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Metalwork

Make a camper trailer

American teardrops first became common in the 1930s after DIY magazines such as Popular Mechanics published plans to build your own. The ultra-lightweight concept normally only sleeps a maximum of two adults in the cabin and has a small outside galley or kitchen at the back of the trailer. Often these campers weighed little more than 450kg and were very streamlined so were ideal for towing behind small cars or for long road trips.

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Making a ring roller

The solution was to use the offcuts and a cheap bottle jack to make a set of rollers that can bend the material into wide arcs. Since I had to buy the $39 jack, the budget was well and truly blown. But this ring roller will be useful for future projects.

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Building a 50cc mini-kart

The design is not intended to be a high-performance, go-anywhere vehicle. It is a school project and therefore there are a few compromises in the design. It is economical to construct, achievable and straightforward for average Year 12 students. I might add, with some guidance.
It is also intended that most, if not all, of the Tools4work Level 2 mechanical engineering standards can be assessed against this project. Some of the techniques described may seem unnecessary, such as using a surface plate and scribing block for marking out, the design of the bearing retainers, or the generous use of a Bramley tube bender.

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The Shed July/August 2020 Issue 91, on sale now

The July/August 2020 issue of The Shed, No. 91, has got something in it for every sheddie.
Even though there is something of a nautical theme to this issue, our cover story is on building a very powerful, vertical, hydraulic log splitter. Bill Stevenson from Christchurch walks us through the construction of his trailer-mounted log-splitting machine that was started prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, worked on during, and completed immediately after. A great effort.

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Building a Stirling engine

I always get a thrill at seeing one of my engines running for the first time. It was especially true for this one because I had had no previous experience in making such an engine. The engine runs at about 600 RPM with a good differential between the hot and cold ends of the displacer tube.

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Video of Cowper Trucks from The Shed Issue 90

In this issue of the magazine we featured the trucks and workshop of Dan Cowper of Cowper Trucks in his shed just outside Whanganui.
Check out this video where Dan gives us the background to his business and how he builds his go anywhere, do anything, V8-powered, 4×4 vehicles.

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Make useful trammels

A trammel is a really useful item to have when you need to mark a curve onto sheet metal, plywood, MDF, plasterboard, or even a paved surface when painting lines for a netball court.
Sure, you can use a pencil and a piece of string but there can be a variation due to the angle that the pencil is held and differing tensions on the string. A trammel will easily produce an accurate arc.

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Installing an automatic gate

With the benefit that he worked for an engineering workshop, Karl knew that making the gate wasn’t likely to be a problem. He didn’t want an elaborate gate, rather one in keeping with his house that would tone in with his existing wooden fence.

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Pipe bender that curves flats

But a pipe bender has no other use and that is too bad because it is a large expensive tool.
I wondered if the heavy 12-ton bottle jack could be used for some other purpose. Once I had inspected it, it seemed reasonable to modify the bender so that it could be used to bend flats as well as pipe.

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The Shed May/June 2020, Issue 90, is on sale now

Issue 90 of The Shed has a treat for lovers of fast off-road action. We visit the shed of Cowper Trucks who make world-beating 800hp 4×4 off-road race vehicles. Built strong, tough, and powerful from a shed outside Whanganui, this is automotive engineering at its best.

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Video of Ray Woodhouse, artist and sculptor from Raetihi

From his shed on the Central Plateau in the North Island, Ray Woodhouse creates totally unique pieces that are more than sculpture and more than a lamp. They would be a truly special addition to any space you choose to place them in.
An artist who we featured in Shed 82, only started this type of work when he retired. Ray has a working shed than many sheddies will envy.

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Making a dirtsurfer

The real-life issue this all stemmed from was: “I wanted a dirtsurfer and I could not buy one in New Zealand. Therefore, I will have to design and make one myself.” At the same time, my students were able to record their technology practice and gain credits at NCEA Level 1.

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Knifemaking by Leif Haseltine

The design for this article is my everyday carry knife, a four-inch (100 mm) dropped hunter—an all-round knife whose blade is ample, large enough to skin that buck and small enough to carry all day without getting in the way.

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A scooter carrier for a campervan

Owning a campervan means you can take your house on holiday with you. The downside is you need to pack up your whole holiday site when you want to drive off and get some fish and chips for dinner. I considered towing a car behind the campervan but that was impractical. I use a scooter for commuting so the solution was obvious—put a scooter carrier on the campervan to give us an easy transport option on holiday.

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