Showbag Wrapup

The show must go on, as they say, and the showbags went out hand over fist to anyone who hovered around the stand long enough to be noticed!

In the end, 200 showbags went, which took with it the bulk of ManSpace magazines I had been able to get to give away (4 1/2 boxes)  (and the remainder went as well!), all the Festool mousepads, all the DVDs, flyers, and a lucky few got CarbeeSharps donated to the showbag giveaway by Carbatec.

No idea the specific numbers of people who came to the show (down again on previous years, much to the rending of garments and beating of foreheads that typically accompanies such statistics).  Still, good numbers for visitors to the stand, who got to ask about different tool recommendations, (and a walking tour to where the item in question was being sold), viewing sharpening demos, or dovetail jig demos, or cyclonic dust collection on the Festool.

Quite a bit to process, so more on the show to come.

Great to meet regular readers of the site, and welcome to any and all who have now discovered Stu’s Shed as a result of the show.  Hope you hang around, and you find something of interest!

NTX Day 3

Final day of the show, and for me the final show for a while (at least until October).  There were no where near as many people at the Tradesman’s Show than at a wood show, but by the sound of it, the small crowd makes up for it in amount they spend.  About 5500 people over all, over the 3 days.

There was lots to see, and interestingly, a lot of different things from what we know and expect from a wood show, year after year.

Some I will be going into more detail in the near future, but to pick out a few that come to mind:

Acculine were there (previously reviewed on this site), along with Steel Blue, which makes very comfortable workboots.  Haven’t tried a pair out, but after another 3 days on my feet, I am very tempted!

The military put in an appearance – guess it is easier to recruit from apprentices, than from the demographic that attends wood shows!

Some big (and not so big) earth movers – rather static displays unfortunately.  There was an area walled off in the middle with a big pile of earth that looked like there was going to be ongoing demonstrations, but at the end of 3 days, the pile didn’t seem to have changed at all – sad really – I was looking forward to some mini comps being run, demos etc.

Lots of laser tools, and then some really static displays – seemingly manned by mannequins (but they were real people, just not seemingly interested in engaging, or encouraging patrons).   Other displays were full of demos, talking, explanations etc.

Too much to see to remember it all straight up – mark of a good turnout for the show.  It is sad that the tool section concept isn’t also seen at the wood show – looked an excellent idea.

Some familiar faces made an appearance at the show, and one came with something special for Stu’s Shed.

The shed has been flying the US flag, Oz flag and Sea Shepherd flag for a while now.  What it now also has is a flag with the silver fern – exactly what I was looking for.  Awesome!  Thanks!!!!!!!!

NTX Day 1

(Slightly belated post – sorry – fell asleep writing it!)

Day one was pretty quiet from a visitor perspective, but heaps to look at.  Sold the 3.5m machine, so that was good to have found a new home.  We have been surfacing on one machine, and copying on the other. And talking. Lots of talking 🙂


I think it has been going pretty well – lots of interest, particularly people who have never come across the machine before.  And hey, any day you get to muck around making sawdust is a good day. (And hey, I just had to drop another “And hey” in there)

There are:

Big Toys

Medium Toys

Small Toys


Actual Toys

NTX Setup Day

Entrance to the United Tools section – chock full of so many brands (and so many relevant to woodworking!)

Sutton never turn up to wood shows, even though woodworkers do drill wood.  But they are definitely here!

From normal sized tools, to big boys toys, they are all here!

Ideal Tools, with their Festool/Protool/Walko range.

Not a tool, but a perfect demographic! RC helicopters.

You know they are serious about expecting to make sales when there are even shopping trolleys!


Big day of preparation for various upcoming events.  The obvious one of course is this weekend, with the National Tradesman’s Expo at the Showgrounds (Melbourne) where there is a Stu’s Shed stand 9m x 3m that has to look the part.

Gathering tools etc for that – routers, saws, Torque Workcentres, etc – at least I have another day to assess if anything is missing.

It should be an interesting display – 3 machines (3.5m, 2m & router master), couple of vacs (one being the shop vac with cyclone), Protool SwordSaw, Festool Circular saw, Triton circular saw, Triton router, Hitachi router, Protool drill – think that covers the main machinery involved.

Along with that, I was also in Carbatec arranging the next two month’s demonstrations.

June (which has (shockingly) already started) will be on MagSwitch, and will include the technology and how it is ideally suited in the woodworking environment.  I will be showing the MagSwitch products for the tablesaw and router table, and those specifically suited for the bandsaw.  I’m hoping to have the bandsaw running, and to do a bit of resawing/veneer slicing (it will be interesting to see if my skills measure up!).  So that is on the 26th June from 10am to 12pm.

July (and specifically the 31st July) will be me demonstrating pen turning.  Talk about jumping in the deep end!  I’m not professing to be an expert turner, or pen turner, but if you’ve wanted to at least see how the average person can still produce a pretty good looking pen, then this will be of definite interest.  I will be turning wood and acrylic, going through each step, and also looking at finishing methods, including my take on CA (superglue) finish (I still use the DJ’s Timber technique of approx 20 layers of CA which I showed in a video aways back).  Carbatec are making a bit of a day of it as well – and will have a sausage sizzle going to feed the hordes!  Looking forward to it – think it will be an interesting demo day!

So that has been the day so far – too much to do, too little time!

Brisbane Day 3

It always amazes me how fast these shows come and go – although my feet (and head) were telling me they’d done enough work, it is disappointing to see them wrap up.

Today was pretty busy – not on par with Saturday from what I could tell, but the term “tyrekickers” was heard a number of times about the place. I know from what discussing MagSwitch on Saturday the conversation typically ended with a handful of stuff being taken to the till. On Sunday the same conversation resulted in the person going that was really interesting and walking away.  Weird.

Before the show started for the day, I had another wander around, snapped a few more photos.

Promac Stand

Promac had a stand there this year (not sure if they have been there under their own banner before) – they’d be familiar to you from the sense they are the importers of Tormek, Flai and BMI.  Their Flai blades will soon appear in the Battle of the Blades here on Stu’s Shed.  I’ve already featured a quick test cut of the Mustang – cutting through timber and nails without any complaints at all, and their “U”(ltimate) and “Z” blades will be included in the side-by-side tests. (Check under the “Tools” tab if you haven’t seen the blade articles before).

043 Turning 1m Blanks

Saw these at 043 Turning ( – 1 metre long resin blanks for pen turning (etc).  A really good idea – results in significantly less wastage (I often find myself throwing away a good 15mm + of resin when using a 1-pen blank, so being able to cut just the right length for the pen from this stock means you’d get a good 2 to 3 more pens out of the same overall length of resin.  Wish more suppliers would do this!  I ended up buying a length of camouflage blank (although I hope I can find the pens when I make them!).

Jim "The Rocking Horse Whisperer" Marshall

Met Jim and his wife (sorry – name slipped), who were staying at the same place I was – Spring Hill Terraces.  Certainly a LOT nicer (like 1,000 time nicer than the last place I tried (last year)  – that place was like trying to stay in a 70’s kitchen, complete with a 70’s bed, on a 70’s vinyl floor, next to a continually running 70’s noisy fridge)  The Terraces I would definitely use again.  Getting back to Jim’s horses – as you can see he does a very fine carving, and finishing, and it is interesting seeing the display which shows a horse head carving in different stages.

Toy Plans

Walked past this place almost without realising what it was about, but finally figured they actually were selling toy making plans!

On the wall behind, the signs read:

We sell the plans, YOU make the toy

We sell the kit, YOU assemble the toy

We sell the toy, YOU do ??????

Festool's Systainer

Festool were there again, with their stand-sized systainer.  There is a new product release coming which I’m hoping to attend the launch on 10 June – they refuse (wisely!!) to disclose what it (or they) are, but I got the impression it involved more than 1 item.  Something to look forward to (and thankfully, not too long a wait!)

I took a guy to look at the Festool Cleantex in combination with their circular saw (he works a lot with MDF), and I hung around the see the demo of the cut and how clean it can be (as in lack of free dust).  With the combination of a fixed guard to encourage as much dust as possible to be picked up by the onboard nozzle, it was an impressive demonstration.  I now have a better appreciation about what these saws are about – not only the unique way the blade is plunged to commence the cut, but the filtration safety as well.

Small turned vase

Saw these impressive turnings (from Camphor) on the Billinudgel Woodworking stand.  Standing at least 18″ high, they are impressive to look at and have a very precise wall thickness all the way to the base.  The right-hand vase was one Stan Ceglinski pointed out to me had an impression of Buddha on it, with Buddha being overseen (from the right) by the outline of a bull.  Doesn’t show up well in the photo, but you can definitely pick it when seeing it in person.

So once again, plenty to look at, and even after so many years (I’ve lost count of how many shows I’ve been to), there is still something to learn.

2 weeks time, it’s the National Trademan’s Expo in Melbourne – don’t forget I’ve arranged 2 for 1 tickets if you are thinking of checking it out.

Stu’s Shed Exclusive! 2 for 1 to National Tradesman’s Expo

Stu’s Shed, in conjunction with NTX are providing Stu’s Shed readers an exclusive: 2 for 1 entry to the National Tradesman’s Expo 4-6 June 10 at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

Unlike other 2 for 1 deals, there is no where else that is able to offer this 🙂

Click on the image below to get a larger PDF file that you can print out and bring to the show to receive the deal.

Click to download the PDF Flier

Then come along to the show on one (or more!) of the days, and check out the inaugural Stu’s Shed stand, A43 – a 9m x 3m stand at the end of the first row.  I will primarily be talking about the Torque Workcentre – there will be a 2m, a 3.5m and a Router Master.  I’m also hoping to have mounted on one of them the Protool UniverS SSP 200 from Ideal Tools which would look very cool!

Protool UniverS SSP 200

Look forward to seeing you there – I haven’t been to this show before, but its full of big toys and power tools!

National Tradesman’s Expo

A quick heads-up at this stage: Stu’s Shed is going to be at the National Tradesman’s Expo, 4 – 6 June, held at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

And yes, I said Stu’s Shed – in a cool symbiotic arrangement with Torque Workcentres, it will be a combined stand – I will be located at A43 – a 3 x 9m stand towards the rear (and next to the MASSIVE United Tools shop that will be there, so plenty of traffic at the end of the first isle).

Now I haven’t forgotten you lot either.  I’ve been negotiating on your behalf, and have an arrangement with NTX- (and not limited to the yet-to-be-finalised Shed Dweller concept), sometime in the next week or so there will be a flier you will be able to download (and this is exclusive to Stu’s Shed afaik) that will give you 2 for 1 entry to the show.  So you can grab a mate, and get into the show for 1/2 price.

If you have any Tradie mates, let them know too.  Anyway, as mentioned this is only a bit of a heads-up.  The full details will be available around Wednesday/Thursday, including the 2 for 1 offer.

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