Projects

Create a sterling silver pendant

You might well think a charming silver pendant is something best left to a professional, a master craftsman – and not a DIY project for your shed. But that does not mean you can’t make an impressive piece of jewelry, so long as you take a logical and careful approach.

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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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A versatile set of drawers

I have constructed this project to demonstrate the concept of modular design for a set of drawers.
A modular concept allows you to design drawer space to fit your needs. You can add on or change the layout to suit, or you could mix them with shelves to make up modules to fit an awkward space or just to express your creativity.

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The making of Gloribelle

A replica steam engine that made its first appearance at the Glenbrook Vintage Railway near Auckland in 2013 was much more than just another piece of interesting machinery. Built to mark 300 years since what was believed to be Thomas Newcomen’s first engine, made in 1712, it celebrates an invention that contributed significantly to the industrial revolution.

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Turning out a crescent clock

A crescent clock looks at its best if it is made from a stylish native timber.
For this project, I used a kauri block. When you come to select the wood which will be prominently on display in the living room or dining room, for preference choose a piece of timber that has a distinctive grain.

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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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A garden arch in a weekend

A garden arch can add a little class to an entrance or gateway or serve as a base upon which to grow a climber or climbing rose. It adds some structure to a garden environment.
The beauty of this arch is that it can be made in a weekend. This arch is very simply constructed but its design can be endlessly varied to suit the whim of the landscaper. It’s quite possible to use this with four posts and form an entrance.

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This cradle rocks

When I got the news that I was going to be a father of a baby girl I thought that maybe I could get out of redecorating the baby’s room if I embarked on a special project under the house.
The idea of building a cradle boat was inspired by photos in an old magazine so I went bought a copy of The Expectant Father’s Cradle Boat Book. But the boats were either very basic or so intricate I’d be lucky to finish it in time for her 21st birthday.

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Installing sliding doors

French doors give a house much readier indoor-outdoor flow, especially when they open onto a deck. The old villa being renovated for this project had existing French doors leading from the back of the house to the outside.
However, the owner wanted a wider, more user-friendly opening and the answer was a bigger set of doors. The doors in this project are unusual

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A matter of time

I purchased all the brass sheet and rounds required, plus a main-spring, brass bolts, and screws of the various sizes needed.
Now where to start on the clock?
I carefully read and followed the order and instructions of the book. If the instructions are not adhered to, many anxious moments and frustrations will follow.

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This  is the nail

Merry Christmas to all our Shed magazine readers and website fans. The Shed is taking a few weeks’ break from posting content but we are hard at it prepping the next issue of the magazine whilst we grab a bit of summer R&R.
Have a great summer holiday and enjoy that extra time now available to you for your special projects. However, before you get stuck into any home maintenance projects, have a quick read of this poem by one of our Shed favourite writers, Rod Kane. You may just decide to have a beer instead.

This is the nail
..that sparked all my fears
Of maintenance imperative, painting, repairs
The portico leaked, just a rusty old nail
But it wasn’t just one, the whole roof was a fail
So up there I goes and a…

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