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Australian Woodsmith

Australian Woodsmith

Issue 163
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Australian Woodsmith is packed with all the tips and tricks from experts with years of experience. We include templates, plans and projects that will keep you busy in the workshop for hours, or at least until the next issue hits the newsstands. Australian Woodsmith is a woodworking magazine that brings exploded illustrations, step-by-step instructions and techniques to the dedicated timber hobbyist.

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Paragon Media Pty Ltd
R 448
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
from the editor sawdust

The twisted dovetails on the cover of this issue have to be the most difficult joint I have ever cut. Over the years I have cut many hundreds of sets of dovetails by hand and have developed my own quirky techniques (one is I use a hacksaw with the blade set horizontally to remove the waste sides of the pins). These days I try and design around the parameters of the Gifkins dovetail jig and have crafted more than a thousand boxes and drawers with this clever Australian invention. Twisted dovetails are not as simple as they seem. On closer inspection you realise that no machine could ever cut them. Each pin and tail consists of two compound planes that have to seamlessly slide over each other at 45° in order to…

4 min.
tips & techniques

HANDSCREW SANDER STAND I found it frustrating to try and sand small parts with my random orbit sander. The parts tended to be hard to hold onto and the sander would wobble in my hand, making it easy to round over edges that I wanted square. To give myself a little more control, I found that I could use a handscrew clamped to the bench to hold the sander. Not only does this give me better visibility while I'm sanding small parts, it’s also much easier to hold the part flat as I sand them. Now sanding small parts just became a whole lot easier. Jared Huber SANDPAPER QUICK RELOAD Aligning the holes of my random orbit sander to the holes in the sandpaper has always taken more time than it should. My solution was…

1 min.
next issue of australian woodsmith

Moisture meters and how they work is just one topic we cover in the next issue. We also address kickback on the table saw and how to avoid it. We look into the world of knife-smithing and introduce some kits to get you started on your own knife-making journey. Our weekend project is a hanging wine rack to showcase your favourite tipple. The designer project is an Arts & Crafts front door that might inspire you to tackle the challenge of replacing your front door with one YOU have made! The workshop project is an all-wood traditional English workbench, while our turning project is a yarn bowl for the knitter in the house. As usual we feature clever tips and techniques from our generous readers.…

5 min.
boys’ toys, books & gear

CUT & DRIED Richard Jones is a furniture maker and educator who has put pen to paper, allowing the reader to dive deep into his eclectic take on timber, trees, history and furniture design. Richard has spent most of his life designing and building furniture in the UK. In 1993 he moved to the US and set up a furniture making business. Richard returned to the UK in 2003 to take up lecturing positions in furniture design. Each of the 15 chapters in this glorious tome are further divided into six to 18 sections. Each section has a nugget of insight that will inform and entertain. I learnt that a mature oak tree can produce 90,000 acorns in a year and that in the past, Europeans planted oaks as a food source.…

4 min.
after the fires

One of my favourite drives in New south Wales is the Waterfall Way from the coast to Armidale. After a coffee at Bellingen, I get to play the gears in my Subaru and enjoy the climb up the escarpment to the Dorrigo National Park. The Skywalk at the park entrance has you walking above the tree line of an ancient Gondwana rainforest. The forest that stretches out in the valleys below includes remnant stands of Antarctic beech, trees that colonised the supercontinent when the landmass was still at the south pole. Two hundred and thirty million years later, Gondwana has broken up, Australia has drifted north, but the forest is still thriving in this rare pocket. DRY SCLEROPHYLL FOREST The next stop in the drive is to stop to buy smoked trout at…

3 min.
diamond plate finishing

Hard Burnishing Oil is my preferred finish when I turn legs and spindles on a lathe. The oil quickly floods the sanded surface, penetrating deeply into the fibres of the wood. Working up through the finishing grit sizes (600-1200) has the oil form a slurry with the dust that has been abraded. The slurry works its way into the pores of the hardwood and forms a mirror-like silky finish when buffed with a folded cotton cloth. Twenty years ago, I watched the same process being applied to a breadboard-sized piece of wane-edged rosewood. The venue was the Working With Wood Show at the old Sydney showgrounds. A sales rep from Organoil used a Festool orbital sander and a range of papers to transform a rough sawn piece of firewood into an…