Last of the big spenders

Next issue of “The Shed” is now out, making it 3 different magazines currently in shops that I have articles in.

This issue, I have made a coin collector’s cabinet, that can hold up to 1200 individual coins, with each shelf holding a different part of the collection, be that a region, country, or in more detail, such as Australian 20c commemorative coins.


The Shed Mag


Latest issue out now.  Featuring my weather station project.


ManSpace 12


Next issue is out (number 12 if anyone is keeping count).

I’ve lost track of what episode ManSpace TV is up to, but it is travelling well.

I have a couple of articles in this one- one on part 2 of the 3 part feature on building a shed, and a short one on bending timber with kerfing.

ManSpace comes to the Idiot Box!

It seems like a very long time ago, but I can finally let you know a secret.

ManSpace Magazine is going to launch itself onto your TV set on May 12! I was at the filming of the first episode late last year, and it looks like it will be a pretty cool show, an extension of the magazine, and vice versa.

It will be a 10 episode first series, I think each episode is to be 30 minutes long, and will air on GO! (Channel 9’s extra digital channel).


Given Stu’s Shed’s connection to the magazine (I’ve been writing about tools and woodworking for them since the very first edition), I wonder if ‘The Shed’ will ever get to make an appearance?

All in all, a pretty awesome development for ManSpace Magazine! Very exciting 🙂 Oh, and it will be good to see some shed-related content on the box again, and not just some reality show or other.

Coming to a Newsagent (or a letterbox) Near You

The magazine is going from strength to strength: even from an insider perspective it would be fair to say that it is maturing nicely. The cover this month looks great, and really lifts with the selective varnishing.

I have another 3 articles in this edition, and I’m particularly pleased with them. The editor does a great job turning my raw text and photos into a finished, formatted product. It is always a leap of faith to hand over articles to someone else to make the final decisions in editing: what photos are used, and how, what text survives and what hits the editing floor.

This month, subscribers have a chance to win a small edition (uh… I meant addition…talk about a Freudian slip!) to their space, so long as they can best explain (photographically) where it would fit….


Must be about the last one not in captivity: not for much longer!

The mag is still $6.95, or $5 for subscribers. Not bad for pocket change!

What is Old, is New Again

What I find more even more interesting when looking at old magazines, old newspapers, old National Geographics, is not the articles, but the adverts.

Those things that cause us endless annoyance, or at least distractions (unless particularly pertinent, targeted to the audience of the magazine) become increasing fascinating as they age.

That is one just aspect of particular interest in the latest offering from Australian Wood Review.

A digital (DVD media) copy of back issues of the magazine that can be read article by article, or the complete magazine at a go.  There are currently 2 collections, covering issues 1-10 and 11-20, with a third one on the way.

It is a valuable resource, and where the physical magazines sit on shelves, or in boxes, and get to the point where they often will be disposed of, the digital versions take up little to no space (the size of a single DVD case) and remains in pristine condition.

Scanned at high resolution, they don’t suffer from the unfortunate pixellation I’ve seen in other magazine’s similar offerings (Fine Woodworking for example).

See what looks to be an early competing model for the Router Master (or is it an early version?), see early Carbatec adverts (and lament the prices items used to be!  An HNT Gordon Smoothing Plane at full price is $95!), and of course read the pearls of wisdom that have been spread through the various issues over the years.

Available from Aust Wood Review, this is a product worth getting on a number of levels.

For those who used to have early issues of the magazine and for a variety of reasons no longer have then in their possession, here you can own them again without having to sift through pawn shops and the like.

If you have never read these early editions (which is the boat I find myself in), then here is an opportunity to access them for the first time, and I am looking forward to continue reading through these early copies.

The Shed


The Shed Magazine is a magazine focused on the legion of Kiwis who tinker in their sheds or garages.

That is the byline for a New Zealand magazine dedicated to the ingenuity of shed dwellers. (And a subscription was a Christmas present for me last year).

Growing up in NZ, particularly as an engineering graduate, and we were always fed the line of Kiwi Ingenuity.  Reading through the magazine, and just what the sheddites are doing, with such limited resources and I’m inspired again just how true that statement really is.

Current Edition

Current Edition

The magazine is not specific to woodworking, or metalworking (or anything else particularly – it is as diverse as the shed dwellers that buy it!), and already I have read about rocketry, building a steam engine, building a jet pack, and the Centre for Fine Woodworking.

If nothing else, it is a relief to read about other shed owners who will tackle anything in their sheds, not accepting limitations on tools, materials, space or anything else, and will create, repair, tinker, hoard or just potter about in their realms.

Interesting tidbits

Got to read the proof of my article / review for Australian Wood Review magazine the other day. Not a big deal, but it’s always nice to get something in print. Is a full page on the Pro Drill Press Table from Professional Woodworkers Supplies.

Finally got to fit the Wixey Digital TableSaw Fence, and the accuracy it allows is awesome! More on that in an article shortly.

I’m in the process of writing some new (interrelated) courses for Holmesglen Tafe. They will be available for the 4th quarter of 2008 (and given the course guide is due out shortly, I don’t have much time to get them written, or at least the blurb for the Short Courses Guide). The courses will be in the workshop, and will be making wooden toys. The courses (at this stage) are going to be based around the age of the recipient child, rather than the skill of the woodworker. So they will be wooden toys for under 3s, for 3-5s and for 5+. They will either be a full Saturday and 1/2 a Sunday, or 3 x 1/2 Saturdays in a row – not sure which as yet. With Christmas approaching, I’m hoping they will get enough of a response to run (need 5 attendees as a minimum).

Got down to Bunnings to check out this weird concept of a handsaw with a laser. Turns out to be a Spear and Jackson saw. Not sure what disturbs me more – the fact that Bunnings are selling them (but that shouldn’t be much of a surprise – they are building a strong reputation for selling cheap tools rather than substance), or the fact that a supposedly reputable company such as Spear and Jackson would even consider it. Cost is $39, so not even in the $7 cheap bracket.

Laser Hand Saw

And finally, am doing a bit behind-the-scenes stuff to get an inaugural meeting of an Incra User Group off the ground. More details shortly. I was going to have it in my shed, but it is looking to be too popular for my limited (space & power) resources, so am looking at one of the local woodworking businesses (one that is closely associated with Professional Woodworkers Supplies, who import Incra, and will be closely supporting the user group).

So I still need to organise some (smallish) function at my shed. Wonder if that will ever actually happen?!

Toy-Maker Magazine

Finally got around to picking up a copy of the annual Toy-Maker Magazine (2007/2008 ) from Skills Publishing.


This year has been so full on (not the least of which being this website), that I didn’t get close to writing an article for it. Had a pretty fair showing in it last year (article reprinted here for those who haven’t delved into the earlier posts on this blog). I also used to write quite a few articles for another of the magazines from Skills Publishing – House and Home Magazine that used to have a Triton Workshop section.

(3rd image down on right-side)

Got me thinking – if I could only choose one tool for toymaking, what would it be? For me, I’d have to say the bandsaw – it is such a versatile tool. It is true to say that no one machine can really work in isolation from others, and it is the combination of machines that really makes for a functional workshop. Some of the combinations that seem to go hand-in-hand are the tablesaw and router table, the planer and thicknesser (or jointer and planer if you prefer that terminology), and it may seem a little strange, but I find the bandsaw and spindle sander are a formidable pairing. (Obviously it depends on what you are making, but dragging this back to toymaking again, the bandsaw does the bulk of the stock removal, and the sander finishes the job – with a coarse grit, the sander is pretty potent where it comes to stock removal, especially in pine!)

In the mail

The latest copy of Australian Woodsmith came in the mail today, and on the cover is a reminder of something that I have long been missing from my shed.  A workbench.  I put it down to time, and space, but I see the building of one’s workbench as a “coming of age” in a woodworking sense, and is still something I have yet to tackle.

S’pose I should finish off the router table while I’m at it.  Do you ever get to the point that there are so many projects deserving of time that you just don’t know where to start?

Oh well.  Still, it is nice coming home and finding a nice new woodworking magazine in the letterbox. Which reminds me, not long now, and the new Carbatec catalogue will be ready and sent out, and this year I hear that it’s huge (not that it was small in the first place!).  Something like 50% larger, so I’m very keen to see what new products have been added!  I’m sure I’ll mention it here again when the time comes.  You can always get it in-store, but why not get yourself added to their mailing list, and having a copy sent out directly?  Of course, your wallet may hate you for it……. 🙂

%d bloggers like this: