News & Updates

Why do we make the things we do?

Lockdown 6 has emanated in Melbourne, with all the same difficulties, challenges and opportunities that seem to be integrated into everyday life now. Here are some of the projects that the Altona Woodies have come up with, using materials squirrelled away in the workshop or sourced from local suppliers.

Winding sticks – Bob S. Made from Mountain Ash floorboards donated by another club member, with Ebony, Huon Pine and Jarrah inlay. 
Otways Myrtle stool – Graeme. A deceptively simple, floating design – very comfortable – sourced from Urban Salvage, Spotswood.
Ash’s mobile cocktail bar – purposeful up-cycling, much supported by Woodies

Workbench made by Fiona in a week-long intensive with Phoebe Everill, using a mix of eucalypt, from a Daylesford supplier.

News & Updates

Tool restoration – what’s underneath that rust?

There are a lot of old tools lying around – in second hand shops, markets and sheds. Here’s how to remove some of the rust and see if you’ve found something worth using in the workshop. It’s simple, just some vinegar and water, some metal sandpaper and steel wool. And some oil to prevent the rust returning.

So, here we go….

These looked like basket cases but were solid, the saw was sharp and the square was, well, square…

A rub down with some metho and steel wool revealed an interesting medallion on the saw handle – the saw is an American Henry Disston, around 100 years old and had been kept sharp until the rust set in. So well worth a go at restoring.

Removed the handle to prevent the wood turning black in the acid bath and soaked the saw plate in vinegar overnight. Same treatment for the square, also avoiding any contact between the wood and the vinegar.

A LOT of rust came off, so that was rubbed off with sandpaper and the plate was returned to the vinegar bath for another few hours. After that, more sanding with 80 grit, then 120 grit followed by a rubdown with steel wool (0 grade).

The wooden handles were lightly sanded and finished with a thin coat of Carnuba wax. The saw handle turned out to be apple and the square rosewood.

Finally, the brass inlay was polished up with metho and steel wool (000) and a thin coat of Camelia oil was applied to the metal parts to prevent rusting.

The metal had taken quite a hit from the rust but still came up pretty well, all things considered.

One problem that a couple of club members have found, is brass turning into a rose colour if it hits the vinegar. Cam’s fixed this using Brasso.

And sometimes the handles need work, in this case the original boxwood handle couldn’t be salvaged, but could be replaced by Bob S. Awesome!

News & Updates Projects

“Looks like more woodturning coming up for the next seven days” – Woodies smash through lockdown 5

Heaps of projects going on in the workshops!


Using the big dog to shoot some cedar box lids. Francis.

Finishing off the tapers for a Shaker style bedside table in blackwood, to match the one done in the first lockdown. Fiona.

Fine scale speed turning – seam rippers for sewing – tiger myrtle, buloke and a mystery piece. Bob S.

Necessity being the mother of invention…Graeme

Second attempt….


Third attempt – shortened hex coupling sleeve, rather than shortening the drill and re-grinding worked.

Chair-making in Tas-sourced Huon Pine

Turning tenons

Red cedar Japanese toolbox – Bob S.

14 x 3 inch red gum slab being turned into submission by Serge

News & Updates

End of term show and tell

Last meeting for this term after a few weeks off and members’ lockdown projects were on display. This term’s project was ‘bookends’, producing some stunning and diverse interpretations. And as a bonus – toys, tables, boxes and bowls. Even a router plane using an allen key.