The Shed June/July 2023 issue 109, on sale now
Our cover story this issue is on one man’s paradise. Gary Norton’s shed is crammed with vehicles in various stages of restoration. Classic Fords sit alongside a bevy of trucks and a unique build of a mini Kenworth. Jason Burgess visits a passionate Westie’s mega-sized shed.
“As shed sizes go, Gary Norton’s is a megastore. It needs to be, because, despite the square footage, space is at a premium, crammed as it is with “a bit of everything” and no end of enterprises in various states of progress.
There is a saying about the more you have, the more you are occupied. Luckily, Gary and wife Raewyn are as industrious as they come. They run their rural property as close to organic as possible. Even when they both worked full time away from their land, they still managed to raise 22 different breeds of chickens, rear calves, fatten sheep, and breed goats.”
Raising the bar
I have wanted to make an elevating bar stool for some time. They are a relatively simple design – four legs attached to a nut through which an acme thread runs, raising and lowering the seat.
However, attaching the legs to the nut is problematic. The nut is usually a fairly large piece of steel, in this case it’s 38mm diameter, and even with the hole and threads cut it still has a wall thickness of nearly 10mm. The legs on the other hand have a wall thickness of only 2mm. That size differential makes using MIG welding difficult. It can be done of course but it isn’t quite as straightforward as usual.
I felt it was ideally suited to TIG welding and as I hadn’t tried TIG before I thought this might be a good opportunity to get some experience.
Warning: boiling point!
I own an American classic car and it comes with the usual 1960s instrumentation—speedo, fuel gauge but only warning lights for oil, alternator, and water temperature. The alternator light comes on when you turn on the ignition, but the water temperature light is designed to come on only when the water temperature reaches 120-125 °C which is usually too late.
To fix that, I have devised this program powered by an Arduino micro-controller that will operate the temperature light when the engine powers up and light it up again to warn the driver as the temperature approaches 100 °C. It uses a readily available sender that will fit most vehicles.