Thomas Chippendale

The second series is on Thomas Chippendale, and the furniture he produced.

Episode 105 Freeform Router Bowl

Using the Amana Tool bowl bits from, I create a freeform double (interlocking) bowl

Web broadcasting video

Received a rather interesting email tonight from  They send out a regular email promoting their latest router bit, video, sawblade etc, (and I subscribe to it – makes a nice break from the mountain of work emails that come through!)

Tonight’s one will look rather familiar :)


(And yes, they did seek my permission to put the video on their YouTube channel – I was more than happy to allow it)



One hundred and eighty

This is what I spent my weekend making. It features dovetailed joinery, wooden hinges, and shaker-style panel doors.

For the full blow-by-blow, check out the next edition of ManSpace magazine.


Harvesting Ebony

An interesting insight into the state of the ebony trade in the world.

Walnut Dragon


Engraved on the CNC Shark Pro, using a Carbitool laser bit (solid carbide, 15o).  250mm diameter, 45 minute machining time.  Finish: Festool Surfix Oil System


Despite all the preparations for the move, the already significant dismantling and degradation of shed function, I still managed to get out there for a bit of woodwork!

This was specifically because I needed to make some real progress on the latest set of articles for ManSpace magazine, which are due around about the same day as I am moving!  Timing is an immaculate thing.

One of the articles this time (and there will be a few in the same series) is about making kid’s toys – and takes you through a series of 6 steps to produce it.

I further wanted to ensure as many people as possible could complete the project, so limited the number of tools to a maximum of 6 (and only used 3 for the current one), and tried to come up with a project that would only take 60 minutes or so to complete, and under $60 in materials.
I’m not going to tell you want the actual project was – you’ll just have to wait for the next edition to hit the shelves!

It took 60 minutes, $40, and 3 tools (and 6 steps), so I definitely covered the brief (and got to make a little bit of saw dust in the process).

Ok, ok, I’ll give you one cryptic hint.  Dover.

Wonder if anyone will figure it out?

The Promise of Future Projects from the Ghosts of the Past

Once, I’m sure, it would have been regarded as a stunning architectural feature of the Menzies Building, but the original timber ceiling is no longer the flavour of the month and has been replaced with a modern suspended one.

I had a scan of my collection of digital photos taken over the years, and found one that at least gives a small taste of what the ceilings used to be.

timberroof-1Rather than see that timber wasted or worse (such as landfill or burnt), I have been fortunate enough to have a good portion dropped off at my place (yeah, just in time for me to then have to relocate it to the new house!)

While part of the ceiling, the boards are secured together in groups of 3 or 6, with a board nailed across them (bet that was some apprentice’s job!) The majority are 90 x 30mm, and 1.8m in length.


To take them apart, I initially tried a hammer, but decided there was a much better way – the Worx Pro Jawhorse.

By clamping the crossbrace in the jaws, it only takes a little encouragement (and gravity) to neatly separate the two, leaving lengths of very straight, very dry timber.


Just goes to show how stable the Jawhorse is!  And a tonne of clamping force to boot.  From there, the boards got stacked onto a pallet.  I haven’t measured it, but it’d be close to 2 m3.

I used a bit for toy kitchen for my daughter’s Christmas, and there are a fair few projects to come out of this lot.  Can’t wait!  So awesome (and inspiring) having a good collection of timber!


When I ask for a slab

I may be talking about a cool amber beverage, but I’d certainly settle for one of these!


Photo taken by my old man on one of his overseas jaunts – will get more detail about where (and what). He neglected to bring it back for me – something about carry on baggage on the plane.

Can’t imagine what you could do with it to justify the timber – whatever it becomes, it would be impressive!

A Question

This has been bugging me for years, but not enough for me to get around to actually finding out the answer.

When you buy DAR (dressed all round) softwood, it typically comes with faint grooves running the length of the timber.  (These are about 1mm apart).

Other than the possibility it is used to identify soft wood from hard, why are the grooves there, and how are they produced?  Grooved blades on the thicknesser I assume.  But to what benefit?

One brand is laserwood, but these days if you google that, all you get are countless ads for laser engravers!


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