The Shed Logo

Metalwork

Videos of metal shaping and motorbike guru, Steve Roberts

In the November/December issue 105 of The Shed, our cover story is on a Kiwi legend of metal shaping and motorbikes, Steve Roberts.
If you enjoyed that article here is a link to a website that has even more of Steve’s story as well as videos of the cars and bikes he has constructed and inside info from chats with Steve.

READ MORE »

How to repair a thread

Damaged and pulled threads can be an annoying inconvenience, especially a stripped spark plug thread. They can also be expensive if the equipment you are working on is vital or difficult to replace. But there are now systems with which you can repair even completely destroyed threads quickly and at a reasonable cost, so saving time and money.
Existing undamaged threads can also be significantly strengthened using these types of repair systems.

READ MORE »

Milling – showing restraint

In Part One of this series on the milling machine we put the milling machine in the workshop and had it levelled. Before you use the machine, it is important to check the alignment of the spindle. Then comes understanding the importance of preparing the workpiece. Work to be milled or drilled on the milling machine has to be set up so that it does not move during the job. This is one of the most important things you can do if you don’t want an important component or workpiece to end up as scrap because it moved.

READ MORE »

Build a portable barbeque

At home, I have a big barbecue in the backyard and a little barbecue upstairs on the balcony that I use when there are just two of us. This hibachi or portable barbecue would be ideal for just two although the grill rack is big enough for four or five steaks or chops and sausages. It can be made with scrap mild steel and a piece of cut pipe. You will find scrap bins at your local engineering works. Most pieces of metal under a metre seem to go in there. You could ask and many companies would be happy to help out, perhaps for a couple of beers.

READ MORE »

As tough as steel

The chemistry of steel determines why and how it should be tempered.
The potential hardness of a steel is determined by its carbon content. Adding small amounts of other elements to the mix can produce enormous improvements in strength, toughness, and
resistance to rust and the response of the steel to heat treatment.
Steels referred to as alloy steels have additional elements such as chromium, nickel, vanadium,
cobalt, manganese, molybdenum, silicon, and tungsten included.

READ MORE »

Assorted nuts

For our purposes, a nut is an internally threaded part which is rotated or screwed onto an externally threaded part such as a screw, bolt or stud. If you can pick it up in your hand and put it onto an externally threaded item and tighten it, it is a nut. There will be some exceptions to this which will become apparent.

READ MORE »

The Auckland Blade Show is back for 2022

The Auckland Blade Show is back, bigger and better than ever.
Come along to the Ellerslie Event Centre on the 24th and 25th of September to get your hands on the finest custom blades in the country. With over 30 makers exhibiting, we have hunting knives, kitchen knives, and even swords and axes.

READ MORE »

A mechanic turns to clocks

Ken England has been fixing clocks as a hobby in his Whakatane shed since the 90s.
Repairing a clock is not just a case of pulling it to bits, replacing parts then re-assembling, he tells me. “Everything works in sequence and has to be timed.”
He is a member of the New Zealand Horological Institute but was never a clockmaker by trade. What makes Ken “tick” and has given him the necessary clock-repair skills is the engineering know-how already in his background, a knowledge of how to machine parts, manufacture, and silver-solder.

READ MORE »

Know the drill

There are so many varieties of building and engineering materials available these days it is likely that you will need a variety of drill bits in your workshop.
There are always a number of holes required to complete your projects at work, or more importantly those underway in the shed. We are going to cover some of the common products that are readily available from most DIY hardware stores and industrial suppliers, and also some items that you may have to ask for, or even
visit a specialist cutting tool supplier like Trade Tools to find.

READ MORE »

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.

READ MORE »

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.

READ MORE »

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.

READ MORE »

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.

READ MORE »