Latest news and features

Make a swarf sump

It’s a hassle to clean out my workshop vacuum cleaner bag. Metal swarf tends to clip itself onto the fabric and I spend a lot of time picking off the bits individually.
Question: How to pick up small swarf in the workshop without sharp metal or other rubbish going into the vacuum cleaner bag?

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The Shed March/April 2020, Issue 89, in shops now

Issue 89 of The Shed has a great mix of projects and sheddie talents to enjoy.
Nigel Young records the build of a mega-sized spit roast BBQ. Built by the team at the Halswell Menzshed as a fundraising project, this big trailer-mounted gas-burning beast of a cooker can take a full-sized pig for those big gatherings or fund-raising projects.

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Flying high

A video of Harry aboard his flying fox went viral and the story was viewed more than 164,000 times on the New Zealand Herald’s Facebook page, prompting hundreds of comments full of admiration for the “real Kiwi man”. Reporters trudged to his door and the phone rang red hot with people wanting his opinions on everything from sanity to the secret to happiness.

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Distilling at home

One step up from home brewing your own beer is distilling your own spirits, whether whisky, vodka or a liqueur.
It’s okay to do this by law in New Zealand at home and for personal use although there are restrictions in Australia and many other countries

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Its hammer time

Making a hammer head is a project not really worth doing financially, given the cost of a handle alone vs. a new hammer and how easy it is to get an existing hammer and re-forge it to suit your special needs.
Having said that, mere project economics never stopped a true Sheddie.

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A message to Australian subscribers of The Shed

Your next issue of the magazine is not getting posted to you till January 8.
Our apologies for this late mailing but Christmas seems to have slowed down deliveries to our mailing house in Sydney.
We can assure though that the wait will be worth it.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the team at The Shed

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A set of easily made drawers

This easily made set of drawers may be just the answer in your home workshop and it can be made in a day. I have seen many versions of this set over the years and, because of its simplicity, it is easy to make the size and number of drawers to suit your particular requirements.

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Introducing Selleys Hold Up

Here’s a new product from Selleys that simply sticks almost anything without screws or clamps. Instantly hols even on vertical surfaces. Great product for those looking for an alternative to drilling and plugging walls etc.

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Get on yer (electric) bike!

The thought of having an electric bike is very tempting and makes the idea of reaching that café far more appealing but the cost of replacing your bike has you thinking twice about making the jump.
Besides being a bit dusty you have a good bike that cost a few dollars in its day and it seems a shame to banish it to the corner of the shed forever. What if you could turn your bike into an electric bike without breaking the bank?

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Size matters, but so do good looks

Philip Solomon has years of experience putting up large sheds and his top tip is that shed aesthetics are important.“A lot of people just focus on what they want to put in the shed until it goes up and then they say, ‘Oh, I don’t like that’,” he says.

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The Shed January/February 2020, Issue 88, in shops now

For many of us Kiwis, summertime can mean it’s time to dig out the family tractor. Because summer means beach-holiday time and using that good-old-boy tractor to get the fishing boat in the water as often as possible. To celebrate our love of old tractors, we head south to meet a tractor restorer from Oamaru, one Colin Harvey, who has shedfuls of tractors and spends all his time tinkering with and restoring some great classic farming workhorses.

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High time for high shine

The world-famous Autosol Metal Polish is available in an easy-to-use liquid formulation. It’s perfect for cleaning and protecting all metal surfaces on cars, boats, bikes, and around the home.

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Different Tusks for different tasks

Tusk offers three ranges of drills made from different grades of high-speed steel. Tusks metal drill bits are made from M2 high-speed steel with a titanium nitride (TiN) coating. The 135-degree point offers faster drilling, lower feed pressure and they have a split point or self-centering tip.

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Autosol Metal Polish

If you haven’t heard of Autosol, you have to try it. This incomparable metal polish has won three international gold medals and is recommended by manufacturers and restoration experts around the world. Autosol Metal Polish safely and easily removes oxidation, corrosion, stains and rust

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Make your own Kontiki for fishing

There are several New Zealand-designed and created fishing kontikis on the market but when I thought about having one, I wasn’t going to buy it.
I had the ability, so I did what any good Kiwi would do, I decided I would make one myself.

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Refurbishing my bench plane

The metal-based hand plane must be one of the most enduring and useful tools in the kit of any aspiring woodworker.
Those of us who take the hobby a little more seriously will have several of them and we will probably argue that we use them all. I have six or seven but have never bought one.

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Build a tipping trailer

When I first looked at building a tipping trailer, I wondered whether I would be building a trailer with a hydraulic cylinder under it, or fitting a hydraulic cylinder under a trailer. After due consideration, I realised that a trailer is a trailer, regardless of the frills.

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Climate control

As a project, a weather station is a great one for beginners and advanced woodworkers alike. It can be as simple as taking a really attractive piece of timber, sanding and finishing it to a high degree (even leaving the edges natural) and attaching one or more brass instruments to the surface.

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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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Photos from the 2019 Auckland Blade Show

This years’ show was held at the same venue as last year in the historic Parnell Comunity Centre at 545 Parnell Road on the weekend of 12 and 13 October.
Here are over 50 photos of the amazing Kiwi knifemakers’ products on display at the show. Keep an eye out for a full show report in the next issue of the magazine on sale in December.

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Weaving willows

Of the scores of varieties of willow commonly used in basket weaving, six grow on a 1000-square metre plot at the back of Mike Lilian and Annemarie Liesbeth’s house in the coastal settlement of Kakanui, 15 minutes drive south of Oamaru.
Mike has been making and selling willow baskets in dozens of styles since 1985.

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The balisong or folding knife

The balisong, also erroneously called the butterfly knife, has been around since approximately 1200 BC where it played a part in the Filipino martial art form, Escrima.
Although some commercially available ones have been around for many years, they never really caught on until the 1970s.
I know one knife-maker in NZ who makes balisongs exclusively. The reason for the balisong’s popularity: four pins, two handles, one blade. No springs, screws, rivets.

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The Shed, November/December 2019 issue no 87, in shops now

The November/December 2019 Issue 87 of The Shed, has a real electronics feel about it but there is also a lot here to keep all sheddies informed, entertained and well-skilled up.
Our cover story is about the goal of a Christchurch boat builder, architect, designer, sailor, Quentin Roake, to find a way to build waka in large numbers. He wants to recreate the appearance and characteristics of traditional craft in a modern version that is portable, durable, and economical to manufacture. Quentin has made it his mission to put Maori waka back on the water by marrying traditional knowledge with today’s technology

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Wa-ter rocket!

A pretty simple water rocket launcher using a few high-pressure PVC plumbing pipes, air and a soft-drink bottle with water in it will provide plenty of DIY fun and show some basic physics.
I built one for my eight-year-old’s Cub Scout group and have had lots of requests from fathers asking how to make one.

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On a scroll

Once, while browsing through an old wrought-iron design catalogue, Kim (the son of blacksmiths Ian Nielsen & Son) came across a peacock design and decided it would make a great after-hours project. It turned into a much bigger job than he anticipated with the finished 3 metre by 2 metre gate taking around a ton of steel and about three months to make.

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Christchurch Woodturners Association

On Saturday, 24 August 2019, the Christchurch Woodturners Association (CWA) finally saw its long-term dream come to fruition with the opening of its very own clubrooms on the Auburn Ave Reserve in Upper Riccarton.

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Getting a handle on veneer

This piece was originally designed as a bit of fun: a simple carcase construction with a handle detail that would provide me with a challenge while satisfying my passion for curvy, organic forms. I made the original version in maple with a bloodwood veneer. The contrast in timber and the handle detail made for a striking piece and I was commissioned to make another in cherry with birdseye maple veneer.

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From scrap metal to cooking spit

It’s not my original idea. I used to live in Tutukaka and we’d go on 4WD rallies and claybird shoots in the backblocks where there was no power. It was a lot of fun. One time a guy turned up with a battery-driven spit and the idea stayed in my mind. You could take it where there was no power – I always said I would design something one day that worked with no power.

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