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

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


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……….

 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.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

AS170 Tool Review in BCM for Tradies

Whether you are a restoration specialist, building contractor, renovation specialist, plumber, electrician or love doing some DIY renovation, here at Arbortech we are always trying to the benefits and features of our innovative AS170 Brick & Mortar saw known to you.  If you are running your own contracting business the benefits of using the AS170 have shown that time saving vastly outweigh the costs.   So whether you have a few projects on the go or just one you will love the versatility of this high quality professional tool.  Check out the latest review

Thursday, April 23, 2015

THE TRADIE MAGAZINE April 2015 issue has done a very informative article on the AS170 in their "Tagged & Tested" section.  Have a quick read and you might learn how to save time and money on your next job!  By the way a "Tradie" is an Australian term for Tradesman, otherwise known as a Contractor to the rest of the world.. "a person or firm that undertakes a contract to provide materials or labour to perform a service or do a job"... where would the world be without them :)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Carving a Stylish Wooden Side Table With The Arbortech TURBOPlane

Grab a bunch of dried branches about  30mm – 50mm in diameter, enough to make up the perimeter of your table when layed side by side.  Cut them to desired length (at the height of the table) plus approximately 10 mm to allow for planing the surface level .  You can use any type of saw to cut these to length including a handsaw, bench or radial arm saw.

Now cut 2 plywood sheets to size 300mm x 300mm and cut approximately 6cm off the corners so that you can place the largest branches on the corners.  Mark out a large circle on the bottom piece and cut out.  Leave the top piece intact with corners cut as small rounds will be glued directly on top of this piece.

Make a small jig to hold branches for cutting slots by using a small piece of milled wood and screw or nail small pieces of V shaped board at each end.  This will then give a stable base to cradle each branch and cut a slot.

Place each branch onto the jig and mark where you want to make the slot cut on top.  Then turn the branch over and set your saw to the required depth by running your branch in the jig against the blade of the saw before turning it on.  Make sure your first cut is 20mm from the end of the branch and use an offcut to determine the width of cut.

It is best to cut the largest branches for each corner first and then glue to the top and bottom pieces of plywood.  Clamp diagonally to hold square shape while glue dries.

Now select and place the rest of the branches around the edges so that they nestle into each other. Then cut a slot for the top fit and place again to see if any excess wood needs to be shaved to make a close fit.  With the top slot fitted to the top plywood, mark and cut the bottom slot. Use the turbo plane to shave and trim any excess wood from each piece before gluing.  It is best at this stage to number each piece on the top.
Once you have cut and shaved each piece to shape and are happy with the final shape you can glue each piece into place at both slots to the plywood.  While the sides are drying you can cut some small pieces of approximately 20mm thick and start gluing them onto the top of the table including some very small rounds as well as large ones trying to fill in all of the gaps.
When your glue is dry you can start to plane the sides using the TURBOPlane so that you get a nice flat finish.  Start by marking out a line in pencil on the top of your table showing where the plywood panel below as this will give you a guide where to plane.  You can plane the sides up to 20mm from that line. Mix up either epoxy with woodchips or wood glue with woodchips and spread over the top of the table forcing the mixture down between the gaps to overflowing if necessary.  Once this is dry you can use the TURBOPlane to finish the top before sanding.

Sand any sharp edges of the sides with the Contour Random Sander and finish off sanding the sides and the top of your table either by hand or using a random sander.

Now you can finish with either oil or varnish whichever finish you prefer and enjoy using your table.

What do you think of this wooden side table? If you've made your version of this table, do send us a photo your table! 

Want to watch the video of this project? This project video is comprises of a 2 part video series. 
Watch the YouTube videos now; Part 1 here and Part 2 here.