Do you want a Torque Workcentre?

No – seriously.  Have you seen all the footage I’ve made, read all the articles I’ve written and just wished you could afford one of these for yourself, but the $4000+ price tag has been just too much to be able to justify?

I have been approached, to sell, a near new (virtually unused) 2 metre Torque Workcentre, with a 900mm arm, and the usual collection of accessories that are normally optional extras.

The normal pricing is:

Torque Workcentre $3720

Drill attachment $55

Saw attachment $230

Copy attachment $180

Dust guard $110

Total of $4295.  But what will it actually sell for? $3500? $3000? less? How low may it go?

 

You’d have to pick it up from South-east Melbourne – it is fully assembled, and I am not wrapping it!

At this stage I will consider offers if you (as Stu’s Shed readers) are really, really keen to own one (and really, really quick to tell me), otherwise this may become the very first Torque Workcentre on eBay.

Image representing eBay as depicted in CrunchBase

And no, before anyone asks: this is NOT my 2.5m Torque workcentre that sits in my workshop.  Hands off!!

The Melbourne Woodshow Approaches

And for the first time in many years (I can’t even remember how many now), it is likely that I will be there as a ‘regular’ punter, rather than working on a stand.  I’ve done Triton, Carbatec, Maxis, Professional Woodworker Supplies, MagSwitch, Torque Workcentres (sometimes shared at the same show)

Really strange feeling – not sure what I feel about it as yet.  In one respect, I am excited by the idea of just being able to wander around, take it all in, watch the demos etc without feeling guilty about having to get back to the stand (whichever one I was on for that year).

On the other hand, working a show is financially beneficial (I can buy a few bits n pieces (tools) without feeling guilty), and I enjoy being a part of the spectacle that is a wood show.

Last year I even had a “semi” Stu’s Shed stand, shared with (and primarily a) Torque Workcentres stand, but that wasn’t on the table for this year.  In fact this year has been a lot quieter on all fronts compared to previous years – a bit of the GFC biting Australia?  Or some other combination of overlapping effects.  Frustrating nevertheless.  Perhaps it will be good to step back at the show, without needing to push and promote a product (irrespective how much I believe in what I’m demonstrating).

Reminds me of the Formula One back a decade ago.  I worked at each event, multiple F1GPs, V8s, MotoGPs, and I was so busy doing the job, I didn’t get to really enjoy the racing.  You feel a real part of it, being one small cog in the delivery machine, but being part of it you don’t get to really enjoy the whole event.

So we will see how the week plays out, but come Thursday, I wonder if I will be seeing the show setup first hand, and being to wander from stand to stand chatting with the other regulars without the crowds around.

One way or another, I’ll enjoy the event, irrespective of which side of the fence I find myself 🙂

Productive Weekends

Last couple of weekends have been rather productive – managed to jump into some jobs that have languished for 12 months or more (some for 10 years!).  Getting rid of the 4 cubes of rubbish was certainly a good start, then getting some of the remaining cafe blinds installed.

Those are now up and completely installed, and the outdoor room is coming together.  Not that I am specifically looking for the modern concept of an outdoor room per say, more an outdoor area that is still sheltered from wind and rain.  Will be a great place to do some woodworking (wink, shhhhh!)  No idea how renovating competition TV shows manage to achieve so much in a few hours.  When doing a job like this properly, it takes so much longer than they ever show.

Got the first of the new sheds together as well – the fowl house that will be the new cat run.  Now once the AFL Grand Final is over, I might have a chance to get the other up.

Did a quick job for a friend as well – needing to make a bit of a modification to an entertainment unit, where the DVDs were catching on the top lip above the drawer.  There would be a number of ways to fix the problem, and tools that could have been used but the Torque Workcentre was by far the easiest.  Being able to secure the work down, then plunge a compression bit on an overhead-mounted router provided the best visibility of the cut, and finish.

Next weekend is the Woodfest (so long as the AFL isn’t a draw this year!), and two weeks after that the Melbourne woodworking show.

Productive times. Busy weekends

Voices on the Wind

With the cool change passing over (which brings with it strong, gusting winds), I am reminded of a day many years ago now where the winds arrived and quickly made such a mark on my shed at the time.

Back in 2002 or so, (things are getting particularly hazy), I needed more space than the 3m x 3m shed I was using was offering.  An old Mercedes that I had was sold, and that financed a new 6m x 3m shed by Spanbilt.  It was an amazing thing, having so much more space than I had been coping with.

This was also as my Triton collection was undergoing a rapid expansion, and the Dingo that had joined the family needed a home.  You may have seen the resulting dog house, either on here or in a magazine (House and Home I think).  It was a heavy thing, with cyprus pine weatherboards all made on the Triton Workcentre.  It has particular relevance to this story.

One wet day, the wind was really gusting in, and I had headed out to the shed to see how it was going.  It was therefore particularly concerning when I saw the roof flexing dramatically above one of the doors.  The wind passing over was really lifting the roof at one point, so I started hanging on, while trying to reach  hammer, nails, screws or whatever might help stabilise the roof.

Watching the building closely (while literally hanging off it), I could see a real defect in the design around the door frames.  The roof was lifting right above the corners of the doors.  So while using my bodyweight to hang onto the roof above one door, the wind began ripping sheet after sheet off above the other.  Not only was the roof flying off, over the neighbour’s fence, but even the wall sheets and door were following.  If it wasn’t for the Triton Woodrack on the back wall heavily loaded, I have no doubt the whole half of the shed would have gone.  Even so, the damage was dramatic.  It was still raining, and all the tools that had suddenly been exposed to the elements were getting a soaking.

With a trip to the local box hardware store for a big groundsheet, the effort was in getting it across the roof, and secured against any additional winds.  This is where the newly built doghouse came in – with the decent weight it was placed on one side of the groundsheet to hold it down.

The shed repair was something else, with many panels bent, and some beyond easy redemption.  A call to Spanbilt yielded no joy – they claimed the sheds were more than suitable for Melbourne’s weather conditions, and not only were they not prepared to supply any panels to replace the damaged ones, they were not interested in doing so even where I was wanting to pay for them.

So instead, I sourced some treated pine and built a sub-frame that the tin was to be attached to .  Heavily bent panels were hammered flat an nailed to the new frame.  This design became the basis for the current 8m x 4m shed, and that has not moved an inch, even in particularly strong winds.

So that is the end of the tale, and the visual I still have when the winds get a bit fresh.  Seeing panel after panel flying across the fence – I can’t imagine what it is like for those in the States in the tornado alley, watching whole houses vanish in a puff of wind.

These days, with the shed built with the lessons of the past incorporated in the design and construction, let it blow – I can go back to enjoying listening to the wind and rain throw its fury at my place, content in the knowledge that the shed (and the tools therein) will be there, safe and intact day after day, storm after storm.

Lie-Nielsen Event

On Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 April, from 10am to 5pm, the Melbourne Guild of Fine Woodworking is hosting the Lie-Nielsen (Australia) Hand Tool Event.

Melbourne Guild of Fine Woodworking

School and Machine Room
79b Lexton Road
Box Hill North
Victoria 3129
Australia

If you haven’t come across Lie-Nielsen planes and other hand tools before, well, best leave your wallet at home!  They are rather stunning, and very desirable 🙂

There will be all sorts of demonstrations where you will get to see some really talented woodworkers demonstrating techniques, and the obligatory sausage sizzle.

Definitely sounds like an event to check out!

Setup

Been at the Showgrounds for the day getting the Torque Workcentre/Stu’s Shed stand set up.  There are 4 workcentres on the stand this time – a Router Master (with probably the drill attachment mounted), 2.5m machine with a selection of tools, 3m machine with the prototype of the chainsaw attachment (and my little chainsaw – it’s too small to be used with the current mount, but there to at least demonstrate the concept), and another 3m machine with a double head.  One I will be using primarily with a router, and the other has the Hitachi 12″ saw mounted (it has a serious, dedicated mount to fit it to the machine), and I thought the chainsaw attachment would be the coolest thing, but I think the 12″ on its special mount has to take the cake – it is an awesome thing!  I’ll take some footage (photo & possibly video) over the weekend, but at the moment, this is the stand as it was when I had to head off today.

Setup in progress

As you come into the place, you will see the banner hanging in the distance, but don’t forget to check it out!  If you are interested in buying a machine at the show, don’t be shy in making known you are a Stu’s Shed reader and we’ll see what we can do for you.

Overall, the show looks good – better than last year (which wasn’t a bad year in itself), and there are quite a few new products worth checking out.

The DBS-22 is being demonstrated on the Carrolls stand, the MagFence combo kit is heavily discounted this year on the Maxis stand (around the $150 mark, which is about 25% off).  This will be one of the very last chances to get the combo pack – for some strange reason, MagSwitch have decided to discontinue it, and sell the items individually.  (Apparently it sells well in Oz, but not in the US – personally, if any store has trouble selling this kit, they are not working hard enough!) They have good discounts on MagSwitch featherboards too.

Addictive Pens has a number of their snake pen blanks, but not enough to last the entire show (they are too popular to be able to keep enough stock in apparently).  This year I decided not to miss out, so already have the one I want set aside (think it is Cobra, but will double check – I chose based on look, rather than species).

The stand next to ours has lots of timber, and some large, very good looking slabs of Camphor Laurel crotch for only $50.  I keep looking over at it, wonder what I might be able to make out of it to justify grabbing one.

Didn’t have a chance to look around much more than that so far – there’s time, plenty to look at, drool over, and perhaps acquire 🙂

It all kicks off tomorrow – can’t wait!

Christmas in October – the Wood Show approaches

I’m starting to build my shopping list for the upcoming Melbourne Wood Show, and in my preparatory travels, I typically check out Carroll’s and found some interesting new products they have that will be of interest to others going to the show.

For one, they are stocking the Tormek T7 (where I got mine from), and they are a supplier of Flai blades (check out my videos of the Mustang and Ultimate blades – they are exceptional!)  They have the Tormek Drill Bit Sharpener (DBS-22)(and will no doubt be demonstrating it – check it out and see why I like it so much!)

Tormek DBS22

They have a new Professional Pen Starter kit that looks like an excellent idea.  I already have what I need there, but will definitely be stocking up on pen kits – I am in very short supply, and they make excellent Christmas presents (and I always like having a few nice ones for my personal use as well).

Professional Pen Starter Kit

Carroll’s have quite a lot of the products I have been talking about over the years – the Top Saver and Blade Saver systems (for cleaning and protecting your tools), Quicky tape measures, Wixey, Microclene, Lidwig, the list goes on and on.  Jim and Irene always have a very comprehensive stand.

I’m seriously considering the Easy Riser conversion kit for my drill press too – will be checking that out too, and I am definitely having a very close look at the Beall Pen Wizard – been tempted by one of those for ages!

Beall Pen Wizard

Stu’s Shed will be at the show, in conjunction with Torque Workcentres, so don’t forget to drop in and check out what I have been spending quite a bit of time talking about recently – the machine has so much unrealised potential, and the more owners there are sharing their discoveries of what we can do with it, the more invaluable the Torque Workcentre will become!

Torque Workcentre

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