Feeding on ideas

Been having quite a few visitors through the shed in recent months – friends, family, work colleagues. One thing that seems to be a common feature of the visits are other’s opinions on what I should do with the shed layout, or products, and I do keep an open mind to these, as not only are they intended in good faith, they have regularly proved to be invaluable! And to be fair, I also actively seek them out – another set of eyes and source of ideas – many heads are better than one!

And it isn’t always actual suggestions – just the act of showing people around has a habit of highlighting things to me that need addressing, or I can see a better way.

Had Gordon Heggie around (of Triton fame), all rugged up against the cold as he drove his convertible with the roof down on a cold night 😉 and we were talking about storage (among other things, such as the TW7 😉 ). It encouraged me to relook at the storage (specifically the shelving), and I came up with the development of an idea. I still had shelves and brackets of the green metal bookcases, but no uprights. In Masters, I found some standard vertical posts with the typical slots cut. Got a couple hoping they would work, and sure enough, the brackets fitted (with a little manual encouragement).

These got fitted to the shed wall near the lathes, and that shelving now gets to carry the chucks, jaws, and other accessories. They are much closer to the lathes, and it frees up the other shelving unit for something else. I could fit a double bay of shelves, but want to keep the wall clear so I can store the range of chisels.



So now I have a fair few empty shelves around the workshop. That will certainly make sorting out some of my tools etc much easier! Lots still in their storage boxes on the mezzanine floor, but I am regularly bringing down a box and (re)discovering what is inside, while looking for a new home.

Slowly getting there. Happy about the shelving – it has worked out really well.

Routing Steel

Sound insane? It isn’t as uncommon as you’d think, but it does take a router bit that goes well above and beyond what is normally used in the woodworking arena. (Perhaps one suited to Australian hardwood!!)

You need a cutter that has a surface harder than the material you want to cut, and durable enough to survive the loading and impact. Start with a quality carbide, and not just carbide tips brazed to a steel core, but solid, micrograin carbide.


To dramatically increase wear resistance, apply an aluminium titanium nitride (AlTiN) coating, and with a few physical attributes (upcut, mill end, corner chamfer) you have a router bit that can rout and mill steel, stainless steel, aluminium, brass, copper, even titanium.

The router bits here are specifically designed for CNC machines, which is a good thing, as you can then accurately control feed rates to match the material being cut.

Lubricant/coolant is highly recommended, so things could get a bit messy.

Fascinating what materials engineering makes possible.



Seen while perusing the Toolstoday.com website. The concept caught my eye!

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