Loot Boxes

So apparently there is a really big thing out there that I was only vaguely aware of, called Loot Boxes.

It is like a high-end version of a show bag that comes to your letterbox once a month (so you don’t have to brave the dodgy rides, candyfloss and wait a year between events for a show).

A very popular version are the Geek Boxes – things that appeal to the fantasy/sci-fi/anime etc community.  One such company producing these is called Lootaku, run out of Hong Kong.  They charge about $US50 / month, and you get a box of goodies worth around $US80 in your mail box.


A couple of weeks ago, Lootaku contacted me through my Etsy store, as they had come across my Game of Thrones inspired Hodor door stop, and wanted to include it in the latest box they were sending out for June.

That was on the Wednesday night, and by the weekend, I had 160 of the suckers made up, wrapped, and flying their way express to Hong Kong.

If you don’t watch Game of Thrones, then a Hodor door stop will make no sense to you what-so-ever.  Fans of the show get it 🙂

Photo 19-06-2016, 09 53 08

What is fun now, is watching the recipients open their loot boxes on You Tube – videoing the opening is also a popular past time it seems.

Here’s one of the first videos – I’ve fast forwarded it to near where they get to the Hodor.

Cool reaction.  That’s what I enjoy about making things – the reaction of the recipients.  You don’t normally get first reactions recorded for prosperity on YouTube, but that is where Loot Boxes are somewhat unique.

And another

And another

And yet another!

And on it goes……

Transcending language barriers

Web broadcasting video

Received a rather interesting email tonight from Toolstoday.com.  They send out a regular email promoting their latest router bit, video, sawblade etc, (and I subscribe to it – makes a nice break from the mountain of work emails that come through!)

Tonight’s one will look rather familiar 🙂


(And yes, they did seek my permission to put the video on their YouTube channel – I was more than happy to allow it)



Changes to Shed.TV

Overnight, I received a notice from the previous video host I have been using for the past 6 1/2 years that they were going to shut down the Stu’s Shed channel.  Bit abrupt disappointingly, and without explanation, but so be it.

So, over the next few weeks I will be migrating all the old videos across, directly onto the WordPress servers.  I already pay for the VideoPress service, so the only issue is going to be space, but that is easily fixed by throwing a few dollars at the problem.

I have just worked out the stats for the videos still hosted on the old host (and this does not include the videos from the past 18 months or so).

132 videos, totaling just over 25 hours of footage, and taking up 16GB of space.

I am going to use this as an opportunity to clean up the whole Stu’s Shed.TV area, and have not yet decided exactly what I will be implementing.  To start, I will need to edit every one of the original posts so they point to the new video location (when I upload them).  Then just how I index the collection will have to be decided.

Given there will shortly be quite a surge in the number of videos produced, it is rather timely 🙂

Total number of views of the existing collection (again not counting videos that were on HowCast (before they shut down the channel), or on YouTube, or any produced in the last 18 months), is 418736!

And to think that I was looking for a sponsor of the videos back in the early days, and noone was interested.  That’s 1/2 a million times their sponsorship would have been promoted by now!  Well at least I can remain a lot closer to my ideal of being ad-free 🙂

Woodturning for Learners

When you want to learn about woodturning, nothing beats getting to see how the experts do it.  Those in Victoria have an added advantage, a professional woodturner who regularly opens the doors of his workshop to show individuals, and groups the secrets of turning.  For those who don’t know, I am speaking of Robbo, who’s company is Cobb & Co Woodturning.

And when you see the size of his large lathe, well, this guy turns tree trunks!  I also have a fine goblet that stands 3″ high that he turned during one demo, so tree trunks isn’t his only stock!

Robbo was telling me once, that when he is in full swing with the tree trunks, he has a couple of guys with shovels and wheelbarrows (and a truck out back) just trying to keep up with the wood shavings he’s making!

But it is one thing to say Robbo can spin a tree trunk on his lathe, and another thing to actually see it.  So here it is:

Now what Robbo has done is produce a series of 4 videos for learners (and I definitely need to watch them all!)  They are available on his YouTube channel, Ozwoodturner1

And finally, one of Robbo’s pet hates – the danger of using a spindle roughing gouge on bowls


The best content is original. Repeatedly re-blogging others content (look at your archives for the last 6 months) indicates you have no original ideas. I remember when Stu’s Shed was ‘great’, now it’s droll. – Sam

It was an interesting comment I received from “Sam” after posting about Michael Turri’s phenomenal work that happened to have been previously mentioned on The Wood Whisperer.  Unlike other media, apparently bloggers are only entitled to write original content, and not refer to anything someone else has commented on. Not sure why there are “Press This” and “Reblog” tools available, if not for reposting interesting content found elsewhere (or retweet for the twitterati).

However, if not for my readers this site would not exist, so you tell me what you want.

From Sam’s comment about the last 6 months, I decided to count back. 145 posts. 20 posts that I would regard as re-blogs (or primarily to embed someone else’s YouTube content).

'Droll' Content Graph

‘Droll’ Content Graph

Sam suggested I rename my blog “Wood Whisperer Reblogged”, although there has only been 1 post in the last 6 months.  There have been 8 from Lost Art Press (Chris Schwarz’s blog).

So my question is this: are you interested in me reposting interesting content when I find it, or not?  If not, it would simply have meant 20 less posts, but the real question is whether you think it degrades the whole site or not when I do so?

And just as an aside, have a look at some other sites, and see how much of their own “original” content they post.  And how much advertising they have.

“No original ideas”? Seriously?

Tribute to James Krenov

, a YouTube published (and woodworker), is doing a series of video tributes to past woodworkers.  The one shared here (linked across from YouTube) is on James Krenov.  An interesting brief summary of one of the great woodworkers.


Definitely check out some of the other videos has published – there are some really interesting titles and subjects, looking back at early trends and developments.  It is done in a style that looks as vintage as the topic!

CNC with Pen Plot

Came across this on YouTube – it is a homemade CNC machine the person has built for their Festool router (and ensured that the unit is all in the same colour scheme- imagine if Festool had a CNC machine available (but them imagine the price!))

What I found particularly interesting is the addition, and design of a pen holder – very nicely done.  The second video is too long to bother watching all the way through, but worth watching the start to see the concept in action.  Could prove a useful mod for other CNC units, such as the CNC Shark.

SSYTC010 The Blowfly

SSYTC008 – Blowfly Spider Cookies

Now I’m sure that name makes little sense to anyone, so let’s clarify.

I grabbed the little digi-camera and shot a quick look at the Rockler Bench Cookies in action. They can be seen securing a board while edge routing with a hand-held router, while sanding with a ROS (random orbital sander), and while using the Blowfly Sander and Spider Sander, both from T&T Design.  There will be more on these 2 sanders shortly.

During the video, you’ll see the blowfly looking like it is catching my shirt- it isn’t, it is just generating quite a breeze, but it will be something I am more aware of in future.  Also, you’ll see me generating a ton of dust without breathing protection. I have a high volume air cleaner (Microclene MC1000) directly overhead, and during the dust production, I wasn’t breathing, so hopefully that puts anyone’s safety concerns at ease!

SSYTC009 New Domino Jig from Terry Forgarty

Terry Fogarty runs the Domino and Furniture courses for Ideal Tools, and having owned and used the Domino in a production setting since they first went on sale just over 3 years ago, he is particularly experienced in their use, and has developed a number of jigs to extend its capabilities.

This is his latest jig, and is a clever, and simple way of using the domino to create adjustable shelves (similar to the old dowel hole method typical in many commercial furniture carcasses), but it produces very consistent shelf holes very easily and accurately. He finishes it off with home-made shelf supports that look so much better than the commercial plastic or metal ones.


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