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Feb / March 2011
Flying car PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Snow   

Flying carHop in your small private plane, fly it to your chosen airport, fold up the wings with the push of a button, drive home on the road in the same plane, park it in the garage. All this is possible with the development of the Transition aircraft/car by the privately funded Terrafugia company based in Massachusetts.
The Terrafugia website reports that the company has now received exemption from the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to register the Transition as a light sports aircraft, despite it being 50 kg over the 600 kg weight limit for this class. Production models will be made later this year.
The plane has an 8-metre wingspan. The car version will fit in a home garage two metres tall, is six metres long and 2.3 metres wide. The 4-stroke, 4-cylinder 100-hp Rotax 912S aircraft engine has power directed to the rear-facing propeller for flight through a carbon-fibre drive-shaft. On the ground, the engine power is directed to the rear wheels with a continuously variable transmission.
The aircraft/car has room for two people, carry-on luggage and a set of golf clubs, with the great advantage that you don’t have to unload your bags at the airport, simply drive them home still stowed.

Flying car You Tube Video's

Flying car

Transition car/plane from

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Making a violin PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Panting   

Making a violinThere are many steps in making a fine violin and when I decided to make a violin to take to a conference in America, I chose a beautiful example by Guarneri “del Gesu”—the “King” violin made in 1735—as a model. Given the significance of the violins by the great makers, there is a respected tradition of making copies or instruments modelled on their work. I was quite happy for The Shed magazine to follow its progress.
The correct wood is crucial to the success of a violin. Traditionally, standard timbers used are spruce for the belly (top), maple for the back, ribs (sides), neck and scroll and ebony for the fingerboard, nut and saddle. The fittings—pegs tailpiece, chin rest, end button—usually matched, can be boxwood, ebony or rosewood among others. The decorative border (purfling) is a sandwich of three strips of black, white, black, traditionally black stained pear-wood with willow or poplar, or sometimes unstained pear-wood in the centre.

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Carry that mobility scooter PDF Print E-mail
Written by Des O’Brien   

Carry that mobility scooterAs we add on the years, we find doing various tasks becomes difficult. My ability to walk any distance without becoming short of breath is a major issue and it was great to discover the mobility scooter. Then I asked myself, how to transport it from Feilding so I could go shopping with my wife in Palmerston North? The answer was to make a metal rack to fit on the towbar, roll the scooter onto a sturdy platform and use a windscreen-wiper motor to drive a lifter to raise the scooter for carrying.

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Chopper bikes with pedal power PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alan Minnear   

Chopper bikes with pedal powerGeraldine High School technology teacher Alan Minnear built pedal-powered choppers with his Year 11 students because he wanted something to capture their interest. The two model choppers they made are named Vigilante and Overkill.
Overkill is painted green, has five-foot (1500 mm) long forks and uses a car tyre for its back wheel. The original builder used a 15” (450 mm) tyre but Alan Minnear was given an 8” (240 mm) tyre that he says is plenty wide enough.
Vigilante is built from square tubing and has been inspired by the stealth bomber, hence the matt-black paint and angular surfaces. Vigilante is “a real dream to ride” and rides smoothly on the road due to its rounded-profile, space-saver car tyre.

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Are your tools insured? PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Blackwell   

Are your tools insured?A workshop’s contents add up to thousands of dollars and insurance is one of those things that most of us never think about until something goes wrong and then we just hope that we have sufficient cover in the right areas.
As a general rule those of us with home workshops gradually build up a good collection of tools and machinery including many special items such as jigs, nuts, bolts, screws etc. Should the unthinkable happen would your current insurance put you back, more or less, to where you were?
The recent Canterbury earthquake has jolted many of us into rethinking our insurance needs. Over the years I have heard of a number of instances where no, or inadequate, insurance has left good people considerably out of pocket. I remember the case of a cabinetmaker whose good collection of tools (passed down from the previous generation) was stolen. He had no insurance and I have always thought how sad it was for him to lose such valuable tools and not be able to at least get replacements.

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Shed of the month PDF Print E-mail
Written by By John Cutt   

Shed of the monthGary Wells has a shed that isn’t quite your normal sheddie bloke’s shed. It is still a place of work but a recent extension, after a quick clean-out, now doubles as a well-appointed entertainment area complete with bar and luxurious sofas which Gary made from the backs of two Ford cars. It could also be the old 1950s petrol station at Makarewa, once a small township and now incorporated into Invercargill to the north.
A quick glance around Gary’s shed at the old-style petrol bowsers, the weather-beaten, corrugated iron wall, advertising placards and oil dispenser puts you back in the days when petrol was actually served to customers.
Further around are the motorbikes, cars and memorabilia and ribbons from Gary’s motorbike racing days. Nowadays, he is a Ford man through-and-through and a Harley Davidson enthusiast to boot.

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