Created by Christine Taylor, Arbortech Secretary 

Novice woodworker? No 

Description of your wood art?

I like to eat fish, I love the flowing curves of a fish shape and a fish is a strong symbol of nature and my son loves fishing.
I had previously carved some fish and wanted to make a bigger (fatter) fish.  I found some rafters from our disassembled pergola in the garden and thought they would be suitable.  They were very suitable, however I was disappointed that by the time the wood was shaped around the fins the size of the body of the fish had diminished somewhat!

Where did you get your inspiration for your wood art piece?

Fish shapes and my son’s love of fishing.

What type of wood did you use?

Recycled jarrah.

What Arbortech tool/s did you use to create this piece?

  • TURBOPlane
  • Mini-TURBO
  • Contour Random Sander 
  • Mini Sanders

 How long did it take to complete this project?

The project probably took about 8 hours in total.

What was your process in the creation of this project?
  1.  Finalize the design and select the wood
  2. Shape the fish using Arbortech tools
  3. Oil sanded fish with Arbor-oil
  4. Make frame from recycled roof batten using miter and handsaw. 
  5. Assemble and hand fish in frame using hooks and fishing line.

Where does this piece reside now?

The Tailor is ‘swimming’ on the hearth in front of the fireplace at my house. It is enormously pleasurable and satisfying and amazing to see the finished product after visualizing the idea and collecting the raw materials.

Be Quiet

Created by Rocky Xu, Arbortech R&D Engineer


Novice woodworker? No 


Description of your wood art?

Last year I did a face but not an exact 3D one. This one goes further. I feel it is not as hard as I thought originally and get a sense of achievement as it is getting more clear. The process is the most important.


Where did you get your inspiration for your wood art piece?

I wanted to make something useful and at that time I was practicing living in the present. I decided to make something that would be a reminder of that. I thought of a lot of concepts but still thought this figure is the most applicable to me. This sculpture I carved is to remind me to be living in the present time and also reduce the noise in my mind.

The inspiration for my wood “Be Quiet” sculpture


 What Arbortech tool/s did you use to create this piece?


How long did it take for you to complete this project?
 I worked on the project for 15 minutes to 2 hours each time. In total it took about 20 hours for this piece.


What was your process in the creation of this project?


 1.  Choosing the material
I didn’t want the wood to be too big because too that would mean a lot of materials would need to be remove. It is hard to find something that is of a suitable suitable size but I ended up finding a long wood block and I cut a square piece from it. The good thing is the that the wood was hard but the bad thing was that it wasn’t a cubic shape.


2. Carving
Decide on the rough position of profile of the features and start caving from shallow to deep gradually. At the same time adjust the profile of the face and head gradually.  After comparing the picture and my wood, I shifted my focus to the area of lips, hair and shoulders. The positioning of the eyes and nose was a bit hard to balance. My fellow colleague, Boro, brought in a statue of a girl’s head (which he had sculpted himself) to show me the correct ratio of the features on the face. I learned the ration was 3:1.
When I was carving the area near the eyes, as I carved deeper, the natural pattern of the wood showed up. Because it is a kind of hard wood, the pattern shows one kind of transparent red, and the pattern is formed around features on the face naturally and looked fantastic.
I drew a rough profile on the wood and started taking the wood off gradually. As I went on I found that it is impossible to follow the template picture exactly and I gradually deviated from it and started to follow my own form my wood artwork.
On the face there is some areas which are narrow and hard to carve but in these places the Arbortech Power Chisel helped a lot.


I also spent a lot of effort on the hand because the gesture of the hands is the focus of the whole artwork. To make the gesture looking real and natural, I used my own hands as a template, followed the shape and the angle and I’m pretty happy with the results.


Where does this piece reside now?

The carving now currently sits on my desk at work. I spent relatively a lot of time on the hands of this wood carving and now every time I see it, I get much satisfaction from the artwork I have created because of the effort I put in it. The beauty of woodworking is (as Kevin Inkster says), “no matter how good your skill is, it is unique and a piece of original artwork.

The issue of the adhesive sanding pads flying off under high heat from use has been addressed with a prototype version of the screw and flange. We started production and testing of the screw and flange prototypes back in September last year. We provided the folks over at Australian Woodsmith magazine a sample of this prototype for testing and evaluation. Here is their evaluation based on their in house testing and published in the latest issue (Feb/March 2015). 

Arbortech Contour Sander Screw & Flange Fix
Click on the image for enlarged view

We also offered the screw and flange prototypes to customers who previously purchased the Arbortech Contour Sander via drect request. Our team has been working on production versions of the screw and flange and we will provide further updates over the next few weeks. if you have any queries about your Contour Sander or the screw and flange, please click here to send an inquiry.

Reviewed By: Peter Boyd, Professional Sculptor 
Tool Reviewed: Arbortech TURBOPlane

Turboplane carving blade woodworking tool

I have been working with wood for 30 years. I started in historic house renovation, and then moved on to traditional chair making and woodcarving. I combine experience and the correct tools to work efficiently, and this brings out the best of my abilities and the qualities of the wood. I have made hundreds of pieces of unique woodwork; chairs, tables, mirror, cabinets, figurative and abstract sculpture. I have always been driven to seek out new projects and new tools, and soon found that the Arbortech products used with a standard angle grinder opened up exciting new possibilities.

I have been using an Arbortech Tuff Cut for many year and it has outlasted three angle grinders and is still as good as new. The only problem I have found is that it is hard to make curves accurately, as it cuts on the outside edge of the blade. It is also quite dangerous as it could jam into the wood and run backwards. Angle Grinders have no safety switch so they run around like a manic shark until you pull the plug. Firmly holding the tool will prevent this. I have only had this happen once in 10 years of use, but it is not something I want to repeat.

When I heard about the Arbortech TURBOPlane , I was very excited to see if this would open up new opportunities and it certainly did! I found it excellent for removing bark, smoothing off the rough finish made by chainsaw or axe work, and even shaping bowls and large carvings such as the tree carvings (as shown in my pictures below). 
It is much safer to use than the edge cutting discs as it cannot dig in, and also because it makes nice big shavings rather than dust, it massively reduces the risk of lung or eye damage. I found it did need resharpening more than the Tuff Cut, though it still kept sharp for a long time. I only needed to sharpen it twice on a life size female nude carving in oak. Keeping it sharp is easy. No need to remove it from the machine; just make sure it is unplugged though! A few passes with a cheap diamond flat file on each cutter brought it back to a sharp edge. Carving bowls is a good way to start using this useful tool, and even a beginner to power carving should be able to make beautiful gifts easily, and soon cover the cost of buying the TURBOPlane.

See Peter’s life sized nude woman carving from start to finish of the project here. Peter used the Arbortech TURBOPlane and Power Chisel.

Arbortech’s AS170 brick + mortar saw is the ultimate tradesman’s tool which is ideal for all masonry restoration and renovation jobs. This versatile and powerful tool has been featured in the latest issue (Jan/Feb ’15) of BCM For Tradies magazine.

Check out the articles and feature below!


















The AS170 comes with a variety of different blades for the various trade jobs.



The AS170 masonry saw is ideal for electricians, plumbers, masons, builders but it isn’t just limited to these trades only.




Yep, a serious tool for serious work!



The AS170 named one of the top tools for 2015 in BCM For Tradies Magazine.

Got any questions? Want to request a tool demo of the tool? Email us here.

Different wood species are good for different purposes and uses.


This blog post we will be putting larch wood in the spotlight. This wood is the ideal wood and perfect for exterior work and furniture.


Read on for the rundown on larch wood.
  • In practical medicine the bark of Larch and resin were used for respiratory and kidney ailments as well as in bandages for burns
  • Larch prefers to grow alone in full sunlight
  • It’s habitat is Russian Siberia with plenty of swamps, bogs and moist soil
  • When Larch is properly processed, its inherent beauty becomes more vivid
  • Due to its legendary properties Larch is considered to be one of the best among the wood types. It used to be especially popular in Venice, Italy and other great marinas
  •  Larch wood has become a staple of residential and commercial applications
  • Larch is resistant to extreme climate conditions, repels, insect and fungus attacks, and is not harmed by acids or alkalis. It possesses inherent silica content and natural oils, which eliminate the need of using any preservatives or sealants
  • Larch may be left untreated for years and yet be easily restored to its original golden brown color, although some prefer to add some color to it
  • The beauty and durability of Larch has led to its lasting popularity in the production of outdoor decking and interior decorative trim, as well as all military and commercial European ships until XIXth Century
  • Larch is the ideal wood for decking, for it’s become the standard of excellence. Boat builders have appreciated natural characteristics of Larch for centuries; its unparalleled durability, workability and resistance to all extremes of climate. Larch wood remains unaffected by insects, fungus, acids or alkalis. The natural oils eliminate the need for preservatives and sealants used to prevent wood from cracking. Larch is also appreciated for its golden color, dark markings and straight grain. Although coarse in texture, it is smooth to the touch and virtually has no raised grain. Owners may choose any shade of finishing or leave its natural silver grey color
  •  The City of Venice was constructed on platforms raised above water, and resting on piles made of Siberian Larch. After 1400 years some of the piles were inspected. It turned out that larch piles serving as a base for the underwater part of the city have become so hard that cutting them either with an axe or with a saw is next to impossible
  •  Larch decking requires no further maintenance and has a number of advantages. This product is suitable for residential decks and walkways as well as commercial and public spaces




Source: http://www.maliburemodeling.com


The Light Of My Life

Created by Kristine Inkster, Arbortech Executive Director


Novice woodworker? No 

Description of your wood art?
The base of a lamp for the home.


Where did you get your inspiration for your wood art piece?
The piece of wood. I carved this piece because I was running out of time before the event was to be judged and saw this piece of cypress pine which I thought would make a good lamp base.


What type of wood did you use?
Camphor laurel.


What Arbortech tool/s did you use to create this piece?
  • TURBOPlane
  • 4″ sanders
  • Mini Sander
  • Mini Industrial


What was your process in the creation of this project?
I cut it in half to make two pieces the same size and then drew a rough shape for the neck before cutting each piece with a bandsaw. After deciding which sides I wanted to show as the external edge of the lamp, I then ran a channel for the wiring down the center of each piece using the Arbortech Mini-Grinder with the Industrial Blade attached.


Once I had the channel I could glue both pieces together so  I could start shaping.  I then used the TURBOPlane to take off the edges and give me that nice rounded rectangular shape.


When I was satisfied with the shape I  used the Contour Sander to sand the neck and sides.  I then used oil to finish off as I wanted a matte finish before threading the wiring through and gluing in a small piece of aluminum tubing into the top to make it look a little nicer.  Then I purchased a lamp shade which suited the base and have placed it on the entry hall table.


Where does this piece reside now?
Entry hall table in my house. See picture below of the lamp being displayed at my house. 



Yesterday’s Hero

WINNER 2014 Arbortech woodworking competition


Created by Steve Marsh, Arbortech Financial Controller


Novice woodworker? No 


Description of your wood art?
Scrap wood rescued from a tree which was being cut down. It was left outside to season and rot before being rescued and preserved. Showing contrast between extremes of condition within the torso. 


Where did you get your inspiration for your wood art piece?
The wood before rotting looked like a “complete” male torso. The wood itself was the inspiration.
I salvaged the wood when a neighbour cut down a very large Marri tree, originally the wood had an extra small branch which made it look much more like a male torso than it does now. The “natural” shape was displayed in my outdoor area for many years and provided habitat for many creepy crawlies and bugs. I noticed that the wood had started to rot, and I was keen to not lose the piece altogether. This coincided with me looking for a project to complete for the woodworking competition. Voila!  I decided to try and make a sculpture from the wood. I have many more pieces of wood in my yard from the same tree and hope to be making more items using this wood.


What type of wood did you use?


What Arbortech tool/s did you use to create this piece?


What was your process in the creation of this project?
Firstly I started to remove any rotten wood, this was much more extensive than I had originally thought and ended up with the almost the entire core of the branch being removed, I then decided to finish the job and hollowed it out entirely. I wanted to highlight the affects and patterns in the wood caused by its long term exposure to the elements. Even quite late in the process there small inhabitants were fleeing their homes! and yes I did feel bad!
The process was quite organic and the style of the piece changed quite significantly while working on the wood. I ended up doing far less work on some parts that I had originally intended (mainly the legs) and other parts ended up being worked much more in order to show up the contrasts in the wood. This was a much different process to the other pieces I have made, where I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to achieve before even starting the work.
Once the piece was finished I decided that it should be mounted in such a way as to highlight the contrasts between the various surfaces, so I used a piece of salvaged building timber and iron rod to mount the torso. The process was very rewarding in itself with many creative ups and downs and at one point quite late in the process I was on the verge of starting a new project, but I am glad that I saw it through and am ultimately very happy with the outcome.


How long did it take for you to complete this project?
Overall the project took about 10 hours spread over a couple of weeks. For the sanding I was able to use the new Arbortech Contour Sander which saved me an enormous amount of time, and allowed me to achieve a finish which I would have struggled to achieve otherwise. I did spend significantly longer time during the process thinking about the progress and where to from here.


How did you feel about being the winning piece for this year’s staff woodworking project?
It was great, it was especially rewarding as I had been very unsure about the piece when I was working on it and it was not until close to finishing it that I could see where it was going, even when finished I was a little unsure about it. So receiving the recognition was great, and it is always nice to receive positive feedback from colleagues and friends.


Where does this piece reside now?
The piece takes pride of place in entry hall, and does sometimes double as a hat stand. I have an old house and the hallway is quite dark so I am currently thinking about adding some lighting to the piece. If I do it would be an up light recessed into the stand.


Final comments?
When I attended high school it was compulsory for boys to do woodworking and metal working. I was never good at either and spent my entire year of woodworking trying to make a table (which my mother loved, as only a mother could). Since I have been working with Arbortech I have been inspired to try a different approach to working with wood and this has allowed me to produce a number of pieces which I have given as presents and also have around my house. This has allowed me to explore and develop a creative side which I previously would not have done. Thanks Arbortech!

Wooden Bowl


Created by Boro Trpevski,
Arbortech Production & Quality Control Engineer



Novice woodworker? Yes. This was my first woodcarving piece and I have learned some new skills in woodworking with great help from my colleagues. I enjoyed this project very much. Understanding what I can achieve with the Arbortech tools, I will test my artistic skills with my next woodworking project (next time will be something more complex). 


Description of your wood art?
A bowl in the shape of a heart.


Where did you get your inspiration for your wood art piece?
The shape of the wooden off cut piece. It was natural to follow the shape as is with small modifications. The natural shape of this wood piece and it’s size dictated what I could carve out of it. I wanted to preserve the outer spiky form in particular and the outline of the off cut already had a triangular/heart looking form which I more or less followed and created the heart looking bowl.


What type of wood did you use?


What Arbortech tool/s did you use to create this piece?


What was your process in the creation of this project?

1. I started with the Arbortech Mini Grinder and the Woodcarving Blade only to realize the wood was too hard and it would take too long. I decided to switch to the TURBO Plane for a rough cavity shape on a dipper side of the bowl, then continue with the Mini TURBO to carve the internal shape.


2. Next, I used the Arbortech Mini Grinder and the mini Industrial Blade to make a more pronounced “heart” shape out of the bowl. For sanding, I used the Arbortech Contour Sander with several grits.


3. The last step was waxing and polishing.


How long did it take for you to complete this project?
Approximately 1 hour and a half to complete this project.


Where does this piece reside now?
It is on a dining table in my home, radiating love for all.


Rustic Entertainment Tray


WINNER 2014 Arbortech woodworking competition
Created by Barry Fitzpatrick, Arbortech Production Manager



Novice woodworker? No 


Description of your wood art?
A portable food and drinks tray.


Where did you get your inspiration for your wood art piece?
This was an original piece that is something practical to use to transport wine, glasses and finger foods from one area to another safely and securely. To my knowledge, I have seen nothing else like it.


What type of wood did you use?
Marine plywood and timber dowels.


What Arbortech tool/s did you use to create this piece?


What was your process in the creation of this project?
1. Draw a card template for the top tier.
2. Cut two identical sheets of marine plywood to desired size.
3. Transfer the shape and hole centres through the template onto the top tier.
4. Transfer the hole centres through to the bottom sheet of plywood.
5. Drill the 6 holes for the wine glass stems, and cut the top tier to a shorter length for access for the food items on each end.
6. Bore the pillar holes 50% of the thickness of the plywood sheet using the transferred spotted through hole centres from the template with brace and bit.
7. Cut slots with tenor saw to meet up with the wine stem holes and drill and cut centre wine bottle hole roughly smooth with drill bit and rasp file to round.
8. Cut pillars to selected height and end handles from the same 20mm dia dowel rod.
9. Clamp top and bottom tiers to a flat surface and using Arbortech TURBO Plane, shape and wave bevels around the edges, while clamped shape recesses to join wine glass stem holes along two sides.
10. While clamped using the TURBO Plane, plane the top surfaces of both tiers to achieve the desired pattern to achieve the rustic look and cut top tier end bevelled semi-circles.
11. With an Arbortech 50mm Woodcarver Blade shape the utensil, wine bottle base and tile receptacles to prevent movement of items when put onto the tray.
12. With a Woodcarver, cut a slot along the handles to the thickness of the bottom tier.
13. With the Arbortech Power Chisel, form 6 x round recesses at the holes that will accept the and locate the wine glasses securely
14. With the Arbortech Contour Sander, sand all surfaces starting with 80# and working up to 600# sanding discs for a smooth glass finish.
15. Glue the pillars into position into the 50% blind holes, hold in position with the aid of inserting an empty wine bottle for centring the top tier in line with the bottom.
16. Glue the slotted handles onto the base tier each end.
17. After adhesion complete any further last sanding to perfect, clean off any excess glue.
18. Oil with a rag using olive oil.


How long did it take for you to complete this project?
It is difficult to give an exact time as I did not start and finish at one time. I estimate it took me about 8 hours.


How did you feel about being the winning piece for this year’s staff woodworking project?
I was obviously delighted in winning with the knowledge that people liked my idea and piece enough to vote for it, but I was also surprised as there was a lot of other deserving pieces in this staff competition. 


Where does this piece reside now?
My piece is currently residing in my meals area waiting for the weather to change for some BBQ’s where I intend to put it to some good use.
Since all my family members have seen the tray they all want one! The trouble is I have no time to make them. It has also crossed my mind to set up and make them on a commercial basis. If I make more, it would be with two bottles of wine instead of one to coincide with the number of glasses.