Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Using salvaged or recycled wood with Arbortech tools.


Candle stick holder out of waste wood by Kevin Inkster:

Right from the beginning, Arbortech tools have been designed with salvaged wood, recycled wood and waste wood in mind.

The very first tool I developed was what I now consider to be a crude form of the Woodcarver blade. As rough as it was, it removed wood incredibly fast so I took it to a piece of Sheoak and freehand carved a bowl which I still have and love.
Sheoak bowl

I refined the blade for better control and then looked for larger projects. My specialty as a woodworker was in making chairs. To supplement my income in those days, I drove a country school bus. I had noticed a fallen Marri tree on my run so I took a chainsaw along one day, and got the school kids to help me drag a section of the trunk onto the bus. My intention was to carve a whole chair directly from the tree trunk using the new tool that I had developed. Not a particularly practical chair but it did have some charm. I noticed that when carving smooth free form shapes into the wood, that the grain and features of the wood would reveal beautiful patterns that would not be apparent in normal milled timber.

Chair carved from a Marri tree trunk


The result was that it won a major prize at a local Wood Festival and kicked off the beginning of Arbortech.

Since then, almost all of Arbortech wood working tools have been developed with either salvage or waste wood in mind. The TURBO range of products are ideal for machining wood in the round such as tree branches, roots or stumps. Of course they can be used with milled timber and I have done a lot of work by blocking up milled or dressed timber, but I always made a point of using waste or reject wood. Below are some examples of furniture that I made using a whole truck load of panelling wood called Scribe. Each piece is an off-cut that has been rejected because of a flaw such as a sap pocket. As it happens, such flaws become features when sculpted and do not affect the strength of the finished article because of the blocking up process.
 
Chair made from scribe


For our annual Arbortech staff competition, we encourage the use of salvaged or waste wood. We collect interesting wood from street verge throwouts and use every thing from small branches to wooden pallets.
Stylish coffee table by Kevin Inkster


'The contemplation bench' by Sven Blicks

Beach house sign by Kevin Inkster

'Stretch giraffe' by Steve Marsh


Buddha face by Kevin Inkster




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.