The Shed Logo
Search
Close this search box.

Tools

Hi-Q Toggle clamps

Toggle Clamps
When it comes to clamping, lever-action toggle clamps offer excellent power from a quick and easy motion and they are simple to install for ready access. Toggle clamps have a multitude of uses in engineering, metal fabrication, and woodworking. Hi-Q Components stocks a wide range of high-quality Turkish-made Kukamet toggle clamps including horizontal and vertical actions, latching or push–pull configurations with different mounting options, and even pneumatic versions.

READ MORE »

Customising your plane blade

In my previous article on sharpening a plane (“Sharpen up your plane blades,” The Shed magazine, Feb/Mar 2010 – also on this website) we worked on how to consistently produce a sharp, straight edge on our plane irons. Now that we have that skill in place it’s appropriate to look at how modifying that straight edge can allow us to achieve a range of differing results in our woodworking.
It is important to understand that what drives the modification of our cutting edges is what we want to achieve with them. Therefore after describing the shape of the plane blade, I’ve outlined four major tasks that we can achieve with the particular shapes our planes. Each requires progressive development of the edge “shape” so I recommend re-reading of the earlier article to get you on the starting blocks for this one.

READ MORE »

Locking in efficiency and innovation

In the world of furniture manufacturing, every detail matters. A new product revolutionising cabinet and furniture construction is the Peanut Connector. Available from Jacks, these unassuming yet highly effective furniture connectors are set to become an essential tool in the arsenal of modern cabinetmakers. Peanut connectors offer a host of advantages that speed up and simplify the assembly process, reduce material costs, improve the overall quality of cabinetry, and deliver a more contemporary slim-line look. Let’s explore these connectors and the numerous benefits they bring to the table.

READ MORE »

Cutting threads by hand

From time to time in the home workshop, you may need to make a new threaded hole for a bolt and create the threads on the bolt itself. It’s handy to know how to use the dies that are rotated onto a bolt blank to make these threads, and to know how to use the taps that create the threaded holes. This skill will be especially good for those interested in model engineering, go-karts or light engineering, but who have not been trained in the use of hand tools for making threads. 
There are many different thread sizes. These are made to international standards. In all cases, the size of a thread eg, 6mm or ½ inch and so on, is determined by the diameter of the rod or bar on which it may be cut.

READ MORE »

Make a model sheetmetal roller

Isn’t it always the case—you are working away in the shed with the latest project and you need some equipment or tool that you don’t have? I needed to roll some metal for the model project that I am working on and I had recently lost my access to a metal-rolling machine. The best answer was to make my own sheet-metal roller. I quickly realised there were a lot more future projects needing a rolling machine.

READ MORE »

Toggle clamps

Toggle Clamps
When it comes to clamping, lever-action toggle clamps offer excellent power from a quick and easy motion and they are simple to install for ready access. Toggle clamps have a multitude of uses in engineering, metal fabrication, and woodworking. Hi-Q Components stocks a wide range of high-quality Turkish-made Kukamet toggle clamps including horizontal and vertical actions, latching or push–pull configurations with different mounting options, and even pneumatic versions.

READ MORE »

Firewood sawhorse

I created this little project because I needed to cut firewood easily without someone to assist in holding the wood. Although not my own invention, it is an interpretation of pictures gleaned from the web and adapted to materials that you can buy easily in New Zealand timber yards. The whole project cost me $25 and took about an hour and a half to make. In anybody’s book that is value for money and time well spent.
It is essentially four crosses of timber braced to form a cradle for cutting your firewood.

READ MORE »

Build your own smoothing plane

Here is an outline for making a small steel and brass smoothing plane which looks similar in style and size to the common Stanley or Record No 3 size. There the similarities end.
The main differences are the blade is 5mm thick, it has a screw blade-adjuster but no back iron or chip-breaker. The screw-type cap is bronze and massive. The sole is 8mm thick and dovetailed to the 6mm thick brass sides. The knob is a refined version of the Stanley but the rear handle is a more radical departure. There is no frog. The blade is solidly bedded on a steel bridging piece which connects the sides to enhance rigidity and houses the swivelling adjuster mechanism, allowing for lateral adjustment of the blade.

READ MORE »

Video of power tool racing in Belgium

In late April, the city of Gent, Belgium, hosted the annual Gent Maker Fair (https://www.makerfairegent.be/nieuws), an exhibition dedicated to all the crazy inventions of makers in Belgium.
On the fair’s opening night of 30 April, the Belgian Power Tool Drag Racing Championship entertained the visitors in a one-off event.
Popular in many countries around the world, this is a spectacular race of electric ‘vehicles’ powered by 220VAC and built with one or two power tools such as drills, chainsaws, and any other kind of electric-powered hand tool. The only rule is that it must be a tool that can be used by hand.
In the next issue of The Shed, issue 110, I will give more detail on the challenge. If it sounds like your kind of fun, there is the option to participate in the 2024 event.

READ MORE »

How to repair a thread

Damaged and pulled threads can be an annoying inconvenience, especially a stripped spark plug thread. They can also be expensive if the equipment you are working on is vital or difficult to replace. But there are now systems with which you can repair even completely destroyed threads quickly and at a reasonable cost, so saving time and money.
Existing undamaged threads can also be significantly strengthened using these types of repair systems.

READ MORE »

Which air compressor?

Selecting the correct air compressor for a particular job should be a relatively painless exercise. The right choice will provide you with a useful machine that can last for many years, provided you maintain it well.
But far too often, choosing a compressor can come down to a random weighing-up of price, cosmetic appearance, or misinformation about the compressor’s specification. In fact, the most important thing to consider is the air consumption of any tool to be used with the compressor.
The saying, “You wouldn’t buy a Mini to tow a boat,” holds true. If the compressor is too small for the job, either the tool won’t work or the tool will work below an acceptable level

READ MORE »

Video of a restored 1910 Atlas power hammer

One of our favourite sheddies here at the magazine is Rudi Buchanan Strewe whose engineering shed we featured in issue 102. When we visited Rudi, he was restoring a 1910 Atlas power hammer. Here it is, restored, and up and running as good as new.

READ MORE »

Milling Part 3, cutting, clogging, and cleaning

Once your component is securely clamped (see “Showing restraint” Part 2, www.the-shed.nz), ensure the cutting tool is held correctly in its chuck or collet holder, keeping tool overhang or stick-out to a minimum. Being rigid and stable applies as much to tooling as it does to the workpiece. Drill chucks are NOT designed to take side loads induced by milling and are exclusively for drills. Milling cutters should be held in a collet chuck or other suitable holder.

READ MORE »

No more bad vibrations

Enjoy smooth, flawless performance with the wide range of anti-vibration mounts from Hi-Q Components. Manufactured from rubber and zinc-plated steel, the quality range includes male and female threaded mounts in a variety of metric thread sizes, from M4 to M16. The female and male anti-vibration mount sizes…

READ MORE »

Milling – showing restraint

In Part One of this series on the milling machine we put the milling machine in the workshop and had it levelled. Before you use the machine, it is important to check the alignment of the spindle. Then comes understanding the importance of preparing the workpiece. Work to be milled or drilled on the milling machine has to be set up so that it does not move during the job. This is one of the most important things you can do if you don’t want an important component or workpiece to end up as scrap because it moved.

READ MORE »