Latest news and features

The Good Wood: Macrocarpa

Macrocarpa (Cupressus macrocarpa or Monterey cypress) is a native of Southern California that like another Californian species from the same Monterey area (Pinus radiata) found New Zealand to be a more comfortable environment and thrived here. It grows faster and larger here than in its native environment, possibly due to the lack of pathogens that beset it in its home environment. 

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It lives!

Back in early March of 2018 a Sheddie was challenged to rebuild a Johnson 25 HP outboard motor that has been stored as a box of parts for 44 years. A few weeks later…

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The Shed Issue 78, May/June 2018

In The Shed issue 78, May/June 2018 we meet two Sheddies who are restoring, preserving and upgrading valve radios. We head to Whanganui to meet Graham and Val Hawtree who are avid vintage radio buffs then to Retro Radios in Dannevirke who restore valve radios bringing most into the 21st century with Bluetooth and USB upgrades.
 

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Getting Real: Taxidermist

As a six year-old John Ward of Taranaki saw a pheasant mounted on display in a Stratford sports shop window and he desperately wanted it or one like it. “I would have done anything to get that pheasant,” he said. 

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Ramping it Up: Make a pair of ramps for home car maintenance

This story comes about because of a mishap with my trusty car ramps which I had for more than 20 years. They were a clever pressed-steel design, a product of Spedding Ltd, one of the country’s original importers and wholesalers who took on manufacturing as a response to the import restrictions and import licensing laws of the time.

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The Shed issue 77, March/April 2018

In the March/April 18 issue (#77) Jude revisits some good practices re harvesting rainwater. He gives some solid advice on how to set up your own system to collect rainwater, keep it clean and talks about some innovative products to help you get the best results.
 

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Home Brewing: Two Recipes

For his 21st birthday, Allister van Mil asked his parents for a business suit and a business opportunity. His mother chose him a nice suit and then the chance of a home brew shop came up.

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Building an Acoustic Guitar

Building an acoustic guitar is a very satisfying project that is within reach of most people with a modicum of woodworking experience. I have speed-built a guitar within a week, but for a more considered approach it is more usual to take three to four weeks. 

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Hot stuff – Gas bottle stoves

You can’t do that! You’ll kill yourself!” said the hippy to the gypsy as he began slicing  into into an LPG gas bottle with a four-inch grinder. Sixteen years ago, self-styled “hipsy” Stuart Guy found himself spending his first South Island winter in an un-insulated house truck.

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The Shed, January–February 2018, Issue 76

In the January/February Issue 76 of The Shed, we decide the best way to enjoy summer is to create some outdoor fires that Sheddies can happily build themselves. Jude builds one for a measly $200 out of Corten steel and we follow the build of a block kitset fireplace that takes less than two days to set up. David Blackwell visits the Melbourne Working with wood show and we meet Des Thomson of Christchurch who endless skill-set sees him build a unique pod for his small campervan. His skills will astound you. 

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New tools: drill press revolution

The drill press is one of those tools that we all take for granted. Its design hasn’t changed in a hundred years: a chuck on a spindle that is spun by a sequence of belts and pulleys. Now a New Zealand company, Teknatool, has thrown that out with the launch of a revolutionary new concept that has implications for machine-tool technology across the board.

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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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Free Wheeling

New Zealand has been slow to adopt the electric bike revolution that is sweeping the globe but a couple of keen Kiwis (and a Canadian) are using their ingenuity to create e-bikes with a difference.

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Simple Solution

Hydroponics is all about growing without soil. In many ways this simplifies the lot of the gardener, but it gives them added responsibility for providing plants with the right level of nutrients. As water with nutrients tastes, feels and looks much the same as plain water, a testing instrument called an “EC meter” or “CF meter” is used.

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Bend it

How often do we need to bend sheet metal, but are put off because of the drama involved? We may turn to a couple of bits of angle iron fitted into the jaws of a bench vice and try to exert even pressure as we fold the metal. I’ve done this and felt less than satisfied with the results.

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Rub-a-Dub-Dub

Chris decided the solution was build an outdoor bathroom featuring two baths so he and Meg could both enjoy a long soak together.

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Make a Tidy Charging Station

There are two sure things in modern life (and no, not death and taxes): they are technology and cables. Lots and lots of cables. Some are used for interconnecting devices such as HID or human interface devices, a computer mouse, keyboards and the like. In many cases, wireless technology is thankfully removing the umbilical tether.

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Three – Phase Grunt

When a friend at Metpresco Engineering offered Jason Clarke an old, universal tool and cutter grinder for his garage workshop, Jason had to think about how he could power it. 

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Big Wheels

If there’s one sort of person that cannot resist a challenge that’s a Kiwi backyard inventor. When a mate sent Dave Hunger an internet photo of a giant wheeled contraption and a challenge to reproduce it, Dave rose to the task.

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High-fliers in Waikato

Don’t try this at home. In the town of Niagara Falls, you are heading along a street. You suddenly overfly a car, then a bicycle travelling along a path near the water. In an instant you are over the lip of Niagara Falls. In a scary moment you find yourself looming over the precipice and then zooming away across the face of the thundering water.

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Instead of watching television

“You must have too much time on your hands.” That’s what people often say when they see my model cars. I’m never really sure what to reply, because it’s something I do instead of watching television or building the real thing. But the question I get asked the most is how long it took to build.

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