Latest news and features

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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Making a die nut

A die nut is created with interrupted sections of thread around its internal diameter. Die nuts are simply screwed onto the threaded part. As they are wound down, they cut away any of the screw thread that is bruised (bent over) or out of line. A die nut cuts irregularities and scrapes off the dirt from the thread it is being used on so needs cutting edges, which are formed by the cut-away places.

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A versatile set of drawers

I have constructed this project to demonstrate the concept of modular design for a set of drawers.
A modular concept allows you to design drawer space to fit your needs. You can add on or change the layout to suit, or you could mix them with shelves to make up modules to fit an awkward space or just to express your creativity.

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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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Turning out a crescent clock

A crescent clock looks at its best if it is made from a stylish native timber.
For this project, I used a kauri block. When you come to select the wood which will be prominently on display in the living room or dining room, for preference choose a piece of timber that has a distinctive grain.

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Build a sand trolley

I used a pipe 3200mm long, but it depends on what you have. This is 2400mm along the flat and bent up at the front. The horizontal distance, from the flat to the tip lengthwise, is 340mm. I measured from a square on the pipe, and out 340mm for the bend. The axle is usually 1200mm. I turned a little insert stub axle for putting through the one-inch (25mm) bush in the centre of the wheel and into the axle. You could also turn down the axle to fit. It’s a straight bush because bearings and saltwater don’t mix.

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3D Printing

Here we’re going to use 3D printing to do a modern twist on “lost wax” casting.
It’s a trick that’s more than 5000 years old: make something in wax, bury it in clay or plaster leaving a hole in the shell. Bake the heck out of it to remove the wax and then pour molten metal down the hole. If everything stays together, you get a metal replica of your wax object.

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Make your own telescope

This a project to make a popular Newtonian-design reflector telescope with a Dobsonian mount. The principle of the telescope is to collect light and then magnify the image. The light from a distant object (a star or planet) is gathered by the mirror and brought to a focal point. The eyepiece is used to focus and enlarge the image. By changing the eyepiece, we can increase the magnification and the size of the image. The larger the objective or mirror the more light it can gather and therefore you can use a higher magnification eyepiece.

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The art of bone carving

When the meat lovers among us think about carving up Daisy the cow, we’re picturing the Sunday roast but Lilach Paul sees bare white bones: blank canvases to be brought to their full potential beneath her Dremel drill.

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Metal with pictures

The basics of engraving are not too difficult and can be mastered with perseverance. However, as with anything, it takes practice to achieve true dexterity and ability. There is nothing more beautiful, timeless, exacting or lasting than a craftsman’s engraving. The best way to begin is to give it a go.

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Have you got that in nylon?

Need nylon fasteners or washers? Hi-Q Components is the go-to solution for the widest range of nylon screws, nuts, bolts, and washers in both metric and imperial sizes for all engineering or assembly needs. Threaded rod in 1-metre lengths is also available in M3–M20 sizes. Hi-Q Components also

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The Shed May/June 2021 Issue 96, on sale now

Our cover story in 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, and it saved waiting months for delivery in these Covid ravaged times. Plus there were considerable financial savings to be had.

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The Shed March/April 2021 Issue 95, on sale now across Australia

Making Damascus steel is a true skill and the patterned finish really adds style to any knife. These knives are rightly famous for the keen edge they can be sharpened to and the length of time they retain that edge.
But how do you get those distinctive patterns the same each time and do that consistently? Well, we have found a knife maker who can do just that. Matt James has been making Damascus steel since the late 1990s and now does so from his well-equipped and spacious workshop.

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