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Aug / Sept 2011
Garage makeover PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jude Woodside   

Garage makeoverWhy not tidy up the garage with new storage? Getting sick of never having the space that I need, I elected to sort out the garage which doubles as one of my sheds. Like most people’s garages, it needs to multi-task as storage for the whole family. I could make some cabinets, but frankly I’d be unlikely to make them at the price I can buy them for. Criterion, one of New Zealand’s real success stories, provides custom cabinetry for garages.
These have been well thought out. They are designed to handle the majority of things people like to store in the garage, but have been produced with an eye to minimising the footprint of the cabinet by not being as deep as the regular cupboards usual in kitchens.

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed

All steamed up PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gary Farquhar   

All steamed upTucked away in the heart of Auckland in the upmarket suburb of Parnell, just minutes from the Auckland CBD, is a big shed that houses New Zealand’s biggest collection of full-sized steam locomotives. Here a group of keen volunteers helps to restore New Zealand’s steam train heritage
The collection is privately owned by Ian Welch, a well-known businessman and train enthusiast who travelled on these trains as a young man. When the writing was on the wall for the end of steam on the main line he, along with others, could see the need to preserve examples of these machines before they were all cut up for scrap.
He bought his first locomotive, J1211, in 1971 and over the years the collection has grown to 16 steam locomotives and several diesels used for movements around the yards. Part of the steam engine collection is also housed in depots in Wellington next to the Plimmerton Railway Station and at Hornby in Christchurch.
Mainline Steam runs regular steam-hauled trips to give the public the experience and enjoyment of travelling by steam. It also holds Open Days. This is both for people who grew up in the steam-train age and for younger generations to experience the thrill, passion and excitement of steam travel.
Like all non-profit organisations, it has to raise funds to continue the restoration projects which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to complete.

A set of easily made drawers PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Blackwell   

A set of easily made drawersThis easily made set of drawers may be just the answer in your home workshop to keep small items tidy and handy in your workshop and it can be made in a day.
I have previously made a 36-drawer set and two other sets using the same principles but for specific purposes, a coin collection and for all my taps and dies. You can very easily amend the depth, width and number of the drawers to suit your particular requirements.
have used MDF for all the components which is readily available and very easy to work with. Some people may question the wear-ability of MDF sliding on MDF but my larger set of 36 drawers must be close to ten years old and there is no sign of wear. I am aware of several sets in the workshops at the Christchurch Polytechnic that have been there for more than ten years and they also appear fine.
The design of the drawers can also be made to suit the intended use. I have made provision for removable partitions that can be placed to split the drawers in half or to divide them into thirds. It is very simple to put the division rebates in during construction which gives you much more flexibility in the years to come.

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed

The plasterboard story PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jude Woodside   

The plasterboard storyPlasterboard, drywall, gibraltar board, gypsum board or simply the trademarked abbreviation GIB as we known it in New Zealand, is the most ubiquitous wall covering in the western world. This basic sheet of gypsum plaster enclosed in a paper sheath forms the interior shell of almost every home in New Zealand, even in bathrooms, on ceilings or as a structural component in walls.
Plasterboard helps to insulate and keep a house draught-free. It’s also the main substrate upon which wall coverings are hung or it might be the wall covered with a coat of paint.
The product cuts easily, can be nailed or screwed and glued, is very stable and very strong. Properly installed and finished, it forms a near seamless expanse of wall or ceiling.
Installation is relatively easy but it important to follow some basic rules some of which we have endeavoured to spell out here with what you need to know about gib fixing and stopping. It’s important to realise that the finish is only going to be as good as the foundation.

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed

Building a model steam engine PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ross Purdy   

Building a model steam engineA model horizontal, single-cylinder, double-acting steam engine with a simple slide valve makes an ideal hand-crafted gift or family heirloom. It doesn't take a lot of pressure to run these engines. We have also run the engine either on compressed air or simply by blowing into a tube. You could build a boiler for it but that would be a another project.
Well-known Kiwi engineer Graham Quayle has designed the engine and supplies the kit locally. It as an easy starter project for the novice engineer. The kit has all the materials you need to build the engine, a full set of 2D drawings plus exploded view and the comprehensive building instructions at a very reasonable price.
You will need a lathe, a metric tap-and-die set, hand tools, metric and imperial drills, marking-out equipment, and a good quality Vernier calliper. You will need to make quite a few components but don’t be phased by this. And don’t be afraid to try a different technique that produces the required result. The engine took me approximately 50 hours to complete.

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed

Ingenious hand tool PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tim Brewster   

Ingenious hand toolFew can fault an efficient hand tool, says New Zealand DIY inventor TJ Irvin. This tool splits wood and rock, it severs roots, it levers…it slams. The Slammer may be a literally ground-breaking tool to work with, but the manually operated device is a rare creature in the thriving high-tech landscape of new DIY tools.
Developed by Irvin, a globe-trotting American who settled by Lake Hawea more than a decade ago, and handcrafted by one of the oldest engineering firms in the country, Templeton & Sons, the Slammer is an unusual piece of kit any manual worker needing a bit of extra grunt should consider trying.
The 9 kg, two-piece Slammer developed by Irvin uses the impact of a solid, high-tensile steel rod rammed down a length of pipe by the operator. This provides the momentum to ram the attached blade into—and through—the sort of material most people hire a jackhammer to deal with. Other attachments turn it into a fence-hole rammer and a compacter for foundation work. As TJ describes it, the slammer/rammer multipurpose tool is a combination of a crowbar, axe, spade, mattock and sledgehammer all in one. Made in New Zealand.
“Every tool invented has started with a problem,” says TJ Irvin. He’s a voluble, self-confessed tinkerer and outdoorsman.

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed