Trailer part 2

Couldn’t bring myself to buy a Chinese made trailer – just wrong on so many levels.  Not the least of which because there was no mention at all that the majority were not locally made, while those that were had it plastered all over, giving the strong impression all were.

So.

I contacted J.S.T. Trailers in Dandenong after a recommendation from a family member (plus I knew their trailer was a well made, solid thing).  And they had just what I wanted sitting there, ready to go.

8×5 dual axle, hydraulic brakes and cage, and even better, saved me almost $800!

And made by them cut by cut, weld by weld onsite, not shipped from a factory half a world away.

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Ok, so I am excited about a trailer.  Looking forward to making use of it (especially if you see what I was using – an old 6×4 that I got 2nd hand for when I was doing Triton demos at Bunnings).  Having one with a good capacity is going to make everything just that much easier.

An Aussie Trailer

I have an old trailer that has seen better days (and a fair few of them), and am at the point that I am seriously considering upgrading.

I know what I am interested in (with some flexibility) – 8×5 to 9×5 galvanised, 300 or 400mm sides, 800-1000mm high removable flat storing cage, dual axle, possibly hydraulic brakes (if not too cost prohibitive), otherwise standard cable brakes.  I want to be able to carry a full 2440 x 1220 sheet in the bed of the trailer, and slide it out (rather than lift it over the tailgate opening).

Thought I had found what I was looking for too – a company promoting itself as an Australian manufacturer, and all their trailers that are on their home page (continually changing images) all promote that they are built in Australia, and built tough for Australia.  Cool.

So there was a delay in getting the trailer I was after – they didn’t have any of the size I wanted ready to go.  No problem – after all, when they make some more, weld them up, get them galvanised, then I should be ready.

Got the phone call today – trailers are now back in stock – new shipment arrived.

Shipment? Uh, what shipment?  Of the trailers of course. Turns out that only a few of the range are made here (custom builds, self tippers), the rest are imported, already made.  From f****ing China.  WTF.

If I wanted the same thing made here, it would cost about 50% more.

Not sure if it is a deal-breaker for me, but it has significantly dampened my enthusiasm.  Anyone know of a decent trailer manufacturer (IN AUSTRALIA) that makes, rather than imports trailers?

 

 

Time Out

This has been unquestionably the longest break, or gap between posts on this site in the (almost) decade it has been running.  Large combination of factors has lead to it, and it has been useful.  At the same time, I’ve also taken a break from writing magazine articles as well, and the latest issue of The Shed magazine is the first one in about 3 years that didn’t have one of my articles in it.

Had a lot of shed time in the period, but little in the way of woodworking.  It has mainly been production work on the CNC, and that offers its own challenges, and rewards.  The shed is quite the bombsite, so I’ve started a mission to clean it up.  Progress is slow!  I’ve given up trying to suck up the dust, and have resorted to using a shovel.  And yes, I wear a powered dust mask for that operation.

But as I mentioned, progress has been very slow.  Especially as I’m generating as much new dust as I am removing!

It isn’t all roses, letting the space get too messy.  The area around the tablesaw got somewhat compromised, and that was pointed out to me in spades when I was feeding a smallish (1000 x 600 or so) piece of 3mm MDF.  I got it a little offline, and the saw grabbed it as fast as anything and spun it backwards into me.


Took about a week for it to start to fade.

I want to say onward & upward, but I did find myself in the A&E a couple of days ago, after dropping a full sheet of 12mm MDF off the car roof rack, and having it slide wide and land directly (fully) on my foot.  While I was wearing steel capped boots, it missed that, and caught the middle of the foot.  While I was pretty sure something must have broken (the swelling was immediate, and impressive), the x-ray showed otherwise.  Lucky.


Pretty much has sold me on the concept of getting a new trailer, and one capable of holding a full sheet.

On a final note, came across this old ad for WD40

Enjoy!

Do you want to buy a Torque Workcentre?

It doesn’t have the same ring as “Do you want to build a snowman?” so it is one of those ones that sounded better in my mind than on the page!

However, yes, I do have a Torque Workcentre (TWC) that I am looking to find a new owner for.  While it proved to be an incredible platform when I got it, my needs have changed quite significantly over the past few years and while it could be useful in the future (and I’ll probably lament its departure), at the moment I need the space it occupies for a new machine that it will help finance.

To give you some details, it is:

  • 2.5m long Torque Workcentre, which comes with both a 900mm and a 1300mm arm.
  • It has two circular saw mounts – one of the original style, and one that can rotate from crosscut to rip without remounting (rotating mount)
  • Copy attachment
  • Both a Triton router attachment as well as the generic router attachment plates
  • Dust guard
  • A drill attachment, and a prototype of the sander attachment
  • A prototype chainsaw attachment
  • and lots of additional bits n pieces – additional stops, extra support arms, copy pins etc

Total new price for everything is $6000.  I am asking $4000The photos don’t show the vertical support arm, of which I have two.  There is also an extra carriage for the arm (without the vertical plunge), so an extra tool (such as a mitre saw) could potentially be added.The MDF top is not supplied with the machine new, so while it is in well-used condition, it can be easily replaced when necessary.Viewings are welcome if you are local enough, and I can take other photos if requested.The drill press in the background is also for sale, as it is no longer functioning (burnt out motor).  I’d be happy to throw it in with the TWC if you are quick enough!

Update on the Kreg Plug Cutter

Have checked with Carbatec, and the Kreg plug cutter is expected to be in stock by the end of March.

Cost will be $119, and product code KR-KPCS.

I have used pocketholes on a number of occasions (can be a very useful tool), so am definitely interested in the ability to make my own plugs from the same timber that I am using, rather than purchasing ready made ones in a limited stock range.

Shagged the Thread

Had a bit of a problem last night, where the collet on the CNC router went on smoothly, but after a cutting job, it had jammed on solidly.  I suspect the collet was slightly oversized (or heated up more than the threaded shaft) and slipped a thread, causing a cross-threaded situation.

In any case, what it meant that once I managed to get the collet off, the thread on the router shaft was shagged.  Badly.

Crap.

In hindsight, if I had known it was going to be that bad, I would have been better off grinding a gouge in the collet, and used a nut cracker to snap the collet in two to remove it.  Hindsight is so 20:20


In any case, I now had a threaded shaft that nothing could be screwed onto.  I went shopping around for a die (as in a tap & die), but finding one that was 25mm proved a bit tricky.  Tried Total Tools, but not only did they not have anything close to the size I needed, but the guy serving me didn’t even know how to use a digital caliper.  How can you work in a tool shop, and not be able to use such a fundamental tool?

I ended up having a chat with one of the fitters in the mechanical workshop at work, and while they didn’t have an odd shaped die, they were able to lend me a thread file, and some lapping paste.


The thread file worked a treat, getting the thread to the point that I could get a collet threaded on.  Still bloody tight.  But what really fixed things up was the second stage, adding some lapping paste to the threads, and running the collet on and off the shaft.  And it worked.  After an hour or so of threading it on and off, cleaning, filing, I had the thread back to being about as smooth as it was, if not better.

The thread has been damaged a bit from the experience, but at least I have been able to recover it enough to be operational again.

Ever heard of a polissoir?

No, me neither!  Although in saying that, it was probably referred to in the bible for finishing: A Polishers Handbook, by Neil Ellis.  If you haven’t read or come across this before, it is well work the small investment. You can order it here.

And no, there is nothing behind that endorsement, other than it being highly recommended, and essential reading matter.

In saying that, seeing as there is a new edition (much newer than my current copy), and I don’t remember whether polissoirs are mentioned, it might be time for me to be reacquainted with it as well.

front cover 25%.jpeg

back cover 25%.jpeg

Anyway, back to the polissior.

It is an 18th century tool (if not from even earlier) for applying, abrading and polishing a wax finish.  Simply made from a tightly bound bundle of organic material (such as straw), it is then dipped in molten wax to charge it up, and then (once cooled) rubbed over the surface of the timber.

Polissoirs_001_adj.jpgThe polissior both burnishes the surface, and applies the wax, driving it into the pores (where open grain timber is used).

The excess wax is removed, either with a wooden scraper (or the other end of the polissior), then the surface buffed with a cloth.

There are a few on the market, such as the one pictured above from Skagit BroomWorks and Henry Eckert Fine Tools have a version as well.

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