Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Tree House Update

I don't get much time to blog anymore. A quick post to show you the updated treehouse; complete and operational. The tallowwood also boasts fairy lights scattered through its leaves.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tree House Progress: Posts & Rails

With a new shipment of timber, I've made some progress on the tree house. The posts are made of tallowood milled to 72x72mm, the handrails milled to 72x60mm. Tested out the new carbitool handrail router bit. All worked well and quickly. Still a bit to do. 

To do the initial break down I used some old saw horses and the trusty circ. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Windmaster 250mm Clear Turbobeam

A quick shed upgrade - Windmaster 250mm Clear Turbobeam Whirlybird. The shed is an uninsulated metal box in a climate which can be rather warm (45.6c a month ago.) Inside temps could be 5-10 degrees hotter than the outside world. 

With the Whirlybird installed and ventilation improved the temp appears similar to the outside world and usually a little cooler. The clear plastic allows a significant amount of natural light. (Unfortunately there is some flickering with its rotation.)

(By the way, with the windows open and the 30' industrial fan, the shed is a very workable environment even on a hot day.)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Unboxing the Router Bits

Carbitool is an Australian company that makes a variety of cutting tools including router bits. Their quality is as good as any brand I've used and they have a great range. My order from AP Workshop arrived yesterday and I couldn't be happier with their service. I placed my order Sunday, received personal email confirmation that night, email at dispatch, and they arrived Thursday. Because of the size of the order it was all 30% off RRP and shipping was modest.

Among the more interesting bits in the collection is this stacked classical rail and stile bit. The most expensive and complex bit in the collection should prove invaluable forming cardboard doors and the newell posts.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Preparing the Tree House Platform

Here on four saw horses sits the frame for the tree house platform.

The joinery is a series of rabbets cut on the tablesaw. (Which is really the first time I've had to break in the new saw. Worked well. Good power. Quiet.) There'll be two other beams across the narrow section. Then those four beams will sit on the main supports.

The boards are old hardwood planks the previous owner was using for shelving. Machined, they look rather nice. Looks like blackbutt. 

AP Workshop

I'm testing out a new company AP Workshop to supply Carbitool Router Bits. These bits will be used for the Stair Case and Tree House projects.  Now to wait for the postman.

T 924 B 1/2 ----- CHAMFERING BIT 45 deg W/BRG  
TBR 616 B 1/2 ----- DOUBLE BEAD W/BRG
TML 60 1/2 ----- MITRE LOCK BIT 
T 512 B 1/2 ----- ROUND OVER 3/8 W/BRG

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tree House

In our front yard is a moderate sized chinese tallowood which boasts a child's swing and cargo net.

I've always thought it that it would hold a small tree house. I have a simple plan using left over hardwood... I've also acquired some stainless steel threaded bolt to attach it to the tree.

A design work in progress.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Joinery Systems

I love using a hands-on hand tool or hybrid hand/power tool technique for most of my woodworking. However, lately as my list of projects and project repetition increases, I've felt the need to speed.

In particular I've been looking at a way to increase the strength of frames edged with with a rail-stile router bit. In my online search I found this dowel max system which looks positive and is a fraction of the cost of the festool option.

Now to find an Australian supplier...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Electrical Work in Progress

Here's a few photos of the electrical work in progress.

There are many options in providing lighting for a workshop. After much reading and pondering I decided on bayonet mounted domestic LED bulbs, in particular iGlobe 9w warm 2900k 100w equiv. 16 mounted in the workshop and 4 in the storage bay. I selected a large number to reduce shadows and have even lighting. (The exact number was determined by the rafters layout.) The bulbs are all the same brand, power, and temperature.  

The three main options for lighting were traditional fluorescent tubes, bayonet mounts, or LED strip lighting. 

Fluorescent are what people expect in a workspace. However, they hum, take time to warm up, flicker on warming up, and then flicker with AC current. LED strip lighting is new and perhaps the cheapest. However, it relied on transformers and offered little back compatibility or flexibility.  

The bayonet mounts with LED bulbs were the best compromise. Additionally even with the expensive LED bulbs the installation cost is less than half that of a fluorescent.  They are cheap to run, offer consistant light, switch on instantly, and are said to last 50,000 hours.    

I was also given a large mercury vapour light which I'll mount in the centre. This should add some character to the shed.

The majority of domestic outlets in Australia are 10A 240v which isn't quite enough for the larger 3-5hp machines. The workshop now has 6 x 15A outlets offering plenty options. (Note the 15A sockets have wider earth pins so that you can't plug a 15A plug into a 10A socket.)

I also had the opportunity to install a single three phase outlet. As I don't have any three phase tools this may be overkill. However, I wanted to future proof it as much as I could, and hopefully make my little workshop more attractive if I was ever to sell it.

A work in progress... 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Electrical Work Begins

Today the Electricians arrived to begin work on the shed. Its an exciting prospect given it has been about 10 months in the planning. The current plans should have enough power and flexibility to future proof the shed.

  • New 32A three phase sub-main, from the location of the existing meter box to the RH rear of the residence, then underground to the approx.. center of the proposed work shop area.
  • 12 pole D.B in the proposed new workshop, c/w main switch and ELCB,s for light and power circuits. 
  • Twenty One (21) batten holders (16 – in the workshop, 4 in the storage area and 1 in the carport.) LED lamps to be supplied by owner.
  • One light switch for the workshop, one light switch for the Storage Area & one weatherproof light switch for the carport, and one 2 gang switch for the ceiling mount GPO’s.
  • One double weatherproof power point in the Carport.
  • Two ceiling mount double 10amp power points.
  • Four 10amp double power points.
  • Four single 15Amp 240volt power points in the workshop.
  • One double 15Amp power point.
  • One three phase 10A power outlet.
Re: Ray's question. The sub main is on the right hand side inside the door where the switches will be easy to reach. The scrap bin is easy to reach across at that point, but I may yet move it.

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