Just what you need when on a budget


A newly revamped HNT Gordon website, making it even easier to see and purchase the hand-made planes, Colen Clenton marking out tools etc etc



Given my collection of planes already (and still intend to grow it further), I am very tempted to build a Krenov-inspired cabinet to store them in, such as this one made by timberbits.com.au which is a beautiful example.  Another may be good for router bits…….


WX7 – The Triton Workcentre gets an upgrade

The Triton Workcentre 2000 was launched back in about 1997 or 98 or so (sure someone can confirm more accurately).  I used to have a poster of the Triton timeline that’d confirm some of the dates.

The name was somewhat unfortunate in hindsight.  Having the product named for the millennium meant it became increasingly obvious how old the design was, with people in 2002, 2003 and on wondering if they should buy the 2000, or if another was being released soon.

Funny thing is, a new design was on the drawing board at the time, but the decision to develop the new version beyond the blueprint phase was delayed and cancelled by successive owners of the Triton brand.

The design had an extruded aluminium top, a full mitre slot, and drop-in induction motors.

1 1/2 decades later, and that design has finally been dusted off, revamped, developed, then turned into a new product – the latest version of the Triton Workcentre, the WX7.

There is also a full redevelopment of the Router Table, and an impressive new version has been produced.  Due to the market early 2015.

In the meantime, check out this video compiled from shots from the 2014 International Hardware Fair in Colonge.  It shows not only the new WX7 Workcentre, the new Router Table, but also a bunch of powertools that are being released (some already available)

There are 20V 4AH system tools, including a drill/driver, a combo hammer drill and a 160Nm Impact Driver.

Alongside a reciprocating saw, right angle drill, oscillating multi tool, and a geared eccentric orbit sander.

Some of the other products already available are strangely familiar.  Such as the 180mm power planer. (And the unlimited rebate planer).


Why does that look so familiar?

Could it be that I have seen it back in August 2008, and still have it sitting in my workshop, coloured blue, but with GMC on the side? Even down to the “magnesium” embossed signage on the side cover and base plate. They still cannot seem to escape that unfortunate association with GMC.


The T12 drill also bothers me – the Triton drill had one really unique feature that stood it out from the crowd – the plunge mechanism built into the drill.  And despite a strange look, that was the best feature of the drill, which after all is one of dozens on the market.

The T12 has done away with that. T12TP_med_T12TP

The 20V version has a bigger battery, and also follows the Hitachi design concept – if you don’t think it would look out of place in the hands of a Cylon Centurion, you are on the right track. Interesting idea.  Not a design route I’d choose personally, either for tools I was designing, or ones I was planning to add to my workshop, but to each his own.


Check out the latest catalogue here (but no mention as yet in there of the WX7 or new Router Table)


Cleanup in Aisle 8

November 3 2013.  While moving to the new house, a lot of the timber and tools were stacked in the original 3x3m shed on the property.  On that day, the shed was emptied and stored under the veranda, filling the entire area (covering all the outdoors furniture), and looked a mess, not to put too fine a point on it.  That shed was then taken apart and stored.

It has been almost exactly 5 months (minus a few days), and the cleanup of that area is finally complete.  Everything has been taken to their new homes (garden shed, main workshop, garage, and storage shed).  Not particularly neatly – that refinement will happen over a longer period as I work out various storage options.  At least progress each weekend is restoring a sense of normalcy to the place.

There is a small mountain of stuff now stored up on the mezzanine – crates and crates of tools and timber requiring sorting, storing, and disposing.  I really need some storage solutions for the shed – that is the next big ticket item requiring tick-off.  Whether that will be purchased, made, or a combination of the two is yet to be seen.  Fast will be the first order of the day. (The other big-ticket item needing resolution is installing a dust collection system).

As far as disposing is concerned – sure, that means there is some things not worth keeping that will be binned, but the majority of items in that category are ones needing to find a new home.

One thing I found I have a lot of, are Triton spares.  Bags and bags of components, from individual screws and red knobs with captive nuts, up to and including a Triton Router Table, Router Table Stand, a Bevel Ripping Guide, Biscuit Joiner, Finger Jointer and all sorts of other odds’n’sods.

So what I am thinking of doing is cataloguing it all, and sticking it on a tab at the top of the site, with a line number, photo and description.  Some items with a price tag, the others priced (cheaply) by weight.  I’ll work out something that gives a reasonable price scale.  I’ve become quite disillusioned with eBay.  Not because the items sell for a reasonable price, or the eBay fee structure, but simply because there are so many dickheads out there.  I don’t need the stress or hassle.  Some hassle is unavoidable – if I wanted to avoid it all, I’d simply throw all the metal into the trailer (along with the pile that is there at the moment) and run it to the local steel merchant.

Let me know if there is anything you are particularly looking out for – will see what I can turn up.  A good portion of it is new, and should be much cheaper than any Triton spares in the market.

All quiet on the Western Front

The Eastern, Southern and Northern as well.

After finishing off the last few connections, changing the air compressor oil then plugging it in, the RapidAir system was charged for the first time. There were a few leaks to sort out, all associated with the connections in the mounting blocks. Not sure why the instructions say that teflon tape should not be used, especially since some of the fittings they provide come prewrapped with it. So where there are persistent leaks, I’ve gone the teflon route anyway, and that solved it.

What I was surprised by, was where I was expecting leaks were at the hose connections. Nada, nothing, not a thing. Amazing. Considering there are about 75 hose connections, that’s pretty impressive!

So I plugged in a hose with a blower end, and blew the workshop and machines clean, and mulched the garden at the same time. That’s what I’m talking about

More detail of ManSpace TV

From ManSpace’s Facebook page comes the following description of what ManSpace TV is like.

I was there for the filming of the first episode, and even this description doesn’t do it justice.

Silver Spoon Productions is the production company behind ManSpace TV and it is led by Harvey Silver, the initial creative force and producer of the country’s most successful sports entertainment program, the AFL version of ‘The Footy Show’. Collaborating with Harvey on the project, as co-executive producer, is none other than Shane Jacobson.

Shane will be a regular on the show, and work closely behind the scenes with Silver Spoon Productions for the simple reason that he loves the concept of celebrating one’s passions and hobbies which is exactly what ManSpace encourages.

Unlike other ‘blokes’ shows of the past, ManSpace is a show that will appeal to everyone.

It will open the doors to women who have always been curious about the man cave and the male culture that draws men into them. It will be hilarious and inspiring but most of all it will be entertaining.

The people on ManSpace are legends; from the hosts, right through to the ‘average Joes’ that will be featured each episode.

ManSpace will have a Tonight Show feel and will feature a variety of talent – both known and new – to Australia’s screens. These are blokes you’d be happy to share a beer with. They’re laid back, funny and love their man spaces, collections and gadgets.

Our host, Dan Anstey, is a former Nova FM anchor and is now part of the Fox FM breakfast program team. He has also been a regular on channel Ten’s The Project.

Dan has hosted programs, including ‘Add a Motor in it’, a hilarious sponsored online series, where people put engines inside furniture such as couches and desks before proceeding to take them on the road.

Other talent includes comedian Des Dowling, the man who finds incredible man spaces, our tradie, and popular contestant from The Block, Dale Vine and our outdoors man, television veteran and all-round nice guy, Murray Bingham.

ManSpace will be broadcast from a space that was recently featured in the magazine – Antique Motorcycles, in Melbourne. Filled to the brim with classic motorbikes and memorabilia, the aircraft hanger is not only the ultimate man space, but an amazing studio too.

The show will bring previous stories to life and invite you to new man caves, garages and personalities that will be just as engaging.

We will keep you up-to-date with dates and times but the show will be hitting Channel GO shortly!

RapidAir Fittings

There are 2 main fittings used in the RapidAir system (not counting those that screw into the aluminium mounting blocks).

There are L fittings


& T fittings


There are also L fittings with a 3/5″ threaded end


These are useful to screw into the manifold, and for attaching fittings to convert the system to fit standard air fittings, such as Nitto. You may need an adapter to resize the thread from 3/8″ to 1/4″. These are easily sourced from Masters in those awesome drawers in the bolt section.


The fittings have mounting points so they can be screwed to the structure


And failing that (or for longer hose runs) there are hose clips


Add all that together allows some pretty sophisticated layouts, very easily


McMillan Air Compressor

After doing all this work to set up the shop with a good compressed air distribution system, having a source of compressed air would be kinda handy.

I have been using a 40L GMC AC up to now, and although it has kept going and going for many years beyond any possible designed end-of-life, I am becoming wary of it. The pump does not always trip out when it reaches full pressure, and keeps going until the safety valve releases. And I have no idea how the structural integrity of the tank is. I have visions of the tank rupturing, tearing a good portion of the sheds apart.

So it will be off to the steel merchants with it.

In the meantime, I had an offer from a friend I couldn’t refuse – a low mileage 3HP Australian-made McMillan C16


The C16 is a W-triple belt-driven compressor, delivering 328 L/min free air (it has a displacement of 453 L/min if that makes sense to you). A 58L tank is 50% larger than the current tank on the GMC, and it can deliver over twice the amount of air the GMC’s 150 L/min was capable of.

It was meant to have capacitor issues, but I found once I plugged it in, it started perfectly, both at no load, and with the tank near full. Bonus!

So with that, and the few remaining parts I needed to finish of the air system (which have now arrived), the system is about ready for commissioning.

Eckert Update

A couple of things jumped out at me from the latest email newsletter from Henry Eckert. (For those who are not familiar, Henry Eckert Fine Tools Australia are the resellers of Lie Nielsen handplanes and the like, and anyone who has been to a woodshow in Australia has either drooled over the collection of planes on offer, or avoided the stand like the plague knowing their wallet would otherwise explode with excitement!)

One is the latest offering from Lost Art Press (and the remarkable Chris Schwarz): Campaign Furniture. As Chris writes:

For almost 200 years, simple and sturdy pieces of campaign furniture were used by people all over the globe, and yet this remarkable furniture style is now almost unknown to most woodworkers and furniture designers.

“Campaign Furniture” seeks to restore this style to its proper place by introducing woodworkers to the simple lines, robust joinery and ingenious hardware that characterize campaign pieces. With more than 400 photos and drawings to explain the foundations of the style, the book provides plans for nine piece of classic campaign furniture, from the classic stackable chests of drawers to folding Roorkee chairs and collapsible bookcases.

In addition to all that, “Campaign Furniture” contains the first English-language translation of A.J.-Roubo’s 18th-century text on campaign pieces, plus original drawings of dozens of pieces of British campaign furniture culled from original copies of the Army & Navy stores catalogs.

Like all Lost Art Press books, “Campaign Furniture” is produced entirely in the United States. The book is in a 6” x 9” format and hardbound. The interior is full color and printed on paper that is heavy and coated with a matte finish for readability. The interior signatures are sewn for long-term durability.


The other is a tool care package with Camellia Oil, Tool Polish, and cloths etc to apply, and containers to store. While Silbergleit (Silver Glide) is great on cast iron tools, I hear Camellia oil is also exceptional, penetrating the surface microfissures to really protect against rust/corrosion.

Like “new car smell”, fresh “cast iron gleam” is both very impressive, and equally fleeting (if not a lot faster!), and although Silbergleit protects and lubricates, it is Camellia oil that places like Carbatec turn to, to keep the shop floor tools in new (and cast-iron fresh) condition.


Cleaning up

Pretty dull, but I have been using the available time to continue cleaning up the various piles of things displaced during the initial preparations for the shed build.

These were the contents of the original shed that stood where the new one now stands. A significant amount of the content of that shed is timber, so that has made its way back into the same original shed, now in its reconfigured form as the timber store.

Still tracking down all the (Triton) wood racks that will line one wall and carry much of the timber that I’ve dumped in there on pallets.

Once I’ve sorted that out, the bulk lot of Tassie Oak will take their place, finally freeing up the garage.

Well almost. The other thing really blocking up the garage is the TS10L tablesaw. I am still looking to find it a new home, so will have to start pursuing that more actively.

So progress in this case is as much finding a place for everything, or at least getting everything roughly to where it belongs. Sorting out the specific home requires storage, and that is still an outstanding issue.

SSYTC065 RapidAir Installation Update

Most of the system is now in place and connected up, just need a few extra connectors to finish it off.

Have shot this quick walking tour so you can see the setup that I have put in place.

As mentioned, the system is sourced through Professional Woodworkers Supplies, and it makes it very easy to create a professional looking setup around the workshop.

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