A Pop out to view a Shed

that is.  A brand new business that just started out at Chirnside Park, Lilydale (northeast Melbourne).

Unit 10B
Rear of 286 to 288 Maroondah Highway
Chirnside Park

03 9727 0611

It has been open a whole 2 1/2 weeks, so very new!

As you pull up to the door (behind the shopping centre next to the Bunnings), the first thing you see is the timber – boxes of burls, Banksia nuts, and a wall of turning blanks – you KNOW you are at the right place!

Pop's Shed

Next door is Toodlebug Toys, so it can be a family outing (if you have younger kids!)

Timber Collection

There are lots and lots of sorted timber burls to pick and choose from,

More Timber

Banksia Nuts, slabbed burls and

Turning Blanks

a wall of turning blanks

Turning Tools, Pen Blanks & Consumables

They stock a range of pen hardware and associated turning tools and accessories, with a collection of pen blanks – mostly timber with a few acrylics.

Mini Lathe & Linisher

The company sell a few shop machines as well – a mini lathe, a maxi lathe, a linisher, bandsaw and drill press. All the things you’d need if getting started in turning. The mini lathe kit will get a closer look in another article shortly – variable electronically controlled speed, and comes with a mini chuck, drill chuck and a set of turning tools.  Now if you know nothing about turning, this is very much what Pop’s Shed has been to cater for – both getting you started, as well as keeping you supplied!  To get started though, nothing beats hands-on instruction, and at the back of the store, just behind the wood stove (failed project disposal unit) and where a Chesterfield couch and Flat screen TV will be going shortly, is the training room.  While you are wandering around the shop area, you can see what is going on inside the room through glass windows which is a nice element – keeping the noise and dust out of the sales area, but not separating the two completely.

Training Area

There are a number of maxi lathes in there to learn on, but what caught my eye (and some astute readers will have already seen it as well) – a very familiar colour…

Training Room

A Triton Mk3 has found its way in, for preparing timbers for turning!  There are 4 maxi lathes, one mini, a bandsaw, drillpress, and linisher, and each station has dust & chip collection dedicated to each machine, all professionally plumbed in (I could learn some lessons from how neat this job has been done!)

Dust Collectors

Behind the training room, there is the dust collection room, with 4 x 2HP dust collectors. As you can see, it is all brand new, just waiting for the courses to be arranged and begun, and I’ll publish here what courses they have once they are up and running.  So if you were curious about wood turning, or wanted to improve your skills, have a chat to one of the Pops (or Pops-to-be (grandfathers) as it happens!) Brian, who is there full time, or Chris.

I’m particularly impressed with the training focus they have taken, and it is becoming a very nice little setup they have there. Pop in to Pop’s Shed if you are passing by 🙂

(PS, any similarity in the name is purely coincidental!)

SSYTC004 Ideal Tools – Festool Mecca

SSYTC003 Ideal Tools – Festool Mecca

Ideal Tools – Festool Mecca in Williamstown, Melbourne
A perfect synergy of sales, training, and getting real hands-on experience with the next potential addition to your workshop.

I really enjoy this approach.  There is no sales pitch here – the tools either sell themselves, or they don’t.  You get to see the tools in a real work environment, get to use the tools in the same, and get professional training in their application.  I’m not even getting the point across well – it sounds like there is an undercurrent here of sales and marketing, and that is far from reality.

It came across as a training facility, running really interesting courses that happen to make available the whole Festool range of tools, and it just happens that you have an opportunity to buy any Festool you need.  It isn’t even a shop – the physical aspect of Ideal Tools is a training facility, and getting in is through the courses, or by appointment.  Ideal Tools has a strong web presence, and purchasing can be done primarily through their website.  They also have a bonus scheme, where you earn points from purchases that can be used to purchase other items from their store.

This is the workshop/training facility that will be used for the Hall Table course I am attending from 2nd August for 6 weeks (of Sundays).  There are still some places available, so get in quick if you want to be a part of it.  What I am looking forward to on this course is that it is not formulaic, and it doesn’t produce a bunch of tables that all look the same.  You are encouraged, and supported to try different modifications to the base design, different materials (or at least different timbers), and to produce a table that will suit your needs, and an opportunity to express yourself in a fine furniture form.

One on One

I’ve been wondering if there would be any interest in a one (or two) on one woodworking course, particularly for new(er) woodworkers?

The courses I run at Holmesglen will still be continuing, but don’t always get to run as frequently as people might like, and with a (small) group, it isn’t as targetted as one on one can be (obviously).

It could be as short as an hour, through to a full day, all in my workshop. So I thought I’d throw the idea out there and see if there was any interest.

There is certainly plenty of tools to get to play with, become familiar with etc!

Value Adding at Tafe

I’ve been approached by Tafe NSW whether some of my Stu’s Shed TV videos can be used in their workshop video training initiative.



What they are doing is really interesting, and although my stuff is pretty small fry, I was happy to allow them to use it (and happier that they actually asked in this day and age!!)
From what I gather, they have computer(s) containing video, powerpoint and text content in their workshop, coupled up to a RFID reader (RFID is Radio Frequency ID – and is often used for security doors etc – you have a card which is waved in front of the scanner to unlock the door etc).

How they are implementing this technology is with a number of RFID cards, with text and/or a graphic on it, and the student walks up to the reader, waves the card there and a video or powerpoint show will start, giving more information on how to do the particular technique, make the specific joint, use the particular tool safely etc.

The example they use (and quoting from their Learning Tech Mentors site) “You ask a student to get a chisel out of the store and ask them to swipe that over a square painted on the wall (which has a RFID reader attached behind the square) near a computer screen with speakers. Up comes a video explaining how to safely use that tool! No keyboard, no searching for files, no using mouse with so many other sites or things to look at – just straight to the content.”

It is a really interesting, and innovative implementation of a current technology into a left-of-field application.  Hope it works out well for them!

%d bloggers like this: