A few quick wipes

I was in the process of fine tuning my Torque Workcentre setup for some surfacing (continuing on from last weekend’s Ballarat Wood Show, and the workbench repurpose), when I was again struck by the significant difference in appearance between the heavily weathered redgum and the as surfaced, and the as-finished result.


The bottom slab is as it has been, spending the past 2 years at least outdoors in the elements, and a lot more prior to that before the workbench was made.

The middle slab has had a couple of passes with the overhead router.

The top has gone straight from the Torque Workcentre (surfacing cutter) to having a finish applied, in this case the quite remarkable (and very easy/straight-forward) Festool Surfix finishing system (from Ideal Tools)

I need to redo the finish- it was a rush-job done at the show as a bit of a demo, but with a bit more time, care and dust control it’ll look spectacular, and it gives the redgum some incredible depth of colour.


Scavenging from the Firewood Pile

This is a mini project in reclaiming timber, destined for the chimney.

It is rapidly approaching winter here down-under, and having a fire in the evenings is becoming commonplace.  I always wonder just what is being turned to ash, and if it could be redirected to more aesthetic purposes (not that staring into a fire in the hearth doesn’t have its own appeal).

This block of redgum seemed more interesting than some, so I thought I’d just see what I could find inside, and if nothing, nothing lost (even the sawdust gets used!).

Redgum Firewood

Redgum Firewood

The first step was running it through the bandsaw.  Given the thickness of the block, I fitted a 1.3 TPI 3/4″ ripping blade, which made short work of the task.  You can just see a short section of the blade behind the block in this next photo.

Creating Sawdust

Creating Sawdust

I slabbed the block in pretty thick sections, so I had plenty of material to work with when machining the boards flat, while still maintaining a reasonable material thickness.

As-cut boards

As-cut boards

So here are the resulting boards, still chunky and rough.  The next job will be to start running them through my stock preparation machines (the jointer/planer, thicknesser (although they are pretty short for that), and the drum sander (with some 60 grit attached).

The plan is, if I can get 4 reasonable boards from this, to then produce a dovetailed box and finish it, so it will be an interesting evolution.  If it all goes pear shaped, then I’m sure the fireplace will make short work of it!

Redgum Supplies Moorabbin

Anyone driving along Boundary Road in Moorabbin would have seen the old Melbourne Tram at the front of the Redgum Supplies (just south of the now vanished Bar Buddah).

Well it is gone, as in completely vanished – the tram, the large wood sawing machines (they had the largest tablesaw I’ve ever seen – the blade looked to be about 1m in diameter), the timber – all gone.

Not sure if they’ve relocated or not – the problem is places like this never have their own website, they just list in a whole heap of others, and they are never up-to-date.

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