T7 the big kid on the block? Not any more.

Tormek have released the T8 grinder for the ultimate in sharpening.  Available in Australia in July 2016.

While the changes over the T7 are probably not enough to make all T7 owners want to run out to get one, if you are in the market for a new grinder, the T8 is definitely worth considering.

They are currently available on pre-order from Ideal Tools.

The changes include a repositionable water trough, useful for the changing dimensions as the grinding wheel wears (of course, you have to do a fair bit of grinding to wear the wheel away!  Mine is still pretty close to original dimensions.  There again, if I used it more, I’d have sharper tools too.  Doh!)

The body is now cast zinc, and the drive wheel is also zinc.

The body is enclosed, and there is better splash and run-off management (and that is a good thing – I get quite a river happening after a long sharpening session!)


While many still struggle with the whole concept of a wet stone grinder costing north of a $1000, for those who have been able to justify the expenditure, there is no question about just how good the machine is in achieving its purpose in life.  Ultimate sharpness.

More detail can be found on the Tormek website

One Sharpening Station to Rule Them All

Dropped past Carbatec today, and on the front counter was a solution to end all solutions for the sharpening station

The Tormek TS-740 Sharpening Station

Photo 19-02-2014 9 26 34

Drool.  Seriously.

The website spiel covers the basics:

Height 750-830mm, width 578mm, depth 390 mm

Moisture proof composite worktop
Centralised key locking
Scratch resistant metallic surface
Drawers to fit Tormek kits
Auto-return soft close drawer function
Aluminium handles
Fully extendable drawers
Holes for hooks
Adjustable legs for comfortable working height
Rubber feet to protect the floor

But what a way to keep all the accessories organised, protected, easily to hand (and looking cool!)

getdata.do getdata2.do getdat2a.do


Sign ‘o’ the Times


In a recent video, you will have seen me using a Promac generator with my new Festool Kapex.  There is more to the story, and it is all about the sine.

Many generators produce an approximation of a sine wave, and for some things, that is good enough.


The problem is a stepped or simulated sine wave is bad news for electronic equipment, and that also goes for the electronics of Festool equipment.

However, this is one of the real advantages of the Promac generator.  It produces a pure sine wave, making it safe for electronic equipment, and Festool as well 🙂

So if you are want to use Festool equipment offsite, or other electronic equipment for that matter, either make sure your generator is high quality, and produces a pure sine wave (and not just an approximation of it), or just get a Promac generator and not have to worry.

Episode 94 Dr Kapex

Episode 94 Dr Kapex

Testing the true depth of cut of the Festool Kapex.

Also see (briefly) the Kapex stand in action, and the Promac generator.

SSYTC054 Also sprach Zarathustra

SSYTC054 Also sprach Zarathustra

Promac GTO68E 6.8kVA Generator


I received the invoice today to pay to start the building permit process.  Probably the fastest bill I have ever paid.  The digital ink wasn’t even dry before the bill had been paid, and the receipt (as proof) sent back.

So time to break down the timeline and see what it may mean.

1 October – 13 October: Obtain building permit

14 October: Place order for concrete

14 October: Order placed for shed

14 October – 10 November: Shed manufacture (I am really hoping we can hit this window – this is the highest risk to the program)

19 October  – 20 October: Clear out current 3×3 shed and deconstruct

21 October: Order skip

28 October – 29 October: Block clearance including skip for waste removal

30 October – 31 October: Casting slab

11 November: Shed arrival

11 November – 24 November: Lead time for shed assembly.  Once construction starts, and the slab is in, I don’t see why the assembly can’t be booked in, so it happens only a few days after arrival, rather than a few weeks.  That would bring shed assembly forward to around 13 November through to 20 November.

25 November – 1 December: Shed assembly

It would be tempting to have the electrician in straight after and get the power sorted out as well, but going to take a more sensible approach and use the shed as is, with the Promac generator providing primary power (especially 15A), and some 10A being run from the house.  That will give the time over the Xmas break to get a reasonable idea about tool layout, and the corresponding power requirements.

I have the lights sitting in the garage, so they will be up very early on (light is one of those mandatory things!)  They currently have 10A plugs on each, so temporarily wiring them up will be easy.

I have to remember to run some piping under the slab for the dust extraction, and mid-floor power.

It feels like it is still going to be a long time – another 2 months!  But when I break it down like this, there is something happening almost every week so it will really feel like it is moving quickly.  It won’t take much to knock this program right however, and if it moves to the right much, it will clash with Christmas and that would be disastrous (as that would cause another month delay, and at a time when I would be on leave and actually able to make use of it.

Going to need new carpet after all this – have worn an absolute track over the last 6 months!


Round 2, and I finally had an opportunity to fire up the generator and put some real load on it.  No where near its capacity mind, but at least enough that it wasn’t running light.  Or perhaps it was, seeing as the load bank I was using consisted of 1500W of lights. 😉

Perhaps I should explain….. as mentioned in the earlier article, a petrol powered generator doesn’t like running with no load for long periods of time.  It is like leaving a car idling.  They are designed to be used, and can carbon up if left too long without being made to work.  So although you could use the generator to power small devices, you need to match the generator to the load, and vice versa.

If the load is too large for the generator, it is just going to trip out.  If the generator is too large for the load, it will not be happy if it has to sustain it for long periods.  At least you can always increase the load by plugging in extra items, such as lights.


The generator did precisely what I was expecting of it – sat there running , and very little noticeable difference despite me switching load on and off.  Other than the obvious, in that you can hear the generator running, and that you can set it up wherever you want, far from the madding crowd, you wouldn’t know any difference between using this generator and plugging the items directly into a wall GPO. I am looking forward to the opportunity to put it to real use running a couple of large machines….once they are uncovered.

So onto the lights themselves.  This was the first chance I had to fire up the ‘new’ fresnels. 3 x 500W, which will produce a really good light for future videos.  (The shed itself will be illuminated by around 15 x double fluorescent fittings).

I haven’t taken a photo of the actual lights, but they are a smaller version of this:

arenafThe name of the light comes from the lens at the front.  It is a form of lens, and if used in reverse can focus light to a single point.  Roughly speaking.


When used the other way around, when light is at the focus point of the lens, it produces (parallel) direct light on the subject, allowing the light to be thrown at a greater distance.  (Which is how a fresnel lens is used in a lighthouse, and it was for lighthouses that the frensel lens was originally invented).  However, what a fresnel light is used for in theatre settings, is to produce a diffused beam and the lamp is moved away from the focal point to achieve that.


Starting to get a few things together that will really give Stu’s Shed V3.0 a real shot in the arm.  15A power from the outset with the generator until such time as more permanent power can be installed.  Lighting, both for the shed as a whole and for the next generation of videos.  The GoPro to add an extra dimension to those videos.  And some historical items (the pulleys and belts) to add some extra character.

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