11 September, 2012

Lapping it up

DMT Dia-Flat Diamond Coated Lapping Plate.  This is a worthwhile investment for flattening your waterstones, Arkansas stones or conventional stones.

09 September, 2012


Milling out Cardinia way with Glen Rundell using the TimberKing 2000 Band saw mill.  As the day went on, so did some Elm, Oak & Pear find its way into the Ute.
With a hefty weight now riding in the tray - Glen pointed out some previously cut Claret Ash, which had a hint of spalting & a little decay.
I took 5 boards (each 600mm x 1200mm x 35mm) thinking there might be something in it.

I decided to remove a small rotted section on all of the Claret Ash boards.  Here is a 230mm x 650mm section re-sawed to book match a 460mm wide panel.   I am very happy with this lot.

As for the rest - they sit patiently under the stairs for now. 

18 August, 2012

My Measure

 “We’ve got to discover what feels good and is really good. 
We can isolate ourselves In the process, establish our own standards
- even at the risk of self-delusion, maybe destruction.
Or we can open up, question, and try another measure.  What measure?
Oh that’s the heart of it all!  If I had to guess, and my life depended on it, I'd say integrity.
Not mine-something much more important, and durable.”

Krenov, James. 1977 The fine Art of Cabinetmaking p.59

I have, since February this year travelled a handful of times to Kyneton, Victoria.
Here Is where you can find that integrity in Glen Rundell and his family.
 Glen, a wood worker, chair maker, chair tool maker and writer of Rundell&Rundell.

Just one of the many good things to come from a few visits is an Elm (seat) and English Oak (undercarriage)Perch, designed from Peter Galbert templates – wood sourced by Glen & made by Glen & myself.

The English Oak was planted on the East side of the JFK Memorial Pond, Treasury Gardens, South of the Treasury Building.  The Elm was from Fawkner Park, Toorak Road side, on the Nth/Sth pathway on the East end of the park.  

The perch now at work, 
& for those waiting for their special piece 
thank you for your patience.

29 July, 2012

10 August, 2011

Kauri Canoe

Using the book, Building Strip-Planked Boats by
Nick Schade as a guide for the construction of his
Nymph Double Paddle Canoe design.
International Marine / McGraw-Hill
ISBN  978-0-07-147524-2

Bent laminated Spotted gum inner and outer stems.

Dave Hutchens's October 2010 issue of The Drum 
gives a brief, illuminating history of the
Kensington Woolstore before its lights out.

Image source: www.urbansalvage.com.au
Above two photographs: Dave Hutchens 

The NZ Kauri Pine being carefully lifted before demolition.
Historic redbrick shell no longer.

I purchased two pre-1925 New Zealand Kauri Pine floorboards.  Dimensions: 150mm wide x 28mm thick x 3600mm long.  After machining the first board down, getting an average yield of 23 strips, each 19mm wide x 3mm thick x 3300mm long.  I still needed one more length to get the 60+ strips.  Two of the boards revealed wood with a very similar appearance – a clean golden colour with a close grain wave.  However on the third, a pinkish-brown tone with sweeping grain, tailing out 500mm from boards end to an intense ray fleck.

I would go on to explore many pattern options for the lay-up of the canoe.

Tack & Glue strip to inner stem.
Staple strip to forms/stations, use masking tape to clamp strip
down to edge of previous strip. This fixing method is just
one of many - find out what works for you.

Comes a point where the strips want to bend the hard way (across its width) and resist lying flat on the forms. 
Release this pressure by clamping another strip over the top, allowing it to find a natural more relaxed curve. 
Mark a pencil line, cut along and plane.
The whole process is a kind of 12 steps forward 1 step back.  
Trimmed keel line.

Keeping an eye on the strips as you lay them down allows you to achieve a fair curve. 
Pictured left: low spot stapled down against form.
Pictured right: pry off form for a fair curve.  A long staple ( I use 14mm ) gives you freedom here.
– get your eye in for a rolling sight along the length, this will highlight the peaks & dips.
Don't be afraid to let go of the form/station, Keep it fair in line and symmetrical either side of the
keel and you should be ok.
This being my first amateur canoe build, the forms/stations may have been slightly out to
begin with.

25 June, 2011


Location: Berchtesgaden, Germany.
Konica Minolta Dynax 60
ILFORD film ( ISO unknown )
Oct 2006 - Timothy McLeod

Ideal air drying example of firewood - elevated, sheltered and stable stack, held between 3 
tree trunks & not top heavy.
Foreground shows two stumps - what it took to generate the cut.
Background shows future harvest.   

19 June, 2011

Eucalyptus spathulata

Thanks to Dr Roger Spencer of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria for Identification.


05 January, 2011

What tree is this?

Growing in Western District Victoria.
I have been asking around and one suggestion is Eucalyptus annulata.


Any ideas?

 Flitch - cutting a limb which fell off the tree.

 Wood sawn and stacked ready for air-drying.

Questions I need to answer to help identification:

- Is the plant native to the area or was it cultivated?

- Is it a tree or a mallee (multi-stemmed)?

- Is the bark rough towards the base of the trunk?

- Are the buds, branches or leaves glaucous*?
*Coated with a bluish-white 'bloom' (a powdery-wax secretion), sometimes giving leaves a grey or silvery appearance
ref. Native Trees and Shrubs of South-Eastern Australia.  Leon Costermans. New Holland Publishers ISBN 1876334649

19 December, 2010

turning the sod

Years worth of secretions grip the shearing board.   Lanolin, motor oil, sheep shit covered moccasins and sweat, now for some grease.....
elbow grease.
  The Al Swearengen scrub.

for Chris.  working is fatiguing, working well is succeeding.

Putting up 3m high corrugated galvanised iron sheets often require an extra set of helpful hands - I owe those to Brianna and John.

12 December, 2010

hungry hungry honda

Lately I have been spending time on the family farm.  Here is my mothers mower in need of some repair.
Mind you the wheel was on, but I had to remove it to fix the height adjustment lever.  The handle did have one locking nut, with sellotape holding the other side.  Hay twine held the catcher hood open and 3 of the 4 bolts holding the motor to the chassis were missing!

Safe mowing mum.

06 December, 2010

Decemperature rising


SX-70 polaroid