Taranaki dairy farmer and inventor Dave Hunger, who has featured in previous issues of The Shed, is at it again with his new “Spider Bike”. The bike reinvents the wheel, so to speak, and “walks” on six feet at the back. Inspired by “strandbeest” created by Dutch kinetic artist Theo Jansen and the work of American kinetic artist Ron Schroer, Dave had no hesitation in having a go at making his own walking bike. He watched a 90-minute video clip of a bike made by Schroer to draw up the plans for the back feet which are based on Jansen’s linkage of 11 holy numbers. Needless to say the bike draws plenty of attention when he takes it out for a walk.
Wood is a swear word for Bruce Watt who loves the challenge of making his own machines. The Oamaru sheddie has been collecting tools all his life and inherited some from his father and friends. Among the machines he has made over the years is a surface grinder and a tool cutter and grinder. “The surface grinder is very precise,” he says. “You can take a quarter of a thou off something.” He says he gets the most work out of his lathes and milling machines. He made his ham radio equipment from kitsets and when he’s not in his shed he enjoys touring the back country on his 1954 Matchless G80S.
A chance remark from his daughter spurs publisher Jude Woodside into action, making her a desk for study made out of paulownia ply. Resembling a box on trestles the design is compact with a modern edge and incorporates a flip lid at the back to allow books to be stored for reference. He wanted the desk to be made with no apparent joints and cut it from one continuous length using 45 degree cuts for a near seamless look. He shares the project—and the lessons he learnt along the way.
Clive Taylor has a passion for Fords that was born from driving his father’s Model A truck as a youngster and it continues unabated today. He has a collection of Fords that he has built over the years, some of which he has imported after buying trips in America, and an extensive collection of memorabilia. One of his favourites is a ’32 Ford Five window coupe which has done only 31,000 miles (49,889 kms) although a standout on the road is his ’55 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria, especially when it is towing a retro caravan painted in the same shocking pink-and-white colour scheme as the Fairlane.
A properly engineered work table for welding is a boon for the home workshop. Previously the domain of industrial operations and costing thousands of dollars, a new kitset is now available that puts them within reach of the average sheddie. We go through the process of assembling one. We’ve even included a video.
Master woodworking craftsman Mark Lester is a whizz at showcasing native New Zealand timbers in his work. His work bench is a case in point: it’s a work of art in itself featuring 17 different native timbers from Mark’s extensive collection. Self-taught, Mark has learnt a lot over the years and says his approach is very much to learn as he goes. Mark has made many fine pieces of furniture on commission, has taught himself the art of marquetry and uses his knowledge of different woods to highlight their particular characteristics. “It’s knowing what timbers will work well together and wanting to highlight mottled, wavy and figured timbers so they showcase various qualities and work well together.”