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Projects

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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Rimu Dining Chair

Start by drawing a full-size plan of side elevation and seat plan. You will probably want to make at least four chairs so it is easier to measure angles and sizes and maintain consistency in measuring from a full-size plan. Make a template from 12 or 16 mm MDF or plywood for forming chair back legs directly from the plan shape. I have found the easiest and most accurate method is to punch holes with an awl or sharp point and simply connect up the dots.

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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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High flyer

What better way to introduce a legendary aircraft to another generation than through the universal medium of toys? While there are a number of limitations in a toy around scalability, safety, and complexity, I wanted to still give a firm nod in the direction of the original inspirational aircraft. A search of the internet yielded some basic plans of the original plane and images of recreations of the Sopwith taken from various angles.

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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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Build a barbeque trolley

BBQ season seems to come around faster and faster each year—not that it is a bad thing and sometimes I wonder if it ever really ends!
Each time I head out to the barbecue, it takes multiple trips to carry the meat, the vegetables, the implements, sauces and marinades, and obligatory chef’s beverage. Then there are never enough flat surfaces in the vicinity of the barbecue to keep everything organised.

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Make This Summer Cape Cod Chair

A chair with low-slung and raked back, and wide arms perfect for holding a drink seems to epitomise long, lazy afternoons. This design was created in the Adirondack Mountains of New York state where New Yorkers would take their respite from the hot humid summers of the city. It is also commonly called the Cape Cod chair

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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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