Latest news and features

Calling all skilled model makers and miniaturists

The New Zealand Maritime Museum in Auckland is currently seeking skilled model makers and miniaturists to volunteer in their fully equipped Model Maker’s Workshop.
The museum has embarked on an ambitious project to build a replica model of Captain Cook’s HMS ENDEAVOUR, to commemorate the 250th anniversary since the first onshore meetings between Māori and Europeans.
The museum estimates it will take a team at least 2000 hours to complete the build of the model.

Read More »

An engine imagined

“The sound of that Pearse wing destroying itself in a matter of seconds as it tore itself apart in a chain reaction fashion on the 14th September in 2012 at Whenuapai Air Base is a sound that I don’t think any of us will forget for a long while.” Retired Air New Zealand captain, Neville Hay as test pilot was not apprehensive but noted, “You have to think about everything you do. You can’t rely on memory of flying the plane.”

Read More »

Black oxide finish

The particular process we are looking at in this article does not effectively alter the dimensions of the part as it etches into the surface rather than deposits on top. Black oxide finish is sometimes called parkerizing and it is common on components such as gun barrels because it does not involve high enough temperatures to cause distortion and there is no dimensional change.

Read More »

The Shed, May/June 2019 issue no 84, in shops now

In the May/June 2019 Issue 84 of The Shed we share the amazing skills on one Daniel Strekier who built himself his own extraordinary bicycle… almost entirely out of wood!
It really is something to behold and you just have to sit back and admire the skills that went into making this incredible piece of usable art.
Jude Woodside sits down with Brent Sandow and gets all the background on this, NZ’s most accomplished knifemaker, who shares his inspirations and skills with us.

Read More »

Build a rocking horse

I made the prototype of this rocking horse more than 15 years ago not having the recipient present to measure against I approximated the sizes. It was a good fit…for me, but sadly not for a potential junior jockey. The next model I attempted was suitably scaled to a more appropriate size and with a few refinements is presented here

Read More »

Totally transparent

Chance is a fine thing. When Myke Bakker’s mother decided to do a leadlight course when he was a high school student and brought the tools home, she unwittingly set on course a chain of events that would influence the direction of her son’s life.
“I was fascinated by the whole process and started mucking around,” says Myke. “I made my first leadlight when I was 17.”
Fourteen years later, Myke is still intrigued by the many possibilities of working with glass and he’s made a career out of it in the process. He is one of a small team who work at Sauvarins Coloured Glass Studio in Auckland’s Penrose specialising in all things glass.

Read More »

New Kiwi TV show – Start me up

Start me up is the world’s first car show based on the phenomenon of “cold starting” – an online craze where cars that haven’t run for years or more – typically decades have their engines fired up or “cold stated”.
Screening now on TVNZ On Demand and soon on the Duke channel. Click ‘Read more” to get the full rundown on the show.

Read More »

The sound of silence

Tusk, a brand offering a range of ‘cutting solutions’ — including demolition-grade blades which go through nails and even stainless bolts — also markets a 185 mm ‘reduced noise emission’ circular saw blade they are calling the Tusk Silent Timber Blade. Reduced noise emission, yeah, but silent?

Read More »

A summer 2019, sheddie’s tale

Back in the early ‘70s, an Auckland bloke gets hold of a 25 hp Sea Horse Johnson outboard motor – it’s knackered but it has potential.
He takes it all to pieces, orders all the bits to get it up and running again then wraps it up, bits and all, in a New Zealand Herald newspaper and packs it in a box, presumably as a rainy day project. For reference, the outboard is from 1970 and the Herald is from December 1975.

Read More »

A racy go kart

First off, we had to come up with a basic design under the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) rule, keeping in mind the fact that the kids are getting older and harder on the gear. So I decided that easily replaced components were a key at this stage. Number One son is only going to get taller and no doubt half the neighbourhood would want to have a crack at setting the fastest lap around the street, so we had to include an adjustable one-size-fits-all seat in the design.

Read More »

Fire in the beer can

The cans energy drinks come in are a tad on the small side for this project. Scribe a line completely around each can 30 mm up from the base. Cut along this line with an ordinary pair of scissors. The idea is that the bottom section of one can forms the base of your stove.

Read More »

The art of coachbuilding

Many of the old crafts that had been around for centuries have been almost lost in our modern age. Among them are the crafts of those who used hand tools and tapped into centuries of passed-down knowledge, the blacksmith, the wheelwright and the coachbuilder.
Coachbuilding with wood has been around for more than 500 years. The restoration of vintage cars is helping keep this craft alive in New Zealand—just—and there are only a few people here who still have these skills. One is Neil Carter of Normanby in South Taranaki. He specialises in restoring veteran cars (made before the end of 1918). These vehicles had wooden frames and bodies made by coachbuilders in the days when the horse and carriage ruled the highways.

Read More »

Wooden toys – make a Flintstones’ Car

The toys are made from kiln dried, pine, kindly donated. PVA glue holds everything together. I avoid metal hooks or eyes, which may be unscrewed or cause injury. The toys are undercoated, painted with acrylic paint and finished with a coat of Polycrylic ™which gives a gloss finish for cleaning.  I find the Resene™ test pots a worthwhile ‘investment’.

Read More »

A home-made Kontiki built from scratch

Over the years I’ve tried sails, kites, giant bags, kayaks and surfboards to get hooks out where the fish are. After watching torpedos on the beach, I find it is now obvious that there really is only one way and it requires 12 volts and a motor.
Of course every challenge is only really about what you can learn in the process, so I set about building a kontiki torpedo and winch from scratch for as little as I could. I had to enlarge my capabilities especially in aluminium casting, plastics forming and in electronics.

Read More »

Calling all agricultural innovations

Entries are open for the Fieldays Innovations Awards, a unique chance for agricultural innovators to test their ideas, gather information, launch products, and make connections.
Award categories include the Prototype Grassroots, for new innovations, the Prototype Established, which recognises product development, Launch NZ, which is for innovations ready to go to market, and International for launching innovations globally

Read More »

Build a small steam engine – part two

Although daunting at first, it is fairly logical if tackled a small step at a time. The use of a lathe is desirable but with a little lateral thinking it would be possible to make it without one.
First the cylinder is made from a short length of 12 mm round brass rod. Mount this in the three-jaw chuck of your lathe and face off one end. When turning brass it is necessary to grind the tool with a negative rake (see diagram). Brass is extremely brittle and the point of a tool bit with a positive rake would bite and snap off, being thinner and weaker.

Read More »

The Shed, March/April issue no 83 on sale now

In the March/April 2019 Issue 83 of The Shed we get stuck into that huge home job that, when you do yourself, can save you thousands of dollars – house painting.
We talk to to the paint and filling product manufacturers to get all the latest technical info and arm you with advice on how best to undertake this very important part of home maintenance. With the current paints, technology and fillers you will learn techniques and methods that may amaze you.

Read More »

Building a small steam engine – part one

Originally devised as a plaything for young boys, they quickly became the sort of toy that a lad was only allowed to play with on special occasions. They returned for a brief period of popularity during the 1960s and 1970s but even then were more adornments for a bookcase rather than well-used toys. This was probably due to the exorbitant cost of the product rather than any regard for safety.

Read More »

Shed 81 subscriber prize winner

One of our favourite jobs here at The Shed magazine is giving stuff away to our loyal subscribers. So here is the lucky winner of our subscription prize in Issue 81, a stunning Charmate Offset Smoker Pack worth $1300, is Dennis Hastie of Taranaki. Congratulations Dennis, time for you to go low & slow cooking.
If you want to get in on our subscriber prize draws head to https://magstore.nz/…/the-shed-magazine-subscription-options to sign up.

Read More »

Make a king-single wooden bed

I have used a lot of beech for furniture over the years but sadly the quality of what I can now obtain has deteriorated. I now need to spend considerable time selecting the timber at the supplier’s yard. The staff are always accommodating and let me pick through the racks as I gradually load my trailer. The cost of the beech plus the pine for the bottom slats was around $450.

Read More »

Build the best smoker

Some time back I built the excellent pizza oven featured in this fine magazine and it provided weeks of building pleasure. We have had many evenings of entertainment where we cook everything in it we can think of (in the learning stages, I use the term “cooking” very loosely).
It was almost a shame to finish it and I I have pined ever since for something like it. There are just so many pizza ovens you can fit in a backyard. As keen try-hard fisherman and someone who lives for spicy food, I wanted to get into smoking fish and salamis as well as cheese, sausages and hams, with taste and preserving the product being the main goals.

Read More »

Build an outdoor fireplace

An outside fire can be larger than the usual indoor version, though that consumes more wood. But it should have visual appeal and a certain “wow!” factor. I opted to make the opening 700 mm x 700 mm, so I can put on a reasonably chunky piece of ti tree without constant refuelling but also leave a few trees standing on the property. I made the hearth about 600 mm above ground level, as most people will be standing in front of it.

Read More »

How I decided to refurbish an old drill press

I regretted losing the Dyco as it was quite clear the newly acquired, imported machine I had purchased was nowhere near the quality. I bought the Tanner because I had an idea to build a small vertical slotting machine to cut small keyways and splines inside gears for my old motorcycles. I had made up a rather ugly prototype for a slotter as a proof-of-concept test which seemed to work OK.
But a very good friend of mine had recently built such a unit using an old unwanted drill press so this was the main motivation for this purchase.

Read More »

Casting aluminium wheels

This raises the possibility of casting wheels in aluminium. Casting aluminium is not as complicated as it may seem; common sense is the main ingredient. In the case of a tractor or traction engine which has two small and two much larger wheels, the contrast between the sizes is important. Further, the large wheels need to be wide but have thin tapered spokes.

Read More »

Make your own book

As a passion, my bookmaking is certainly the creative challenge for which I feel I’ve been preparing myself for many years. I still see myself as serving an apprenticeship at my Book Art Studios as there are so many areas of this fascinating art yet to be explored but I will continue to have many more hours following my bliss whilst I’m doing it.

Read More »

The Shed 82, Jan/Feb 2019 issue on sale now

In The Shed 82, the Jan/Feb 2019 issue, its time to join the low & slow cooking revolution – to do that we need to build our own offset smoker barbeque.
In our cover story this issue we showcase three sheddies from around the country as they have their own way of making a smoker just the way they like it. Two out of steel and one out of a wine barrel, yes, a wine barrel. We have all you need to know about low & slow cooking with rubs, woods, cuts – the lot. Get building, get smoking and get stuck in.

Read More »

Bend it

This design-and-make plan will enable you to make a small pan sheet metal folder that folds mild sheet metal from 18 to 26 gauge. With it, you’ll be able to fold “U” or “Z” sections or a lip on a sheet of metal. The way we’ve constructed the metal folder will also allow you to bend metal to more than 90 degrees—try that with two pieces of angle iron mounted in the vice.

Read More »

Next issue of The Shed

The new issue of The Shed is nearly here. Digital and print subscribers will start receiving their copies this coming Friday and it will be in the shops all over NZ next Monday, December 3.
To subscribe or to order a copy head to magstore.nz

Read More »

Make a simple outrigger canoe

To build it, I concentrated on the advice of most waka ama advocates: that the canoe should be made of locally available materials, quick to assemble on the launching area and very cheap to make.
This waka cost me less than $200 by using recycled material and left-over house paint for the finish. I did not work from plans but used a cardboard model that I made as a guide. The waka takes less than two minutes to assemble after we take it off its trolley.

Read More »

Diamond jubilee for boots that shine in the mud

Surprisingly, the modern Red Band gumboot is virtually identical to the original model, apart from the addition of a sponge innersole. Skellerup made the boots in its Woolston factory in Christchurch until the late 80s. It continues to make all the components and the boots are still handmade the same way in Skellerup’s factory in Jiangsu, China.

Read More »

Make a handy saw bench jig

I regularly need to cut a multiple number of short pieces on my saw bench for small box components, kids’ building blocks, small pieces for furniture etc. In the past I have clamped in place various contraptions to ensure each piece is the same length. It is difficult to hold small pieces to cut them accurately but this jig solves the problem. It attaches to the saw bench in seconds and probably takes longer to get out of the cupboard than to fit.

Read More »

Electronic, mini wooden Christmas trees

That original version of this project used 3 mm light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and no printed circuit board. Because of its size, it was tricky to wire and not so easy for a novice to construct. But the version of the project being followed here has been updated and adapted for easy construction.

Read More »

Forging ahead

When I came to select an old gas bottle for this project, the most likely candidate proved to be full of gas. Far too much gas to vent so having committed to making the forge I opted for the second-best option and bought a new bottle. At only $45 it wasn’t a huge outlay although I know that many of you will be shaking your heads at my frivolous wastefulness.
Buying a new bottle has one very handy up side: there is no volatile gas in the bottle. If there was then certain precautions are absolutely essential.

Read More »

Recycled rimu outdoor chair

I have almost always used recycled rimu for my chairs as it is easy to obtain and relatively cheap to buy. It seems to last for ever and once the finish has weathered a little it has that rustic look.
Buying recycled rimu from second-hand building supply dealers has the advantage that you can get it when you want it, you can pick and choose the actual sticks you buy and it comes de-nailed.

Read More »

Subscribers can win with The Shed

The odds of winning a subscription prize with The Shed are better than Lotto.
These three lucky subscribers each won a Karcher package of a water blaster and a wet vacuum worth $998 from The Shed Issue 80!

Read More »

Build a basic trailer- part two

The frame is braced by angle-iron cross members and has a sturdy, ply wooden deck. It’s best to use not less than 5-ply 12 mm minimum — in this case we have used 7-ply 17 mm. With minor variations, I have built a standard 1200 mm x 1800 mm (6ft by 4ft ) domestic trailer with a solid frame of rectangular hollow section (RHS) mild steel.

Read More »