Projects

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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Fractul (or Lichtenberg) wood burners are not safe, do not build or use

WorkSafe NZ has contacted The Shed and advised us of two recent deaths of New Zealanders using a Lichtenberg wood burner. They have advised us that these electrical devices are not safe to use and are dangerous.
Do not build or use one of these machines under any circumstances as they are unsafe and can cause fatal injuries.
See this information on the Worksafe website https://www.worksafe.govt.nz/about-us/news-and-media/fractal-burning/

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Burning bright

Making a brazier is one of those things that I am sure every sheddie has at the back of their minds to create one day. It’s just that, as we know, “one day” takes its time arriving.
I have to admit that I am no exception to that rule. Even when the component parts presented themselves to me it took a while before I found the time to put into the project. Six truck brake drums that had outlived their useful life were the starting point, donated by the owner of a fleet who only asked that one of the braziers be made for him.

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A satisfying lidded box

The size and shape of the lidded box is limited only by the size of wood you have, and your imagination. Keep in mind that the size of the lid must please the design of the box as a whole. I usually strive to make the size of the lid approximately one-third of the total box size.

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Make your own mortar water feature

As far as Do-It-Yourself art goes, I believe this is probably the best value for money, extremely satisfying, not to mention therapeutic, and it can last for years outside or can be passed down through the generations. I now enjoy doing this for its own sake, too. When you come home tired from work, it can be very relaxing to pour a mould of mortar in a box, or using one you prepared previously, to just start shaping and sculpting.

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How to make jandals

First, we need a pattern for the sole. For yourself, stand on a suitable-sized piece of paper and have someone draw around your foot. It’s best to do so while you stand erect to give the maximum silhouette of your foot. The person marking must hold the pen perpendicular and be careful not to slant the pen under the arch of the foot or the heel.

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Electric bikes – taking care of business

Let’s face it e-bikes are everywhere and they are here to stay. If the thought of extra complications and potential breakdowns are putting you off buying one then you’re not alone. Would you like an e-bike that you can build and maintain yourself?
Something that goes better than most, is easy to service and diagnose with readily available parts and plenty of support is becoming a priority for a lot of people looking for an e-bike that won’t end up as landfill in a few years’ time.

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An elegant table with cabriole legs

Walnut is a great wood to work with and machines and finishes superbly. Timber like this deserves to be used in something special and this piece although it looks deceptively tricky is actually relatively straightforward and something that will be of use for generations. The elegant curves of a cabriole leg add an organic feel to a table.

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A dead accurate optical punch

An optical punch consists of a brass body with two holes through it, one for use, the other for storage, because there are two rods. One rod is the punch, the other a vertical magnifying glass made of a plastic rod. You look down the viewing rod at a dot marked on its base. You then move the whole apparatus around until you can see the point where you want to put a punch mark. Holding the brass body, you remove the plastic rod and drop the steel punch back into the same hole, then hit it. Result: a perfect, vertically punched mark, precisely on the spot.

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Is it a beer keg? No, it’s a hangi

It’s not every day that you come across a blindingly brilliant and deceptively simple use for a piece of gear that you just knew would come in handy one day.
When sheddie Stan Scott showed me his prototype portable beer keg hangi, I knew it was something that the world needed right now… like world peace.

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Installing a sash window

Old villas don’t necessarily have all the windows desirable for modern living.
In the project here, the homeowner wanted to install another window into an outside wall. The most effective method was to buy a window that was made by a joinery firm to match the existing window and create the hole in the wall to match.

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Modern man, ancient craft

Asked why he has spent the best part of 20 years producing garden trugs, besom brooms, bentwood log carriers, wooden pitchforks, and rakes, he says he’s always had an inbuilt love of wood, of trees and the desire to work with his hands. “I was brought up on a farm in North Otago and in the Moeraki village.
My parents valued things like gardening, sewing, and cooking, and being self-sufficient. And those values were inculcated in me.

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Make a simple toy truck

With toys, in particular, maintenance and reparability are important to ensure a long life. A broken plastic toy goes in the bin, whereas a well-designed wooden toy can make many trips to the repair shop over generations of play.

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Make a simple vacuum former

A vacuum former is a very handy piece of equipment to have around the home workshop.
It works quite simply: heated plastic is sucked rapidly and strongly over a pattern or formed shape. As soon as the plastic has set again, it retains the shape.

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A toddler’s table and chairs

You can follow the basic design in this article or design your own version. Once you have absorbed some of the basics of furniture-making, there is a great sense of satisfaction in designing and making your own. As an amateur hobbyist, I find the process is just as important as the finished product itself, so to check this I decided I would try to make a scaled-down version of an adult chair with a curved back.

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