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Dec / Jan 2016
Going loco PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sue Allison   

Going loco

Donald’s remains were found half-buried in a swamp near Farewell Spit. The exact life-story of the little Scotsman is uncertain, but it seems he came out from Glasgow in 1901 and spent his working life toiling in the Puponga coal mine at the top of the South Island, near Collingwood.

When he had out-lived his usefulness, he was literally pushed out the back of a shed into the bog below.

“Donald” was a little steam locomotive and, luckily for him, his “corpse” fell into the hands of men intent on a resurrection and equipped to engineer one.

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed

Lancia legend PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jon Addison   

Lancia legend

Iconic sports cars like Ferrari and Maserati, along with baby sedans such as the Fiat Bambina, have ensured almost cult status for the Italian auto industry, but the lesser-known Lancia is in many ways the pick of the crop.

What other marque can claim domination of world rallying along with victories in Formula One and sports car racing for a competition heritage reflected in road cars with character, charm and sophisticated engineering?

Yet Lancia—pronounced “Larnchia”—has been almost unknown in New Zealand until, that is, expatriate Dutch enthusiast Wim le Roy and his sons Onno and Robin arrived in the country 15 years ago. Along with the usual household gear and a few less common items like a Myford lathe, they brought with them three shipping containers packed with cars and parts.

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed

Welding PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Holster   


Auto-darkening welding helmet cartridges undergo testing and evaluation in four categories. All categories are centred around optical clarity. These four categories are graded on a scale from 1 to 3, with 1 being the best and 3 being the worst. All welding helmet manufacturers, including Lincoln Electric, are striving to develop a product that passes all tests with the highest possible scores, which is a 1/1/1/1 rating. So how does this testing and rating system work?

• Optical class: This relates to accuracy of vision. When you look down into water you can see how distorted shapes appear. This class measures and quantifies how distorted an image can be when you are looking at this image/welding pool through a welding lens. If distortion is at a minimum then you are looking through a 1-rated lens.

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed

Caravan Camera PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mark Beckett   

Caravan Camera

One of the issues with caravans is rearward view. Many tow vehicles have an extension mirror, so drivers can see any cars behind, and it sort of works.

Because we haven't sorted which car will do the towing, I thought about installing a wireless camera and simply use a tablet or phone to see what is behind.

This also gives the added benefit of being able to see when reversing it into the caravan park or back home.

Rather than go and buy something, I decided to use a RaspberryPi and a camera. Power isn't an issue, as the caravan is already fitted with a 12V battery and 12V lighting, but I could have used a power brick or gell cell.

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed

Rub-a-dub-dub PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jude Woodside   


Chris Egan used a bit of lateral thinking when faced with the dilemma of wanting have a relaxing soak in a bath but having a bathroom which was too small to install one. He and his wife Meg, who live in Bendigo in central Victoria, considered putting in a spa but they didn’t like the need to use chlorine, the noisy bubbles or the power bill to keep it heated.

Chris decided the solution was to build an outdoor bathroom featuring two baths so he and Meg could both enjoy a long soak together. The main criteria was plumbing both baths with hot water so that it was easy to fill them and keep the water hot if the couple were wallowing for a long time.

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed

Wheelwright PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sue Allison   


Ken Macklan is a rare breed. As a wheelwright, he practises one of the oldest crafts known to man, and one that is endangered in a mechanised world.

A wheelwright—the word being a combination of "wheel" and the Old English word "wryhta", meaning a worker or maker—builds or repairs wooden wheels for horsedrawn vehicles. The skills combine those of a carpenter, joiner and blacksmith.

In Ken’s case, he says, the age-old trade is more “a hobby that has gone terribly wrong”.

Ken and Alison Macklan’s 2ha property just south of Christchurch is littered with sheds jam-packed with tools and machines, wood, metal and piles of sawdust.

“I started playing round over 40 years ago. This is not serious. You come out here and you play,” Ken says. “I do it because I love it. I wouldn’t do it otherwise. There’s no money in it. It’s too labour intensive.”

Read more in the latest issue of The Shed