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Woodwork

The art of coachbuilding

Many of the old crafts that had been around for centuries have been almost lost in our modern age. Among them are the crafts of those who used hand tools and tapped into centuries of passed-down knowledge, the blacksmith, the wheelwright and the coachbuilder.
Coachbuilding with wood has been around for more than 500 years. The restoration of vintage cars is helping keep this craft alive in New Zealand—just—and there are only a few people here who still have these skills. One is Neil Carter of Normanby in South Taranaki. He specialises in restoring veteran cars (made before the end of 1918). These vehicles had wooden frames and bodies made by coachbuilders in the days when the horse and carriage ruled the highways.

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Wooden toys – make a Flintstones’ Car

The toys are made from kiln dried, pine, kindly donated. PVA glue holds everything together. I avoid metal hooks or eyes, which may be unscrewed or cause injury. The toys are undercoated, painted with acrylic paint and finished with a coat of Polycrylic ™which gives a gloss finish for cleaning.  I find the Resene™ test pots a worthwhile ‘investment’.

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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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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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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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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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Electronic, mini wooden Christmas trees

That original version of this project used 3 mm light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and no printed circuit board. Because of its size, it was tricky to wire and not so easy for a novice to construct. But the version of the project being followed here has been updated and adapted for easy construction.

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Recycled rimu outdoor chair

I have almost always used recycled rimu for my chairs as it is easy to obtain and relatively cheap to buy. It seems to last for ever and once the finish has weathered a little it has that rustic look.
Buying recycled rimu from second-hand building supply dealers has the advantage that you can get it when you want it, you can pick and choose the actual sticks you buy and it comes de-nailed.

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Go your own way: Have fun making your own coffin

As the saying goes, there are only two certainties; death and taxes. While we can do little about the latter, we can at least be prepared for the former. That is the motivation behind the group that gathers every Wednesday in a former warehouse in Rotorua

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