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Dec / Jan 2012
Kontiki fishing
 How to build one PDF Print E-mail
Written by Graeme Pedersen   

There are several New Zealand-designed and created fishing kontikis on the market but when I thought about having one, I wasn’t going to buy it. I had the ability, so I did what any good Kiwi would do. I’m a qualified automotive engineer and always had an interest in electronics so decided I would make one myself.
I started off using existing computer chips, but the kontiki motor just kept working without stopping and that was hopeless. That is when I advanced to programming. I studied as much as possible by myself and had a bit of one-on-one training from an electronics engineer.
There wasn't anything available in the kitset form out there which I decided to do. The basic concept of the motorised kontiki always stays the same—streamlined nose, motor at the front and the line coming off the back, so it was just a case of working round what was available to do that.

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed

Mini Mack emerges PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alan Sutton   

Another fantastic combination vehicle from an ever-busy mind emerges, as Alan Sutton makes a Mini Mack—a truck-bodied Mini conversion.
As he writes, “After building my last project, the V6 Holden-powered retro Mini, there was a lull as I waited 13 weeks for certification. As an active, geriatric shed-dweller, I get bored easily. I trolled through Trade Me, found a Mini, bought it, stripped it and sold off everything apart from the shell.
I bought it sight-unseen but to my amazement, it was the best Mini body I have had for ages. It seemed too good to chop in half so I messed around for a week then thought, stuff it, and got out the 100 mm disc grinder. I use 125 x 1 mm slim cutoff discs that are very efficient and it only took about ten minutes to cut the Mini in half. I was on the way to making a Mini Mack.”

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed

Making a Word Clock PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mark Bennett   

A word clock is ideal for numerically challenged modern youth who can’t tell the time or for those of a literary persuasion. It was developed by Doug Jackson as a more affordable QLOCK 2 which he says he saw on a hobbyist’s website where he was struck by the clock's beauty and its high price. This word clock is available as a kitset from his website ( It’s a fun, useful project, guaranteed to be a talking point and I undertook to build one. The word clock has an Arduino controller and real-time clock and lights up words telling the time.
Word Clock was created by Doug Jackson using Open Source and has been evolving into the product you see here. It is based on an Atmel 168 processor chip as used in Arduino, is programmed using Arduino and fitted into a custom-made printed circuit board (PCB). The PCB contains a power supply, pre-programmed processor chip, a real-time clock (RTC) and output drivers to illuminate the LEDs. An optional battery backup keeps the RTC running during power outages.

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed

Make your own knife PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leif Haseltine   

This article tells you how to grind, shape and polish an everyday carry knife. My goal here is to take a chunk of steel and make a cutting tool out of it—a knife that functions well, holds an edge and is somewhat pleasing to the eye. This is my way, adapted from many hours of reading books, watching movies, making knives and making mistakes and works for me.
Think whether your knife will be for camping, hunting, for on the farm or just day-to-day use. You don’t need a knife with a ten-inch (250 mm) blade to cut the string on hay bales while feeding out. The design for this article is my everyday carry knife, a four-inch (100 mm) dropped hunter—an all-round knife whose blade is ample, large enough to skin that buck and small enough to carry all day without getting in the way
I choose 01 carbon steel for my design. It’s a good-wearing steel, easy to sharpen and available at your local steel depot. It is also easy to heat-treat at home with no special tools or equipment—just a heat source, a magnet and your kitchen oven (when the good woman is away).

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed

Exterior painting PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jude Woodside   

When it comes to the dos and don’ts of painting the outside of your house, there are several things to consider. Painting the house can be a big and usually expensive job. To do it once and do it right. Get your preparation right; and Use the best materials you can. Use good paint unless you really like painting often. Good paint has certain characteristics. It has the correct amount of pigment, not too much that it won’t dry properly but enough to cover the substrate. White paints are the biggest culprits. Here thin transparent paint is a sign of a poor paint with too little pigment. The single most important element in how well a paint sticks and stays stuck is a well-prepared surface.
Before you do anything, wash your house down to see the surface of the paint and get a better idea of its condition. Don’t waterblast. Stripping back the surface paints to bare wood, especially on old villas, is rarely necessary unless the paint has peeled.

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed