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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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!
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Gold Plated Machines

You know, I get it. I can see why Marc (The Wood Whisperer) Spagnuolo has a workshop full of Powermatic. I’m sure it is all part of his huge sponsorship deal, and more power to him (pun intended), but he would also want to have the best workshop he can have too.

He may not have a SawStop, but the flame-covered tablesaw is pretty cool never-the-less.

He also doesn’t have a DVR, but I had a closer look at the Powermatic lathe today, and what a beast it is.

Not only enough cast iron for a small country, but every (moveable) component glides so smoothly.

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3 phase motor, with its own onboard converter from single phase. Built-in vacuum system for vacuum chucking. A 96 point indexing system with a heavy-duty indexing disc.

What’s not to like (except the price tag)? You’d have to be pretty dedicated to really make use of such a machine, but then, it would also handle some pretty significant turnings as well.

Had a look at one of their promotional videos, just to see what it looks like in use. Yup, that is a beast! Anyone got one? What do you think? And more importantly, what have you managed to make with one?

The Shed Magazine

Originally only available in New Zealand (at least easily), The Shed magazine has gone Australasian.

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The first Australasian issue has got me wanting to practice my welding more, and I have an old 1/2″ mild steel plate that would be perfect for the job.

It also has my article on the making of the truck recently (if you were wondering why there was very little detail about that build, this is why!

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On “The Shed”‘s website is an excerpt from the article, but better than that is seeing all 5 or so pages of it in print.

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SawStop in the foreground, the new Fair Dinkum workshop in the background. Sweet!

 

More photos from the studio floor

ManSpace TV is on its way!

In Disguise

When you do need to use screws in a project, why not try to disguise their use as far as possible?

With the following line-up of bits from Toolstoday.com, this is a very easy task indeed.

ttlineupFrom left to right, we have the non-marring, non-burning, adjustable depth stop countersink.

Next, a set of three carbide tipped plug cutters.

And finally, a carbide tipped plug planer.

Instead of drilling the countersink so the screw head is flush with the surface, I have adjusted the depth of cut so the countersink will set the screw a good 5mm below the surface.

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As you can see, the non-mar countersink with carbide tips gives a very clean hole.  This is then glued and screwed into position, and normally that would be how it is finished.  Instead, let’s really disguise the existence of the necessary screws.

On the drill press, mount up the appropriate plug cutter.  These need to be in the drill press, both for safety, and to ensure you cut a clean plug.  The workpiece needs to be secured during the operation, again to have a plug cut, rather than drilling a very messy hole!

I’ve used all three plug cutters here to see how the sizes of the resulting wooden plugs actually look.  Made from the same material as the timber above, so the plugs are as invisible as possible.  Of course, you can always go for a contrasting timber for a different look.

ttplugThe carbide tipped plug cutters made this a very easy job indeed.  I’ve seen all manner of methods for removing the plugs, from sanding away the back edge, cutting the timber through from behind on the bandsaw etc, but in this case, I used a screwdriver to carefully lever the plug sideways until it snapped free.  That was pretty easy too.

The plugs were then roughly cut to length before being glued in.  Left proud by a couple of mm.  I tried CA glue and PVA glue.  I can tell you now, PVA wins hands-down.  The CA wicks into the work and stains the edge of the plug and surrounding timber, so it stands out like the proverbial dogs …….  Gave that away as a joke, and used PVA instead.

The next tool to get a workout is the tungsten carbide tipped plug planer.

It mounts in a handheld drill or drillpress.  A very large plastic base provides stability, and the TCT are set to be fully flush when it plunges.

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There are other methods for cutting off plugs, such as a very flexible, one-sided saw (the teeth are set so it cuts flush on one side of the blade).  You can use a wood plane (but being careful not to plane the rest of the timber,  Pare it away with a chisel.  End of the day though, a quick plunge with this plug mill is pretty simple, and fast.  Especially if you have a number to do.

If you are careful with the plugs, ensuring grain direction is considered, planed flat and a very quick sand, the plugs virtually vanish, disguising any use of screws in a project.

ttfinishNot bad, if I do say so myself!

A really good set of complementary cutters to make the job really easy.

VOUBO

I love it- the guys at Veritas and Lee Valley come up with the absolute best ideas.

Each year they seem to outdo themselves.

The VOUBO, or “Vertically Orientated Utility Bench Offering”

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The perfect bench when you don’t have space for a traditional one (or want to make use of the extra accessibility to your project).

Check out their website for more detail.

DVR Drillpress is getting closer

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The 2nd gen DVR drillpress is in NZ at the Teknatool laboratory, being put through its paces.

Must be getting closer to a release candidate. Can’t wait!

Think some Australasian testing might be required (hint hint!)

Just what you need when on a budget

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A newly revamped HNT Gordon website, making it even easier to see and purchase the hand-made planes, Colen Clenton marking out tools etc etc

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Tempted?

Given my collection of planes already (and still intend to grow it further), I am very tempted to build a Krenov-inspired cabinet to store them in, such as this one made by timberbits.com.au which is a beautiful example.  Another may be good for router bits…….

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WX7 – The Triton Workcentre gets an upgrade

The Triton Workcentre 2000 was launched back in about 1997 or 98 or so (sure someone can confirm more accurately).  I used to have a poster of the Triton timeline that’d confirm some of the dates.

The name was somewhat unfortunate in hindsight.  Having the product named for the millennium meant it became increasingly obvious how old the design was, with people in 2002, 2003 and on wondering if they should buy the 2000, or if another was being released soon.

Funny thing is, a new design was on the drawing board at the time, but the decision to develop the new version beyond the blueprint phase was delayed and cancelled by successive owners of the Triton brand.

The design had an extruded aluminium top, a full mitre slot, and drop-in induction motors.

1 1/2 decades later, and that design has finally been dusted off, revamped, developed, then turned into a new product – the latest version of the Triton Workcentre, the WX7.

There is also a full redevelopment of the Router Table, and an impressive new version has been produced.  Due to the market early 2015.

In the meantime, check out this video compiled from shots from the 2014 International Hardware Fair in Colonge.  It shows not only the new WX7 Workcentre, the new Router Table, but also a bunch of powertools that are being released (some already available)

There are 20V 4AH system tools, including a drill/driver, a combo hammer drill and a 160Nm Impact Driver.

Alongside a reciprocating saw, right angle drill, oscillating multi tool, and a geared eccentric orbit sander.

Some of the other products already available are strangely familiar.  Such as the 180mm power planer. (And the unlimited rebate planer).

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Why does that look so familiar?

Could it be that I have seen it back in August 2008, and still have it sitting in my workshop, coloured blue, but with GMC on the side? Even down to the “magnesium” embossed signage on the side cover and base plate. They still cannot seem to escape that unfortunate association with GMC.

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The T12 drill also bothers me – the Triton drill had one really unique feature that stood it out from the crowd – the plunge mechanism built into the drill.  And despite a strange look, that was the best feature of the drill, which after all is one of dozens on the market.

The T12 has done away with that. T12TP_med_T12TP

The 20V version has a bigger battery, and also follows the Hitachi design concept – if you don’t think it would look out of place in the hands of a Cylon Centurion, you are on the right track. Interesting idea.  Not a design route I’d choose personally, either for tools I was designing, or ones I was planning to add to my workshop, but to each his own.

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Check out the latest catalogue here (but no mention as yet in there of the WX7 or new Router Table)

 

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