Allan's Top Product Picks

Allan makes up part of our Technical Customer Service Team here at Carbatec and also sends time as a Retail Assistance in the Wakerley store. Allan has been with us for 2 years and spends a lot of his spare time making wooden models of classic cars and recently won an award for his segmented woodturning.

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Sharpening Chisels & Plane Blades

Peter Young gives us some advice on sharpening chisels and plane blades.

If your blade is older and has had a lot of use, it may have some damage. Remove any nicks from cutting edge – I think it is better to do this first up so that you don’t waste time on metal which may need to be removed. 

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Which Kreg Jig Is Right For Me?

With so many amazing Kreg Jigs available, customers are always asking which jig is right for their project. So we have decided to make it a little easier to pick out your next Kreg Jig...

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Jordan Phillis - Aspiring Woodturner

Jordan Phillis came into our Brisbane Carbatec Store a few weeks ago, to buy his first lathe at the ripe old age of 12! Our staff were all really impressed by his enthusiasm and we wanted to learn more about how he found a passion for woodturning…

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Setting Up Your Workshop

Workshops tend to evolve over time and you don't always get the chance to plan as much as you may want to. However having a vision of where you are heading with your woodworking and what you want to make can help a lot.

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The Basics of Woodturning

When you first take up woodturning it’s possible and tempting to spend an enormous amount of money acquiring a comprehensive range of tools, chucks and accessories. However to get started it isn’t really necessary, you’re better to begin with a basic kit and go from there.

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Spotlight on Microplanes

Written by Lindsay, our Brisbane Showroom Assistant.

This past weekend, I had a good look at the range of microplanes we have on offer here at Carbatec and I have to say - they are a really special tool to have in the kit bag.

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Confessions of a Pen Addict

Cameron Ward shares his addiction to pen turning.

Turning pens is a fun and rewarding hobby. This is undoubtedly the reason behind its increasing popularity. Its easy accessibility in terms of requisite skill level and relative affordability makes it the hobby of choice for most first-time woodworkers. 

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Why Use Handplanes In A Modern World?

Written by Peter Geddes - a Brisbane-based woodworker.

It's very interesting to look at the place the handplane occupies in the history of woodworking. One of the most important changes that occurred in this history was the progression from the carpenter - whose main tools were the axe, adze and saw - to the joiner, cabinet maker and other craftsmen...

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All About Handsaws

Even if you use machinery for cutting most of your joinery, there are some things that are still best done with a handsaw. Being able to saw accurately to a line is a fundamental woodworking skill that can take a lot of practice to get it right, but is well worth the effort. Once you gain confidence, you may even find yourself cutting your dovetails or tenons by hand.

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The Basics of Dust Extraction - Part 2

In this edition Tony will expand on the subject and offer some direction for designing small workshop extraction systems. First, we need to look at requirements, specifically considering which machines you have and which machines you plan to add (the latter being the thing most people forget to take into account). Each type of machine has a certain airflow requirement for effective dust extraction.

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All Wood Chat: Woodturning with Theo Haralampou

PODCAST

Theo Haralampou or 'Theo the Woodturner', tells us about his passion for woodturning, his journey with it and where beginners should look to start. Theo is based in Brisbane and regularly hosts free demonstrations at Carbatec's Brisbane store.

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The Basics of Dust Extraction

You have just unpacked your latest purchase... a beautiful Carbatec 15" thicknesser. You've cast aside the unread manual and have dived headfirst into assembly. All bolts tightened, blades aligned, and we head straight for the pile of waiting timber...

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Tuning Your Bandsaw

Bandsaws are a must in any workshop, they are wonderful for cutting curves or preparing blanks for woodcarving or woodturning. If set up correctly, they can be used for ripping veneers or cutting mortises or even dovetails.

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Workshop Tip - Splinter Free Dovetailing

Carol Russell gives us a great tip for splinter free dovetailing.

I can’t remember where this tip came from, I think it was an old Fine Woodworking Magazine originally, but it’s one of the simplest and most effective tips I have ever been given. 

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How to Make a Longworth Chuck

Written by Allan Short.

The Longworth chuck features a self-centring mechanism that easily and quickly adjusts to the size of your turning by using a pair of disks which rotate against each other...

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From Observation to Expression

Written by Carol Russell about Gary Field.

Gary has been a stalwart of the woodworking community in Brisbane for three decades. His work has featured in galleries and exhibitions Australia-wide...

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All About Japanese Saws

Written by Jan Schilling.

It is unusual to visit a fine woodworker’s workshop and not find some Japanese saws (nokogiri) hanging on the tool rack. For people who haven’t encountered them, Jan Schilling offers some advice...

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Open Segment Jig

Allan Short works in our Customer Call Centre at Carbatec Brisbane and is an esteemed woodworker. 

This open segment jig is not complicated to use but has required thought and planning to construct so here is a summary of how I made my jig.

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Rendel's Top Product Picks

Rendel makes up part of our Marketing team here at Carbatec and has been here for 5 years. Rendel is a qualified cabinet maker and loves his DIY woodworking. He is currently working on designer bespoke bedside tables for his home.

We asked Rendell what his favourite tools in his workshop are and these were his top picks.

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Setting Up Shop

Written by Bruce Sharp.

Making stuff is fun and for five days a week, through most of my career as a teacher, I have made wooden stuff with teenagers. Imagine working with uninhibited creative minds and having the unfettered use of a well-equipped (semi-industrial) workshop. 

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Why I Love My Kreg Jig

My love affair with the Kreg® Jig started at the Brisbane Timber and Working With Wood Show over ten years ago. The applications seemed endless and over the years the jig paid for itself by miles in both time and effort.
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Finishing with Shellac by Carol Russell

More and more woodworkers are choosing traditional methods of finishing rather than quick fix solutions that don’t age well. Shellac is an ancient finish that gives a lustrous depth to timber and works well on both contemporary and traditional furniture. The U-Beaut range of finishes are based on traditional French polishing products.

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Protecting Your Assets

For most woodworkers there is nothing more saddening than returning to your workshop after some time away to find surface rust has taken hold of your prized table saw, or your favourite handplane has small rusty smudges all over it. In this article, we cover some of the simple steps you can take to keep the rust at bay and several products designed to help.

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The Act Of Making by Bruce Sharp

The following articles are an extraction from Bruce Sharp’s Blog ‘Built by Bruce’. Bruce is a long standing Carbatec Melbourne Retail Staff Member and a retired Woodworking Teacher who continues to share his passion for woodworking to the community including volunteering to teach a local disability group on a weekly basis.

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Making a Coopered Barrel

There are many traditional tools and techniques specific to the trade of Coopering. It was a pleasure to be shown some of these by Master Cooper Andrew Young, who along with inventing many innovative methods still uses traditional tools in his daily work.

Andrew has access to a seemingly endless supply of well-seasoned American and French Oak that has been recycled from Seppeltsfield’s collection of old casks. Andrew wastes nothing, he salvages every last thing, down to the tiniest oak off-cuts that fuel the fire pot. He only uses straight grain timber that contains about 14% moisture to make his casks. The casks made in Andrew’s cooperage are designed for fortified wine from Seppeltsfield or whisky from Lark Distilleries in Tasmania. 

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A Drawing Template For Spindle Turning

Robert McKee has been teaching woodturning and joinery to adults for over 25 years. Originally he trained as a wood machinist, but relatively early in his career he discovered that teaching was the thing that really motivated him.

After many years as a teacher within the TAFE system in Queensland and also in the private sector, he still gets great satisfaction from passing on knowledge and seeing how people grow in confidence and ability with a little guidance in the right direction.

Here he takes Carol Russell through the process of making a drawing template and explains how to use it as a reference to turn four identical table legs.

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Oil Finishing

Pure tung oil is food safe and can be used on chopping boards and utensils that are used for food preparation. Although it’s worth noting that as it’s pressed from a nut, people with severe allergies are advised to avoid its use.

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CMT Multi-Profile Router Bit

The CMT Multi-Profile router bit is an incredibly versatile bit to include in your collection, particularly if you are building furniture in the traditional style. It’s like having a whole set of router bits all rolled into one.

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Focus Project - Mitre Boxes by Gerry Coon

Mitre boxes are considered to be fairly unremarkable workshop accessories. If you own one, it’s likely to sit in your tool cabinet rarely attracting any admiration for the elegance of its design or usefulness.

Gerry Coon has redefined the mitre box and has made it a highly desirable object of beauty. He has detailed each one with an inlay of a constellation – a subtle touch.

This is a great use for small pieces of precious timber. You can create these boxes to cut any angle you wish. This is a delightful short project and would make a lovely gift for yourself or for friends who have an interest in woodworking.

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Woodworker Profile: Micheal Connor

Micheal Connor’s workshop is perched on a hill with spectacular views of the surrounding district of Corndale in Northern New South Wales. It’s a beautiful outlook from the timber-filled verandah, but it wasn’t to be an idle day contemplating the scenery.

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Frank Wiesner - Bookbinding Tools

Frank Wiesner’s enthusiasm for working with timber and its enduring beauty is thoroughly infectious. As we crawl through his wood pile, he’s able to name all the different timber species he’s collected over the years. It’s hard to believe that after more than half a century his love of the craft hasn’t diminished at all.

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Wooden Boat Centre - Franklin Tasmania

Founded in the early 1990's, the Wooden Boat Centre has established a reputation for excellence. Through the construction of 9 carvel hulls, it has educated some 80 students to industry standard. Situated beside the picturesque Huon River in Franklin, south of Hobart, the Centre instructs boat builders, restores old wooden boats, builds new boats and guides visitors from all over Australia and the world through the intriguing process of how these magnificent craft are built using traditional methods. The centre is heavily focused on keeping these skills alive and passing them on to others.

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CMT Pattern Following Bit

Occasionally I make a piece of furniture that turns out to be popular and I’m asked to reproduce it in a different timber. It’s at times like this that I’m pleased I have kept templates of all the components that require shaping. It cuts down the amount preparation and production time required.

The bench seat (Fig.6) is something I am often asked to make. I have made patterns for this piece so it’s a relatively easy process to build one on request. This makes the time I spent making the templates worthwhile.

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Getting Crafty

If you are looking for a way of utilising the small pieces of special timber that you have collected over the years, consider the many and varied craft kits available in our catalogue. These precious pieces of wood are waiting to be converted into valued souvenirs, gifts or everyday utensils. The delight that a friend or family member gets from receiving a gift that you have made is immeasurable.

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Setting Up Your Workshop Part 2

One of the most recognisable symbols of woodworking and fine craftsmanship is the handplane. They come in many styles and are a highly versatile tool that many woodworkers are hesitant to really get into using beyond a superficial level. They require a degree of skill to get the best performance out of, particularly if you are going to be flattening boards or shooting edges for jointing, the only way to get to this point is by practising.

When starting out it can be difficult to decide which handplanes to buy. As your woodworking progresses you are bound to collect several along the way. Here is a rough guide to get you started. The first handplanes were made of wood and have a history going back thousands of years. Even today wooden planes are produced and many woodworkers prefer them. If you are just starting out, and trying to decide which ones to buy, you will probably find the cast iron planes easier to use and adjust as they are equipped with a depth adjustment knob and a lateral adjustment lever. The four planes that will cover most of the tasks you will be wanting to perform are: the Block Plane, ( standard or low angle) Bench Planes (no 4 and 5) and a small shoulder plane.

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Japanese Chisels - (nomi) by Carol Russell

Woodworking chisels (Nomi) from Japan are a fine example of the rich heritage of toolmaking and design that has existed in Japan for centuries. They are beautiful chisels to use. Nothing compares with their razor sharp edge for fine paring work, especially on endgrain. With a little understanding and care they will serve you well and make your woodworking even more gratifying. Carol Russell takes a closer look.

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Jet Cone Vortex Technology

Professional workshops have known for decades that one of the most important pieces of machinery in the workshop is an adequate dust extractor. A clean, dust-free workplace is not only safer, but far less work in the long run. There is less cleanup and less airborne dust, which is very important when it comes to the finishing stage. Another important fact is that it is far better for your machinery to have the dust and shavings removed.

As well as being forced back around the cutting area and affecting the quality of the work, fine dust particles can be sucked into electrical components, build up on moving parts or pile up in areas underneath your machinery (becoming a fire hazard in the process). Worst of all, these particles can find their way into your lungs. Dust extraction is NOT a replacement for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), but if it reduces the dust in your immediate work area, it means your PPE is going to work much more efficiently too.

The sad fact is that running machinery without dust extraction may affect your warranty if something does go wrong.

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Jet Combination Planer Thicknesser

The JET-JPT310HH combination machine is a dream machine that is designed to perform both its task of planing and thicknessing with accuracy and ease. This is a ‘no-compromise’ option to save space and have a machine that will perform at a professional level.

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Customer Profile - Warwick Franks

Our staff member Donovan Knowles met Warwick Franks at the 2011 Working With Wood Show in Brisbane. He was touched by the incredible story of how Warwick had found woodworking and what he had to overcome to be able to produce his unique range of furniture and sculptures made largely from found or recycled objects. Donovan spent the day with Warwick and his Lifestyle Development Workers Jolly Karumathy and Martin O’Hare, looking for materials and seeing first hand how he creates his distinctive pieces.

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Customer Profile - Duncan Villet

When you’re being served at your local Carbatec store, chances are the person serving you is also a woodworker. Many of our staff have a trade background or are craftspeople working in a diverse range of woodwork-related areas such as; instrument or furniture making, boat building, carpentry, woodturning or woodcarving. We are very proud to have people who possess a high level of expertise on staff.

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Customer Profile - Andrew Young

Master Cooper, Andrew Young has added a new lease of life to his business by combining the CNC Router Shark with his ancient tools of trade. He showed Carol Russell around the majestic Seppeltsfield Winery where he operates his cooperage business, YN OAK Pty Ltd.

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Veritas PM-V11-Chisels

The new Veritas® chisels are now available instore and online at Carbatec. They are among the first edge tools milled from PM-V11 steel (Rc61-63), an innovative proprietary alloy. This metal's micro-structure makes it extremely durable, so it can withstand the impact of heavy chopping cuts without chipping or deforming as readily as other tool steels, even at bevel angles as low as 20°. It is also highly wear-resistant, with an edge typically lasting at least twice as long in use as an A2 blade before it needs sharpening. Despite its toughness, it is as easy to sharpen as A2 steel using common abrasive media such as water stones.

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Customer Profile - Peter Geddes

A woodworking student in later life, Peter Geddes is an old dog who has learnt as lot of new tricks. As he shows Carol Russell, with enough conviction and the right guidance, you can re-invent yourself. Peter is a semi-retired veterinary surgeon from Brisbane, having grown up in Sydney. His father was an accomplished woodworker and at a very early age Peter developed a love and appreciation of fine craftsmanship

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Whittling Away The Time

Woodworking comes in many forms, from creating imposing pieces of furniture that require a workshop laden with benches, tools and machinery to small whimsical figures that can be created at the kitchen table, hand-held and using only a basic kit of tools. Such are the creations of South Australian artist Doug Collins of ‘Waitpinga Whittling’.
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The Origins of the Wooden Boat Festival

In 1992, I met Jean-Rene Donghy, a French Oceanographer working at CSIRO in Hobart who invited me to the new Maritime Festival in Brest, Brittany. Overwhelmed to find so much passion held by so many people I returned determined to create an event for Hobart.

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Kreg Deck Jig

Whether you are restoring an old deck or building a new one, the Kreg Deck Jig will make the job faster and easier and the finished product will be free of cracks, warped boards, splinters and nails that work their way to the surface to catch unsuspecting feet. This kit makes the job seem so straightforward that you think you must be missing something.

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Leigh R9 Plus

The team from Leigh have done it again. Their new R9 Plus has the best of both worlds, it can produce both accurate dovetails and box or finger joints. It’s a lot of Jig at a small price, and Leigh have held steadfast to their principles of producing high quality woodworking jigs.

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Customer Profile - Linda Fredheim, Fine Furniture Maker

Despite its remoteness or perhaps because of it, Hobart is alive with great art and design. There is an introspective beauty in the landscape that inspires an almost defiant originality in the artists and craftspeople who live and work there. The work of Linda Fredheim, a dedicated designer and furniture maker, features many of the key elements of her surroundings. She uses not only the local timbers, but also incorporates stories, maps and historical figures into her designs. Carol Russell had the opportunity to visit with Linda.

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Woodworking Magazines Overview

Australia has a fine collection of woodworking magazines. They can be one of the best sources of information and a great place to find new projects. The information is current and relevant to woodworkers in our region. These publications run some great competitions and support local woodworking clubs. The classified sections advertise everything from timber to second hand machinery as well as woodworking classes and usually have a woodworking diary to keep you in touch with upcoming events.

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Kreg Jigs

There are many different techniques for joining two pieces of timber, both traditional and modern. One that is proving quite resilient is pocket hole joinery. It is a modern development of the more traditional ‘glue and screw’ method. Using a fundamentally simple concept, it produces a surprisingly strong joint, even when glue is not used. Although I call it a modern joint (with Kreg developing the modern pockethole jig in 1986), the ancient Egyptians pioneered the joint by inserting a dowel through an angled hole, then cutting it flush with the surface.

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A Work of Passion by John Price

John Price is a Carbatec customer who combines tradition and innovation to handcraft guitars in his workshop in Hahndorf, South Australia. John's guitars are played on stages all over the world by such virtuosos as the world famous Argentinian composer/performer Jorge Morel and well known Jazz artist George Benson. His story is an inspiration to anyone who has ever dreamed of making a living from their craft.

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Bow Saw Project

Bruce Sharp is a part-time Carbatec staff member in our Melbourne store and a Manual Arts teacher. He has devised this delightful project on making your own small bow saw.

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