Attempt at Pre-industrial Design.

•June 22, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Practicing woodwork with hand tools has lead me to discover designing without measurement, using only a compass and straight edge to lay out a design that is proportional instead of measured.

The object to be made is a set of shelves to hold 35 jars that will contain different teas.



In this first image you can see a few loose measurements, these relate to the jars that the shelves are to contain and then there is a loose sketch of the shelves to give me an idea of the shape that I want.

You can also see a small note about sizes, I went with the portrait arrangement of 595mm wide * 900mm high, These are the measurements for the internal space of the shelves. 


Now we start to see how i’ve used geometric constructions to lay out the shapes with a little more proportion. Playing around at this point i discovered that 150mm would make an ideal starting size or module. Using this size as a module would allow for 2-3 ratio between the width and the height, It would also allow the unit to be 1 module deep. The bracket feet at the bottom are also 1 module wide and split in a 2-3 ratio and the shelves themselves are 3/5ths of a module deep, making for a quite pleasing design.


This last image shows a front and side elevation of the cabinet and also a key to the left hand side which is used to set the compass or dividers, It shows the height broken down into 6 modules and then 1 module broken down into 5ths which are the key elements of this design.

Now i’ve just got to get crackin and make it!


To be FAIR!

•June 14, 2014 • 1 Comment

This little cartoon has changed the way I think about fairness and equality. WonderfulImage 

more history pt2

•November 16, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Gday there,

apologies to anyone at all that is paying attention for my rather sporadic postings,

now to continue with my tale of where i’ve been, My next port of call was the world of theatre and it is here that i made the shock discovery that i really aren’t all that good at woodworking and in particular that i have a distaste for power tools and mdf dust.

I made this discovery after getting involved in the scenography design department and getting a little cocky went for a ridiculously ambitious design and fucked it up spectacularly ( think several 4 metre high tongues instead of a poppy flower).

after this, i decided that i didn’t want that sort of embaressing experience again and set out to learn more.using a copy of paul n Hasluck’s the handy mans book as a guide and a set of anton berg chisels inherited from a long passed grandfather as inspiration i set out to build a workbench.

Over a year later with many mistakes made,shitloads of swearing, a few new scars (razor sharp 19mm mortise chisel/7stitches OH YEAH) and some hard learnt skills I had myself a new workbench.

just to rub salt into the wounds it was about now that i began discovering chris swhartz and his guide to building/designing workbenches and the fact that stanley no longer makes good hand planes.

Since finishing the bench and discovering the world of hand tools i really haven’t looked back and have been happily adding to my workshop and toolkit ever since, having a background in machining and toolmaking has allowed me to make some  of my own tools and this has led to an interest in learning to forge and that is one of my current projects.(must get around to posting some pics soon).



A little history pt 1

•August 16, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I guess it all started back in my younger days with my folks taking me off to the car races, and with the old man knowing a few people with drag cars, we got access to the pits,watching the mechanics keep everything in order kickstarted my passion for tools and using them and in in my early years I really wanted to become a mechanic.( a career i’m now glad i did not pursue.)

As i progressed through school i found that i enjoyed working with metal, no doubt some what influenced by the fact that my dad is a welder and my grandfather before him him was a fitter/turner, and so i  decided that an apprenticeship as a fitter/machinist was in order, so thats what i did, but lets be honest here, that was anything but a pleasant trip and now eleven years down the track and it’s only been in the last three that i’ve really come to feel that it’s been worthwhile.

Having grown up  in the relatively affluent but culturally (at the time)poor southwestern suburbs of sydney, my exposure to the arts, music, literature and design world was quite limited, until that is i began to earn myself some cash.

So beginning an apprenticeship became the first of many often profound upheavals in my existence. So with a wallet full of my new found meagre earnings i began to explore beyond my neighbourhood and quickly found myself drawn towards more bohemian horizons, which no doubt haven’t helped my prospects in such a conservative industry as engineering.

reading has always been a great way to pass time for me, and so it goes that the search for a new bookshop generally led the way in my adventures as my reading became more adventurous, i had to travel into darker corners of the city to get my fix, it was about now that i began to learn about philosophy in particular existentialism,which still shapes the way in which i think today. More recently,in amongst delving into some classical european literature, I’ve been reading a lot of essays and observations by designer makers such as David Pye. I firmly believe that it is imperitive that us people who work with our hands be well read in both works relating to our chosen professions and in literature, as a lot of the great works were written in times of social upheaval and can offer an alternate view to the official one that our often misguided leaders offer.

the next stepping stone was into the world of live music (and heavy drinking )it was here that i began my real education and started experiencing the power of self taught knowledge as i taught myself how to use a variety of manual cameras and then to process my own film, the music scene allowed me to do this in a way i’d not experienced before as i had a captive subject and something that the people around me were interested to see.

This concludes part one. Up next is where it all begins to come together.

cortina before and after, a trip to the blaster

•August 2, 2011 • 1 Comment

A quick before and after shot of my project car’s trip to the blasters.

Massive thanks to Mel at Austec dry stripping who did an amazing job.

something new

•August 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Been a while since i’ve been round here, but it has occured to me that i should be using this space more to my advantage than i have been.

I think i’ll start my new affinity for my blog with a little quote from john ruskin that i found this afternoon, Enjoy.

“When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us think…that a time is to come when those (heirlooms) will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, ‘See! This our father did for us.” – John Ruskin.

the finised grinder tool rest

•March 29, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This is a modified tool rest that will allow me to utilise the sharpening jigs that i have been making the plans for which can be found in the book “sharpening with waterstones ” by ian kirby