Engineering

Make a handy English wheel

So it was time to start fabricating my own parts and for that I would need a so-called English wheel machine to mould the tank, guards, seat pan etc. But buying such a machine was “off the budget” as they come with a hefty price tag.
The next option was to build one. With not a lot of plans available, I could see that I’d have some homework to do.

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The making of Gloribelle

A replica steam engine that made its first appearance at the Glenbrook Vintage Railway near Auckland in 2013 was much more than just another piece of interesting machinery. Built to mark 300 years since what was believed to be Thomas Newcomen’s first engine, made in 1712, it celebrates an invention that contributed significantly to the industrial revolution.

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Man of metal

Metal is Bill Martel’s passion. He realises his own dreams in metal and those of his customers out of a very large “shed” in Plimmerton, the engine room of his business, Metalmorphic.
During 17 years of high-precision work, he and his team have made all sorts of furniture, balustrades, ornamental light shades, and more, even a 17th-century wrought iron sundial, four metres in diameter, which they “cut up into little pieces” and reassembled to correspond with the southern hemisphere.

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Making a ring roller

The solution was to use the offcuts and a cheap bottle jack to make a set of rollers that can bend the material into wide arcs. Since I had to buy the $39 jack, the budget was well and truly blown. But this ring roller will be useful for future projects.

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A scooter carrier for a campervan

Owning a campervan means you can take your house on holiday with you. The downside is you need to pack up your whole holiday site when you want to drive off and get some fish and chips for dinner. I considered towing a car behind the campervan but that was impractical. I use a scooter for commuting so the solution was obvious—put a scooter carrier on the campervan to give us an easy transport option on holiday.

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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.

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Hot stuff – Gas bottle stoves

You can’t do that! You’ll kill yourself!” said the hippy to the gypsy as he began slicing  into into an LPG gas bottle with a four-inch grinder. Sixteen years ago, self-styled “hipsy” Stuart Guy found himself spending his first South Island winter in an un-insulated house truck.

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Three – Phase Grunt

When a friend at Metpresco Engineering offered Jason Clarke an old, universal tool and cutter grinder for his garage workshop, Jason had to think about how he could power it. 

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