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 TURBO Shaft 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.
The 2015 Annual Arbortech Staff Power Carving Competition by Kristine Inkster
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 penciled.

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.

AS170 Review – BCM for Tradies

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


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! – Read it HERE

Did You Know:  a “Tradie” is an Australian term for Tradesman, otherwise known as a Contractor”


Carving An Easter Bunny From A Tree Trunk Using The TURBO Plane
This woodworking project of carving an Easter bunny from a tree trunk is courtesy of Arbortech’s German dealer/distributor, Bengs.


This is a translated version from the original German version.


Read on to see a guide on how to create this Easter bunny project and also watch the video of the project in progress.


The shape of the Easter Bunny is very simple so that is also for a beginner with no experience in carving sculptures feasible.


Arbortech Tools Used:


For German customers, you can purchase Arbortech tools here.


For Australian, US and international customers, Arbortech tools are available here.


Project Completion Time:  2 hours


As the material we use this time a trunk made of wood. It is advantageous if the timber is already dry otherwise the rabbit could get through the drying cracks later. The log used by us was still very fresh and very humid. The log should be initially divided by pencil marks in four areas.
  • Base
  • Hull of the Rabbit
  • Head
  • Ears


Now, it is advisable to individually edit each view. I’ve been using the Arbortech TURBO Plane started to carve the back part, and then the page views was made ​​and at the end of the front view. Thus, at some point A square hare. By doing so, you can very well correct and check if it looks good, the shape of hares. If you are happy with all views, the edges are broken and you can set individual body parts molding.



The ears I have done as a precaution the very end because I was worried that you could give me to cancel it by mistake. With the Industrial Woodcarver the shape of the ears will end up caught up and removed the connector between the two spoons. The Woodcarver is also well suited to shape the ears. The delicate ears I then worked up by Arbortech TURBO Plane. Since the TURBO Plane cutter disk is not only suitable for rough work but also for fine finishing work was also this work slight of hand. As a last resort, we could not indicated by the Industrial Wood Carver front and rear paws.
Finish the decoration is Easter Bunny!


Click on the image to watch the video of this project below.


Sampson Flat Fire Bushfire Woodcarvings – A Fundraiser for Kersbrook CFS
By Ruth Quick, Avid Arbortech Woodworker Enthusiast

Two days into the start of the new year of 2015, communities in the North Eastern rural fringe areas of Adelaide were savaged by a fire that started from a small spot fire on someone’s property to a raging inferno that took several days before it be could be brought under control and burned out thousands of hectares of land.  The fire front itself was over 200km in length .Several properties including those of local CFS members who were helping to fight this fire were destroyed.  The whole landscape was transformed into an eerie blackened alien mess.

I lived approximately 30 mins away from Kersbrook, the hardest hit town in the fire.  For the first time ever we too were put on alert to prepare to evacuate, something none of us had ever had to experience.  I live in the suburbs and this was just so surreal.  We could see the glow of the fires, the smoke was even choking at times to us and a few days later I found bits of burned out embers in our backyard. It just demonstrated to us how wide ranging this threat had been.

I thought I had an idea of what it would be like. I thought I could comprehend it but it was just indescribably MASSIVE.  It took a few weeks for even the roads to be open to get through as the trees were still burning inside themselves and were suddenly collapsing into the roadway causing danger to traffic.  You just don’t understand it until you have seen it.

I just had this idea after I saw an urgently set up group looking for people to help fundraise to get some money and equipment to support and replace the equipment that they had used or needed such as a defibrillator.  I contacted one of the organisers and put forward my idea that if someone could spare a few pieces of burned wood I could use my Arbortech tools to make up some simple carvings they could perhaps be auctioned off and use the money to help them with what they need.  
I was then invited up to have a look around this person’s property to collect some wood and do just that. I knew I would need something with real grunt to work my way into these piece and that’s when I contacted Arbortech’s CEO and woodworker, Kevin Inkster and asked about the donation of the Arbortech TurboPlane blade to be provided to me as I didn’t have one. This blade would be the ideal tool and I only have the Arbortech Mini-TURBO

I used the Industrial Woodcarver blade to dig out pockets of burnt out wood and grit (from where it had fallen into the ground, often from great heights) and also to help make channels/recesses that I could then  use the TurboPlane blade to scoop and plane the wood out with.  I simply couldn’t have done this with the smaller tools.  The burned wood was full of surprises, the heat had caused the wood to rupture internally in unexpected places.  You imagine that when carving on a piece of unburned wood that it would be pretty well solid all the way through.  I found that I would come across splintery dry fragmented pieces where the heat had travelled in literally caused the wood to rapidly blow apart and dry out so when I was using the TurboPlane. The whole feel of the wood would change and splinters would suddenly fly off in all directions.  Both the TurboPlane and Industrial Woodcarver made short work of all the charred wood on the surface that often covered these pieces.  I was covered in fine ash but it did the job beautifully.

The TurboPlane is now my favourite tool. It worked fabulously and there was a good amount of control and power when using it.  This wood was hard eucalyptus, it was like carving a brick at times but the TurboPlane just ate it for breakfast!  It didn’t grab like the Industrial Woodcarver as it sometimes does, but again these are two different blades and each has their own way of doing things.  It was fun, messy and always a huge learning experience for me to do this.  You really need to play around with them to get a good feel of the tool’s capabilities.

I used the remainder of my sanding discs I had left on the angle grinder attachment to sand down the wood and THEN I used the Arbortech Contour Sander over that to help get rid of some of the swirl/gouge marks. This seemed to work the best for me.  I found that the new screw and flange addition to the Contour Sander helps keep the discs on SOOO much better. It’s annoying having to go through the shavings trying to work out where it flew off otherwise.  I am going to try a couple of things myself with the sandpaper replacement rather than always having to buy discs.  I’ll keep u posted on this if it works.
I finished up the rest of the pieces with my own pyrography, engraved sayings, paint additions and clear coated them all with a tungoil/resin finish.

These pieces were auctioned at the Kersbrook Fire Fighters Support Group Fair (along with other donated items etc) which was held on the 15th March, 2015 at the Kersbrook Soldiers Memorial Park.  I have since been approached and am currently completing some more items for some residents who were affected by the fire and who want a personal memento to keep and pass on to their own children as a reminder of not just the fire but more importantly, the fact that they survived it. Someone said to me “it’s making beauty from tragedy”.  I dont think I could ask for a better statement than that and it makes me feel so good to be able to bring that into their lives after what they have experienced.

It’s funny isn’t it….I wouldn’t have been able to do this without these tools and wouldn’t have had these experiences and met these people as a result.  It’s amazing to see how much it has helped .

Thank you Arbortech so much for supplying me with the TurboPlane blade. I should add that I actually have bad tendonitis in my right hand ( I’m right handed) yet it coped ok with using these tools whereas if I had tried to use hand tools there was no way I could do this.  That was a revelation for me! Thanks again Arbortech!
The Journey of Arbortech Woodworking Tools With Clive Firth
Written by Clive Firth, UK
I used to demonstrate Arbortech tools at woodworking shows. I even did a couple of shows demonstrating for Brimarc Ltd. When my ill health got the better of me I retired to Cumbria, I started the Solway Woodcarving Group in 2006. I was the only one with both hand tools and power carving tools. I have taught loads of people who thought that, they would never be able to carve. I am very proud of my group and the work that we have done in the local community raising money for many a good cause over the last eight years or so.
Here are some photos of my carvings.
The tools that we used was the Arbortech Industrial Woodcarver, the TURBO Plane to smooth out the seat and other flat areas. The original Industrial Woodcarver was also used to rough out the main shape of Neptune, to shape his hands, chest and Trident.. The Arbortech Industrial mini discs was used to cut and shape detail, i.e. fingers, finger nails, beard and the Neptune Crown with two fish.


I would like to share how the story chair came about.
My group and I were asked to build the chair for the Town’s Community Garden. At first I thought about the old stories that I was told as a child such as Jack and the Bean Stalk, Little Red Ridding Hood, etc.. but soon realised that they now deemed old fashioned. I looked at modern day stories Harry Potter, Gruffalo and others. Both avenues seemed to have limitations and did not reach over all age groups. At the time there was a lot been said to me by people who lived here all their lives about passed events and their memories. Silloth was built in Mid to Late Victorian times. There were clown and singing acts on the Green, donkeys, then more modern day and up to today there are shows and events on the Green. Everyone that spoke to me were keen to tell me of the nice, happy and fun times on The Towns Green, they all had stories to tell. So I decided to make the design to cover all those events and happy times because all had a many, many stories.



On the back the is a Big Ferris Wheel, The Happy & Sad Faces of Theatre, Music score and beer glass’s a Marquee and people outside it.
These representatives of The Fairs, the Theatre, the Music & Beer festival and the Art & Craft Shows. On the one side are the Clown of both yester year and modern years, the donkeys and the laying/planting of the Towns Green is represented by flowers. On the other side the are Kites for the Kite festival and an Old Steam tractor/Roller to represent the Vintage Steam Rally.

The Arbortech TURBO Plane is reviewed by Bob Duncan in the Fall 2014 issue of Woodcarving Illustrated Magazine.

Bob says about the TURBO Plane; “When I first tried the TURBO Plane, I set my feet firmly, grabbed the grinder, braced my shoulders and wrists, and applied the tool to the wood. I was pleasantly surprised at how little resistance I felt as wood sliced off the blank. This tool moves wood without causing wrist, arm and shoulder fatigue.”


Read the article HERE.



Woodworking Project: Mustache Clock Using the Arbortech Power Chisel & Mini-TURBO

This nifty woodworking project, the mustache clock, is a great gift idea or a bit of quirky home decor to display on your mantel, bookshelf or counter.

Time required: Approximately 2 hours

Arbortech tools required:

  • Power Chisel
  • Woodcarver’s Starter Kit 5 Chisel Pack
  • Mini-TURBO

Wood used: old stair oak

Our woodworking dealer from Germany created this version of the mustache clock however written in German, we have translated to English in this blog post.

You can build very small or witty gifts with Arbortech tools. Here is the new hipster clock tinker itself. On this page you will find an instruction manual how to use less material and cost a great Mustache (Moustache) can build clock. The material used for the clock an old stair oak was used.



First, a mustache is printed glued to the wood pile and cut with a band saw. Of course you could also form the basis of a Wood Carver Rout, in our case, we have used a band saw.


The Mustache Dial

The mini turbo kit we cut a rectangular hole in the fits the movement. It could use a template, since the recess is not visible later you can mill freehand them too. The front of the clock is also dealt with the mini turbo kit. Only the outer ends are thinner then cut the edges rounded off with the small Schnitzfräser. If the shape of the timber profile of a mustache corresponds to it can be a bit sanded with coarse sandpaper. However, it should not be too smooth grind coarsely ground as it works better him. The Turbo Chisel and a 90 ° chisel from the 5-MultiPart chisel set then some grooves carved into his mustache. To set the clock to color wood stain color mahogany was used. After the stain dry the clock was once again sanded to obtain a Vinitage look.


The Movement

Finally, the movement is mounted. When you buy a clockwork it are the waves for the pointer as long as possible. Most of the dial thickness is specified in movements. The thicker it may remain the easier it is to produce.

Click on the image below to watch the project video (please note: video is in German).


German Video


For the original video of this mustache clock project (and in English), below is Arbortech’s video.


English Version

What Tradies Want: The Arbortech AS170!

What Tradies Want: The Arbortech AS170!

There’s the old saying “you get what you pay for.” Yes, we believe that is true. We get a lot of questions as to why the Arbortech AS170 is “so expensive.” Perhaps if you are just purely comparing the product to a mass manufactured in a country with very cheap labour and many other development factors, then yes, perhaps the tool would be considered expensive.

When the tool is sitting on the retail shelves or if you happen to see an advert for the tool in a magazine, it just doesn’t do any justice or the AS170. This is where trade shows and exhibitions are great as we demonstrate to a live audience/potential customers see the value and what the tool is capable of. 

This brick and mortar saw is an ideal tool for;

  • Tuckpointing
  • Brick Removal
  • Restoration
  • Renovation
  • Repairing Brick Walls
  • Lintel Repairs
  • Cutting Cement Block
  • Historical Restoration
  • House Repairs & Repointing
  • Toothing Brickwork
  • Chimney Repairs
  • Expansion Joints
  • Installations of Vents, Registers etc.
  • Electrical Outlets
  • Plumbing

Arbortech participates in several trade shows throughout the year in parts of Australia, United States, UK and Europe. Want to request a demo? Click here to request one now. Alternatively, you can stay up to date on the shows we will be exhibiting by checking on our website under “Events“.

We’re not biased to say that we think the AS170 is a fantastic tool for every tradesman. The AS170 was tried and tested by a tradie for Australian magazine, What Tradies Want.
The tool review is being featured in this month’s issue of the magazine. Check it out below. Click on the image read the full article.