It has been very quiet around here….too quiet (just to roll out that Dead Horse Trope). Unfortunately, unlike the movies, I have no idea if things will suddenly burst into action or not.

I’ve been getting quotes, checking them twice, working out who’s naughty and who’s nice.
Been comparing shed manufacturing companies, and my local retail franchises, and there are big differences in some areas (such as attitudes, willingness to work through designs etc), and very little in others (such as available design options, and cost). I’m not mentioning company names here- this isn’t a name and shame.

I took one design back yesterday to one company, and wanted to see how much cheaper it would be to not do an American barn, with all the doors I originally planned, and go with an Aussie Barn- much lower design, no mezzanine, minimal doors and the price barely changed- about $1000 cheaper.

So this says to me that the decrease in height of 1/2 a metre across a 9 metre length of shed, (total about 12 m2) including all the support beams that decrease, and all the insulation, less 9m in guttering, the cost of a 10 m2 mezzanine, less 3 personal access doors and 2 windows, all added together is only $1000. The erecting cost was unchanged. Wow. Perhaps I should take the American barn, and add an additional 1/2 m in height, more mezzanine, more access doors etc etc. Would the price go up only another $1000? And no difference in erecting cost?

When I queried the lack of difference in price, the response was “I’m only quoting what the software tells me”

I was looking at decreasing the design to minimise cost- I thought I would make a lot of compromises to see how much difference it would make. Very disappointing.

So I then looked at what I could get if my total project budget was capped at $10k. With me erecting the shed, and without even factoring in the cost of lighting, I could not replace what I previously had (which we know was becoming unworkable). You don’t know what you had until it is gone.

I am finding it very difficult to find things to write about, as you would have noticed in the decrease in output. And all this back and forth is very draining. However, without a shed for Stu, there is no Stu’s Shed. And that is not an option I enjoy contemplating. It is a very frustrating situation.

When Pocket Holes go bad

A number of years ago (BS – before shed) we bought some dining room furniture – looked nice, wasn’t particularly cheap or expensive.

When I looked closer at the furniture once I had been getting into woodworking, and specifically how it was joined together, I found much was pocket holed. And this, rather surprisingly, included the dowel stringers between the legs. To the point that there was very little wood left of the thin-ended stringer at all.

They actually lasted a lot longer than I gave them credit for, through good fortune rather than good design, but one did break the other day, so I thought I’d share with you a photo of how NOT to use pocket holes, especially in furniture that is to be sold!


Holding Pattern

Been a bit quite around here recently – at least the last few days. All I can say it is a combination of busy days at work that are simply draining, and working in the background on a successful outcome on a potential new shed. So much is so dependent on that, for obvious reasons!

In the meantime, Professional Woodworkers Supplies have put out their latest newsletter, and some products specifically caught my eye.

For those of you building or upgrading a router table, PWS have it covered! And a couple of new related products:



The first, from Incra, is a CleanSweep, which can best be described as an under table vacuum forming (or rather, negative pressure establishing) dust extracting router shroud. The second is a height adjustable router table stand.

The last is rather interesting as well- a 4″ dust extraction swivel connector.


I’ll leave you with those – check em out through PWS. I really hope to have some good shed news soon. Fingers crossed!

Cannot keep a good brand down

No matter what happens in the workshop, nor what tools I have added over the years, I was out this afternoon doing a job, and realised the only tools I was using were Triton.  One being the Multistand, which gets used all the time – infeed, outfeed, work support etc.

The other, a tool I was really confused about when it first came out, and at the time it concerned me about the direction Triton were heading.  But nevertheless, the Triton Steel Cutter is one of those tools that you are always really pleased having for each and every job you use it on.

Today I started working on a cat run/shade area for the side of the house (might even look at what it’d take to produce a bit of a fernery , but conditions are probably not good enough), and using powder-coated fence steel to do it.  Having a dedicated steel cutter is making it really easy.  It may look like a dropsaw, but it isn’t a matter of putting a steel cutting blade on a standard dropsaw.  The steel cutter is geared down to ensure the blade is running at the right speed.


I made a video about it aways back – Episode 43.

Pretty sure these are not available anywhere retail, but you can still get them occasionally on eBay.  Sometimes new.  (There are 2 new ones on eBay at the moment for about $150.  They were originally about $400).  That’s if you are interested in one of course!  In the new workshop, I am actually hoping to have a corner where I can finally have it set up, rather than having to drag it out each time I want to use it.  Along with a few other metal working tools (not that I have an abundance of those).  Good for jig-making for one!  We shall see.

Well that is disappointing @kregtoolcompany

I am a definite fan of Kreg, of their Pockethole Jig, of their other tools and accessories (and would welcome more in the workshop).


I was in Carbatec last night, having a bit of a chat, and we got onto the Kreg screws that came in my new Kreg container. These are the ones that are the bastard child of the Robertson screw and Phillips screw. I hate them. They cam out easily. They fall off the end of the square drive. They have wrecked all the advantages of the Robertson screw head, and gained nothing.

But I was hoping it was some random supplier not providing the standard Kreg screw.

On the shelves in Carbatec are new boxes, all Kreg, and all filled with these new screws. I am so disappointed. I will definitely be purchasing some of the big boxes of the old screws before they become unavailable. Then, I will switch to a supplier of Robertson screws that haven’t been compromised with a Phillips head.

On the Kreg website they still show the old heads, and make a big deal about how they don’t cam out etc, which is one of the massive advantages of the original ones. I don’t understand why they have decided to drop that engineering philosophy. I have been exclusively using the new ones recently, attempting to use them up as fast as possible, and they have been falling off the driver, and regularly suffering from cam out (that is when the driver disengages from the head of the screw and spins on the surface, burring screw and drive head alike). They have already wrecked one of my Kreg drivers.

Please Kreg – can we ditch these new ones and return to the tried and true? Please?

The (ex) Triton Engineers have done it again!

To be fair, I don’t know that for certain, but I strongly suspect it, and can see their design philosophy in this new, or rather reworked, product.

First there was the roller stand, which evolved into version 2.0, the Multistand



I always had about 4 of these “hanging” around.

This became version 2.1 when its manufacturing was sent offshore to China. No real change, but it picked up some black boots on each foot.

This version is still current and in store at places like Carbatec, Amazon etc.

Now I was having a scout around the web, and came across



The Rockwell JawStand! Given the (ex) Triton engineers who designed the original SuperJaws came up with the magnificent JawHorse


You can understand why I strongly suspect their involvement in the JawStand.

I suspect they have not arrived in Oz, but nevertheless, I want one! (Or two)

To clarify a point, overseas, Rockwell is the premiere brand for the company, whereas in Australia you are looking for Worx Pro.

Given what they have done to the SuperJaws, and now the Multistand, I wonder if they will ever turn their attention to the Workcentre or Router Table? Sadly, I doubt it, but wouldn’t it be cool?

How about a reworked extension table designed as an aftermarket product for cabinet saws?


Hi all!
There has been lots of interesting feedback, particularly about the easement on the property. I guess it is a problem we all face at one stage or another, and based on the number of (garden) sheds I have seen built on one (with a concrete slab), often solved by ignoring its existence.

The current shed on the property is about 30% over the easement as well.

Unfortunately, I have already checked with the council, and they have been very clear that in this case it is a significant easement and they are not going to support any building permit for a structure that includes use of the easement, including any overhang from a structure alongside.

I agree with the various suggestions about a temporary structure, and rather than a slab on the easement, concrete tiles would work, and they can be ‘easily’ lifted in the unlikely situation that the council, or SE water need access.

Would be a good timber storage area for example.

My current thinking is to use the triangular section as seen in the previous post for ancillary machinery (dusty, air compressor), and a machinery storage area for items that are less often used and don’t deserve to take up prime real estate in the shed. The red area behind the shed would not be particularly utilised, other than perhaps a water tank, and storage area for hard rubbish for the annual collection. Alongside the shed, using the space of the easement can be timber storage, in a structure that is easily removed if necessary, including the base. Access to it would be via the door shown in the back right corner of the shed design, and a second door in the end to allow new timber (especially long lengths) to be stored straight in, rather than going via the shed.

All this gives a maximum yield of the back corner of the property, despite its awkward triangular shape. I think it is a pretty good solution, and very functional.

A plan is coming together, and one that works with the local regs and issues to boot.

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