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New Kiwi TV show – Start me up

Start me up is the world’s first car show based on the phenomenon of “cold starting” – an online craze where cars that haven’t run for years or more – typically decades have their engines fired up or “cold stated”.
Screening now on TVNZ On Demand and soon on the Duke channel. Click ‘Read more” to get the full rundown on the show.


A summer 2019, sheddie’s tale

Back in the early ‘70s, an Auckland bloke gets hold of a 25 hp Sea Horse Johnson outboard motor – it’s knackered but it has potential.
He takes it all to pieces, orders all the bits to get it up and running again then wraps it up, bits and all, in a New Zealand Herald newspaper and packs it in a box, presumably as a rainy day project. For reference, the outboard is from 1970 and the Herald is from December 1975.


A racy go kart

First off, we had to come up with a basic design under the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) rule, keeping in mind the fact that the kids are getting older and harder on the gear. So I decided that easily replaced components were a key at this stage. Number One son is only going to get taller and no doubt half the neighbourhood would want to have a crack at setting the fastest lap around the street, so we had to include an adjustable one-size-fits-all seat in the design.


The art of coachbuilding

Many of the old crafts that had been around for centuries have been almost lost in our modern age. Among them are the crafts of those who used hand tools and tapped into centuries of passed-down knowledge, the blacksmith, the wheelwright and the coachbuilder.
Coachbuilding with wood has been around for more than 500 years. The restoration of vintage cars is helping keep this craft alive in New Zealand—just—and there are only a few people here who still have these skills. One is Neil Carter of Normanby in South Taranaki. He specialises in restoring veteran cars (made before the end of 1918). These vehicles had wooden frames and bodies made by coachbuilders in the days when the horse and carriage ruled the highways.


Build a basic trailer- part two

The frame is braced by angle-iron cross members and has a sturdy, ply wooden deck. It’s best to use not less than 5-ply 12 mm minimum — in this case we have used 7-ply 17 mm. With minor variations, I have built a standard 1200 mm x 1800 mm (6ft by 4ft ) domestic trailer with a solid frame of rectangular hollow section (RHS) mild steel.


Restoring a roller.. or three

What car maker would give every different bolt on a vehicle a different number and make sure every nut and bolt had a 3 percent chrome content? We’re talking about the same manufacturer that would put platinum on the faces of the distributor points so they would virtually last forever and “hang the cost”.

Yep, we’re talking Rolls-Royce and while their cars always mean the highest standards, their early cars were totally in a class of their own.


The Shed Issue 79, July/August 2018

In The Shed Issue 79, July/August 2018, we head to Wellington to document Shea Stackhouse making a small knife from Damascus steel, fondly known as a Puukka (that’s Finnish for small knife). While we are there we hang around to meet some knife fans who receive knife making advice from Shea at one of his regular knifemaking classes.


Ramping it Up: Make a pair of ramps for home car maintenance

This story comes about because of a mishap with my trusty car ramps which I had for more than 20 years. They were a clever pressed-steel design, a product of Spedding Ltd, one of the country’s original importers and wholesalers who took on manufacturing as a response to the import restrictions and import licensing laws of the time.