The Shed 95, March — April 2021

Making Damascus steel is a true skill and the patterned finish really adds style to any knife. These knives are rightly famous for the keen edge they can be sharpened to and the length of time they retain that edge. 

But how do you get those distinctive patterns the same each time and do that consistently? Well, we have found a knife maker who can do just that. Matt James has been making Damascus steel since the late 1990s and now does so from his well-equipped and spacious workshop.
Jude Woodside spends some time watching this Damascus magician and shares what he has discovered.

In this issue, we have a tale of two sheds, as well as a tale of two born and bred sheddies. The ‘home’ shed can be found on the farm nestled into the hills at the Paeroa end of the Karangahake Gorge. The other is a 50-minute drive away at Whangamata, a little way up the Coromandel Peninsula.

Tony Howse and his seven-year-old son Matt do a lot together in their sheds. Tony has more than one man’s share of enthusiasm and Matt has definitely caught a dose of it. His eyes sparkle when working on his own projects or helping dad Tony with his. 

Dave Montgomery wanted to make something that the grandkids could play with when they come to visit. Then, while he was watching a popular TV game show that features a monster machine, the penny dropped: he’d make a push-penny machine. 

Dave decided to use bottle tops as the counters because, for some unknown reason, he had a growing pile of them in the shed. These bottle tops contain trivia questions and answers — handy for when adults want to play with the machine.  Follow these easy steps to make a fun family game and then make up your own rules to play — after all, you made it.

We have part three of our Mastering the Lathe series and this time we have a project to make: a wall-mounted balance that puts the fun into lathe work. Then Enrico Miglino continues on his journey to make his home a smart one by completing the installation of his front-door peephole.

‘Foiling’ involves creating lift, aerodynamic or hydrodynamic, using the aerofoil shape. This idea has been breaking new ground in technology, and new water in water sports, in recent developments in foil boarding and wing foiling.

Armie Armstrong runs Armstrong Foils, where he designs and prototypes foil boards from a Westmere property rich in Auckland boat-building history. We meet Armie, who grew up in and around the world of boats and sailing, and learn all about his foiling on water methods.

Rodger Kallu realised the Covid lockdown provided the opportunity for many long-dormant ideas to come to fruition. This one of them: a solution to a frustrating and monotonous task for a rapid traverse for the X-axis on his milling machine. Rodger walks us through his how-to project.

Coen Smit shows us how to make then transform a small stool into a useful and attractive table using river stones and resin for his rivulet table, and Enrico Miglino completes his radio magic project in our Vintage Tech section.

Summer doesn’t mean kicking back when you live off the grid, and Murray Grimwood walks us through his three must-do summer projects and has a lot of fun doing so. He restores a Pelton wheel, mounts a fire hose, and upgrades his filters in the stream supplying his property with water.

Anyone driving up through the gates of the East Coast Museum of Technology (ECMoT) could be forgiven for thinking that they had entered a movie lot. Turn-of-the-century railway buildings and crumbling rolling stock look like props for a classic western showdown. This museum is a wonderland where you just might spy a treasure no one realised was there. Jason Burgess makes the trip to the East Cape to explore this treasure trove of Kiwi history.

Hugh McCarroll eventually gave in and bought a 3D printer that he knew just had to have and here he shares some tips and tricks to make your journey that little bit easier.
Clint Frater shares with readers, some memories of his father Tom Frater. Tom was a prolific engineer, inventor and sheddie who lived in Napier and through the ’40s and ’50s, just may have designed the jet-boat engine before that other guy. This is an enjoyable tale of a son’s memories of his can-do inventor dad.

Can-do can also be said of Ted Egan. Ted lives in Thames and has a real model-making gift. Ted makes models of unique local icons such as his local (now defunct) Kopu Bridge. Ted’s models are valuable records of Thames history and put on show for all to enjoy for years to come.

We close this issue as usual with Jude Woodside and his Back O The Shed column. Jude has some news for Shed readers and reconsiders some of the songs he sang when young and carefree: “I have recently received my SuperGold card. It’s the new rite of passage into old age. I guess this means I am officially an OAP. Sobering thought — especially for someone who once sang along to The Who song My Generation, which concluded: ‘I hope I die before I get old’.”

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