The Brisbane Working with Wood Show is rolling around again.  Seems to have been longer than 12 months, but that is only because in the back of my mind I remember there was another wood show up there (the seemingly failed Hands-On Wood Show) I didn’t go to, so that seems to count as an extra year since the last Working with Wood.

Also too, so much has happened in the last 12 months – I swear life is busier now than ever before.

So after 12 months, I’m on my way back to Brisbane for this year’s show.  With MagSwitch leaving Australian stores, a couple of companies have become the new importers/distributors of their products.  One for industrial applications, the other for woodworking.  The woodworking range is handled by MaxisTools,  and they have asked if I can head on up to the Brisbane show to help with their stand, particularly the MagSwitch and Kreg product ranges.

So as of today, I’ve confirmed that I will be heading up to the show, and booked flights etc.  So, 21-23 May, see you in Brisbane!

(And 2 weeks later, I will be at the Melbourne National Tradesman’s Expo, on the Stu’s Shed stand).

Talk about a busy 12 months!

Stage 1

Did the airport thing- didn’t miss the flight which I guess is a positive. Got through all the various security checks and got to see the A380-800 for the first time. Got to shake one’s head at the size of thing that can get off the ground. Full double-decker aircraft. 21 hours or so of travel to go (although it will be a lot less by the time I post this- can’t be bothered justifying the cost of wireless connectivity at Melb airport. Might be different if I was a business traveller, but even so.

About to get sniffed by a drug dog.

Couldn’t find any books to read, and sadly Australian Wood Review hasn’t made it onto airport shelves- guess woodworkers don’t fly much. So will have to resort to electronic entertainment. Hmm – phone has asked if I want to connect via Bluetooth to an A380- wonder what that means?

Wonder what this button does?……..

Shopping List

Haven’t gotten too many things specifically on the shopping list for the show (yet).  Dangerous going to the show with an open mind, and an open wallet (but it leads to a lot of fun too!)

One year I had done a large shed clearout to eBay (way before Stu’s Shed), and so had an actual budget, and some specifics I was looking out for.  Think that year was the least enjoyable, not the most.  There was too much pressure to try to get what I was wanting, and to not go particularly over, or under budget.  Too much pressure, not enough fun.

I am going to look seriously at the BGM-100 jig from Tormek that Robbo is demonstrating on the Carroll’s Woodcraft Supplies stand.  I’ve seen it on the web, and it simply provides a way to mount a support arm that would otherwise be used on a slow speed grinder (such as the Tormek) on your high speed grinding wheel.  That means all your Tormek and Scheppach jigs can be used on the high speed as well for initial shape forming, before moving over to the slow speed for edge refinement.  You invest a lot in the slow speed jigs, so this is a way to utilise their advantages on the high speed grinders as well.

I’ve been trying to ignore the approaching wood show – like waiting for the inevitable arrival of Christmas.  It will come, but boy do the last few days drag! (Yeah, I’m still a kid, and thankfully it seems that will never change.  It’s even better now I have one of my own.)

I know there is a way of making your own shellac stick, but my brief efforts last night have not resulted in anything more than a stubby black lump, and crud stuck all over my hands (which smelt of metho for hours after!)  So if I see one or two of those there, I’ll be tempted.  First point of call for that will be UBeaut – don’t think Neil has them, but if anyone does it will be him.  Wonder if Zed will be there (look high up the top of the UBeaut stand – if there is a monkey hanging around, that’s Zed! (And no, he doesn’t have a Chopper) (Wonder if anyone gets that reference?)

There is so much to look at, and only three days!  I might have to go for a very systematic attack plan.  It may seem like three days should be more than enough, but I will be spending most of it with MagSwitch, so tackling the rest of the stands will only be during the breaks.  And if MagSwitch is anywhere near as popular as it was at the Brisbane show, there won’t be many of them!  I am really looking forward to seeing how popular the latest MagSwitch products are down here – the yellow stock (featherboards, MagFences etc) really look the part.  I especially like the single roller MagFence on the bandsaw fwiw.

Better get my last minute prep done.  See you over the weekend if you are in Melbourne.

A Wrap

Been a big week, and it is only Tuesday (ok- now Wednesday – fell asleep while writing this!)  Decided on Saturday that it was time for me to hand over the reins of the courses I was running at Holmesglen Tafe.  The courses are in safe hands however – a friend of mine is taking over (also an ex-Triton demonstrator), and given he still has a Triton workshop, he’s more qualified than I am these days!

My Triton equipment decreased by one the other day – the pad on my ROS parted company from the tool, and given the lack of Triton spares, the ROS is now relegated to the “no longer useful” corner.  May get around to finding a new pad for it one day, or adapting it to something else – who knows.  The batteries on the Triton drill also died a-ways back, so that has been retired as well. It’s going to be a long hard road for Triton to return, when even the ever-faithful are loosing faith.

The Melbourne Timber and Working with Wood Show is on again this weekend (Friday to Sunday) at the Melbourne Show Grounds.  I’m going to be there – you’ll find me with MagSwitch on the Carbatec Stand.  There will be a number of the MagFence kits available (I really like the kit – the fence for the bandsaw particularly, plus it comes with two MagJigs which can be used in any number of home-made jigs as well), but don’t leave it too long- they do sell out! They have been proving VERY popular ever since they were released. Don’t forget the “Universal Featherboard” and other new releases as well.

MagFence Combo Kit by MagSwitch

MagFence Combo Kit by MagSwitch

If you have been wondering about the merits of MagSwitch, I’m more than happy to have a frank discussion about them.  I find them to be really useful in my workshop for all sorts of reasons, and I have a number of jigs based around them which I will be bringing to the show.  I might even bring my MagBroom along (just don’t laugh at it too much – it does actually do the job I intended!)

It is good to see all the woodworking companies that are at the show – I’ll be sure to check out all the timber or woodworking products, or woodworking techniques being promoted by the various exhibitors.  I’m particularly interested in seeing the relevance of “Amazing Super Health” or “Step Forward Orthotics” for woodworkers.  There are not too many irrelevant exhibitors when you go through the list, just don’t understand why they are allowed at all.

The Floorplan and Exhibitors List are here, so you can plan your assault.

An alternative to the Wood Show Weekend

On the weekend before the Melbourne Timber and Working with Wood Show, a number of companies have opted to have their own weekend instead of trucking their gear/displays etc to the showgrounds.  It is on Friday October 9 (10 to 4pm) and Saturday (10 to 3pm).

They are coining the move as

octoberand so on the weekend before the Melbourne Show, an alternative one is running in Braeside, South East Melbourne.  (Is that something like the Fringe Festival, an alternate to the mainstream Comedy Festival, which became successful it is an institution in its own right?)

It is at the Woodworking Warehouse, 11 Citrus Street, and will be attended by Woodworking Warehouse (obviously), Professional Woodworkers Supplies and Ideal Tools. (I also heard a rumour of Australian Furniture Timbers being there)

Combining the product ranges of these companies and there will be a whole stack of Woodman Group tools, Incra, Festool, Trupro, Wixey, Bench Dog, Tormek, Linbide, Woodpeckers and on (and on!)  That will obviously include quite a few of the tools I have reviewed on this site (and a whole bunch I am hoping to get to review one day……. 😉 )

It has been a very successful occasion in the past (there was one earlier this year), although I also heard a possibility that the BBQ sausages might get replaced with a spit roast (and after the little BBQ fire last time……..) but I may be wrong, the BBQ might be back in working order!  One way or another there will be something to partake of to keep one’s energy up!

And after all, who feels tired or hungry when there are lots of tools to look at, play with, see demonstrated, and take home!

A roaming we will go

I’m currently sitting in a cafe in Melbourne, with a German Beer beside me, and eating a Greek Fetta Pizza.  There is a parcel coming on a boat from China, I am writing an entry on my blog which is hosted in the USA, reading the latest news from the BBC in the UK, watching the cricket currently being played in Brisbane, reading emails from Sydney and comments from Russia, talking to my wife on the phone who’s shopping in Southland, and sending an instant text message to my brother in Malaysia for his birthday.

When did the world become so weird?

Selamat hari jadi (Happy Birthday) Bro btw.

(I hope that is Malay for H/B!)

A Jaw Horse is on its way!

UPDATE: Review and photos of the Jaw Horse in my shed are now available here and here

Was speaking with the manufacturers of the Jaw Horse yesterday, and apparently there is one on the high seas at the moment, floating its way down under so I can review it and put it through its paces!

Given that it is (literally) on the slow boat from China, it will take a couple of weeks or so so arrive in Oz, (and add whatever fudge factor to that), then clear customs, be unpacked etc etc, so some time in the next month.  If at all possible, I would like to aim to have a review of it out before Christmas (yeah – isn’t that scary – only a month of so away already), but there are too many factors that are out of my control to be able to say that with any certainty.

However, it does mean that Stu’s Shed will be able to give it’s independent opinion on the product, and given that I have had (3 or 4) Superjaws in my shed for years now…… (no, I don’t use them up and need another – I actually have about 3 Superjaws out there – awesome tool) Given that the Jaw Horse is fundamentally the same tool, and was designed by the same Australian engineers that came up with it, I have high expectations that the Jaw Horse will be at least their equal.

That Battle of the Jaws I was suggesting for the Melbourne Show next year will actually be a rematch, as the inaugural cage match will happen here 🙂

Hmm – I’m thinking of a sculpture – each Jaw hanging onto a bit of 4×2, clamped in the jaw of another.  Modern Art 🙂

UPDATE: Review and photos of the Jaw Horse in my shed are now available here and here

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