Latest news and features

Hexagon head bolt or cheese head screw?

There are so many types and kinds of bolts and screws that when you ask for the one you need, it is best if you understand the characteristics of the particular fastener. Then you can ask exactly for what you want. These characteristics are:
* Head type;
* Size;
* Thread form;
* Tensile strength;
* Finish.

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How to steam bend wood

This project to make a stool was developed as a way of introducing students to a number of basic
wood-bending and shaping techniques, whilst also giving experience in several useful applications of the router.
The stool consists of two legs in the form of continuous steam-bent hoops or arches, which are housed into matching radiused slots at either end of a curved seat. The legs are stiffened by the addition of smaller arches that fit between them and the centre underside of the seat. For the purposes of this article, I am going to focus on the steam-bending aspect involving the legs as that is the technique that woodworkers seem the most reluctant to try.

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Getting up to speed

As sheddies, we are known to cobble together machines from whatever we have at hand. More often than not these items are less than ideal and a motor of some sort may run at a different speed to what we need. If we are looking to make a spindle moulder, belt sander, garden chipper, wind generator, compressor or similar item then it is likely that some sort of gearing will be necessary to give the right RPM at the business end.
Calculating the sizes of gears, sprockets or pulleys is a relatively simple exercise.

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Hi-Q Components has it all tied up

If you’re looking for plastic cable ties and mounts, and cable management components, it’s hard to beat Hi-Q Components’ comprehensive range, which covers just about anything you’ll need for the job in hand.
Its selection of plastic fixings and fastenings includes standard strap-type cable ties, from 75mm x 2.4mm to 1500mm x 9mm; as a bonus, many sizes are available in weather-resistant black nylon for outdoor use. Hi-Q also has specialist ties covered, with stock including HVAC duct straps, heavy duty for hydraulic hoses, releasable, screw mount, marker, push mount, double loop mounting, hanking, and beaded ties. As well as cable ties, Hi-Q offers a great selection of cable tie mounts, such as quick and easy self-adhesive tie mounts, and push and lock clip mounts for through-hole panel mounting.

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The Shed May/June 2022 issue 102 on sale now

Forging ahead
There are great sheds, amazing sheds, and incredible sheds, but there are also sheds that you could call the ‘king of sheds’.
One such shed is the workshop of West Auckland’s Rudi Buchanan Strewe. In his shed, Rudi turns his hand to blacksmithing, engineering, tool restoration, building hot rods, sculpturing, and so much more. We had such a great time when we visited Rudi and watched him at work.
“The corrugated-iron shed is a deliberate nod to the past. Stepping inside is like entering an early 1900s blacksmith’s forge: clay floors and open beams, antique technology, vintage hand tools, and the faint smell of burnt coal. It is brand new but feels as if it has always been here. Thirty-eight-year-old Rudi embodies a pioneering spirit of discovery and Number-eight wire ingenuity. Whether it is restoring or repurposing old machinery, maintaining his hot rod and his neighbour’s motorbikes, or creating his one-off art pieces, Rudi is always tinkering.”

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Making your own campervan

Converting an ordinary van into a campervan is a project I have been talking about for some time.
As a retired technical teacher, I felt I had the necessary skills, and when a 2005 Kia Pregio van in excellent condition became available I decided to take the plunge.
The van is a 2.7 litre diesel, manual, with 26,000 km on the clock and a cargo space of 2.8 metres x 1.65 metres. My plan was to fit the space with two beds, one on each side. They can be expanded to a full-width bed using the foam backs of the seats supported on shortboards between the sides of the seats.

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The Shed March/April 2022 Issue 101, on sale across Australia from today

Entrepreneurial opportunities?
With all the changes to our lives we have been experiencing with the Covid virus, is there a new cottage industry movement underway? Many have lost jobs, started new ventures, or are just keen to work in smaller groups in a safe environment, and the bonus is that with the way technology is advancing at such a great rate these days, new affordable tools are available.
The kitset CNC router we are showcasing in this issue is just such a beast. A hi-tech tool that was once only the domain of large engineering workshops is now available for your shed for a very affordable price.

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Create this outdoor table using a chainsaw

This design for a macrocarpa slab table is a general design. There are variations and you could do the legs of the table differently, but the general rule is to keep it simple. My old man used macrocarpa for fence posts years ago and they’re still in good condition.
When I was cross-cutting, it didn’t take much to find out I liked macrocarpa. It has a lovely grain and I like working with softwood. It’s a softwood until it’s been sitting around for a year – that hardens it up.

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A mechanic turns to clocks

Ken England has been fixing clocks as a hobby in his Whakatane shed since the 90s.
Repairing a clock is not just a case of pulling it to bits, replacing parts then re-assembling, he tells me. “Everything works in sequence and has to be timed.”
He is a member of the New Zealand Horological Institute but was never a clockmaker by trade. What makes Ken “tick” and has given him the necessary clock-repair skills is the engineering know-how already in his background, a knowledge of how to machine parts, manufacture, and silver-solder.

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Beat the price rises!

As a result of print industry pricing pressure for paper, freight, and postage, the cost of your favourite magazine will have to increase for both retail and home-delivered subscriptions with the next issue.
Regretfully, we must pass a small portion of these cost increases on to our loyal readers. However, we would like to offer you the opportunity to take advantage of our existing subscription rates.

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Riveting stuff

It is time to look at a reliable and strong type of fastener, blind rivets, or “pop” rivets, as they are
commonly called.
These rivets you can normally
buy from nuts and bolts shops and hardware retailers.
“Pop” is actually a brand name registered by Emhart Technologies of America for their blind rivets.
Blind rivets is the proper descriptive term, and they are so-called because you do not need to see or have access to the other side of the joint which is to be riveted.
Blind rivets are put into predrilled holes.

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Making a classic claw setting

This classic ring is called a six-claw, Tiffany-style single-stone setting and is the simplest of our school’s solitaire-diamond ring designs with a claw setting. The “Tiffany” label comes from the famed American jewellery house which boasted that its diamonds were of such quality that they did not need to place them in fancy settings.
As a design for round gems, this is just about as basic as one can get.

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Learn bone carving from the master

When master bone carver Owen Mapp, CNZM, began carving bone and ivory in the 1960s there were no teachers and no bone carvings being sold commercially, so he had to learn just by doing it.
“I was the first one. There were a few jade carvers but nobody was interested in the materials then and I had the field to myself,” Owen says.
He has developed his practice and passion for the art form over 50-plus years, creating original works that are strongly influenced by Māori history, concepts and design; as well as Scandinavian, Asian, and Japanese netsuke designs, symbolism, and traditions.

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The Shed March/April 2022 Issue 101, on sale now

Entrepreneurial opportunities?
With all the changes to our lives we have been experiencing with the Covid virus, is there a new cottage industry movement underway? Many have lost jobs, started new ventures, or are just keen to work in smaller groups in a safe environment, and the bonus is that with the way technology is advancing at such a great rate these days, new affordable tools are available.
The kitset CNC router we are showcasing in this issue is just such a beast. A hi-tech tool that was once only the domain of large engineering workshops is now available for your shed for a very affordable price.

Read More »

The Shed January/February 2022 Issue 100, now on sale across Australia

It’s celebration time.
The Shed reaches its 100th issue this month so we have a special edition of the magazine for you as well as our 2022 The Shed Calendar included with this December/January 2022 issue. We have a few trips down memory lane, and our usual mix of advice, projects, and amazing sheddies. There’s even a follow-up to one of our most popular articles ever.

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Bring in the tanks

After the earthquakes in Christchurch and Japan, and after any emergency or natural disaster, an immediate call comes for supplies of water. Vital water is often the most instantly affected central supply when pipes and supply channels crash and the search for this life-sustaining substance water is on immediately.

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Build these honeyed Macrocarpa bar stools

I use dowelling for ease of construction, measuring and cutting as I go, and joining them to the stool with PVA glue. Place the dowels off-centre on the end of the rails, to avoid hitting the dowels coming into the legs at right angles.
The front and rear sections of the stool are put together separately then joined.

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Merry Christmas from The Shed

The Shed team is taking a few weeks’ holiday from the work computer and heading to the beach shed for some kickback time.
So. Merry Christmas and have a wonderful summer holiday to all our readers, followers, and fans. Enjoy this special extra time in your workshops and we will be back posting projects again mid to late January.
Have fun, be good and be careful out there.

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Dovetail cabinet challenges skills

This article is intended to offer
insight into the major steps involved in building a relatively simple dovetailed cabinet, rather than a step-by-step do-this, do-that.
Hopefully this will leave room for
interpretation and development of
better or different solutions

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The Shed January/February 2022 Issue 100 on sale now

It’s celebration time.
The Shed reaches its 100th issue this month so we have a special edition of the magazine for you as well as our 2022 The Shed Calendar included with this December/January 2022 issue. We have a few trips down memory lane, and our usual mix of advice, projects, and amazing sheddies. There’s even a follow-up to one of our most popular articles ever.

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Know the drill

There are so many varieties of building and engineering materials available these days it is likely that you will need a variety of drill bits in your workshop.
There are always a number of holes required to complete your projects at work, or more importantly those underway in the shed. We are going to cover some of the common products that are readily available from most DIY hardware stores and industrial suppliers, and also some items that you may have to ask for, or even
visit a specialist cutting tool supplier like Trade Tools to find.

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Video of Enrico on the road

This is a short video of the campervan hi-tech modifications series written by Enrico Miglino as featured in the magazine. This film covers the articles in Issues 98-100

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The Shed November/December Issue 99 on sale now across Australia

Like so many of us in a COVID lockdown, Gail Varga couldn’t just sit idly by and watch a screen all day — she headed to the shed and got building.
Usually sailing around the world on her 40-foot-yacht, Gail has been kept in her home port of Whangarei for many months by the pandemic. This was seen as an opportunity to ditch the inflatable and get building a more versatile wooden tender that could be used for fun as well as purpose. We follow the build of a two-part nesting dinghy, ‘Punga’. It’s a Spindrift 10, 3.1m long and plenty big enough for two to four people.

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Build your own robot arm

This article is all about building your own Meccano version of a robot that can be programmed to work just like the big fellas – and you can learn just how challenging real-world robots are to control. The robot arm can be programmed to move small objects from one place to another. It can reach, grab, lift and swivel.

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The 100th issue of The Shed is coming soon

The next issue of The Shed is a milestone magazine, our 100th and we are building a bumper issue, our biggest magazine for many a year.
There will be plenty of special anniversary content along with our usual projects and advice.
One of the articles we are particularly looking forward to publishing is a visit to the home shed of Mitre 10 DIY guru, Stan Scott. Stan shows us around his home shed and shares with us what he creates in his leisure time.

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Making a classic chair

The Red Blue chair, designed in 1917 by Gerrit Rietveld, has become one of the most discussed chairs of all time.
It’s not too difficult to make this as a classic chair as it’s all straight boards, but the dimensions and placement are critical.

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A DIY farm gate

The classic New Zealand five-bar farm gate is not too difficult to make on-site when you need a new one. Few people might consider building farm gates, but they can be costly and heritage gates are quite expensive so it might be worth it to build your own.

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The Shed November/December Issue 99 on sale now

Like so many of us in a COVID lockdown, Gail Varga couldn’t just sit idly by and watch a screen all day — she headed to the shed and got building.
Usually sailing around the world on her 40-foot-yacht, Gail has been kept in her home port of Whangarei for many months by the pandemic. This was seen as an opportunity to ditch the inflatable and get building a more versatile wooden tender that could be used for fun as well as purpose. We follow the build of a two-part nesting dinghy, ‘Punga’. It’s a Spindrift 10, 3.1m long and plenty big enough for two to four people.

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Fast panel fixing

Panel fixing has just been made a whole lot easier with the Button-fix system, distributed by Hi-Q Components. Designed and manufactured in the UK, the simple but extremely robust system offers five main types of button-fix connectors.

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A road case to go

The photography department here at The Shed required a means to contain and move all our
studio lights as simply as possible.
The collection of lights and accessories is growing and it made sense to keep them all in a road case for transport and organisation. This I thought would also be a good opportunity to build a case
and might be a basis for those who need to make other custom cases for sound gear, tools, or guns.

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Video of bronze sculptor and junk artist Glen Macmillan from The Shed Issue 98

Glen Macmillan works between his two sheds creating sculptures from recycled waste. A large part of what Glen creates, though, is made from bronze, and he shares with us his method of casting bronze using the lost wax method. This is an ancient process that serves him well in the creation of sculptures large and small. In this short film, Glen shows us the steps to bronze casting and we watch him in his workshop while he creates a junk sculpture.

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Create a sterling silver pendant

You might well think a charming silver pendant is something best left to a professional, a master craftsman – and not a DIY project for your shed. But that does not mean you can’t make an impressive piece of jewelry, so long as you take a logical and careful approach.

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The Shed September/October 2021 Issue 98 is on sale today throughout Australia

Our cover story in this issue of The Shed magazine is on a Whanganui junk artist and bronze sculptor who uses various methods to achieve his pieces. Glen Macmillan works between his two sheds creating sculptures from recycled waste. His junk of choice is gardening tools, landscaping equipment, and farming equipment — particularly the older kind of hand tools that were made to last and had a bit of styling

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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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Gasless wire welding is a breeze

Gasless welding using a flux-cored wire is a MIG welding process that relies on a continuous, tubular wire feed. Gasless wire welding was originally designed as a replacement for stick welding, mostly for use outside where protecting gases could be blown away by the wind and higher productivity was necessary.

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Video of glass making toolmaker, David Etchells

This video of our cover story from the May/June 2021 Issue No. 96 of The Shed is about a sheddie who decided to avoid spending a fortune on tools for his new career and instead make his own.
Why? Because he could, it saved waiting months for delivery in these Covid-ravaged times, and there were considerable savings to be had. David Etchells is assistant to Fran Anderton in her glass-blowing business in Whanganui. He has brought some of his sheddie skills to Fran’s workshop that sees them using the tools that David has made to create amazing blown-glass products.
David shows us some unique tools specific for making glass and how he makes them.

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