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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.


Backyard Forge

THIS IS ONE of the very basic forges for heating metal bars. There are many other types of forge out there and many books to show you how to build and use them. My forge was made of scrap steel from my workshop and the local recycling centre.


The making of pattern damascus

The process of making what is commonly known as damascus steel has, in some ways, been a little shrouded in mystery. If you try to make damascus remember it is a process. You may not have instant success but look at what you are doing and try to evaluate what you may change in order to “get it right.”


Building a gantry crane

When I was asked to clean out my late father-in-law’s workshop, I knew that it would not be an easy task. My father-in-law was not one to suffer from an iron deficiency and his workshop was proof of the amazing amount of equipment you can fit into an otherwise-ordinary, prefabricated metal garage.


The gas bottle story

With a gas welding set or your own MIG or TIG welder at home in your workshop or shed, you need to understand gas cylinders and how you need to look after them.


Build a simple casting furnace

SOME TIME ago I decided to resurrect an old three-wheel bandsaw from wood-cutting to metal-cutting. This entailed changing the blade and, more importantly, changing its cutting speed. I sat down and worked out a simple system involving the change of a pulley for a larger one.