Latest news and features

Cufflinks for an occasion

THIS PROJECT will explore how to produce a cast textured surface and use it to make a pair of monogrammed cufflinks. The textured face of the cufflinks can be produced in two ways. For the first way you will need some sculpture wax, available from Regal Castings tool department.

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Gantry crane for model railway

STEPPER MOTORS are to conventional DC motors as computers are to calculators – in other words, much moresophisticated. The ability of stepper motors to specify rotation precisely both by velocity and angle opens new doors for movement control. The downside is that to get the most out of these little beauties, you need ancillary digital-pulse control circuits, a fact which may deter some sheddies from exploiting their numerous advantages.

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Homemade bench holdfast

A bench needs clamps, a second pair of hands to hold the work still and stable. Traditionally, woodworkers have used a holdfast and the most popular of these was the Record holdfast, now sadly out of production.

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Backyard Forge

THIS IS ONE of the very basic forges for heating metal bars. There are many other types of forge out there and many books to show you how to build and use them. My forge was made of scrap steel from my workshop and the local recycling centre.

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Child rocker

Almost ten years ago when I was in Poland, I saw the general concept of this rocker in the background of a magazine photograph. It always stuck in my mind as something I wanted to make.

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Cradle Boat

When I got the news that I was going to be a father of a baby girl I thought that maybe I could get out of redecorating the baby’s room if I embarked on a special project under the house. The idea of building a cradle boat was inspired by photos in an old magazine so I went bought a copy of The Expectant Father’s Cradle Boat Book. But the boats were either very basic or so intricate I’d be lucky to finish it in time for her 21st birthday.

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The making of pattern damascus

The process of making what is commonly known as damascus steel has, in some ways, been a little shrouded in mystery. If you try to make damascus remember it is a process. You may not have instant success but look at what you are doing and try to evaluate what you may change in order to “get it right.”

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A shed full of dirt bikes

Getting off road on a motorbike and racing against others on the dirt is an adrenalin sport
and fun activity that’s been enjoyed by many for the last 100 years. It’s nothing new; the thrill of dirt bike racing goes back to before World War I, when motorbikes first became popular.

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The Bike Dude

Many people of the baby boomer generation will recall the freedom kids had in days gone by. You hopped on your bike and headed off to find your mates to explore and have fun. Building huts, playing cowboys and Indians, forming gangs, co making bows and arrows, playing war games, catching tadpoles, climbing trees—the only rule was to be home in time for dinner.

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Space to grow

New Zealand’s space programme sounds like an amusing caption or billboard slogan but Rocket Lab’s Peter Beck is absolutely serious about making our small country a leader in the commercialisation of space.

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Building a gantry crane

When I was asked to clean out my late father-in-law’s workshop, I knew that it would not be an easy task. My father-in-law was not one to suffer from an iron deficiency and his workshop was proof of the amazing amount of equipment you can fit into an otherwise-ordinary, prefabricated metal garage.

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The gas bottle story

With a gas welding set or your own MIG or TIG welder at home in your workshop or shed, you need to understand gas cylinders and how you need to look after them.

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Wood Turning

FOR A SPECIAL piece of wood craft in the home, a smoothly finished bowl with its rough natural bark retained on the rim will always have extra appeal. The best timber for this kind of bowl is any fruit tree, the flowering cherry tree, olive tree or any tree with not too thick bark. Pohutukawa is a good wood, but the bark is fragile.

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Catalina dreaming

Anyone flying into New Plymouth airport may look twice at a hangar on the western end of the airfield with an unusual tail of a large aircraft poking out. Few would realise what’s within: ZK-PBY, a 1944 Catalina flying boat, the only airworthy one in New Zealand and a remarkable aircraft with a remarkable history.

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Build a simple casting furnace

SOME TIME ago I decided to resurrect an old three-wheel bandsaw from wood-cutting to metal-cutting. This entailed changing the blade and, more importantly, changing its cutting speed. I sat down and worked out a simple system involving the change of a pulley for a larger one.

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