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……. 🙂

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