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Metalwork

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Make your own telescope

This a project to make a popular Newtonian-design reflector telescope with a Dobsonian mount. The principle of the telescope is to collect light and then magnify the image. The light from a distant object (a star or planet) is gathered by the mirror and brought to a focal point. The eyepiece is used to focus and enlarge the image. By changing the eyepiece, we can increase the magnification and the size of the image. The larger the objective or mirror the more light it can gather and therefore you can use a higher magnification eyepiece.

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Metal with pictures

The basics of engraving are not too difficult and can be mastered with perseverance. However, as with anything, it takes practice to achieve true dexterity and ability. There is nothing more beautiful, timeless, exacting or lasting than a craftsman’s engraving. The best way to begin is to give it a go.

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Man of metal

Metal is Bill Martel’s passion. He realises his own dreams in metal and those of his customers out of a very large “shed” in Plimmerton, the engine room of his business, Metalmorphic.
During 17 years of high-precision work, he and his team have made all sorts of furniture, balustrades, ornamental light shades, and more, even a 17th-century wrought iron sundial, four metres in diameter, which they “cut up into little pieces” and reassembled to correspond with the southern hemisphere.

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