It’s an Ideal Festool 2010

Firstly, the next addition to my collection will be available soon – the ETS 150/5 eccentric sander in systainer.  It comes with a bonus 50 disks, and I’ve ordered the other bonus which is another 100 disks at 1/2 price.  To keep them all neat, I’ve also decided on the systainer with insert for sanding disks.  After using the Domino for a while, and having the consumables in their own systainer keeping everything neat and sorted, I think it is worth applying that same logic to other tools that I get.  Who knows what other green machines I’ll find myself tempted by before this year is out!

It also means that I qualify to get a cooltainer for $20 (which is a systainer lined with insulation so it becomes an esky) – that deal ends in a few days fwiw.

While on the topic of Ideal Tools, I just found this image on their site of a previous Domino course (and it looks to be the one I was on – that’s me at the far left)

Festool Domino Course at Ideal Tools

I also noticed they have a number of other courses on offer this year – one I was eagerly anticipating (the Krenov Inspired Cabinet course), the courses I did do (the Domino 1/2 day, and the Hall Table (I’m just waiting for the 150/5 so I can finish mine – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking by it!)), as well as their chair course.

Along with the Krenov course, there are some new ones to be on offer – Nakashima inspired Conoid chair making, Box making, and one on making a Cheeseboard (after seeing what Lazy Larry in Brisbane turns out, cheeseboards can be an incredible showcase of timbers), and Japanese Stylised Meditation Bench.  This is one that I saw the prototype being made (and finished) while I was on the Hall Table course.  A very simple design that really showcases the timber, and has a particular feature in the two legs attach to the bench with a sliding dovetail that is so tight that not only does the bench require no glue, but once the legs are in place, they will never come apart!

Meditation Bench

To get each leg into place, we used the 4 tonne power of the Frontline clamps to squeeze the leg along the sliding dovetail.

Check out Ideal Tools’ courses here.

Sunday Ramblings

Had a pretty good woodworking weekend (by my standards anyway).  As mentioned before I made some sawdust yesterday for another video – again not a how to (yes, I really do want to do some how-to’s again!), but a review of the GMC Unlimited Rebate Planer.

While talking of reviews, the one on the Full Width Planer has been quite popular with our regulars, and with a couple of our younger readers / watchers – gidday Jack and Tom 🙂

Northwood’s latest email newsletter has been sent out, with an interesting dig at Carbatec (not that they actually say Carbatec, so I’m reading between the lines and there isn’t anyone else I can think of that fits the specific bill).  Like other smaller independent suppliers, they have had some results from the deranging of Triton and GMC from Bunnings.

I’m sure it has a huge impact on GMC, but I can’t help but think that (to drag out an old cliche) it (the deranging from Bunnings) could be a blessing in disguise. They have already been bringing out a range of tools that continues the product improvement directions they have been heading for a long time (and for those that doubt that, you should see the GMC Tablesaw I have in my shed, purchased in 2001).  There are also a lot of developments in the retail sector as mentioned. I’m sure there will be a lot more news over the coming months on that account.

Had the Triton club meeting today – a massive 10 people turned up which is a real contrast to its heyday (which coincidentally was when I was President of the club) when membership was well over 70. It is disappointing, and I think it really does spell the end of the club realistically.  As numbers keep dropping, it becomes very difficult to invite new members along, as there isn’t a sufficient core of regular members there to meet. It’s almost to the point that a (potential) new member walks in the door, is welcomed, and you could next offer one of the committee positions (of course that doesn’t happen, but you know what I mean!)  The dropping commitment is particularly noticable, as I have to be there, so there is a long term, ongoing commitment there that I have to fill each and every month, so it is a shame when others don’t have the same commitment (and no, I’m not meaning any specific individual here, it is a generalised observation).  I have to be there, because for OHS and liability reasons (for Holmesglen) a member of staff MUST be present for the facilities to be used, and of course I am that person because of the short courses I run for Holmesglen.  FWIW, I have been a member of the club for over 6 years now, 2 as president.

So that’s enough rambling at this stage – more to come when I discuss today’s activities (post -club meeting).

Toymaking Course developments

Just a brief addition – the date has been finalised for the inaugural course at Holmesglen- 29 and 30 November.

Also, GMC are being very supportive of the course, and have agreed (in principle at this stage CONFIRMED!), to supply me with some extra tools that I can use for both the courses I run, as well as getting reviewed here.

These include the Triton 3 in 1 Belt, Disk & Spindle sander

Triton 3 in 1 Sander

Triton 3 in 1 Sander

A drill press (at this stage the GMC DP250LS (The Triton is not currently available)), which will be great for wheel cutting, and well, drilling holes and the like. Perhaps some small item turning as well (axles etc).

GMC Drill Press 250 Laser

GMC Drill Press 250 Laser

The GMC LS1620 Scroll saw which looks a very interesting machine (and not the least of which because it can fit pinless blades)

GMC 1620 Scroll Saw

GMC 1620 Scroll Saw

And the DC750 1HP dust extractor (some of the tools I use really need 4″ dust extraction, and this looks a really portable unit.  It is as powerful as the one I have in the shed, but will be used right next to the relevant machine so 1HP will be more than enough.  Hmm – wonder if I should come up with a portable version of my 2nd stage collector?)

GMC DC750 Dust Extractor

GMC DC750 Dust Extractor

I will also be taking along a few other tools to supplement the ones already at Holmesglen for the courses, including the 12″ Triton bandsaw, so it should make for a fun course if only to get to play with a bunch of toys, and make some toys as well!

It is (as are my other courses) for beginner and novice woodworkers, so a lack of experience is actually a benefit.  If you are interested, contact Holmesglen Short Courses, but don’t leave it too long, as places are limited!

Speaking of which, there is another introductory Triton Woodworking course scheduled for the 11th and 12th October, which are always popular with those that attend.

Oh, and one other bit of news (and again thanks to GMC for this) – attendees of the courses (I assume the offer is for both – will confirm), will be eligible for a discount for purchases made in the month after the course from a couple of stores (I will be confirming which stores), so if you fall in love with one (or more) of the tools you get to use during the courses, there is an opportunity to try before you buy.

Cool huh!!

Sharpening demo at Carbatec

Carbatec are going to be running a sharpening demonstration morning on Saturday April 5 from 9:00AM until 1:00PM.

They’ll be demonstrating a a number of different sharpening products and methods, including

Tormek, Veritas, Japanese waterstones , DMT diamond sharpening tools to name a few.  The demo morning is free btw.

If I have a chance, I’ll definitely be heading along.

One Day Router Course – The Wrap

I was very fortunate to be generously invited to attend the One Day Router Workshop, run by a very recognisable personality in Australian Woodworking – Richard Vaughan. The course was organised by Professional Woodworker Supplies and the Woodworking Warehouse.


The course was well attended (and fully booked), so it was not only a good day to pick the brains of a professional woodworker, buy lots of well discounted tools, but also just have an enjoyable day hanging out with and meeting fellow woodworking aficionados.


There were jigs, jigs, door prizes, more jigs, more door prizes, many sighs of enlightenment, and a few more jigs.

Click here to read full article

Is my Triton Workcentre’s days numbered?

I’ve been giving more and more thought to the idea of upgrading my tablesaw from the Triton Workcentre 2000 to something in the order of a 10″ or 12″ cabinet saw. One of the reasons I can manage this without an inherent sense of loss, is I’d still have all my demonstration gear, including that Workcentre 2000, so I wouldn’t loose its capabilities, and portability. Still, it’s a bit of a tough call.

Whether I can afford it or not is another matter altogether (let alone fitting it!!), but the idea of having the extra cutting capacity, tiltable blade, cast iron top, full mitre slot, induction motor quietness all becomes increasingly appealing.

It is one of the points that I have made a number of times about the Triton system – it is a great introductory route for people to get into woodworking, as it has the capacity of growing with you, and many never get to the point that they need to upgrade. Those that do still don’t regret using Triton to get into it, I probably would never have gotten so much into this if it wasn’t for having such great tools to learn on, and develop the passion.

Who knows if this will happen this year or not. Irrespectively, I will still be running Triton demonstrations in store on occasional weekends, and at woodshows, and running the Triton courses at Holmesglen.

With the way interest rates are going at the moment, this may all be a pipe dream anyway.

Furniture-making course

Some photos from the last course at Holmesglen (identity of participants has been blurred).  The next furniture-making course I’m running is March 08.




Giving the Triton 15″ Thicknesser a workout.


Just some of the bags of sawdust generated from the thicknesser!


My version of the barstool (made during the course)

Didn’t come out too badly – a perfect height for the workshop!

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