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Aug / Sept 2013
Build a playhouse PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rod Kane   

Build a playhouse

I was asked by my daughter to build a Wendy house. It wasn’t the first one I had built so there was a bit of history to draw from and a few negatives to manoeuvre around. Since it was to be transported around the back of a house with narrow paths, I built it off-site in the workshop, so it could be easily dismantled and put back together again.
I am a great fan of plywood. It is the best invention since food and right in front of whatever comes in 2nd and 3rd place if I could remember what they were. When you add glue, screws and reinforcing timbers, you have a very strong and light structure that will withstand plenty.
The Wendy house has a covered front porch, with little doo-be-dahs for decoration in the settler style, a high stud roof for comfort, windows for light, but best of all a tower cantilevered out from one back corner with stair access to an upper covered platform on the roof via a hatch.
Kids love towers and stairs and this arrangement gives the most efficient layout of space in the little house itself, while it breaks the stairs into two flights for safety. They can’t drop far. This is a Wendy house and a popular fort, all in one.

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed

Double-glazing retrofit PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hugh McCarroll   

Double-glazing retrofit

I have installed my own double glazing and, as winter set in this year, it was working brilliantly. Following a freezing cold night, the single-glazed windows all had a lot of condensation on them but the double glazing had none of that moisture which was the original cause of the problem. They were dry. There are also no drafts round the opening windows, which confirms the sealing is working as intended.
I decided on this course after I spent last summer doing maintenance on my house, re-staining weatherboards and replacing guttering. At the time, I noticed the bad condition of joinery in the lounge window. The lounge window is big: 1.5 metres high by 2.4 metres long on the west wall and 3.6 metres long on the adjoining north wall. The sill is three metres above the ground.
After some consideration and discussion with a glazier friend I decided the best option was to replace the existing 5 mm-thick glass panes with double-glazing: two 5 mm-thick panes having a 10 mm gap between them, a total of 20 mm-thick double glazing. This would require deeper mullions to accommodate the Insulated Glazing Units (IGU).

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed

All steamed up PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Snow   

All steamed up

A 78-year-old vessel still cuts a steam-fired dash on the harbour. When the tug William C Daldy steams across Auckland harbour in a display of feisty power—the 38-metre long coal-fired vessel with a beam of 9.75 metres is still able to cut it at around 13 knots—the remarkable fact is not that it is a steam tug still functioning but that it has 13 steam engines.
There are the two main engines which are triple-expansion steam engines that develop 950 shaft horsepower. But then the twin boilers also supply steam to all the auxiliaries—engines that also run pumps such as the seawater circulating pump, a bilge pump, a general service pump which can supply the condenser should the circulating pump fail and  a freshwater pump, the assisted steering gear, a steam-powered fan that feeds the boilers by forced draught, deck gear such as steam winches, almost anything that moves on the 78-year-old tug and even a steam-powered urn and endless hot water (fill the basin with cold water, pipe in the steam, hot water for tea and coffee).
The Daldy volunteers point out the steam auxiliaries in the engine room were duplicated as Lloyds stipulated this as a requirement for insurance due to the long delivery voyage to New Zealand—82 days sailing from Scotland.

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed

Timber treatment 101 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Claire Benge   

Timber treatment 101

When the leaky building fiasco hit, the use of kiln-dried, untreated timber was implicated in the leaky and decaying building problems of that period. As well as revamping the regulations for exterior claddings of buildings, the authorities reviewed both timber treatment and the two Standards covering the treatment and use of timbers:
NZS 3640:2003 Chemical Preservation of Round and Sawn Timber; and
NZS 3602:2003 Timber and Wood Based Products for Use in Buildings.
Ten years have passed but old habits die hard.
Although treatments have been modified, do you still refer to just H1 treated timber for framing and only H3 or “tanalised” for external uses?
Do you know where copper azole, kiln-dried, planer-gauged timber or Douglas fir untreated timber can be used? And do you realise that the term “tanalised” is actually a trademark and is now applied by its manufacturers to all levels of treatment as well as the CCA-treated timber? What is the difference between H3.1 and H3.2 treated timber, or H1.1 and H1.2?
All these terms require some more explanation in detail, particularly because of the recent changes that have occurred in the timber treatment Standard NZS 3640.
Twenty years or so ago, the commonly used treatments for radiata timber were
boric (boron) against borer for internal framing timber; or
tanalised (copper chrome arsenate or CCA) against rot for external timbers and posts in ground.

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed

Shed of the Month PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Cutt and Petrina Wright   

Shed of the Month


Invercargill gunsmith Nelson Collie

A natural bent for engineering made the transition from farming to gunsmithing easy for Invercargill gunsmith Nelson Collie. It was a career change that has earned him and his business, Status Guns and Engineering, an international reputation for innovation and high-quality workmanship.
Nelson completed a diploma in agriculture at Lincoln College and in the process discovered he had natural engineering ability. “I did particularly well and topped the class and discovered that was what I really liked doing.”
But after many years of farming, he was eventually disenchanted with farm life, and became a full-time gunsmith. Having had some gunsmithing experience while on the farm, he took that direction—a direction that, considering he had no interest in hunting, “might seem a bit unusual,” he said.
Soon interest and commissions were flowing in from customers from all over New Zealand and he moved into town, leasing a premise for several years and eventually buying one outright.
His natural aptitude, plus extensive reading and a willingness to experiment has contributed to Nelson’s success.
Nelson often receives requests to make one-off guns to clients’ specifications. One such request was to build a prone target rifle for one of Australia’s top female target shooters, Kathryn Blain (nee Lange). The former Southland woman had taken up the sport of prone target shooting soon after moving to Darwin with her husband Daniel in February last year. For the past year, Kathryn had been borrowing a rifle, but she now wanted one of her own, Nelson said. Kathryn’s only specifications were the colour of the stock and the brands of certain components to be used in the rifle’s construction.

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed

My shed PDF Print E-mail
Written by Roger Lacey   

Sky TV sports presenter finds his DIY mojo

Sky TV sports presenter finds his DIY mojo

Dennis Katsanos, Sky Television sports host and commentator, is a football and basketball fan who has discovered the joys of DIY. “Up until about seven years ago, I don’t think I even had a screwdriver,” he confesses.
Buying a house and taking on a hefty mortgage spurred Dennis into becoming a home handyman and since then he hasn’t looked back.
“All of a sudden we went from being able to buy what we liked to having a mortgage and no money,” he says.
DIY was inevitably the way to go. The previous owners of the villa they bought in Avondale in the western suburbs of Auckland had left behind a rusted-out barbecue with a solid wood frame. Not wanting to throw it out and lacking any outdoor furniture, Dennis turned it into a bench seat for their deck using some scrap 4 x 4 timber for the legs. With the confidence he gained from that project Dennis’s next mission was an outdoor table to match. He says he popped down to the local hardware store to buy a table but found the price tag was $1000. Instead of coming home with a table, he returned with some fencing timber, drill bits, screws, a $110 Ryobi drop saw and an idea in his head to make a table that matched the bench seat.
“It was building the table that really got me inspired to get into woodwork. I love my job but I found woodwork and making something physically with your own two hands gives me huge satisfaction.”

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed