The Return of Powermatic Down Under, and a Stu’s Shed exclusive offer

Yes, it is true.  Powermatic, one of the well recognised gold standards of woodworking machines that others get compared to, is returning to Australian shores.

What is more, that as a Stu’s Shed reader, you have been given the unique opportunity to attend the product launch. 
Now before you decide to pass it by, there is a door prize, and more importantly, plenty of catering!
The door prize is only likely to be a Powermatic bandsaw or similar from the range, but don’t let that sway you.  Free food!

Of course, if you don’t come to the Melbourne release, more chance for me 🙂


I don’t have any Powermatic machines in my workshop……yet! 😉   MMmmmmmm Powermatic.

Details are:

Mon Nov 11th Brisbane Store 5:30 Start
Tues Nov 12th Sydney Store 5:30 Start
Wed Nov 13th Melb Store 5:30 Start

Refreshments and Drinks provided
Lucky Door Prize in every store – drawn on the night – (winner must be in attendance)
Substantial and exclusive offers on the night.
Powermatic and CT staff on hand to answer questions
Dancing Girls……sorry……..NO dancing girls. (Note from Stu – who needs dancing girls, there is tool porn!)

RSVP is essential (for catering etc) by 1st November

If interested….attendees MUST make contact with Carba-Tec via:

Be in quick – once the places are full, that is it.  And you cannot just rock up on the night – entry by invite only.

Small Business Opportunity – Brisbane

Have been contacted by a small boutique business in Brisbane looking for a local producer:

I’m looking for someone to manufacture some really simple wood items for nursery/kids bedrooms. Like a toy box, hat rack, some little shelves and hooks – these will need to painted white, so wood grain not so important. I really want them made here if possible but I can not find anyone. This is a boutique type business, so I don’t expect massive volume, however we are launching our Website soon and I’d expect a few of the small items to sell well as they are personalised (we will do this after).

Do you know any Wood Manufacturers in Brisbane by chance (where I’m at)

So if this sounds like something that could be of real interest, contact me by comment or email, and I’ll pass the details on.

Brisbane Flood Before and Afters

Some absolutely unbelievable photos from Brisbane by ABC News – although there are a couple of photos here, what they have done on their website where you can drag the black bar back and forth over the photos seeing before and after really drives the impact home.

So jump across to ABC News and check out the higher resolution, interactive images – some amazing work in the presentation of the flood extent.

Brisbane Day 3

It always amazes me how fast these shows come and go – although my feet (and head) were telling me they’d done enough work, it is disappointing to see them wrap up.

Today was pretty busy – not on par with Saturday from what I could tell, but the term “tyrekickers” was heard a number of times about the place. I know from what discussing MagSwitch on Saturday the conversation typically ended with a handful of stuff being taken to the till. On Sunday the same conversation resulted in the person going that was really interesting and walking away.  Weird.

Before the show started for the day, I had another wander around, snapped a few more photos.

Promac Stand

Promac had a stand there this year (not sure if they have been there under their own banner before) – they’d be familiar to you from the sense they are the importers of Tormek, Flai and BMI.  Their Flai blades will soon appear in the Battle of the Blades here on Stu’s Shed.  I’ve already featured a quick test cut of the Mustang – cutting through timber and nails without any complaints at all, and their “U”(ltimate) and “Z” blades will be included in the side-by-side tests. (Check under the “Tools” tab if you haven’t seen the blade articles before).

043 Turning 1m Blanks

Saw these at 043 Turning ( – 1 metre long resin blanks for pen turning (etc).  A really good idea – results in significantly less wastage (I often find myself throwing away a good 15mm + of resin when using a 1-pen blank, so being able to cut just the right length for the pen from this stock means you’d get a good 2 to 3 more pens out of the same overall length of resin.  Wish more suppliers would do this!  I ended up buying a length of camouflage blank (although I hope I can find the pens when I make them!).

Jim "The Rocking Horse Whisperer" Marshall

Met Jim and his wife (sorry – name slipped), who were staying at the same place I was – Spring Hill Terraces.  Certainly a LOT nicer (like 1,000 time nicer than the last place I tried (last year)  – that place was like trying to stay in a 70’s kitchen, complete with a 70’s bed, on a 70’s vinyl floor, next to a continually running 70’s noisy fridge)  The Terraces I would definitely use again.  Getting back to Jim’s horses – as you can see he does a very fine carving, and finishing, and it is interesting seeing the display which shows a horse head carving in different stages.

Toy Plans

Walked past this place almost without realising what it was about, but finally figured they actually were selling toy making plans!

On the wall behind, the signs read:

We sell the plans, YOU make the toy

We sell the kit, YOU assemble the toy

We sell the toy, YOU do ??????

Festool's Systainer

Festool were there again, with their stand-sized systainer.  There is a new product release coming which I’m hoping to attend the launch on 10 June – they refuse (wisely!!) to disclose what it (or they) are, but I got the impression it involved more than 1 item.  Something to look forward to (and thankfully, not too long a wait!)

I took a guy to look at the Festool Cleantex in combination with their circular saw (he works a lot with MDF), and I hung around the see the demo of the cut and how clean it can be (as in lack of free dust).  With the combination of a fixed guard to encourage as much dust as possible to be picked up by the onboard nozzle, it was an impressive demonstration.  I now have a better appreciation about what these saws are about – not only the unique way the blade is plunged to commence the cut, but the filtration safety as well.

Small turned vase

Saw these impressive turnings (from Camphor) on the Billinudgel Woodworking stand.  Standing at least 18″ high, they are impressive to look at and have a very precise wall thickness all the way to the base.  The right-hand vase was one Stan Ceglinski pointed out to me had an impression of Buddha on it, with Buddha being overseen (from the right) by the outline of a bull.  Doesn’t show up well in the photo, but you can definitely pick it when seeing it in person.

So once again, plenty to look at, and even after so many years (I’ve lost count of how many shows I’ve been to), there is still something to learn.

2 weeks time, it’s the National Trademan’s Expo in Melbourne – don’t forget I’ve arranged 2 for 1 tickets if you are thinking of checking it out.

Brisbane Wood Show

Flew up to Brisbane this morning….really early this morning – left home at 3:45am! for the Brisbane Working with Wood Show, once again at the RNA Showgrounds.

Seemed some really good numbers for the first day – not excessively busy, but just the right number to look busy without being overcrowded.

I’m on the Maxis Tools stand (although I’m going to bounce between Carbatec, the Triton display, and Maxis) – primarily talking about an old favourite – MagSwitch, and also Lidwig clamps. Did you know the Lidwig Claw is only $5.50 now? Think I might get a few more myself – the 7 or so I currently have are all in use, so I never have spares for any other requirement.

And yes – there is a display of Triton gear there, obviously as part of Carbatec. The machines look good too – all new and shiny. Even some familiar faces manning the display.

Some others include Promac (Tormek and Flai), Microclene, Torque, Chris Vesper, Carrolls, Ubeaut, Aust Wood Review and that is hardly scratching the surface of companies and displays. It certainly does not seem like a year since I was up here for the last Working with Wood Show!

I didn’t get any photos today (sorry) – a bit tired after the day’s start, and rather too busy talking – the voice is already paying the price, and it is only the end of day 1! I just hope I get a chance to chat to everyone I want to before Sunday evening. I haven’t even had a chance to source out some things I’d like to acquire for myself (other than some extra Claws).

The Torque display is looking rather impressive – check out the large banner, and the free standing ones – might look familiar to regular readers. They have a couple of Workcentres on display, one with a double arm, and a couple of Router Masters. There is a show special, offering a Torque Workcentre, all the jigs and a surfacing cutter for about $470 below their current pricing.

Lots of timber and things happening outside, but I didn’t get close to having a better look at what was out there. Trouble is with all the timber they have is I can’t get it home again!

I’ll try to do a better job of documenting the show tomorrow, but I get too caught up just enjoying being there and being part of it, I forget. Not sure what number show this is for me: double figures for sure, but they still haven’t lost any of their appeal for me, in fact the opposite because the more I carry on this Stu’s Shed journey, the more of the people who regularly attend these shows, either as visitors, or exhibitors become friends I look forward to catching up with

So roll on tomorrow, and another great day, but for now, I’m going to flake.


The Brisbane Working with Wood Show is rolling around again.  Seems to have been longer than 12 months, but that is only because in the back of my mind I remember there was another wood show up there (the seemingly failed Hands-On Wood Show) I didn’t go to, so that seems to count as an extra year since the last Working with Wood.

Also too, so much has happened in the last 12 months – I swear life is busier now than ever before.

So after 12 months, I’m on my way back to Brisbane for this year’s show.  With MagSwitch leaving Australian stores, a couple of companies have become the new importers/distributors of their products.  One for industrial applications, the other for woodworking.  The woodworking range is handled by MaxisTools,  and they have asked if I can head on up to the Brisbane show to help with their stand, particularly the MagSwitch and Kreg product ranges.

So as of today, I’ve confirmed that I will be heading up to the show, and booked flights etc.  So, 21-23 May, see you in Brisbane!

(And 2 weeks later, I will be at the Melbourne National Tradesman’s Expo, on the Stu’s Shed stand).

Talk about a busy 12 months!

Brisbane Hands On Show

Just had a brief email from the organisers – discussions about the Melbourne (and Sydney?) shows, but just thought I’d pass on one comment from the email:

Brisbane is full to the rafters! – there isn’t a square metre of the venue that isn’t occupied by a tool, machine or burl – exciting times………..
The woodies are going to love it

So I’m jealous of those of you who are going to get to this inaugural event – you know what I think of wood shows in general, and this sounds like it will be a great event.  If you get to go and get some photos, send a few classics down (only if you are happy with me putting them on Stu’s Shed – include some text in the email giving me permission to reproduce your photos).  I’m really interested in seeing what it looks like, and how it differs from the Timber & Working with Wood shows.

Another Road Trip

Been a while since I had a road trip, although I guess technically it is a road/air/road/road/air/road trip. Total round trip distance is 3600km.  In US terms, I think this is roughly like a round trip from Miami to NYC.

Yup, tomorrow I’m heading north for the day, with a flying visit to Brisbane to check out Lazy Larry’s workshop, and particularly get a really good look at the Torque Workcentre.

lazy larry

Larry's impressive "weave" pattern

Torque Workcentre

Torque Workcentre

Needless to say, I’m taking my video camera!




Brisbane Wood Show Sunday Wrap

It was really a flying visit – fly up, taxi to show, eat, sleep, back to show, taxi to airport and home!  I’m certainly not going to complain getting the opportunity to get so another wood show however – one a year isn’t enough (for me!). Sunday, like Saturday flew past.  It seemed a bit quieter, but still had plenty of visitors, conversations etc even so.

The place I stayed out turned out to be a complete dive.  That’s the problem with booking accommodation online – if you don’t know the destination, you have to rely on what you see on the web, and there was a marked contrast between what you could see in the photos, and reality.  Of course you cannot tell from photos whether power points actually work, whether there is an electrical short in the desk lamp, if there is a fridge right beside the bed that doesn’t stop running all night (and cannot be switched off), or even if the kitchenette sink tap has water in it.  Needless to say, I didn’t hang around the following morning, and arrived at the show at 7:30am!  Oh well, it was an experience.

Back to the show, and I had plenty of time before the doors opened to catch up with lots of the different stands.  Just walking past the building, and you could smell the aroma of wood coming out the louvers. Going back to my little shed is going to seem a bit strange after having so much ‘shed’ full of woodworking to wander around.  I’ve no idea where Stu’s Shed is going to lead in the long run, but it is a fascinating journey whatever the destination, both traversing over traditional paths to take one still very new and underpopulated (blogging & podcasting), while still observing the very large footprints in the paths of the great woodworking evangelists.

Picked up a reasonable amount of the Solomon Ebony (although I had to be conscious of my weight limit for the plane home).  In fact, the ebony caused a bit of an issue at the airport – when I checked my bag in, the counter staff were aware that I had some of the ebony in my carry on bag.  When I got to the security section however, they were very dubious why I would have pieces of timber in my bag (2″ square, 1′ long, waxed ends), and kept asking what it was for.  How many times can you say it is for woodworking projects before it sinks into security that it is for woodworking?  It probably should have been in the checked in bag, but when you don’t have an ulterior motive, you don’t always see the implied threat from something you see as an innocuous object.  It was all approved in the end thankfully.

Another fun show under the belt, and getting to attend one out of the state was a definite bonus!  Not sure if I will have an opportunity to attend Sydney, but if the offer arises I’ll be jumping at it!

MagJig Jigs

With the Brisbane show rapidly approaching (it starts on Friday, and I fly Saturday morning (around 6am!)) I’ve been having a final look at some of the jigs that I will be taking up to demonstrate the versatility of the MagJig



It is quite surprising just how many ways you can think of to legitimately incorporate these devices into your homemade (or purchased for that matter) jigs!

One I am keen on making in particular from the MagSwitch website looks quite functional, and will prove very useful when I want to do some coving on the tablesaw.  I’ve been interested in a coving blade as well, but they are not cheap and you’d have to have quite a bit of work on to justify the purchase.  In the meantime, a normal blade can be used (although I will be looking for blade stabilising disks while in Brisbane, not only for coving, but for normal blade operation).

Coving Jig

Coving Jig

CMT Coving Blade

CMT Coving Blade

Blade Stabiliser

Blade Stabiliser

I’m also looking at a way to improve the functionality of the 4″ floor sweeper, by combining it with my MagBroom to create a new hybrid – The MagBroom, now with more suck! (I’ll post a photo of the result, if it works!)

I’m looking at combining the 4″ floor sweep

4" Floor Sweep

4" Floor Sweep

With my MagBroom jig

Stus Shed MagBroom

Stu's Shed MagBroom

And a swivel handle scavenged from a floor mop

Swivel Head

Swivel Head

And all in time for Brisbane.  It would be a lot easier just to photoshop the result!

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