Stu’s Fair Dinkum Shed

Think I have been a bit slack – things have been such a whirlwind getting everything done, and moved and finished (etc), that I don’t think I’ve actually published any photos of the shed?!

shed-1 shed-2I’m very close (and looking forward) to giving you a walking tour of the inside (and outside)

It is a pretty cool thing to have I can tell you.

Weekend Rap

Yo yo
Ok, no!

I meant the other wrap!

Have put in some hours this weekend, irrespective of the heat. Not sure what it got to, but at one stage as the sun was rising and the hot air ripping through, I wasn’t sure if I was in Melbourne, Death Valley, or on Cremetoria!

Some of the things knocked off, or at least progressed over the weekend:

# Insulated PA doors (as previously mentioned)
# Sorted out the rubbish left after builders, after Jessica’s 7th birthday and the SawStop packaging
# Filled in the trenches left from the plumbing
# Tried to roll the trailer (and a few other things) over the ground, but got badly bogged in the soft sand that is the local ‘soil’ Going to take forever to get the yard back to a reasonable condition.
# Fixed up the boards laid so far on the mezzanine. As was (not unkindly) pointed out, it looked like the floor had been laid by an amateur. Now at least it looks like it has been laid by an amateur with a sledge-hammer! Still got a bit over 1/2 the mezzanine to go before I can start using it for storage
# Flattened the area behind the shed in preparation for the 2mx2m being relocated there
# Emptied the 2mx2m shed, moving the boxes into the workshop
# Relocated the 2mx2m shed (involved a significant degree of deconstruction to get it into location)

Think that is about it – been a pretty heavy weekend.

Started seeing some tools that haven’t seen the light of day for about a year.  Found the Tormek (finally!) and it looks still in good condition.  The various wheels have survived as well, which is good news.  The kitchen knives will be well-pleased.

Continue to find a few tools that are no longer required, so once I have a good lineup, they will be moved to new homes.

That’s about it – next will be establishing a floor in the ‘new’ shed so items can be moved in without risk to their long-term survivability.

Storing Tools

Being the start of December, it was time to get the Christmas decorations out, and given I was fully expecting the shed a long time ago, I had packed the decorations at the back.  So it was a full unload of the storage shed, and a first look at some of the boxes and items in them that I haven’t seen since they were packed in January/February.

Not everything has survived as well as one would hope, so there are some lessons here that may be of benefit for others.  So far, only one tool looks particularly bad, and it may be recoverable (but will always bear the scars, even if it is).

1. Pack as if it is for an indeterminable length of time, rather than an expected few weeks, or months.  Things have a habit of blowing out well beyond expectations, and if the tools are packed properly, any delay will not cause an issue.

2. Packing includes serious consideration that the tool will be exposed to moisture.  A light spray with WD40 (for metal tools) then wrap individually.  I started wrapping individual tools in bubble wrap when I started packing but stopped after a while when I decided I was being too pedantic.  Now I wish I had persisted after all (and see point 1).

3. Using cardboard boxes is asking for trouble.  I started with a bunch of removalists boxes, and although they stack neatly, they definitely do not last anywhere near as long as you’d want.  It depends on where you are using to store the boxes, but given workshop boxes are unlikely to be given the same inside-the-house priority as household supplies (and will often be emptied a lot later than the rest of the household boxes) they find themselves absorbing more moisture, weakening.  Even if they are in an ideal environment, in time the boxes start to compact.  If they are a bit heavy, this process happens a lot faster and the contents bear the brunt.

4. Boxes will get moved, and moved again.  Having a system that allows the boxes to be moved, stacked and restacked easily will be a real asset.

5. Label the boxes, and record the contents.  Consider keeping a photographic record as well – if it gets to a worst case scenario, it will greatly help in the insurance claim.

6. Sturdy plastic boxes with lid are much more useful.  Each stack of boxes should ideally have a wheeled base so the stack can be moved without having to load and unload the stack just to move it.

7. Whether you are storing boxes in a storage unit, a garage or a shed (especially a shed), get the boxes off the ground.  I bought a smallish shed instead of (and for about the same price as two months of a storage unit), but thought it would be fine with a heavy-duty groundsheet.  It wasn’t.  I should have purchased the shed base kit. Another alternative is to use pallets (plastic or wooden) as the shed base.  If you can get the pallets in and out of the shed or storage unit without unloading them, all the better.

8. When you do (finally) get to unpack the boxes, crates or whatever, make sure you are unpacking the tools into their final home.  Otherwise you planned pack and store will quickly turn into a shambles.

9. Sort the tools as you are unpacking them.  Any tool needing TLC, put them aside for treatment, rather than assuming you’ll get a round tuit.

10. Be prepared for some damage, and loss.  Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

SSYTC063 The Shed Arrives

SSYTC063 The Shed Arrives

All 1.6 tonnes of Australian Steel.  There is a bit more to come – a roller door that will arrive later today, and the PA doors, the windows and insulation is currently at the yard waiting for the erectors.

So now we wait again, hope for a long run of fine weather so the other sheds in the queue get done quickly.  It is going to be interesting to see how this pile of miscellaneous steel shapes become a shed.  The pile looks very small compared to the resulting structure!

Shed arrives, and is up already!

It’s Amazing
It’s Astounding
It’s slightly smaller than I expected
Assembly was a breeze, except for the breeze
But a shed is a shed- right?


Just a week to go

Estimated deliveries

Got another update today, with the order being placed with the manufacturing factory today, and with a bit of encouragement we have a 3 week deliver to site.

That means (barring some minor manufacturing issues), delivery to site on December 2.  With a bit more manipulation, I’d hope to have construction starting either later that week, or at the start of the next (depending on what job the erectors are doing, and how soon after the 2nd it will complete, and the infamous weather).

So 5 weeks today should (with a whole lot of variables added in) see the doors of Stu’s Shed TNG open (that’s a Star Trek reference fwiw – saves me justifying whether this is shed number 2, 3 or 4!)

And as a separate (but not entirely unrelated) bit of news, I have been chatting with I Wood Like (Gabbett Machinery) (they are holding my saw until I am in a position to receive it), and it is going to be relocated to their Melbourne factory ready for delivery.  As much as I’d like it sooner, there really isn’t an option but to wait for the shed to be ready.

I wood like logo thmFor those playing at home, it is the SawStop Professional 3HP.  It has the full biesemeyer rip fence, 52″ rails with the additional table infill. About the only thing I need to confirm is whether the blade guard comes with a dust extraction port, or if that is an upgrade (and how much that upgrade would be).  (Update – comes with the machine – the other guard I saw is for the contractor’s saw (I saw a saw, and saw the saw was sure not to saw and make you sore)), So final price is $4004, although I will probably want to add a few extra bits to that – another insert so I can cut it for dados, and the dado brake at this stage.

Going to be a busy christmas getting all this organised, and the shed itself obviously!

At least I have some pretty firm dates to work with – that makes a world of difference.

That one, right there!



They have arrived!  Shipment has landed, has passed customs and is now in the warehouse.

And that one at the bottom, second from the right, is destined for Stu’s Shed.

I only count 10, and some have already been sold, so there are not many left if you want one of the brand new Professional SawStops.


Now I just have to have my shed hurry along so I have somewhere to put it.  Expecting news about the building permit tomorrow, and hopefully that means the slab can be ordered tomorrow as well.  Might prove to be a busy weekend getting the back ready for the slab pour, depending on how long it takes between placing the order and having work commence (about a week last time I checked.  That has probably blown out a bit because of the weather recently).

Tomorrow will be an interesting day.  In the meantime, I will sit here staring longingly at my new saw, waiting to come home.


I received the invoice today to pay to start the building permit process.  Probably the fastest bill I have ever paid.  The digital ink wasn’t even dry before the bill had been paid, and the receipt (as proof) sent back.

So time to break down the timeline and see what it may mean.

1 October – 13 October: Obtain building permit

14 October: Place order for concrete

14 October: Order placed for shed

14 October – 10 November: Shed manufacture (I am really hoping we can hit this window – this is the highest risk to the program)

19 October  – 20 October: Clear out current 3×3 shed and deconstruct

21 October: Order skip

28 October – 29 October: Block clearance including skip for waste removal

30 October – 31 October: Casting slab

11 November: Shed arrival

11 November – 24 November: Lead time for shed assembly.  Once construction starts, and the slab is in, I don’t see why the assembly can’t be booked in, so it happens only a few days after arrival, rather than a few weeks.  That would bring shed assembly forward to around 13 November through to 20 November.

25 November – 1 December: Shed assembly

It would be tempting to have the electrician in straight after and get the power sorted out as well, but going to take a more sensible approach and use the shed as is, with the Promac generator providing primary power (especially 15A), and some 10A being run from the house.  That will give the time over the Xmas break to get a reasonable idea about tool layout, and the corresponding power requirements.

I have the lights sitting in the garage, so they will be up very early on (light is one of those mandatory things!)  They currently have 10A plugs on each, so temporarily wiring them up will be easy.

I have to remember to run some piping under the slab for the dust extraction, and mid-floor power.

It feels like it is still going to be a long time – another 2 months!  But when I break it down like this, there is something happening almost every week so it will really feel like it is moving quickly.  It won’t take much to knock this program right however, and if it moves to the right much, it will clash with Christmas and that would be disastrous (as that would cause another month delay, and at a time when I would be on leave and actually able to make use of it.

Going to need new carpet after all this – have worn an absolute track over the last 6 months!


Although I put up the small storage shed last weekend, I really didn’t get a chance to actually make use of the space.

Today, I had a crack at trying to sort out the garage (where the majority of my machines are stored).  For a while it didn’t seem to be going particularly well – too much stuff, not enough storage, but slowly, slowly, things began to fall into place.

In the end, the 8m3 shed was filled to the brim – I would struggle to fit anything more in there at all.  And once I got that much stuff out of the garage, it was just sufficient to provide sufficient flexibility to move things around. As far as the decision to go with a shed rather than using a storage unit – I am storing pretty much all that I intended to, and now I’ll have a shed to show for it after the 2 months is up (the intended time I thought I’d need the unit). If it happens to be more than 2 months (every chance the way things always go), then I’ll be ahead on the cash stakes.  Money for jam.

So it is a shed of sorts – not able to handle large materials, but I can access each of the machines in there – the tablesaw, router table, jointer, thicknesser, both bandsaws, drill press, CNC (while I still have it), the lathes, and even the benchtop machines – there is an existing workbench along one wall in the garage.

Sure it is all a compromise, but hey – anything beats the last 5 months!  The thicknesser and tablesaw can only be run off the generator – no 15A power available otherwise.

IMG_4119 IMG_4121

Tomorrow I might even get to make some sawdust.  Exciting!


To Store or Not, That is the Question

Back when we moved house, we had a storage unit for a few months – it helped a lot during the packing to be able to then take boxes that were packed early and store them out of the way.  After moving, I didn’t continue with the unit, as it does cost, and of course I wasn’t expecting real delays in proceedings.

It meant the shed got packed into the garage, into a non functional state as I’m sure regulars are very familiar with!

It got to a crunch point recently where I had to do something, as it was really having a detrimental effect.  Other than making serious moves on the shed, the other thing I needed to do was get back to some semblance of a functional state (at least able to use the drill press, tablesaw and router table – I already had access to a bandsaw and lathe).

The only way to achieve that is to empty some of the garage out.  There is no where to put it though, so again I considered the storage unit option.  Even to the point that I booked a unit ($152/month) and filled the stationwagon for the first trip.

But something was still nagging in the back of my mind.

So before I went to the unit to unload, I took a run down past Masters – to get a padlock for the unit.  But instead of heading to the padlock section, I found myself perusing the isles of sheds, once again.

But there was a difference.  All the sheds I was looking at were on special until the end of the month – over $100 off.  For the price I would spend on 2 months of the storage unit (which is the minimum I anticipated I would need it), I could get a comparable shed (slightly smaller, but still well in the ball park).  Spoke with my better half, who I am sure was very bemused by the prospect of yet another shed, but she agreed with the logic and gave the green light.

So back to the storage unit, who were very obliging and let me bail on the unit, and back to Masters again, and after a bit of indecisiveness, chose a 2.1×2.1 shed.

Was planning on cream (to match the future workshop), but as they didn’t have any, had to opt for green.  But just before loading, the store assistant asked if I had considered the new colour – slate grey.  I hadn’t, but it then dawned on me that although I can’t get cream, the other main colour of the workshop was going to be very similar to slate grey – so sold!  At the checkout however, it turned out the new colour was not part of the sale (was at the full $500), but as it had been offered, they honoured it anyway, and made it $360.  A real win!

So now I have a nearly fully assembled shed (still have the door to go), a car full of gear I have to unload again, and this weekend I am hoping to get to the tablesaw up and running again (and have more of a play with the CNC Shark of course!)  I don’t have 15A power available, so the Promac generator will definitely be required (having twin 15A outputs).

As to the shed – I’ll line the base with a groundsheet, and load it up to the gunnels.  After all this, I could sell it for $60 and still be even, but instead – I know it will not go to waste! (More storage!!)  Still tossing up the idea of the floor kit, just for the ease of it, but at $200 it is a lot for something that can be

It is a cheap shed, no doubt about it.  If it wasn’t cheap, it wouldn’t have been a viable proposition in the first place.

The instructions were much better written than I’d seen before, but still some significant problems never the less.  The shed has some design faults – you’d think after years they would have refined them to the nth degree and have it down pat.  But I guess it isn’t Ikea – they have no idea how to implement quality control on design.  Some real problems, but it could be fudged enough to get it together.  Even after adding the roof, the structure is still unstable.  Needs more bracing in the corners than was provided.

The instructions as I said look a lot better than they used to, but I followed them to a T, and they missed a number of steps.  They really need to take a shed, give it to someone who has either not assembled one before, or who is actually capable of following instructions rather than jumping ahead and actually pick up the errors and missing steps.  Anyway, what do I expect.

I have been looking at some photos of the American Barns being built, and I am so looking forward to getting to assemble a quality unit!  And one that has a structure and doesn’t rely on the cladding for structural integrity.


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