last week I got rid of a 1000l water tank, and a small shed/bird aviary/cat run.  This week there will be some more items up, including this desk hutch.

hutch

More details via the eBay site. Auctions start at 0.99c (this one still is at the starting price).  Obviously I’d rather not sell it for 99c, but it will go for what the market decides it is worth!  I apply that same principle to anything else I sell on eBay as well.

Day on the tools

Nothing like a day on the tools to blow the cobwebs away.

This is what I’ve been working on – a cat run for the new place. Rather than a small run with perhaps a couple of tunnels, it wasn’t that much more to box in the entire side of the house. This makes it easy to get to the rear door to the garage without having to go through gates to the run, and the structure doubles up to carry shade cloth to shield the northern side of the house. I noticed the blinds on that side were always down, and when raised, the carpet was very faded. Shielding those windows will help that, as well as decrease the whole heat loading on the house.

The gate frame came up well, and the ease of assembly (and low cost) of this fence system means I will definitely use it again for fabricating other structures.

The Triton Steel Cutter got a good workout for this, and using the metal fencing wire clips, and a wire twist tool made the job as easy as it could be- the right tools for the job.

May not have been woodworking, but at least something was getting cut, joined, built.

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Hard Yards

In the next day or so, issue 2, 2013 of ManSpace will be on the shelves

ms

No idea how I managed to get my articles across the line for this issue – those were some hard yards!  I’d just finished a major evolution at work (relocating about 550 staff and students in a major building reorganisation), and then as I was writing the articles themselves I was physically packing and moving house.

My articles in the current issue include:

Sharpening Drill Bits (3 pages), looking at the Drill Doctor vs the Tormek w DBS jig

Nova Comet II Lathe (2 pages)

6 Step Project – creating a kid’s blackboard (3 pages)

Let me know what you think of them!

For those who cannot get ManSpace, along with their Facebook page, they now have their website up and running ManSpace.

If you go into “In the Shed”, then “Tips and Tricks”, you will find 9 articles I wrote for previous issues. (The deck article is not one of mine!)

msw2

Line Shafts and Powering Machinery

We have not always had the luxury of small, compact, powerful electric motors for powering workshop machinery.  Instead, once workshops moved to having powered machinery at the start of the Industrial Revolution, they were using water, coal and fuel oil to to power the workshop.

Deutsch: Erste Dampfmaschine in der Dillinger ...

Deutsch: Erste Dampfmaschine in der Dillinger Hütte (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It would not be economic to run tiny steam engines, let alone split a river into multiple streams, one to each machine and its individual water wheel!  So instead there was one power source that drove a primary line shaft across the workshop, which with a series of pulleys and belts drove ancillary shafts, and from there to individual machines.

Line shaft and belt driven machinery. MACHINE ...

Line shaft and belt driven machinery. MACHINE SHOP NORTH/NORTHEAST INCLUDING OVERHEAD LINE SHAFTING. MOSTLY BELT DRIVEN WITH ONE ROPE DRIVEN LATHE IN MIDDLE GROUND. POWER COMES FROM KNIGHT TURBINE ON FAR WALL SHOWN IN K-77, 78 (42′) HAER CAL,3-SUCRK,1-45 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I posted a video on one working setup at Sovereign Hill in Ballarat where they demonstrate wagon wheel manufacture, back at Episode 79


Episode 79 Wagon Wheel Manufacture
Formats available: MPEG4 Video (.mp4), Quicktime (.mov), MPEG-4 Video (.m4v)

With the prospect of a new shed on the horizon (and especially one with a higher ceiling), I have already been visualising what the workshop may look like, including giving it some real character.  The romance of the old industrial age is something that does appeal, and where I can’t convert a workshop to run on line shafts (and the OHS implications in this day and age would melt the internet), I can still have some of the relics of this bygone age around, including a pseudo line shaft or two!

I already have one pulley that I bought from Chris Vesper a year or so ago – a very nice example of one, with classic timber laminations.

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While one pulley is nice, having a small collection would be even better, and so I had a bit of a search around eBay.  The timing was perfect, as I not only found the following, I was very fortunate in winning the auction.

But this was was not just an auction of a few of the pulleys, but much more rarely, some leather belts as well.

w3 w1 w4 w5 w6

With such a cool collection, I’m thinking of recreating a bit of a line shaft setup, and the belts will really add to that effect 10 fold!  Now I just have to get them from the Blue Mountains to Melbourne!

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