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Projects

A home-made Kontiki built from scratch

Over the years I’ve tried sails, kites, giant bags, kayaks and surfboards to get hooks out where the fish are. After watching torpedos on the beach, I find it is now obvious that there really is only one way and it requires 12 volts and a motor.
Of course every challenge is only really about what you can learn in the process, so I set about building a kontiki torpedo and winch from scratch for as little as I could. I had to enlarge my capabilities especially in aluminium casting, plastics forming and in electronics.

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Calling all agricultural innovations

Entries are open for the Fieldays Innovations Awards, a unique chance for agricultural innovators to test their ideas, gather information, launch products, and make connections.
Award categories include the Prototype Grassroots, for new innovations, the Prototype Established, which recognises product development, Launch NZ, which is for innovations ready to go to market, and International for launching innovations globally

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Build a small steam engine – part two

Although daunting at first, it is fairly logical if tackled a small step at a time. The use of a lathe is desirable but with a little lateral thinking it would be possible to make it without one.
First the cylinder is made from a short length of 12 mm round brass rod. Mount this in the three-jaw chuck of your lathe and face off one end. When turning brass it is necessary to grind the tool with a negative rake (see diagram). Brass is extremely brittle and the point of a tool bit with a positive rake would bite and snap off, being thinner and weaker.

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The Shed, March/April issue no 83 on sale now

In the March/April 2019 Issue 83 of The Shed we get stuck into that huge home job that, when you do yourself, can save you thousands of dollars – house painting.
We talk to to the paint and filling product manufacturers to get all the latest technical info and arm you with advice on how best to undertake this very important part of home maintenance. With the current paints, technology and fillers you will learn techniques and methods that may amaze you.

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Building a small steam engine – part one

Originally devised as a plaything for young boys, they quickly became the sort of toy that a lad was only allowed to play with on special occasions. They returned for a brief period of popularity during the 1960s and 1970s but even then were more adornments for a bookcase rather than well-used toys. This was probably due to the exorbitant cost of the product rather than any regard for safety.

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Make a king-single wooden bed

I have used a lot of beech for furniture over the years but sadly the quality of what I can now obtain has deteriorated. I now need to spend considerable time selecting the timber at the supplier’s yard. The staff are always accommodating and let me pick through the racks as I gradually load my trailer. The cost of the beech plus the pine for the bottom slats was around $450.

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Build the best smoker

Some time back I built the excellent pizza oven featured in this fine magazine and it provided weeks of building pleasure. We have had many evenings of entertainment where we cook everything in it we can think of (in the learning stages, I use the term “cooking” very loosely).
It was almost a shame to finish it and I I have pined ever since for something like it. There are just so many pizza ovens you can fit in a backyard. As keen try-hard fisherman and someone who lives for spicy food, I wanted to get into smoking fish and salamis as well as cheese, sausages and hams, with taste and preserving the product being the main goals.

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Build an outdoor fireplace

An outside fire can be larger than the usual indoor version, though that consumes more wood. But it should have visual appeal and a certain “wow!” factor. I opted to make the opening 700 mm x 700 mm, so I can put on a reasonably chunky piece of ti tree without constant refuelling but also leave a few trees standing on the property. I made the hearth about 600 mm above ground level, as most people will be standing in front of it.

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How I decided to refurbish an old drill press

I regretted losing the Dyco as it was quite clear the newly acquired, imported machine I had purchased was nowhere near the quality. I bought the Tanner because I had an idea to build a small vertical slotting machine to cut small keyways and splines inside gears for my old motorcycles. I had made up a rather ugly prototype for a slotter as a proof-of-concept test which seemed to work OK.
But a very good friend of mine had recently built such a unit using an old unwanted drill press so this was the main motivation for this purchase.

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Make your own book

As a passion, my bookmaking is certainly the creative challenge for which I feel I’ve been preparing myself for many years. I still see myself as serving an apprenticeship at my Book Art Studios as there are so many areas of this fascinating art yet to be explored but I will continue to have many more hours following my bliss whilst I’m doing it.

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The Shed 82, Jan/Feb 2019 issue on sale now

In The Shed 82, the Jan/Feb 2019 issue, its time to join the low & slow cooking revolution – to do that we need to build our own offset smoker barbeque.
In our cover story this issue we showcase three sheddies from around the country as they have their own way of making a smoker just the way they like it. Two out of steel and one out of a wine barrel, yes, a wine barrel. We have all you need to know about low & slow cooking with rubs, woods, cuts – the lot. Get building, get smoking and get stuck in.

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Bend it

This design-and-make plan will enable you to make a small pan sheet metal folder that folds mild sheet metal from 18 to 26 gauge. With it, you’ll be able to fold “U” or “Z” sections or a lip on a sheet of metal. The way we’ve constructed the metal folder will also allow you to bend metal to more than 90 degrees—try that with two pieces of angle iron mounted in the vice.

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Make a simple outrigger canoe

To build it, I concentrated on the advice of most waka ama advocates: that the canoe should be made of locally available materials, quick to assemble on the launching area and very cheap to make.
This waka cost me less than $200 by using recycled material and left-over house paint for the finish. I did not work from plans but used a cardboard model that I made as a guide. The waka takes less than two minutes to assemble after we take it off its trolley.

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Make a handy saw bench jig

I regularly need to cut a multiple number of short pieces on my saw bench for small box components, kids’ building blocks, small pieces for furniture etc. In the past I have clamped in place various contraptions to ensure each piece is the same length. It is difficult to hold small pieces to cut them accurately but this jig solves the problem. It attaches to the saw bench in seconds and probably takes longer to get out of the cupboard than to fit.

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