Wednesday, March 16, 2016

ARTIST'S INTERVIEW - STEAMPUNK GUN by VINCE AUSTIN



Our main purpose at Arbortech is to provide you with the means to get creative. To produce beautiful works of art with our tools using your creative genius. We love to see artists using our tools on a variety of different pieces and then showing the world.

Meet Vince:



A wildly ambitious creative artist in Western Australia. Vince has a fascination for the steampunk genre and has created an absolute masterpiece called the "Elephant Hunter Hunter" which we had to share with you. And naturally, we had to pick his brain to see how he thinks when coming up with his creative pieces:



1. What inspires you to make steampunk guns?

As an artist I'm driven by many variants, in the case of the steampunk ethos it is an affinity with dark timber, leather, brass and copper. Victorian futurism is one of its definitions and the idea of making a gun that has functions other than firing bullets appeals to me greatly. To handle a weapon with the weight and apparent function which is completely harmless is thrilling! The Elephant Hunter Hunter is its own statement in this regard


2. When did you first make one?

I made a couple of large sci-fi guns in 1999 and they were purchased and used to dress a local club for the turn of the millennium, giving it that futuristic feel. 
My first steam punk pistol was a fractional tethering modulator called the 'turtle boner'.

3. How long does it usually take you?

Depending on the complexity, from 7 to 10 days for smaller items up to 2 or 3 months for larger ones.
These puppies are built on a whim as it were and often a found or given item can facilitate a whole offshoot of additional aspects. They truly evolve with me.

4. Are you fascinated by the steampunk theme and why?

This is where I'm at present, I'll change and grow like many artists do, but right now, this blend of form and function, suggestive of a traditionally crafted piece of archaic technology simply floats my boat.

5. You're spending quite some time on these items, does it hurt to let them go to a buyer?

Yes it's my puppy, it's a real piece of my life, unique and for sale, a process, a journey. When it's gone there is a void. So I take lots of construction photos and finished pictures to see me through the darker mourning.


6. How did you come up with the Elephant Hunter Hunter name?

Live by the sword die by the sword, as we sow so shall we reap, hunt as you too will be hunted, do to others as you would have done unto yourself, karma. There's more. I could go on for days!


7. How much are you selling the Elephant Hunter Hunter for?

Currently $30,000. Keeping in mind it is and will be the only one in the known universe.

8. Did you use Arbortech Tools and where?

Yes of course, the butt of the gun was carved from a jarrah roof joist with the TURBOplane; it's perfect for those fluent curves. The mini grinder and turbo shaft were also used for some other more detailed handles on the pistol grips.

9. Would you recommend Arbortech for future use?

Absolutely, reliable robust and they do what they claim to do. This is not always the case with many tools on the market!



Thank you Vince for your time and keep on creating.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Arbortech Staff Woodworking Competition Entries 2015




Mahi Mahi  by Matthew Cormack

I used leftover 12mm marine ply from the floor of my boat.  I traced the fish off a photo by eye onto one of the pieces and roughly band sawed it out.  I used that as a template to draw it onto three more pieces and band sawed them all out.  The four fish shaped pieces of ply were laminated using Aquadhere, a wood glue.  I used the Turbo Plane to rough out the form of the fish, using the layering in the wood to help with the contours (see unfinished picture showing the contours).  It was finished with the Mini-Turbo and Contour Sander prior to using diluted food colouring to add the colour.


Monday, September 7, 2015

Winners of the Arbortech Staff Woodworking competition 2015

Arbortech Staff Woodworking Competition 2015



Winner of the judging Panel Prize was won by Junior Linke (Blade supervisor) for his lamp which he  called "Natural Light".  Junior was inspired to make this after seeing a guy carve a cowboy hat  in the States while working at a Wood show.  He used a lovely Mallee Burl piece for the Shade which is a very hard West Australian wood and a piece of Olive wood for the base and centre pole.






Junior’s first step was to rough out the centre of the burl with the Turbo Plane checking the depth regularly so as not to go through.  Then sand the outside and Junior used the Contour Random Sander.  He then started planning down the piece of Olive wood to eventually make a cylinder for the stand which he then sanded.




Once he was happy with the thickness of the burl shade he used the TurboPlane to start taking the thickness down.  The best outcome would be to end up with a very thin layer of wood which will allow enough light to penetrate when illuminated.  



After sanding the inside of the shade, Junior then started work on the base of Olive wood.    He basically followed the shape of the wood using the Turbo Plane and TurboShaft before sanding off with the Contour Sander. You might also notice his very inventive way of holding the shade in place which was scraps of high density foam glued together with the basic shape left hollow and a great "clamp" for the shade.


He then used the Turboshaft for drilling a hole suitable for slotting in the stand.   Once he had done this, he glued the stand into the hole.  Before glueing he drilled a centre hole in the stand for the wiring and fitted the electrical fitting to the end.



Thursday, August 27, 2015

Staff Woodwork Comp Winners 2015

THE JOURNEY 
WINNER OF PEOPLES CHOICE AWARD
Made by Steve Marsh



Steve is the Financial Controller at Arbortech and has discovered his love of woodworking after  using Arbortech tools, he has won the staff competition 2 years in a row.  His piece started out as a piece of Sheoak (West Australian timber) which he salvaged from his brother’s property many years ago so the there is a lovely aged colour to the wood.









The shape of the wood basically dictated shape of the sculpture and he started to play with hollowing out the log by using the Mini Turbo.  He then used the TurboShaft to get into those hard to reach places and create the deep channels as well as gently smoothing the shape of the wood.
Once he was happy with the overall shape he used the contour Sander to sand the piece together with some hand sanding where needed.  Steve had always intended to put on some metal off cuts from the Arbortech Brick & Mortar Saw blades to represent his family however during the making of the piece it became more about life’s experience and journey. 

Putting these metal pieces onto the piece proved to be one of the most difficult tasks due to their size and the way he wanted to attach them to the wood.  Steve pre-drilled all the holes and each piece of metal was screwed with 2 screws.  He then finished off the whole piece with oil.     Steve plans to mount the piece on a metal square with a supporting bracket to hold it upright in the garden.



Thursday, August 13, 2015

ANNUAL ARBORTECH STAFF WOODWORKING COMPETITION - 2015

Well it’s that time of year again when all of our staff are encouraged to make something using Arbortech tools.  The idea was to help everyone understand how the tools work and what they can be used on so we can all help our customers questions and queries with real experience and knowledge.  This is now the third staff competition we have had and the benefits have far outweighed our expectations and any hesitation anyone might have had before starting their project has gone.  We now have people planning their project way ahead of the start date and hear stories of working late into the night sanding and shaping.   All new employees are encouraged by others to get started so creativity and healthy competition is well and truly alive and well.   We are very proud of everyone for participating in this competition and producing such a wonderfully high standard pieces.  I am going to write up some blogs about each piece over the coming months and while I am getting the photos and stories together for these I thought it was probably easy for me to write about my own entry first.  As a Director of Arbortech, some people think that being married to Kevin and being around woodworking for the last 30 years that I would be quite good at using our tools.  The truth is that I am not and can be considered as much of a novice as most other staff.  So onto my entry which won runner up prize from the independent judging panel……….

THE SEED POD 
 by Kristine Inkster 
We recently picked up some lovely wood called Sheoak which was cut down by mistake by the local council who had left several logs of approx. 30cm  (12”) diameter.
I chose a piece which I estimate to be approx. 60cm (24”) long and decided to carve a bowl.  The wood looked like it had been cut a couple of months previously so it was still quite green.  I first started by using the Turbo Plane to  smooth the surfaces and give me a nice surface to work with.

Once I had a block to work with I marked out the rough shape of the opening I wanted in my bowl and started with the Turbo Plane and then continued with the Mini Turbo due to the tight opening I had pencilled.


The Mini Turbo was great and easy to use and as I had made a bit of a wave shape on the top of my bowl so I could get in and under this.
The shaping part of my bowl was done in about an hour and a half so I then started using the Mini Grinder sanding discs with 60 grit.  After the rough sanding was finished I used the Contour random Sander with some finer sanding discs attached and this was great for getting up under the lip and into the bowl.

After I had finished the sanding there was some splitting in the wood happening as it was still a little green so I started filling it with some resin and waited for it to dry.  After a day or so it was cracked some more so I filled it some more.  This went on for several days until I decided that I would never end up filling all the cracks and knocked out the resin and sanded back the crack to make it a feature.







I then painted a Black Japan stain onto the outside to give it a point of difference which I am happy with and hence the name seed pod.  I finished it off with some wax on the outside and oil on the inside.