machines which I have made, am making, or intend to make, and some other stuff. If you find this site interesting, please leave a comment. I read every comment and respond to most. n.b. There is a list of my first 800 posts in my post of 17 June 2021, titled "800 Posts"

Tag: tools

Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts

Well, this one is OK because it came from a Hollander.

One of my blog readers, Huib, decided that I would be the recipient of some of his workshop items which he says were surplus.  This was as a thank you for

So, a parcel arrived yesterday, and after a quick look inside, I decided to make a video of opening the items, and showing you.   It was great fun for me, and I hope that it will be entertaining for you.  It is the biggest file which I have uploaded, so give it a few minutes to open.

Oh, any other readers who would like to send me surplus tools or other interesting bits and pieces….  please feel free.  If Haas, or Hardinge would like a review on one of their machines please send it and I would be happy to do a review.


Stuart of gave a most interesting talk at last nights GSMEE meeting.

GSMEE, in case you are not familiar, stands for Geelong Society of Model and Experimental Engineers.  A select group of people who are interested in things mechanical, electrical, steam, internal combustion, boats, etc.   Mainly metal working, but sometimes involving woodworking.

Stuart generously gave his time, and drove several hours to show us some of his projects, and tools which were new and unusual to most of us.

He explained how when he was a very small boy, an uncle disappeared into his workshop, and a short time later reappeared with a simple wooden puppet toy which he had quickly made, and presented to Stuart.  Stuart says that event made a lasting impression, and was influential in his decision to make things for himself, have his own workshop, and eventually to study mechanical engineering and have a career in engineering.  And ultimately to start the hugely successful blog, stusshed, which to date has had 2.6 million hits!

He showed the puppet, which he keeps as a memento in his workshop.


To be honest, I had totally forgotten that I had made this, almost 40 years ago. The controlling strings did not survive.

Stuart then spoke briefly about his time in the navy, as an engine room engineer, running diesels, steam turbines, and gas turbines on frigates.  All too brief, and hopefully the subject of a more detailed presentation in future.


He then showed some of his recent projects, some of which I snapped.  Especially noteworthy was the Sopwith Camel, with a discussion about the origin of the roundels, the through propellor firing machine guns, and the huge torque which the radial engine produced causing the plane turn more easily to the right than the left (or vice versa- I cannot remember)..


Stuart recently acquired a CNC router, which he used to produce the inlayed roundels, and the engine details.

Quite a few other woodworking projects, mainly toys, but also some interesting furniture, including a chair made of interlocking strips of wood in the form of a tambour, as in a roll top desk tambour.  No photo unfortunately.

Then a small selection of tools from his incredibly well equipped workshop.  A few photos following.  I dont remember many of the brands and details, but most of these tools have been reviewed on Stuart’s blog, so check out if you need more info.

The Incra guides and measuring devices were particularly attractive


Saw guide, with one degree stops, and microadjustment within the saw bench slot.


An Incra ruler. Flexible enough to measure around a cylinder. The tiny holes accurately accept a 0.5mm pencil.


I really liked this Incra protractor. 150mm wide, and also accepts a 0.5mm pencil for accurate angular marking out.


Yet another Incra ruler. Sells for $22 in the USA. More like $50-60 here.


One of Stuarts favourites.. a dovetailing jig, made in Australia, compares more than favourably with a Leigh jig he says.


A really intriguing device for measuring saw blade kerf very accurately. Costs about $100.


Another of Stuart’s favourites, and an Australian invention, Superjaws. I think that this one will go onto quite a few buying lists after this demo.


Another Australian invention. This one for carrying panels.


A really neat device for supporting cables, and small round garments.


Another view of the kerf measuring device.

These are just a few of the many tools which Stuart had to show us.  2 hours went very quickly.  Thanks Stuart!

WHEEL BALANCER- another home made tool

This is a jig for balancing wheels for steam engines, grinding wheels etc.

The jig has 3 adjustable pointed bolt legs for levelling.

The top of the jig was flattened on a surface grinder, then the silver steel bars were bolted (without tension).

If the wheel is perfectly balanced it will not roll.


Wheel balancer, with steam engine wheel yet to be finished.


I have a band saw welder, but I find that blades joined with silver solder are more reliable.

The silver solder should contain at least 50% silver.

The jig below makes sure that the ends of the blade are held exactly correctly in position.

The blade ends need to be tapered at about 20 degrees to maximise the contact area to be soldered.


The jig is held in a vice. The blade ends are held flat and against an edge which keeps them in line. The blade ends are scarfed at a 20 degree angle. The cap screws are finger tight.


If you look closely you can see the scarf about to be soldered and joined. The edges to be joined are fluxed.

Band saw blade material is bought in 30 meter lengths, often very cheaply on Ebay.  Silver soldering requires a gas or oxy torch, a container of flux, and some silver solder (from plumbing or welding suppliers).  The technique of silver soldering is quickly learnt (practice on some worn out or broken blades).  The blade is cut square with an angle grinder and bevelled on a belt sander.  The jig needs to be made but it is simple.  I could supply dimensions if requested.