Mike's Blog

Companion Websites

We now have several companion sites which are devoted to a particular subject area.  This might be of use for example, if you are considering the purchase of a scroll saw machine.  The site deals in depth with most of the questions which might arise free of the clutter of a site with many other items.




A Nifty New Oil Applicator

Details HERE

Precision oil dispensing 'pen' suited to maintenance of scissors, weapons, folding knives and all shear blades.  The synthetic oil resists temperatures up to 260 deg. C, is approved for contact with food by USDA and FDA and physiologically safe according to DAB and LFGB (see below).

Anti-drip 7mm long stainless steel nozzle allows precise dosing. Contents 12ml.





The Forbidden City Beijing - Some Construction Insights

The forbidden city in Beijing is a massive walled compound of some 960 x 750 metres containing over 900 buildings.  It is the centre of the ancient capital and was built between the early 1400's and completed two hundred years later.

It's main attractions now for tourists are the series of palace buildings which are wooden structures in the main with the wood covered in what we might call a gesso, presumably a clay based plaster which conceals the wood and allows for decoration.

The wood used for the massive beams and columns is Phoebe zhennan, a member of the Lauraceae family (as is Camphor Laurel, Cinnamomum camphora also a Chinese tree revered in China, introduced to Australia in the 1840's and now officially a weed species in many regions because it is so invasive). Phoebe zhennan is endemic to China and now a protected and valued species threatened by habitat loss.


I was intrigued to see 'into' one of these columns via a hole in the plaster into which no doubt thousands of fingers have probed.  It indicates the problems of cladding wood, which is seasonally unstable, with a plaster which presumably is a dimensionally stable coating. The maintainance is bound to be an ongoing chore because the wood is continually changing dimension and cracking the plaster.


FC 11  FC 16
FC 17  FC 18
FC 14 FC 12



An Email Conversation May 2015 - Is Renaissance Wax Safe for use on chopping boards?

> Question
> Is the Renaissance microcrystalline wax/polish food safe?
> Can I use it on cutting boards?
> Can I melt it into Mineral Oil instead of using beeswax?
> Cheers
> Gary

See here for the fuller story


an excerpt below - emphasis is mine
ADI = average daily intake

Following a request from The European Commission, the Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food (ANS) was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on microcrystalline wax (E 905) when used as a food additive. Microcrystalline wax (E 905) is authorised quantum satis as a surface treatment agent on non-chocolate confectionery, chewing gum and decorations, coatings and fillings, except fruit based fillings. It is also permitted as a surface treatment of melons, papaya, mango and avocado. The substance was evaluated by the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) in 1990 and 1995 and by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), the latest in 1995. The JECFA established a group ADI of 20 mg/kg bw/day for mineral oils, paraffins and microcrystalline waxes. The Panel noted that all mineral oil products accumulated in tissues in a dose- and time-dependent manner with the exception of microcrystalline waxes. The Panel concluded that there is no concern for genotoxicity from microcrystalline wax (E 905). The Panel also considered that the available toxicity studies with mineral hydrocarbons, closely related from a chemical point of view with microcrystalline waxes, consistently reported no effects of concern associated with the intake of microcrystalline wax. The Panel further concluded that since no long-term toxicity and carcinogenicity studies with microcrystalline wax E 905 were available, no ADI could be established. The Panel also concluded that the conservative exposure estimates to microcrystalline wax (E 905) from its use at maximum permitted level (following quantum satis rules), resulted in a sufficient margin of safety compared to the NOAEL established by the Panel for the closely related high viscosity mineral oils, and therefore the use microcrystalline wax (E 905) as a food additive with the currently authorised uses would not be of safety concern.

© European Food Safety Authority, 2013
In my opinion it is 'food safe' in the sense it will not be a problem on chopping boards. It is clearly not a smart thing, or likely to be 'food safe', if you were to tuck into a few spoonfulls a day hence the use of the term quantam satis, 'the amount which is needed''
If the Euro standard for MC wax states that it is 'safe for kids toys' (reference - the Liberon Products catalogue) it is going to be OK for chopping boards.


In life and wood working safety is a very elusive and relative thing to discuss. 

To digress for a bit, many woods themselves are probably toxic - certainly the dust thereof - and a few are likely to be carcingenic - e.g. cypress pine which white ants rarely if ever touch.  Any wood they won't eat is likely to be unsafe to breathe the dust of.

My personal experience with splinters of mulga and a couple of other western desert acacias is instructive for me - they fester and produce pus around the splinter comparatively quickly. 

I have a few sticks of an understory tree from Eastern Australia called rhodosphaera rhodanthema - aka Tortoiseshell Tulip Wood - one of the most beautiful woods I have worked - but every time I work it and inhale some dust my heart rate noticeabley picks up.  It will almost certainly have an alkaloid which is a heart stimulant.

Best wishes



An Email Conversation - Does Tung Oil breathe better than a Poly Finish? 

> Question
> I have a timber house with 150mm baltic floor boards and a badly ventilated (poor extension work) sub floor area with variable moisture content. Would tung oil let the timber breathe and thereby reduce the risk of cupping which happened when I covered one room with precoated solid timber boards?
> Also should all coats be diluted at 50% and what is the coverage rate?
> Thank you for your advice.
> Regards


General comments on thinning, coverage and technique are here
In theory a tung treated stick is probably going to breathe a bit better than one with a heavy membrane coating - e.g. polyurethane - on one face only. There are many other variables one of which you point out is an adequately ventilated subfloor.
I doubt the pre-coated boards were coated on both faces?
Coating one face is asking for trouble especially if there isn't adequate clearance and ventilation because one face is more open than the other to daily and seasonal moisture variations and hence cupping.
In an ideal world there is adequate ventilation, your boards are acclimatised to the location before laying (they are at equilibrium moisture content, EMC), your boards are all quarter sawn (about 3 to 4 times more stable than flatsawn which is what 150mm baltic pine boards will be), you have a species suited to use as exposed flooring (baltic is/was an average species widely used when carpet or lino was always intended) and you can get a coat on both faces.
If you are thinking of making a business of this get a copy of Bootle
I suggest you try to deal with the subfloor ventilation issue as a priority.  There are health issues here, my son specialises in subfloor ventilation and is full of anecdotes about the mould  & mushroom fields he encounters.
Best wishes


Hybrid Hand Saws - in two size options

These saws meet the market for western users who are accustomed to using a hand saw in a typical western method but who also appreciate the sophistication of the Japanese style crosscut teeth.

If you have the eyes re-sharpenable, cut on both pull and push with 0.8mm blades and 1.05mm kerf.  They cut with amazing speed.

Details HERE.




Chris Lacey - Tasmanian Based Scroll Sawyer

Chris is dealing with the onset of Parkinsons and is a remarkable example of how the highly precise hand eye skills needed in scroll sawing can be maintained in the face of a such a diagnosis.

Chris is an advocate for increasing awareness of Parkinsons and has had quite some media exposure in his endeavours.

He can accept commissions.

Contact Chris at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

His latest opus in Tiger Myrtle and Huon Pine.  Note the Bird's Eye Huon in the front panel.




New Addition - Vacuum Table Bench Hold Down Kits

We have just added the M-Power Vacuum Table Hold Down kits and will have first stocks soon.

The kits provide all the hardware needed to fabricate a bench hold down table to either the design supplied in the kits or a layout of your own choice.

The large kit is capable of holding sheet stock up to 1200 x 2400mm.

These are extremeley useful for holding work pieces for routing or sanding and ideal for batch production work and in most cases will eliminate the need for time consuming clamping.  

They require you to have an extractor system or vacuum or a venturi rig for a compressor. USA made

See purchase details HERE.


e1111 1

 e1115 e1116 2 
 Vacuum Table  The Ball Valves  Template Routing



Joint Genie - Addition To Range

We are agents for what we regard as the world's most useful doweling jigs, the British made Joint Genie range.

The range is now even more extensive with a Professional LONG M8 set now available and in stock.


New Range Of High Capacity Clamps

These are a solution for all those of us who need high power clamps to close up joints on lousy joinery.  Just kidding but with up to two tonnes of pressure at your fingertips these look pretty special.  Spanish made.

FX Extreme are F clamps with the screw fully enclosed and lubricated for life.

HX Extreme are hydraulically activated F pattern clamps.

LX are F clamps with a lever cam action and release trigger.

VX are probably the highest capacity sash cramp available with a massive H section bar and an astounding 2 tonnes of clamp pressure.


See the FX range HERE.



See the HX range HERE.



See the LX range HERE.



See the VX range HERE.



Hegner Exploded Parts Diagrams

We sell the German made, Hegner range of small machines across Australia and New Zealand.

In these days of disposable power tools is is notable that Hegner continue to support machines to the component level which are in many cases more than 25 years old.

Just compiled a collection of parts diagrams to assist those looking for spares.



New Listings - Japanese Hocho Chef Knives

Just listed a comprehensive offering of Japanese chef knives known generically as Hocho.  These are a delight for woodworkers who cook and love quality knives in the kitchen.

The mastersmiths represented in this selection take the build and aesthetic qualities of these knives way past any mere functional requirement.

f8210 10


Sharpening Work Station

Several years ago when the Wood Works had a centrally located shop in Sydney my colleagues and I used to teach a short course in sharpening. 

To assist with the classes I made 8 sharpening stations which were designed to be lifted into place on the bench for the duration of the class and stowed aside afterwards.  I have had many enquiries for the design of these stations and sold all but my last one hence the point of this data sheet.

The ability to quickly set up a sharpening rig and then stow it away is a common requirement for many workshops so my design is detailed below for all to use and adapt as desired.


Read more HERE


ss 06



Nifty New Stubai Multi-Gauge


Stubai have just released a new multifunction gauge with replaceable steel pins.  It can be used as an offset scribe to fit a profiled stick of wood, a compass and marking gauge.  It has a 220mm range with metric calibrations and is precisely made with high quality aluminium.

t7068 SMALL


M-Power Tools & Equipment

We now stock several of the M-Power tools range.


Router Base - HERE Fence Kit - HERE Edge Guide - HERE
E1100 a0501 A0500
Trammell Heads - HERE Multi Square - HERE RH Tape Measure - HERE
t7352 t6845 1 t7570
Profile Scribe - HERE
 t7334 126x126



Teeth Pitch Reckoner

See a reckoner table for teeth per inch and tooth pitch in millimetres HERE.

As always constructive comments and criticism are welcomed


Band Saw Blade Issues

I field a lot of questions about bandsaw blade selection.

The following suggestions are from a Technical Data Sheet 'Bandsaw Blade Selection' which you can see in full HERE.


In choosing a blade you might consider the following.


  • It is good practice to have at least three teeth in the cut at any one time (it follows that thinner stock needs a higher teeth count).
  • Tooth gullet capacity (the gullet is the gap between the teeth which carries the shaving which, when full, slows feed rate), the power of your machine, blade speed and of course sharpness largely determine the possible feed rate - the speed work can be cut.
  • Higher tooth counts cut slower because the gullets have a lesser carrying capacity.
  • Faster feed rates equals rougher cuts, slower feed rates equals a finer cut.
  • It follows then that halving the feed rate more or less doubles the effective tooth count.
  • For a given feed rate, more teeth per inch equals a finer but slower cut and fewer teeth equals faster but coarser cuts.
  • Generally (but not always) work faces cut on the bandsaw are re-worked after the cut so instances where an off-saw cut is appropriate to an end use are the exception.
  • If you accept this then trueness and speed of cut may ultimately be more important than smoothness.
  • Greater blade width means less ability to take corners and narrower blades are good at cornering. See the radius table below.
  • Wide blades rip more accurately and are better at straight cutting.
  • Higher blade tension and attention to blade guides reduce blade wandering.
  • Higher blade tension is less likely to cause blade breakage in wider blades which have a wider and stronger weld.
  • Blades which predictably cut askew are likely to have unequal set. (Set: the degree of splay in adjacent teeth, ideally equal, and necessary to allow the blade to have the clearance to cut and not jamb.  The blade has a native thickness and a blade with set creates a cut width called the kerf.)
  • Blades which randomly cut askew are usually blunt or poorly guided or poorly tensioned or overfed or of low quality.
  • Blades should probably best track on or just backwards of centre of the wheels.
  • Blades which pull off the wheels when work is pulled out of a cut are usually tracking too close to the front of the wheels or are running under less than optimum tension.
  • Using standard blade stock thickness on small diameter wheels can cause fatigue cracks in the blade and/or premature weld failure.
  • Mass produced, pre-packaged blades are generally of poorer quality than the made-to-order blades we supply.
  • Never run bandsaws with the wheel guards removed. When a blade breaks it is as startling as a gun shot at close range and remember the powered lower wheel keeps turning and can cause serious injury if the blade remains are not contained.
  • I cannot extract any enthusiasm from my saw doctor supplier for tungsten carbide tipped (TCT) band saw blades.  I suspect this is becaue of the unyielding and problematic nature of the weld between the TCT tips and the blade



Vices with a twist

We offer work holding solutions for many needs.

See a full listing HERE.

e2109 e2112
Patternmakers Swivel Base
e2104 e2106
 Swivel base carvers  Top qual. front vice kit
e2110 e2142
 Precision German quick adjust  Austrian made tail screw


Additional information on UNC (Unified Coarse), Whitworth (aka BSW British Standard Whitworth)

Wiki link HERE

The use of whitworth for inch sized threads is in decline in Australia and the more or less compatible UNC is often supplied instead. 

For most Australians who buy their fasteners from big box hardware chains their typical options will be one aisle of metric galvanised and one aisle of UNC/Whitworth zinc plated.


Unified Thread System

US Authors often use thread descriptions which confuse because the UNC standard uses gauge numbers for sizes under 1/4 inch.

It is not immediately clear that for example, a #4-40 UNC designated screw will be a close enough fit for what Australians would know as 1/8 inch Whitworth or that a #6-32 UNC designated screw will be a fit for 5/32 inch Whitworth.

Use this table to decipher the US standard.



F.D. Saw Files added

We now offer a range of 8 extra slim taper second cut saw files suited to sharpening western style hand saws.

Details HERE.



Hegner Machines for New Zealand customers

We now can offer a flat rate freight cost of AU$100 for New Zealand buyers of the Multicut 1, Multicut 2, Multicut SE and Multicut Quick machines.

Delivery inside 6 to 10 working days.


Improved Searching for our Site

When you visit our site you will see that we are suckers for listing cool and interesting items. 

This does result in what can be a complex searching exercise so to assist with comparing and seeing the whole listing of certain basic tool and equipment groups, we are in the process of introducing LIST OF ALL displays.

This will allow for example viewing our complete listing of plier action tools across all uses.





Activity Based Search Groups

Further to the Lists Of All described above we also offer search results for groups of products across all categories determined by what Activity you are engaging in.  For example Dovetailing will list pretty much everything available from us which you would likely need to research, mark up, cut and assemble dovetail joints.


New YouTube Hegner scrollsaw videos

Just released high quality, multi language, promotional videos of the Hegner range of scrollsaws



Time & Tide Quartz Movements

Just added, a combined time and tide cycle movement well suited to mounting in weather station projects.

Two sizes of dial faces available.

Full instructions included. 

See HERE for more information.




Construction Markers - German Made 

f2700 1



f2710 1


Deep hole marker pens with a long pointed nose to mark in deep recesses and holes. Available in DRY or INK versions.  All markers are supplied with a pocket holster. 


Re-fillable DRY pens use wax based, dry, sharpenable, refill compounds which mark on a very wide range of materials including dusty, rough, oily, wet and dark surfaces. 

Two varieties of dry refills available -  water soluble which wipe off with a damp cloth, and water jet soluble which need a more vigourous scrub to remove.

  • WATER SOLUBLE DRY REFILLS for markers available in BLACK, RED & YELLOW.
  • WATER JET SOLUBLE DRY REFILLS for markers available in WHITE, BLUE & GREEN.


Non-refillable INK pens have permanent marking ink which is removable with methylated spirits. Ink pens mark virtually any dry surface with a 1.0mm wide mark. A major bonus is that the cap can be left off for up to a day.

  • INK markers are available in BLUE, RED & BLACK



New Vacuum Product

Quite a few dust collection applications in the workshop can benefit from these segmented 'anglepoise', vacuum hose nozzles which you can bend close to a dust generation point such as a lathe, drill press or router table.  The hose is self supporting up to a metre in length and can bend around a 150mm radius. A slide valve and three nozzle options - square, round or tapered (pictured) available. US made and top quality - 2 1/2 inch ID.


Details HERE.


LocLine 03



New Bench Hold Down from Dawn Tools

Most kids in Australia learnt their school wood work using a Dawn vice.  Their new hold down is a very useful bit of gear.  You can place our SCREW INSERTS around benchtops and provide for hold down points wherever you want.


Buying details HERE.






New Range Of Japanese Rentetsu Carving Knives, Hocho, Higo, Chisels (nomi) and Buckles

We are in the process of launching a range of Japanese made rentetsu Carving Knives, Hocho (Chef's knives), Butt Chisels, Higo carpenters folding knives and, to round it all out, Belt Buckles with fascinating patterns forged into the rentetsu iron. 

Rentetsu wrought iron has a woodgrain appearance - mokume - and was made during the 19th century in parts of Europe.  It is now sought after and recovered from old bridges and the like and forms the cushion backing steel for the blue or white paper steel which gives Japanese edge tools an unrivalled edge holding ability. It is used on hocho both because it doesn't taint, like a western carbon steel chef's knife, and because it is soft enough to allow the smith's chop to be inscribed in the cheek steel of the hoch knives.

Higonokami are traditional folding pocket knives resembling a western cut throat razor in action.  Our Higo offering has the classic laminated blades which are revered in Japan for their appearance.  (more links and detail as we get it all listed)


Carving Knives





f3773 3


Water Based Lemon Shellac Polish

Just listed.  Water soluble lemon shellac which is perfect for applications where an alcohol solvent, such as used for standard French Polish, is either dangerous or inappropriate.  Water based shellac has a silky sheen and many uses as a sealer and final finish. See HERE for details.


Mike Darlow's 5 Books On Special

Mike Darlow is a leading technical authority on hand woodturning and the author of 4 titles on the intricacies and theory of hand woodturning.  His fifth book on Design is a tour through the architectural applications of column forms in particular and places the modern fascination with wood turning in its historical context.

All five books for $95 plus postage. (Note: Three titles pictured however all five included)

See details HERE






Brass Set Screws and Wood Screws


Fastener Splash


We have begun to add a range of USA made, solid brass, cut thread, wood screws and British sourced, solid brass set screws, bolts, nuts and washers.  These fasteners are of the sort of quality once standard and taken for granted in Australia until the advent of massive, big box, hardware stores. 

Now I happen personally to love these huge stores, but I do get a lot of bad feedback about the knowledge of staff and, curiously, the stock range which you would assume could never be an issue.

In any case see these links;


The Wood Works to market Liogier Rasps

We have just concluded an arrangement to market the world's leading brand of hand cut rasps.  Noel Liogier, whose factory is near Lyon in France, makes in excess of 1400 rasp options, the teeth on each one of which is hand cut.  The resulting tools are revered world wide for their cutting feel and durability which machine made rasps simply cannot match.  The range is available in both traditionally hardened and sapphire hardened which are tough enough to even work soft metals and perfectly suited to tough and abrasive Australian wood species.

See the popular Cabinet Makers range HERE.


Cabmakers sml



Escutcheon Pins


These are traditionally used to mount escutcheon plates around key holes on doors and the like but have numerous other uses such as pinning glazing beads around doors and windows.  In this application solid brass will not rust such as may raw steel panel pins.


  • Available in over 60 sizes in solid brass - see HERE
  • Available in over 10 sizes in nickel plated solid brass - see HERE
  • Available in 12 sizes in brass plated steel - see HERE


German Forged Axe, Hatchet & Adzes

We now distribute a range of axes and hatchets hand forged in Germany in the traditional way.

There are felling, limbing and block splitter full size axes and forest, carpenters' and backpack hatchets all available with optional leather edge guards.


See HERE for more details.


New Range Of Small Wood Screws

Just launched, a range of brass, nickel, antique bronze and black oxo coated, round and countersunk head wood screws.  If you need tiny screws for mounting decorative plaques or escutcheons and a host of other applications look HERE

 h5240 4  h5222 4
 See H5240  See H5210 and H5222
h5330 4 h5320 4
See H5290 See H5280
 h5300 4  h5310 4
See H5300 See H5310
 h5290 4  h5280 4
See H5290 See H5280



Using Tung Oil on Concrete

A customer is using our tung oil on concrete and is delighted with the results. Pure Tung oil is a naturally derived tree nut oil which, when applied thinly, cures by interaction with oxygen (auto oxidation) to a tough, attractive, matte seal which can then, after some time to allow for the oil to fully harden, be buffed to a very attractive finish. The pluses are that it can be touched up at will with maintenance coats, is food safe for kitchen woodware and safe for use on toys.  Pure Tung has no added toxic driers or extender oils.

The uses for this oil are continually being extended to such as rammed earth, stonework and concrete.

Our Pure Tung Oil Data Sheet is our most downloaded and referred to data sheet.


Leather Tool Rolls

Sadly Samuels Leather, in Byron Bay, have shut down production of the best range of Australian made leatherware.

We have now found a European supplier of a range of chisel rolls with offset, opposed pockets which are really nice.

See the details HERE.

e2215 3


The parenting habits of Mud Wasps.

For those who never encounter them, mud wasps make mud incubating cocoons for their young, then kill or stun other bugs, pack them as food inside, lay their eggs and seal the exit of the mud cocoon with more mud as they leave.  When the eggs hatch the table is ready-set for the young hatchlings who then exit by burrowing out of the mud cocoon to start the cycle all over again.

Hegner scroll saws use an air pumping bellows situated under the bottom arm which pumps air through tubes and pipes to where the blade is cutting and blows dust and shavings away from the cut.

Note the following recent email exchange to see why this is of particular interest to scroll saw wood workers.




The most common cause of bellows pumps not delivering puff is a perished bellows followed closely by blockages caused by mud wasps.


Japanese Saw Case Range added to

We've just listed these Gyokucho saw cases which fit popular size dozukis and katabas.






Butt gauge available again.




After a lengthy delay the classic butt gauge is now available again. The Stanley #93, #94 and #95 Butt Gauges were manufactured from 1897 through to 1984.  In Australia the Silex version lasted a few more years but then all were declared extinct.

The new release is solidly made and fully chrome plated with dual 50mm and 2 inch scales.


Buying details HERE.

(Bona fide resellers please email for distributor pricing)


Follows the relevant pages from 'Antique & Collectible STANLEY TOOLS - Guide to identity & value" by John Walter, agreed to be the bible on the products from this venerable company's early, and many would agree best, manufacturing years.


ButtGauges 02

ButtGauges 03


More special chisels

In addition to skew chisels and skew/knife chisels for dovetailing and other joint cutting (see below for both), we now offer small mortice chisels with tips ground from heavier blades. This offers chisels with a detailing tip on a relatively hefty blade. Boatbuilders like these for raking joints as well.  The one pictured is a 3mm wide tip on an 8mm bevel edge Stubai chisel. We can supply other sizes to order as these are tailor made.




The case For Hegner Scroll saw blade clamps

The blade clamp system - a Hegner patent - has both functional and safety aspects.  Cheaper saws using pinned blades do not always retain the bits of broken blades which can fly about and cause eye injury when blades snap.  It is likely that the ranking of OH&S issues for scroll saws should have eye injury from dislodged bits of blade far higher than the chances of being seriously cut by the blade.  The Hegner clamps usually retain the blade fragments.  Blade clamps fix the blade much more rigidly in its cutting plane whereas pinned blades wobble about and the pinless blades used by Hegners allow the finest pierced work because the blade ends can be fed through very tiny holes. Pinned blades need a relatively massive hole. Finally pinned blades are half as expensive again as pinless and available in only a handful of tooth pitches and patterns compared to pinless blades. We suggest you consider these issues when deciding on a machine.

See our Hegner scroll saws HERE.


Brass Thumbscrews & Brass Thumbnuts

At The Wood Works we confess to being fastener freaks and we have just launched a range of solid brass thumbscrews and matching nuts. Made in Australia. These are very useful when teamed with our brass thread inserts for wood.  For the meantime metric 4, 5, 6 and 8mm sizes.  If you have large enough order for a special size may be able to help.


Thumb Screw Screw & Nut Assembly Paired with Inserts Thumb Nut
Details HERE Details HERE Details HERE
h2900 150 h2900 1 150 h2900 2 150 h2990 150


Tinting Pure Tung Oil - Solvent Dyes

We now offer aniline, solvent soluble, powder dyes. This is in response to many queries about tinting our Pure Tung oil. This completes the range with solvent soluble, water soluble, spirit soluble, water and spirit soluble dyes all now available.


New Kelton Industries Shear Scraper

The latest in a stream of highly innovative products from Kel McNaughton's fertile Kelton Industries has been released.

The holy grail for turners is how to clean the bottom of deep forms, like bowls, while avoiding tearout.  This tool allows extravagant negative shear (enough to rival some practising politicians!) and, as usual for Kelton, is not in the slightest bit penny engineered.

Stocks in mid July. Search HERE for detailed info and user advice.




Skewed Bench Chisel Sets

A paring chisel with the blade in shear to the material is much more efficient at cutting. We now offer skewed Left & Right Hand pairs in 5 ranges of our premium Stubai bench chisels.  They are available in the 3530, 3550, 3543, 3560 and 3570 series in around 18 sizes in each series generally ranging from 4mm to 40mm.


See HERE for the 3530 series.





Joseph Marples Tools Available

The Marples family name in Sheffield UK is justly famous over many generations for the production of layout tools for woodworking.  Now after many years of company takeovers, mergers and outsourcing to South and East Asia we can now source genuinely Made in Sheffield products again.

Better still East Indian Rosewood - Dalbergia latifolia - is now available from certified renewable plantation sources and it looks lovely.

The Rosewood Marples range looks especially nice.

Search on site using the search word Marples.







Antique Woodworking Tools, Their craftsmanship from the Earliest Times to the Twentieth Century

Buy details HERE


Just listed, the sumptuous new tool history best-of-class title on the history of woodworking tools.




Amassed over nearly forty years, the David Russell collection brings together a stunning array of edge and boring tools from Britain, continental Europe and North America, thus providing a broad survey of hand tool-making from prehistory to today. All the tools are illustrated with James Austin’s photographs, with details and marks shown where appropriate. Special attention is given to planes, and the great British makers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are discussed in depth. The book will appeal to a wide range of readers, including collectors, craftsmen, industrial archaeologists and social historians.


Blue Paper Steel Chefs' Knives - Arata hocho

We've just added these to our offering because we love quality in the kitchen as well as the workshop.

They have rust resistant cheek steel beautifully hammered and with the maker's chop. The edges will discolour if not cared for - we recommend keshigomu blocks for this end. The cutting steel is around 63 Rockwell and lethally sharpened. We suggest only waterstones for these. Please also be mindful of where, and by whom, these are used - they should only see use for people who know what a sharp knife is. Packed in Japan with a band-aid included - a bit of Japanese drollery.




Japanese Abrasives

Just added these. The abrasives market in Australia doesn't usually see these which rarely seem to get out of Japan.


Cloth Back Emery

Kovax® emery cloth is thin, efficient and extremely flexible and shows extraordinary wear endurance. There is no equivalent for this product - it is an absolute must for makers of musical instruments and fine furniture. Can be used wet or dry. Super durable.

See here for Rolls

See here for Sheets



Cork Abrasive belts

These belts, in which the grinding particles are applied to a thick layer of cork, are used in Japan by leading manufacturers of knives and shears to produce their legendary hollow grinding and high-quality finishes. They are watered before sanding. The belts respond more elastically than conventional textile belts, delivering concave surfaces with considerably fewer visible ghost lines. - 50 mm x 2 m, 3 pcs. per pack. See HERE.



Citric Terpene Drought

UPDATE!! - As of September 2012 Brazilian sourced CT is available again. Buying options HERE.


'Skarsten' Style Scraper Available

This style of scraper was once made by Skarsten in the UK - haven't seen them for years and we are often asked if they are available. Can be honed on a suitable stone or spare packs of spare blades available. SEE HERE.


We also offer the 4 sided German scraper which is good enough to be fettled up as a cabinet scraper. To sharpen, loosen the screws, align the edges of the scraper on a honing surface, tighten screws and hone the flat on both blade at once. SEE HERE.



Pure Tung Oil On Stone & Marble

We've had some good feedback that tung works well as a sealer on terra cotta and marble.

Test first to see if you are happy - leaves a 'wet look'.


Some Kiwi Humour

"After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, British scientists
found traces of copper wire dating back 200 years and came to the
conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more
than 150 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the Brit's, in the weeks that followed, an American
archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet, and shortly after, a story
published in the New York Times: "American archaeologists, finding
traces of 250-year-old copper wire, have concluded that their ancestors
already had an advanced high-tech communications network 50 years
earlier than the British".

One week later, the New Zealand Herald, reported the following:
"After digging as deep as 30 feet in his backyard in Onerahi, Bill Paku,
a self-taught archaeologist and avid Motorhomer reported that he
found absolutely bugger all. Paku has therefore concluded that 250 years
ago, New Zealand had already gone wireless."

Just makes you bloody proud to be a Kiwi!!!


Wider range of Cabinet Scrapers

We have added more options for this most essential and affordable tool. These are especially nice for fine work. Swedish steel.



Order Hassles - December 7th and thereabouts

Our site has had some problems placing orders for a couple of days. Apologies. When all else fails remember to email and I'll call you.


Stubai are seeking a larger share of the Australian carving tool market and have offered factory bonus pricing which, combined with the strength of the Australian dollar (for however long it lasts), allows for this sales campaign.


Stubai maintain a tradition which for them is several hundred years old. They still make their carving tools by hand forging and grinding whereas other manufacturers have moved to CNC manufacture. Each tool is hammered out on a drop hammer powered by an in-house hyrdo-electric generator. The shaped tool then goes through many processes to finish as a hardened, honed and ready-for-use carving tool. There are no fewer than 980 tool options making it the largest range in the world.



Hammering the tang Shaping the blade
forge_01_300 Forge_02_300


150,000 Holes (not in Lancashire)

Customer needs to drill 150,000 holes in green eucalypt logs with depth stopped countersink. He's putting down mushroom spores.

I'm suggesting this in an 8mm version.

Any better ideas?

Click HERE



ChiselKnives for Dovetailing etc.

We've just launched our chiselknives which use a Stubai 'Spezial' steel alloy blade ground with a skewed tip and around 45mm or so of blade along each side of the chisel. We make and fit a hardwood paring style handle fitted with a heavy walled brass ferrule. The extreme skew provides shear in cuts and helps with clearing joints. There is no vertical side face along the ground side edges. Available HERE in 12mm left and right hand skew and in pairs.




HEGNER Scrollsaw Dust Hose Retrofit Kit

Hegner in Germany have released a long awaited retrofit kit for their Multicut 1, 2S, SE and Quick machines. It is an articulated top dust hose which either puffs dust away or vacuums it up depending on the arrangement you have. Stocks due in a couple of weeks. It will be fitted standard to machines from the end of this year. For a peek at more detail see HERE or search using S6914.




Shellac crop failure

Unfortunately there will be a steep rise in shellac prices due to a seasonal crop failure. The standard orange grade will rise around 30% - ouch!


Joint Genies

Joint Genies are causing a stir - Just been discussing the merits of dowelling systems and a customer strongly held the view that a ganged array of well aligned dowells, preferably across two adjacent rows, used with a quality glue and quality hardwood dowell is unmatched for joinery strength. The amount of side grain to side grain adhesion is so in excess of any other system.


Dowelling Jigs - New line of dowelling jigs available in late June. Check out the Joint Genie.


Very cool tools. See the You Tube video on the Home site.



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