Stocked

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Found a use for the cupboard overhead too- holds the overflow :)
Just had another thought- could also hold the beer steins & beer nuts. Not what I originally considered when I bought it, but that is par for the course! Now I just have to find a home for the dart board (and make the dart board cupboard).

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Speaking of stocked, started loading the new Visi-pak units. The contents will sure to change in time, but at the moment, these are the screws that I am going to continually at the moment as I’m getting the space set up. The Festool impact driver is getting a heavy workout.

Looking around the shed to find where to locate the rack, and it ended up being best on the end of the shelving. A couple of uprights added to the end of the shelving, both to build it out to clear the centre upright, and also to stiffen up the shelving ends.

The Visi-pak is normally available in Masters for $10/container- I was just lucky to find them in Total Tools at a clearance price ($4.95 – an order that had fallen through, so they were dropping the stock to be clear of it).

The labels are off the screw packets, just trimmed to size, to show the contents of the containers.

;

Louvre Rack Solutions

In the previous shed, I used a set of wall-mounted containers to sort and store consumables. I will be looking to recommission that system, but want to extend the arrangement, picking up on some of the point-of-sale systems in hardware stores.

Bulky items are easy enough to find in the standard containers, but when you are looking to find a particular item visually (rather than by description), it is good to have a system that showcases the items clearly, so you can distinguish one item from another.

I found an interesting version at Total Tools, called Visi-pak, from an Australian company, Fischer Plastics. These are clear-fronted containers, that can either rotate to open and access the screws, or the whole container can be removed from the holder to be taken to the job.

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The system hangs on standard louvre racks, and rather than the plastic versions available, for only a little more, I chose a metal version instead. Over years, plastic systems sag. This may not be apparent initially, but in time they no longer site evenly. This may not be applicable to plastic louvre systems, but for the sake of $5, why bother finding out?

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I’m also debating how best to store my spanners, pliers, vice grips etc. I used a shadowboard previously, and that may still be the best option. A tool cabinet would be nice, but they are horrendously priced.

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The other option (and this is looking a lot more promising), is a peg board, such as this 3 panel example. Rather than spending $500, this is around $60, including a bunch of pegs.

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Storage solutions

I have been looking for additional storage for a while, and came across the Kobalt cabinets in Masters.

Despite being an in-house brand, they seemed pretty good on a number of fronts. Doors were heavy, cupboard depth was generous, and they looked good (and without fake boilerplate).

Still, I ummed and ahhed a bit, and decided to measure the available space, and sleep on it- at $300 for a full cabinet and $170 for a wall mounted one, I wanted to think about it more.

On the way home, stopped for petrol from a Woolworths station, and got a voucher on the receipt for 15% off at Masters. Then, while having a look online, discovered they were now on special- $169 and $149. Hoping they would still have stock, and that I would be able to use the discount voucher as well, I headed on down, and sure enough, got the cabinets I wanted at a really good price.

While doing the very straight-forward assembly, I discovered something else- solid design, and a well thought out assembly method, with understandable instructions.

Screws were preinserted in holes, ready for the final tightening after inserting into the relevant keyhole. That made assembly particularly easy, and quick.

After a bit of a shed rearrangement, I now have this shed setup:

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Now I just have to figure out what goes where!

As you can see, the bar fridge got relocated as well, and the Walko workbench set up a bit better as well.

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Homeland Security

Amazing what technology is now available, and at such cheap prices.  Camera surveillance systems, recording up to 30 days of footage at a reasonable resolution.  Able to operate day and night (infrared), indoor and out.

Not only recording any motion, but able to stream the camera footage to the web, and send email alerts (to multiple addresses), with images attached.

With one (and multiple cameras) connected up, with the DVR and router connected up to UPS (particularly one working on the 4G network), the system can provide a surprisingly high degree of security, for a minimal price (under $200 for the surveillance system).

DVK414252_a1_mainNo need to purchase those fake cameras, the real deal hardly costs any more, and has significant functionality.

At that price, not only can you afford to have surveillance of your workshop, but the house, and approaches as well.

Children and Tools

Had a few smaller visitors to the shed over Easter. My daughter and her cousins, who were quite intrigued by the place. But what better way than to show them, (and better yet), get them involved (at least as far as possible)?

So we decided to make some toy vehicles, using the same basic concept as I wrote about in a recent ManSpace magazine (and have written about here as well). A length of Tasmanian oak for the vehicle bodies, and a board of the same to cut out the wheels.

Each of the kids helped choose and design the vehicles, sketched out along the length of timber. This was then cut out on the bandsaw, sanded on the spindle and disk sanders, holes drilled (by the kids) on the drill press for windows, and edges rounded over using the corner rounding 3D bit from Toolstoday.com. More on that bit another time, but just to say, it is perfect for toy making.

Wheels were cut out using Carbitool wheel cutting bits, holes drilled for axles, exhausts, headlights etc.

Each then worked to glue wheels to axles, dowel for exhaust pipes and siren lights as appropriate.

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From left to right, we have a double-decker bus, Formula 1 car, police car and jeep. Think the kids got a good amount out of it – sure hope they did!

Later, I gave the vehicles a bit more detail, using a branding iron, and pyrography pen to add details like front grills, racing stripes etc.

It is really rewarding working with a younger generation in the workshop, so long as you have proper supervision, safety equipment (that they love wearing), and tasks that are applicable to their skill level. If you have the possibility of the occasional visitor, it is really worth having some projects up your sleeve, ready to go (and child-sized PPE). This may be no more than the concept and a mental plan, but it would be even better if you had a drawn-up plan, templates, even some precut material ready to go.

Even a small amount of involvement in a project sows seeds that can influence a child across their lifetime.

Forgot to mention- there was one casualty. The drill press decided to smoke itself (literally, but very mildly), and lost about 90% of its already limited power. I sure hope the DVR drill press is not too far away.

Upgradeable technology- the DVR advantage

Normally when you buy a lathe (or drill press), you look at the features, make your choice and that is it- they are the features your tool will have for the remainder of its life.

You normally would expect those features to be static, ‘locked in’ as it were. Fundamental things like torque, but also the operator interface as well, preset speeds, how you can change speeds, safety features (such as chisel dig-in detection) etc.

Not so with a DVR lathe from Teknatool. I was not aware of it, but there was an older version of the DVR lathe that didn’t have some features of the current machines, and an owner of an older one could be left wishing their machine had more of the features of the current machine. Instead of replacing the lathe with a newer model, a DVR owner can simply upgrade the control board to get the higher torque, the safety features and the variable speed selection by replacing the “plug’n’play” computer control board.

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Not that I need to at the moment, as my DVR lathe has all the current features, but it is great to know that if (or rather when), Teknatool come up with smarter ways to implement the onboard DVR technology, and add software improvements (as well), that existing owners are not left behind. They can choose to purchase the upgraded control board.

That is a pretty cool concept!
>

Feeding on ideas

Been having quite a few visitors through the shed in recent months – friends, family, work colleagues. One thing that seems to be a common feature of the visits are other’s opinions on what I should do with the shed layout, or products, and I do keep an open mind to these, as not only are they intended in good faith, they have regularly proved to be invaluable! And to be fair, I also actively seek them out – another set of eyes and source of ideas – many heads are better than one!

And it isn’t always actual suggestions – just the act of showing people around has a habit of highlighting things to me that need addressing, or I can see a better way.

Had Gordon Heggie around (of Triton fame), all rugged up against the cold as he drove his convertible with the roof down on a cold night ;) and we were talking about storage (among other things, such as the TW7 ;) ). It encouraged me to relook at the storage (specifically the shelving), and I came up with the development of an idea. I still had shelves and brackets of the green metal bookcases, but no uprights. In Masters, I found some standard vertical posts with the typical slots cut. Got a couple hoping they would work, and sure enough, the brackets fitted (with a little manual encouragement).

These got fitted to the shed wall near the lathes, and that shelving now gets to carry the chucks, jaws, and other accessories. They are much closer to the lathes, and it frees up the other shelving unit for something else. I could fit a double bay of shelves, but want to keep the wall clear so I can store the range of chisels.

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So now I have a fair few empty shelves around the workshop. That will certainly make sorting out some of my tools etc much easier! Lots still in their storage boxes on the mezzanine floor, but I am regularly bringing down a box and (re)discovering what is inside, while looking for a new home.

Slowly getting there. Happy about the shelving – it has worked out really well.

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