Australian Wood Review June 2019

Australian Wood Review is Australia’s premier woodworking and woodcraft magazine. Step-by-step projects and articles on technique for all skill levels offer up to date knowledge on designing, joining, carving, turning, decorating and finishing wood. Our stories are authored by Australian master craftspeople and wood artists. Each issue includes reviews of all the essential hand and power tools and machinery, specialist fittings and products that woodworkers need to successfully complete projects. Australian Wood Review also profiles local and international makers, giving an insight into their working methods. Australian Wood Review is a magazine for all woodworkers and people who love wood.

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4 Numeri

in questo numero

2 min
editor’s letter

The human touch Give ten people a piece of wood, ask them to make something and, unsurprisingly, you will get different results. Technique, skill, precision, the laws of geometry and also wood movement are critical, but nowadays can to some extent be mitigated and mimicked by machine and digital technology. However I like to think the human element can’t be simulated. A ‘smart’ answer might be to add an algorithm for random imperfection but I’m not giving ground on that either. Machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics are developing at a fast rate but will they ever be able to design and make objects that convey the historical and cultural influences that add up to the human touch? Personal journeys Byron Raleigh, on the cover this issue, is a Melbourne based maker who grew…

4 min
rikon 25-210h and woodfast pt310a planer/thicknessers

These 300mm planer/thicknessers are both made in the same factory. With a price difference of only $300 it quickly became evident that this was an exercise in identifying the differences between what are near-identical machines. The heritage of these machines is obvious, with immediate comparisons to most other 300mm combinations already out there. Both have helical cutterheads with four rows each of 14 carbide insert cutters, which produced extremely clean finished surfaces on some tightly curled Queensland maple used for testing the machine. The resulting surface was also sufficiently flat to indicate that the tables were correctly aligned at the factory for both machines. Both cutterheads are 70mm in diameter and have the same mass, so the only difference in the geometry or physics of the cutting action of these tools is…

3 min
arbortech power carving unit

Arbortech have now developed their own angle grinder which they say is ‘specifically designed as the recommended power unit to optimise all our attachments’. The unit has a soft start and variable speed switch and comes with two separate housings, a chip catcher and a levelling guide both of which may be used with the included sanding pad or turbo plane attachment. The latter is not included in the kit and costs $159 but was loaned for review purposes. Both housings attach to the grinder via two screw fittings also used for positioning the low vibration handle on either side of the body – simplicity in design! Although made of plastic they are sturdy and well finished, creating a look of quality. As a sanding machine the unit performs very well, however…

2 min
bosch cordless trim router – gkf 12v-8

$300 SKIN ONLY This is a new design for what were once called laminate trimmers. It features a brushless motor, standard 1/4" collet and is quite lightweight. Its off-set design offers a different way to use a tool like this. In use the front of the rectangular base can be placed on the wood first offering good support. Then the cutter can be brought into action. On a 32mm wide piece of wood it can be tricky to balance a standard barrel type trimmer and run a bevel along both edges. However the rectangular off-set base on the Bosch made the job quite easy. Compared to a corded tooI it has a slower cutter speed of 13,000 rpm without the same power, but of course that's not the point. Don't underestimate it…

1 min
bosch cordless mini plane – gho 12v-20

This is a powered block plane and certainly packs a punch. It will plane up to 2mm in a pass with its 56mm wide blade and has a rebating function. It’s well balanced to use and worked like I would expect any electric plane to work. Power is plentiful and at full depth you can push it hard through the wood. However, its not designed for that sort of work. I liked it for cleaning up faces of strips and applying a clean chamfer on an edge. You can walk up to a board and check the grain, fit a door to an opening or clean up some small boards. It uses one reversible carbide cutter and has a tiny drawer in the base to store a spare included cutter. The…

2 min
3m respirator 6211

A reusable mask with filter cartridges is pretty well essential nowadays given the level of protection they offer to woodworkers against hazardous dust and fumes This 3M mask uses twin organic vapour filters as well as fibre pre-filters. The latter are there to keep the main filters clean. It is rated by 3M as suited to paint spraying, solvents and pesticides. Woodwork dust and fumes fall under these categories. For trade or part-time woodworking this mask is very suitable when working in spray booths, sanding or machining wood as well as applying various polishes. The way the mask fits with adjustable straps and a soft contoured face profile means the air seal is very good. These masks are cumbersome to wear and on a hot day can be a sweat box, however…