Go North, RR, Go North

One day, not that long ago in the scheme of things, the Roving Reporter packed up the shed (and everything else), and headed north, to sunnier climes.

After suffering through the pain of shed withdrawal, a new one made an appearance.











And so another shed begins the journey to be set up with woodworking in mind.


What do you get when you fuse timber with metal, timber with glass, timber with resin, or any combination of the four?

Some particularly magnificent tables such as these creations. The first of which is local, from Timbercraftsman (which appears to be SE Melbourne- based).


Image sourced from Timbercraftsman


Image sourced from Pinterest – origin tbc


Image sourced from Pinterest – origin tbc


Image sourced from Duffy London

The Greg Klassen River Collection


Image sourced from Duffy London

The Greg Klassen River Collection


Image sourced from Pinterest – origin tbc


Image sourced from Pinterest – origin tbc


Image sourced from Duffy London


Image sourced from Duffy London


Image sourced from Pinterest – origin tbc


Image sourced from Matthew Robinson Furniture


Imaged sourced from Hilla Shamia


Imaged sourced from Hilla Shamia

Pencil Sharpening

Most Oz woodworkers would have discovered Carbatec (and if not, well, probably worth a look). They are, of course, well associated with sawdust and wood shavings, but what is appearing on the clean carpet floor of the corporate office is a different type of wood shaving- pencil shavings.

No, they are not coming out with a new product line of pencils (at least as far as I know!), these pencil shavings are simply being generated from the pencils they have been sharpening in preparation for the Melbourne Working with Wood show in a few short weeks.

Specifically, from what a little bird has told me, the show will reveal a drop in the price of their Powermatic range of machines.

So if your workshop is craving some mustard-yellow machinery (and let’s face it, we’d all like some!) this would be good step in the right direction. And with the Australian dollar falling against the greenback, it will probably be quite a while ’till we see lowered machinery prices.

Anything tickle your fancy, like the 3HP dust extractor……


Or the quite magnificent 4224B lathe?



With a little more time, and some minor changes to the layout once the dust extractor was relocated to the mezzanine, the dust extraction ducting was finished.

At least the first stage!

Stage 1 – connect up a functional dust extraction run from each of the main machines to the dust extractor, with blast gates isolating each machine.

Further work to be done as time, energy and motivation permits:

Modify base of dust extractor so it fits properly in the available space.  This may also involve shortening the legs by a couple of inches to assist with clearances (to be assessed).

Capture dust from the tablesaw dust guard.

Improve (straighten) path from thicknesser to vertical ducting.

Break into existing ducting to add a run towards the wood turning area.  Includes a pickup from the bench for the bench-mounted tools, and a quick coupling connector for the superflex hosing for cleanups.

Set up extraction as appropriate from the lathes.

Increase diameter of trunking from the dust extractor along the main run to 6″

Add a cyclone separator if possible.

The Super Dust Deputy is $US239, or $A626 for the metal version.

snapz-pro-xscreensnapz001Alternately, the latest version has a standard size, or an XL size for larger HP extractors.

Not sure if and when they will be available in Oz, but they cost $US239 for the XL version, and $US169 for the standard version. It will be interesting to see how the price compares.


Sliding Crosscut Table for SawStop

I haven’t paid too much attention to sliding tables before, although the Sliding Extension Table on the Triton was rather handy.

The latest offering from SawStop looks rather interesting, and I’ll be giving it serious consideration when it becomes available down under.



Aluminum Extrusions: T-6 Aircraft Grade
Table Depth: 47.25″
Table Travel: 55″
Table Crosscut Capacity: 48″
Table Crosscut Capacity (flush mount): 36″
Fence Width: 43″
Fence Extends To: 58″
Fence Scale: Imperial / Metric
Fence Scale Pressure: Adjustable
Miter Gauge Measurement Range: +- 60 degrees
Mounting Type: Pre-drilled holes for SawStop saws

No doubt it will be able to be fitted to other tablesaws.

I do wonder if anything has been added to insulate the fence from the operator- I would imagine that if you cut the fence accidentally while you were contacting it, the brake would activate.

In any respect, I can well see how useful an add-on it would be- very tempting indeed.

Hard day on the broom

Took a day to clean up the workshop after the recent projects, and the dust extraction runs. Amazing how fast you can fill a trailer with shed rubbish!

Relocated the dust extractor to the mezzanine again- a much easier evolution this time around with the winch. Got it in location, but needed a little extra height clearance, so dropped the castor wheels off. Where it is now located looks good- directly above the main dust creators.

Haven’t had time to achieve much else, which is why it has been a bit quiet.

Looking forward to the CNC, and the 3D printer is a bit over a week away. I have a camera slider currently in transit from the US, so that will make for some interesting video angles.

There is a few tidbits of news from around the traps- will post about them separately.

Dusting up a storm

Some further thoughts and developments on the dust extraction system.

I’ve been giving some thought to what happens next – as in how does the dust run get to the dust extractor, and just how far that is – how much more length, how many more bends are required.  The simple answer is “too far and too many”.

Hmm. So the question arose in my mind again – just why did I think the original idea of having the dust extractor on the mezzanine floor was a bad one?  Back in mid Feb, I had thought about it, and opted to bring the dust extractor back down from the mezzanine where it had just been put (and what a pain that was!)  However, now that the machine positions have settled, it is really looking like the mezzanine was a good idea after all.

Looking back at my earlier musing on the subject, I highlighted good points to be
a. free up workshop floorspace
b. for it to be inside the main shed, as it draws a lot of air, and if outside the main shed, that is a lot of hot (or cold) air that would be drawn into the workshop, and
c. as that would make it generally central to the machines it is drawing from.

On the other hand, I had thought having it in the timber store next door gives better access, better noise separation, better workshop air quality (particularly on the mezzanine).

Now that I have been working in the shed for over 1/2 a year, more informed decisions can be made.

These lead to the following justifications for relocating the dust extractor back to the mezzanine:

1. Significantly shorten the length of ducting, and minimises the number of bends required.
2. Noise isolation would be the same as having the dust extractor in the area I currently have placed it.
3. Dust isolation from the main shed is maintained, although the mezzanine will not be as clean, it is not used as I was anticipating. If I ever do start to make use of it for something other than storage, I can look at physically isolating the extractor at that point. It still has a pleated filter, and I can still run an air filtration system up there if I choose.
4. It does not draw air from the outside (hot or cold), so running the dust extractor will not significantly impact on the shed environment
5. Changing bags is as easy (if not a little easier), and I do have the hoist to remove full bags from the mezzanine.

To compare the two locations, let’s take the biggest producer of sawdust in the workshop (which also produces the heaviest particles), being the thicknesser.

With the dust extractor outside in the side shed, it would involve approx 12m of ducting (up, across and down), and a total of 6x 90 degree bends (each elbow is estimated to be the equivalent of 2m of straight pipe), so a total of 24m equivalent length.

With the dust extractor on the mezzanine, it would involve approx 4m of ducting and a total of 4x 90 degree bends (at worst), giving a total of 12m.  That is one significant saving to be had, for the machine that needs the most drawing capacity.  All other machines benefit to lesser degrees, but each ends up saving about 10m in equivalent straight pipe length, if not more.

So I guess that makes the decision an easy one.  The ducting is a lot less complicated, and shorter.  There is power already available (I originally placed a GPO up there to be dedicated to the dust extractor).

The future plan will be to look at continuing to improve and upgrade the dusting system – moving as much up to 6″ ducts as possible, rather than the current 4″.  But let’s see how the system works once I get it up and running, to see just how much that will be a priority.

Onwards and upwards (quite literally!)

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