Australian Wood Review

Australian Wood Review March 2018

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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3 min.
editor’s letter

What Can We Learn? Who is the modern maker? Is it all about style? Materials? Means? What if it were all these things but mostly about being open to all kinds of learning. On the cover and within this issue we’re featuring Adam Markowitz, a designer maker who demonstrates the value of going after knowledge and skills. On top of a degree in architecture and a postgraduate diploma in furniture design, Adam sought out hands-on training from renowned schools in Denmark and the USA. He utilises digital technologies and yet depends on hand skills to inform his design work in what can be called a truly modern way. Student work is also the star of this issue. Firstly, with the announcement of award winners for our annual Student Awards on p.58. Viewing the…

2 min.
ujk parf guide system and tso products mtr-18 square

The accuracy of this tool combination has to be seen to be believed. The Parf Guide System from UJK Technology has been designed around one of the most famous mathematical formulas – the Pythagorean theorem. Its purpose is to allow the user to create a grid of 20mm holes in a benchtop whereby any line of holes are in perfect alignment, any two rows or columns are perfectly parallel and any row/column is perfectly square. There are two parts to this system. Firstly, two stainless steel rules that each have a row of perfectly spaced 3mm holes. By using the provided 3mm drilling guide, 3mm steel locating pins and 3mm drill bit, an initial series of rows and columns of 3mm guide holes can be formed. The second part is the CNC-machined…

2 min.
henry eckert marking gauge system

This is a beautifully designed and built tool made in South Australia by Henry Eckert Toolworks. It has a round cutter and the fence is figured manna gum with a 5mm thick brass wear plate (photo 1). The metal body and fittings are made from turned brass with stainless steel fittings. A steel rod running through the fence has a threaded end that holds the cutters with an allen screw. Remove the cutter and you have the option of attaching various accessories. The micro-adjustment mechanism, an upgrade over the standard tool, is excellent (photo 2). It’s a great design with a thumbwheel that operates two oppositely threaded turned fittings. To be honest I prefer fixed knife marking gauges but I know plenty of others who only use round cutters, and on soft…

2 min.
mirka deos 383cv detail sander

A new addition to the Mirka sanding family is the DEOS, a rectangular-base random orbit sander. The 70 x 200mm Velcro-faced pad has heaps of dust extraction holes, and in combination with Abranet abrasive sheets the dust collection was excellent. The 250 watt input rating may not sound high-power, but with a brushless motor there are fewer moving parts, and operation is much more efficient than your regular power tool. Power is more than adequate, in fact 80 grit abrasive on high speed was really able to hog off the wood. The speed range of 5000–10,000rpm is adjusted via push button control. This limits speed selection to a choice of seven speeds – a minor point, as in reality I used either flat out or slow. A large top-mounted paddle switch activates the…

2 min.
festool ets ec/150 brushless sanders

Most of our work is solid timber with a hand rubbed oil finish which requires flawless surface preparation. A reliable sander is very important and makes a large contribution towards the overall quality and efficiency of our work. I have always used the older style Festool ETS sanders so I was interested to find out if the higher price tag of the brushless models was justified. We trialled the 5mm version (for faster stock removal) and the 3mm version for fine finishing. Brushless motors are low wearing and longer lasting and obviously you won’t be changing carbon brushes as with the older ones. They are also smaller so these sanders are compact, comfortable in the hand and on/off switches are perfectly positioned. With a low overall height you are operating much closer…

1 min.
shinwa 150mm steel rule

What if the most useful, high quality hand tool was also the most affordable in the workshop? I’ve always disliked 150mm steel rules. I’ve tried many in the past and always found them to be too fragile, too shiny and too hard to read with 0.5mm markings. Over time I just gave up on the idea of carrying one. Recently a good friend gave me a 150mm Shinwa steel rule and it was like finding a golden ticket. Made from stainless steel with a non-reflective surface finish, these rules are so clearly marked with full 1mm increments that even without my glasses I could read it from across the bench. It’s thin enough to be light, but solid enough to give some flex while maintaining crisp edges. The simplest feature is the raised…