A predictable outcome

If I was a Woolworths shareholder, I would have been more than a little annoyed at their somewhat questionable strategy of going head to head with Bunnings.

I’ve spoken about it a few times, such as

Rockem Sockem
Thought it was a stupid strategy, and today’s news is clear evidence why.

Guess we will watch this space, but it isn’t good from a competition perspective, or challenging Bunnings customer service.

Going…….going………and soon will be gone


Update: I wonder what this is going to mean for Triton, seeing as they finally had just managed to negotiate their way back into a large box hardware store (and Bunnings historically have not wanted to take them on again after the GMC saga)?  901 tools (aka the old GMC) that was being sold again in Masters will be without a home too, and I am sure that will be true for many products.  Not always a bad thing in the case of some brands.

Wonder if there will be a  (very large) garage sale on the horizon?


One of the regular readers (Michael) spotted a very rare beast indeed in the aisle of his local Masters store. (Thanks for sending through the pic).

This would be the first time that any of the box warehouses has had this particular item in stock for a very long time – perhaps as far back as when Bunnings refused to stock any more GMC products (which included Triton), back in August 2008.

So this is a sight for saw eyes (yes, the pun is intentional).


I’m surprised it is not the WC7 model – fresh start, fresh product.

Checking the model number, it looks to be 101956.

Been so long since I’ve seen one!  I think the fence is on the wrong side, but it is only a hazy memory these days.  Can’t imagine if things went full circle, and a demo program started again.  That’d be too funny (in an ironic kinda’ way).

Definitely brings back fond memories.  I’d even go to a demo night if one was on, just to experience it again.

The B-M Wars – World’s Smallest

A year or so ago, I wrote about the Bunnings-Masters battle that was heating up, with stores being co-located in a decidedly provoking manner (and equally pointless where it comes to community benefit of store-type availability). It would be no different to Burger King and Hungry Jacks stores being placed alongside each other – both have the same menu, same recipe, same prices.

It continues, in an interesting direction. A few years back, I blogged about “The World’s Smallest Bunnings”, about a store I came across in Sydney. Well, there’s now a smaller one. In the Carrum Downs shopping centre, a Bunnings Outdoor was set up, obviously to draw attention away from the local (massive) Masters. I had a look around, and it was pretty spartan.

However, in the meantime, they have received so many queries, that Bunnings have chosen to turn that store into a fully fledged Bunnings store. And I must say, the result is impressive!

It has a tiny floorplate in comparison to a normal Bunnings or Masters, but the product range is incredible. They claim to have about 90% of the range of a normal Bunnings- don’t know if that is quite legit, but what they have, how they have fitted it all in is worth a gander.

There is talk they may build a ‘normal’ Bunnings in the vicinity of the current Masters. Personally, I would be disappointed. For better or worse, Masters is already there, and it is of no benefit to the community for another identical store. This current mini-me Bunnings can definitely stay. It is a useful location (walking distance from the local supermarket, and the carpark), carries a great range in spite of its size, and is a point of difference to the Masters.

I know that opinion won’t matter to Bunnings- it is world domination or nothing, but this is a pretty cool model too, and reminds me more of the local hardware shops of my youth, before the monstrosities became the norm and drove the little hardware stores to extinction.

Storage solutions

I have been looking for additional storage for a while, and came across the Kobalt cabinets in Masters.

Despite being an in-house brand, they seemed pretty good on a number of fronts. Doors were heavy, cupboard depth was generous, and they looked good (and without fake boilerplate).

Still, I ummed and ahhed a bit, and decided to measure the available space, and sleep on it- at $300 for a full cabinet and $170 for a wall mounted one, I wanted to think about it more.

On the way home, stopped for petrol from a Woolworths station, and got a voucher on the receipt for 15% off at Masters. Then, while having a look online, discovered they were now on special- $169 and $149. Hoping they would still have stock, and that I would be able to use the discount voucher as well, I headed on down, and sure enough, got the cabinets I wanted at a really good price.

While doing the very straight-forward assembly, I discovered something else- solid design, and a well thought out assembly method, with understandable instructions.

Screws were preinserted in holes, ready for the final tightening after inserting into the relevant keyhole. That made assembly particularly easy, and quick.

After a bit of a shed rearrangement, I now have this shed setup:


Now I just have to figure out what goes where!

As you can see, the bar fridge got relocated as well, and the Walko workbench set up a bit better as well.


Rockem Sockem

Anyone seen the construction on the corner of Springvale Road and Cheltenham Road?  Looks to be a brand new Masters, directly across from a major Bunnings store.

Talk about taking it to your competition.  An interesting game to play, not sure who the winner is in the area.  Certainly not either store, and not even the locals.  A game without winners is like playing chess with a sledgehammer.


The Low(e)down on ShopSmith

It has been around for years, and years. And still, through development, the ShopSmith appears to be surviving. A lesson for other promising products perhaps?

I doubt we’ll get to see it in our version of Lowes (Masters), but I’m interested in knowing what the hype is about, and more importantly, what gives ShopSmith the longevity.


A Welcome Surprise

Headed down to Masters today to buy some paint while we prepare our place for the rapidly approaching move.

While standing at the paint shop, choosing the paint we were buying, we were approached by a staff member, who asked us what we were working on.

“Painting the house”.

“Sounds like a great Aussie Day project – here’s a $20 Masters voucher”

Very cool – Thanks!


Used the afternoon today to give a bit of a knock on some of the jobs around the place, in preparation for our relocation.

Decided to tackle the deck around the spa pool (the spa itself is looking for a new home, so the deck around it needed to suffer the same fate).  I knew the deck wasn’t great – the previous owner was a right clown, and the deck is a testament to his workmanship.

I didn’t suspect how bad it was until I started ripping into it.  Fortunately, the main deck only bears a visual resemblance to that around the spa – I suspect the deck around the spa was made later, and was cut into the original deck.

Despite being newer, the timber had rotted badly, the posts in the ground had either rotted through (and I could snap them off, despite being 100x100mm), or I simply lifted them out of the ground.  That’s right – no concrete footing, just dug 12″ into sandy soil.  Yup, stupid.

I started off with my Stanley Fubar, but although I was taking it apart neatly, things were not progressing as fast as I needed – time may be money, but at the moment, time is worth even more – I only have a finite amount of it to get the place ready before we move.

So I shot down to the local Masters store- yup, it is a cool thing having one not 5 minutes drive from my front door! Wanted to get a Reciprocating Demolition Saw.

Had a look for a while, all battery powered. Although the prices looked quite reasonable, they were all “naked” tools – sold without batteries, so you then needed to get batteries and a charger added, and that is when the price jumps.  After chatting briefly to one of the sales guys in the section, he took me to some others around the back of one of the shelving units, and that is where the corded models were.  Oh yeah.

Batteries may be convenient (until they go flat), but if you want serious power that puts the Energiser Bunny to shame (as in, it keeps going, and going, and going, and going, and………..) then you want a corded tool.

There were a few models, but the one that caught my eye was the Bosch.  Yes, it was green (which is meant to be a cheaper version of their range), but my corded drill is a green Bosch, and after 14 years, I still haven’t killed it, despite some serious abuse.  $140, which was well within the price range I was comfortable with for this tool.  Half the price of a battery version when you factor in the cost of the battery.


Bosch PSA1150

So there was me, and the deck, eyeing each other off.  And then one of the combatant’s knees started to shake.  Wasn’t mine.  It wasn’t that the deck was getting nervous (it should have been), it was simply the bad workmanship causing it to appear nervous.

Then the blade got stuck in, and that deck quickly became a representation of the tool I had commenced with.  It became FUBAR.

Within a couple of hours, there was nothing left. (Almost).  A pile of decent deck timber nailed to rotting underframes.  And the spa, sitting on top of a large block of concrete.

A few stumps remained sticking out of the ground, but a chain hoist running from a nearby tree quickly did them in.

That demo saw was superb.

Small Steps

Probably seems like each ‘progress’ report is no different to the previous with the cot build, but there are a lot of small steps in between.

Lots of small other things too – floating tenons (aka dominos), holding everything together.  Little bit of thought required in setup for the Domino to ensure everything aligned, particularly where there were different thicknesses of materials, and offset joints, but once I got into it, the mortises were all cut in no time flat, despite there being about 40 to do.  They add so much

During glue-up, the Bessey K body clamps really started to shine.  The more I use them, the better I like them.   Increased my collection with a couple of 1250mm ones from Carba-Tec, along with a couple of Bessey extenders.


With all the components pretty much completed, what the final product looks like is becoming increasingly apparent.  And reflecting the multitude sketches of the various aspects of the project.

Building a project from pre-designed plans is a great way to learn woodworking concepts and techniques, but all the real problem-solving has been taken care-of.  It is not the best way to build, but I really enjoy building, designing and problem solving all at the same time, as in creating without pre-designed plans, and working out each step as I go.

Woodworking is a great mental exercise.

Yet Another Visit

Was at Masters again today (legitimate trip, buying some bolts and timber for the cot project).

Got blown away by the bolt section. There are all the usual suspects, but what I then found were the specialist drawers! I was in heaven- so many awesome types of bolt, screw, washer etc etc in all sorts of material- steel, brass, zinc coated, nylon etc.

Masters collection

Masters collection

In the photo is just one set of the cabinets of about 4! I have no idea how they intend to keep them stocked, especially now I’ve found them. Hope there isn’t too much theft too- having free access to these drawers is very cool.

I can well imagine some of these units making their way home, but they look like they’d be worth a small fortune. On the other hand, being 2 minutes away, do I really NEED them in my already crowded workshop?

(“Of Course, stupid question!” is actually the correct answer as any shed dweller will tell you!)

%d bloggers like this: