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Woodwork

How to steam bend wood

This project to make a stool was developed as a way of introducing students to a number of basic
wood-bending and shaping techniques, whilst also giving experience in several useful applications of the router.
The stool consists of two legs in the form of continuous steam-bent hoops or arches, which are housed into matching radiused slots at either end of a curved seat. The legs are stiffened by the addition of smaller arches that fit between them and the centre underside of the seat. For the purposes of this article, I am going to focus on the steam-bending aspect involving the legs as that is the technique that woodworkers seem the most reluctant to try.

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Making your own campervan

Converting an ordinary van into a campervan is a project I have been talking about for some time.
As a retired technical teacher, I felt I had the necessary skills, and when a 2005 Kia Pregio van in excellent condition became available I decided to take the plunge.
The van is a 2.7 litre diesel, manual, with 26,000 km on the clock and a cargo space of 2.8 metres x 1.65 metres. My plan was to fit the space with two beds, one on each side. They can be expanded to a full-width bed using the foam backs of the seats supported on shortboards between the sides of the seats.

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Create this outdoor table using a chainsaw

This design for a macrocarpa slab table is a general design. There are variations and you could do the legs of the table differently, but the general rule is to keep it simple. My old man used macrocarpa for fence posts years ago and they’re still in good condition.
When I was cross-cutting, it didn’t take much to find out I liked macrocarpa. It has a lovely grain and I like working with softwood. It’s a softwood until it’s been sitting around for a year – that hardens it up.

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Build these honeyed Macrocarpa bar stools

I use dowelling for ease of construction, measuring and cutting as I go, and joining them to the stool with PVA glue. Place the dowels off-centre on the end of the rails, to avoid hitting the dowels coming into the legs at right angles.
The front and rear sections of the stool are put together separately then joined.

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Know the drill

There are so many varieties of building and engineering materials available these days it is likely that you will need a variety of drill bits in your workshop.
There are always a number of holes required to complete your projects at work, or more importantly those underway in the shed. We are going to cover some of the common products that are readily available from most DIY hardware stores and industrial suppliers, and also some items that you may have to ask for, or even
visit a specialist cutting tool supplier like Trade Tools to find.

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Making a classic chair

The Red Blue chair, designed in 1917 by Gerrit Rietveld, has become one of the most discussed chairs of all time.
It’s not too difficult to make this as a classic chair as it’s all straight boards, but the dimensions and placement are critical.

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A DIY farm gate

The classic New Zealand five-bar farm gate is not too difficult to make on-site when you need a new one. Few people might consider building farm gates, but they can be costly and heritage gates are quite expensive so it might be worth it to build your own.

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A road case to go

The photography department here at The Shed required a means to contain and move all our
studio lights as simply as possible.
The collection of lights and accessories is growing and it made sense to keep them all in a road case for transport and organisation. This I thought would also be a good opportunity to build a case
and might be a basis for those who need to make other custom cases for sound gear, tools, or guns.

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A versatile set of drawers

I have constructed this project to demonstrate the concept of modular design for a set of drawers.
A modular concept allows you to design drawer space to fit your needs. You can add on or change the layout to suit, or you could mix them with shelves to make up modules to fit an awkward space or just to express your creativity.

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Turning out a crescent clock

A crescent clock looks at its best if it is made from a stylish native timber.
For this project, I used a kauri block. When you come to select the wood which will be prominently on display in the living room or dining room, for preference choose a piece of timber that has a distinctive grain.

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A garden arch in a weekend

A garden arch can add a little class to an entrance or gateway or serve as a base upon which to grow a climber or climbing rose. It adds some structure to a garden environment.
The beauty of this arch is that it can be made in a weekend. This arch is very simply constructed but its design can be endlessly varied to suit the whim of the landscaper. It’s quite possible to use this with four posts and form an entrance.

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This cradle rocks

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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Installing sliding doors

French doors give a house much readier indoor-outdoor flow, especially when they open onto a deck. The old villa being renovated for this project had existing French doors leading from the back of the house to the outside.
However, the owner wanted a wider, more user-friendly opening and the answer was a bigger set of doors. The doors in this project are unusual

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Sawing with shush

If you haven’t heard these Tusk Silent Timber blades in operation you can’t fully appreciate what a difference they make. They are not silent but they are significantly quieter, and probably never squeal. These ultra-thin, deep-cutting, premium-quality saw blades are made especially for use on electric or cordless circular saws. They feature a patented sound

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