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Projects

Model Engine Sparkplugs

When I left school I took on an apprenticeship at William Cable in Wellington. Unknown to me at the time, this opportunity would lead to a life-long interest in model engineering. My apprenticeship gave me a wonderful grounding in all aspects of engineering.

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Fire in the beer can

In my search on the Internet for alternative cooking appliances, I happened to stumble on this little gem made from two aluminium drink cans. It appears to be doing the rounds and there are many variations out there.

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Knifemaking

This is not meant to be a rule for making knives as I don’t believe there is one, but merely a guide to give you an insight or get you started on making your own. This is my way, adapted from many hours of reading books, watching movies, making knives and making mistakes and this works for me. So have a go, use this guide and enjoy the work and the result.

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Woodwork bench (2)

Right so now that your back from your warm sunny Pacific Island holiday—taken to recover from making the benchtop and frame—it’s time to get working on the vice. What we have on our hands is a beautiful little project of reasonable complexity that demands accuracy, uses both hand and machine-skills and is incredibly satisfying both when making it and using it.

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Woodwork Bench (Part 1)

Why a cabinetmaker’s bench? Since the founding of the Centre for Fine Woodworking, we have built benches especially to meet our needs. The bench is fundamental in its role within any workshop and we feel the higher the quality the bench is, the more care will be taken in its use.

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Recycled rimu outdoor chair

A simple and easy to make outdoor chair can add considerably to the aesthetics and usability of your garden or entertaining area. Over the last 15 years, I have made more than ten for my home and the homes of my family.

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Enamel Pendant

Enamelling is an ancient craft which offers contemporary interpretation. Layers of specially formulated, coloured ground glass are fused to metal in a kiln at high temperature. There is a lifetime of possibilities and techniques to explore. I will concentrate on how to make a simple cloisonné pendant in silver and enamel. Almost the same procedure can be followed if copper is used, and personalising the design will make the project special to you.

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Installing an automatic gate

When Karl Bishop had finished fixing and painting the fence on his newly acquired house he knew he needed to finish it with a gate. A gate would allow the dog to roam safely and it would add an element of security.

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Build Small Boat Trailer

TO BUILD A SIMPLE trailer for a small light, runabout of 10ft to 13 ft long by about 5ft wide (3-4 metres long by up to 1.5 metres wide) this design is ideal. It is suitable for a dinghy, tinny, Parkercraft or even your children’s yacht. You can adapt this economical design, but componentry is not cheap, so keep it simple if you want it to remain as affordable as possible.

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Cufflinks for an occasion

THIS PROJECT will explore how to produce a cast textured surface and use it to make a pair of monogrammed cufflinks. The textured face of the cufflinks can be produced in two ways. For the first way you will need some sculpture wax, available from Regal Castings tool department.

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Gantry crane for model railway

STEPPER MOTORS are to conventional DC motors as computers are to calculators – in other words, much moresophisticated. The ability of stepper motors to specify rotation precisely both by velocity and angle opens new doors for movement control. The downside is that to get the most out of these little beauties, you need ancillary digital-pulse control circuits, a fact which may deter some sheddies from exploiting their numerous advantages.

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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.

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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.

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Child rocker

Almost ten years ago when I was in Poland, I saw the general concept of this rocker in the background of a magazine photograph. It always stuck in my mind as something I wanted to make.

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Cradle Boat

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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