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Metalwork

The balisong or folding knife

The balisong, also erroneously called the butterfly knife, has been around since approximately 1200 BC where it played a part in the Filipino martial art form, Escrima.
Although some commercially available ones have been around for many years, they never really caught on until the 1970s.
I know one knife-maker in NZ who makes balisongs exclusively. The reason for the balisong’s popularity: four pins, two handles, one blade. No springs, screws, rivets.

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The Shed, November/December 2019 issue no 87, in shops now

The November/December 2019 Issue 87 of The Shed, has a real electronics feel about it but there is also a lot here to keep all sheddies informed, entertained and well-skilled up.
Our cover story is about the goal of a Christchurch boat builder, architect, designer, sailor, Quentin Roake, to find a way to build waka in large numbers. He wants to recreate the appearance and characteristics of traditional craft in a modern version that is portable, durable, and economical to manufacture. Quentin has made it his mission to put Maori waka back on the water by marrying traditional knowledge with today’s technology

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On a scroll

Once, while browsing through an old wrought-iron design catalogue, Kim (the son of blacksmiths Ian Nielsen & Son) came across a peacock design and decided it would make a great after-hours project. It turned into a much bigger job than he anticipated with the finished 3 metre by 2 metre gate taking around a ton of steel and about three months to make.

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From scrap metal to cooking spit

It’s not my original idea. I used to live in Tutukaka and we’d go on 4WD rallies and claybird shoots in the backblocks where there was no power. It was a lot of fun. One time a guy turned up with a battery-driven spit and the idea stayed in my mind. You could take it where there was no power – I always said I would design something one day that worked with no power.

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Colour anodise that aluminium alloy

Aluminium alloys have one critical failing, for all their good qualities of lightness, conductivity and strength. They corrode. One way to guard against corrosion is to create a hard oxide film on an aluminium alloy by anodising

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The bronze age

Brought up in a family of artists, Rudi Buchanan-Strewe has tried to break the mould and, after work experience as a blacksmith, he completed a motorcycle apprenticeship at Classic Cycles in Upper Hutt. A move back to Auckland saw him working for Ken McIntosh on his Manx Nortons before deciding, about eight years ago, to give in to his genes and pursue his love of sculpture.

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Trade profile – Kiwispan

Shannon Jordan and Louise Simmons sold up in suburbia and bought a block of land in Ruakaka, Northland, three years ago. They planned to live in a caravan while planning and saving for their house. From this magazine’s point of view, they had their priorities right and decided to build a shed first.

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Lathe stop prevents scrap

I think most turners get frustrated with constantly having to stop the lathe and measure and re-measure the length along the bed as the work gets reduced.

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The Shed, September/October 2019 Issue 86, on sale now

In the October/ November Issue 86 of The Shed, we first head to Whanganui to meet blacksmith Josh Timmins.
Josh has his own way of making knives and axes and shows us how to make a Viking Knife starting with a piece of new steel right through to the finished product.
Then we head to…

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Build your own LPG-powered forge video

This brick forge is constructed from lightweight insulating firebrick. Known as a K26 brick it is available from Certec in Auckland.
These insulating fire bricks are rated to 1426°C and measure 230x115x75mm. They are commonly used to line foundry furnaces, forges, and kilns. These soft bricks can easily be cut to size with an ordinary wood saw, drilled to create burner openings, or routed to create channels.
Watch this video to see how we built this gas forge and an oil-powered version as well.
As featured in The Shed Issue 85

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A silver butterfly takes wing

If this design was being made in an art school, it would be stuck to a sheet of silver and the basic shapes cut from there. If a design was made this way in, say, 18 carat gold and the wing outlines (as here) made from 2.5mm thick metal, the outlay and waste material would be considerable from a 2.5mm-thick sheet of 18 carat gold plate. But we will make it like a professional craftsman who has to live in the real world where costs matter.

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On fire!

Over the last couple of decades I have made my share of braziers, fire pits, and pizza ovens out of anything from old truck rims to LPG cylinders. But my hands-down favourite for source material for fire containers is CNG cylinders.

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The Shed July/August 2019, Issue no 85, on sale now

Always wanted your own knife-makers forge? Well in the July/August Issue 85 of The Shed we show you how to make two differing styles, one using LPG power and one using used engine oil to create the heat. What a great way to dispose of old oil and both give great results without incurring huge build costs.

Then we…

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