Woodcraft App

Recently I have been exploring the capabilities of a new app for the iPad, from Fasterre called Woodcraft.


It is in simple terms, a CAD program for the iPad, and probably not too dissimilar from Sketchup (although I have not played with that a lot).

The app is particularly refined – things work as you’d expect, and a lot of attention has gone into its design.

To start, you can either create a new project from scratch, or download one which other users have made and uploaded for sharing.


Here I am downloading a birdhouse, that I can either build from the design provided, or used as a starting point for further development.

Elements can be added and deleted, dragged and dropped, rotated and precisely aligned with other elements.


There is a main view on the right, and other elevations on the left.  You can easily switch through each elevation by dragging the one you want to view or work with to the main window.  There, you can add and modify elements, add dimensions, and perform basic woodwork functions (tablesaw , saw, hammer (to join elements together etc)).  You can take a photo in the real word, then overlay your project to see just how it will look with the Photograph function.


Where it comes to ordering timber for the project, click on “Bill of Material”, and it will provide a list of the components needed.

As you are designing the project, you may want to work with timbers you already have, or standard sizes that you know are available.  That can be accommodated as well.  Working either with the lumber pile, or the scrap pile.


And being CAD, and that you are working with solids in 3D, you can therefore view your resulting object in 3D as well – very helpful to visualise where you are at in the project design process, and work out what needs to be designed next.


It is quite a complex app given its capabilities, but there are plenty of videos available on their website that will help you get started, then develop your skills with the app.

Apps for the iPad are certainly maturing!

Wizards and Fairies

My little princess fairy was off at her weekly ballet/tap class on Saturday, so I got an hour or so to head down to the shed for a tinker.  Wasn’t enough time to start anything serious, but I did feel like making some sawdust and the tool that is most suited to that task is the lathe.  You can be standing knee deep in shavings in no time flat!

On this day, I also wanted to do some spindle work, seeing as I had been turning a few bowls recently, so looking around I spied an offcut of Purple-heart I had kept for just an occasion.  It was about 15mm x 20mm x 400mm or so.  Squared it up on the tablesaw, then mounted it in the pin jaws of a Nova chuck, then onto the DVR with the Nova Livecentre in the tailstock.

Running the lathe at 1000RPM for a quick rough to round, then at 3000RPM for the remainder of the time, I turned something all good little wizards and princess fairies needs.

A wand.

Purpleheart Wand

Not a particularly complicated design, nor even particularly fine on the shaft (has to survive a 5 year old’s use)  Gave a little texture to the handle with a skew chisel, and used a cloth to friction-burn some details.

Interestingly, and perhaps Larry may have some more information on this point:  The timber is currently not purple (it is straight off the lathe, and yet to see sunlight to change its colour), yet where I did a light friction burn (and before the wood went black), it has come up with the distinctive purple of purpleheart.

So what is the mechanism that changes purpleheart’s colour?  Is it sunlight, or UV or similar, or is it simply the temperature?

I know it isn’t very clear here – shot on an iPhone in bad lighting.

And the reaction from the recipient?  “Wow” “A fairy wand?”  (a rather confused look appeared on her face). “Where is its star?”

Guess I should have anticipated that question from the shows she watches 🙂

Be some time before she starts watching something with a bit more punch!


Want a Woodcraft Franchise?

Woodcraft (in the US ( 😦 ) ) have created a site for you to become more inspired about starting up a Woodcraft franchise owner.


Sure would be tempting!

$50,000 startup fee
Total startup investment around $500,000-$600,000
Currently 76 franchises and 4 owned stores

They take 5% Gross revenue, and you need to have at least a population of 350,000 within a 20 mile radius.

Some really interesting figures there!

Wonder if they have thought of coming down-under………

A Christmas Mugging

Here I was, fighting the good fight, getting the job done, walking the walk, and I get blindsided.  By Christmas.

Where did THAT come from??  People wanting suggestions for Christmas lists, having to find presents (almost) last minute (ok, still 2 weeks or so to go, but didn’t I have a whole year??)

So here are some suggestions, in case you are stuck for ideas for the shed dwellers you buy presents for, or to add to Xmas lists of others for yourself!

Metric setup blocks: $96.50 (excluding case) from Professional Woodworkers Supplies

150mm Paolini Rule: $59.50 from Professional Woodworkers Supplies

Handmade Furniture Projects II (book): $29 from Australian Wood Review

Premium Tool Kit (inc mount): $189 from Australian Wood Review

AWR Backissues DVD Vol 1: $29.99 from Australian Wood Review

(Issue 2 also available, or as a double pack for $50)

A Polishers Handbook: $33.55 from Ubeaut Polishes

Rotary Sander: $66.00 from Ubeaut Polishes

Tormek T7: $995 from Carrolls Woodcraft Supplies

Wixey Digital Angle Gauge: $65.50 from Professional Woodworkers Supplies

Flai Mustang Multimaterial Blade: $152.35 from Carrolls Woodcraft Supplies

Vac Clamp: $73.00 from V-Clamp

I could certainly keep going, but at least this could give you some ideas (and these sites do have other things on offer!).

So avoid the Christmas mugging – time to get busy!

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