Stu’s Shed

Murdering electrons in a Woodworking Workshop. Covering woodworking tools and techniques (with the occasional venture over to “The Dark Side” with traditional hand tools and methods).

One thing I found while on the woodworking journey is the frustration from having to discover things by trial and error. This site started as a way to get some of those answers out there, presented in a down-to-earth manner from one woodworker to another.

It has grown to cover reviews, how-to articles and more in-depth articles about the technology behind the tools, as well as answering questions posed from readers around the world. It also covers a bit of my journey as well – we all start from somewhere, and I will never stop learning so as I do, what I have discovered (rediscovered) will end up here as well. I’m quite a tool addict, and have as much interest in the modern electron-murderers (power tools) as their traditional alternatives.

There is an ever-increasing library of videos (all free btw), and you can watch them directly from this site, or subscribe to the iTunes Podcast so each new episode can be downloaded automatically as they are made available.

Hopefully there is something here for everyone, and if not, let me know – I’m always looking for the next article! I tend to post something new every day, if not more often, so keep coming back and get the latest info. Is there anything about woodworking that you ever wanted to know, but didn’t know where to ask?

Last, but not least, welcome to my shed! Grab a stool or a tool, and a beer (or whatever is your poison), and let’s make some sawdust!

About Stu

Demonstrating the 3D Router Carver System

Where in the world do I start? I am – Stuart Lees, BE(Mech), APSNZ. Born in Australia, raised in New Zealand, now living in Melbourne. I am married, and my beautiful wife and I are blessed with our gorgeous young daughter. I completed a Mechanical Engineering Degree at Auckland University, specialising in materials, metallurgy and welding engineering. From there, I went into the Navy (RNZN) as a Marine Engineering Officer, and served primarily on HMNZ Ships WAIKATO and TE KAHA.

I was a bit younger and fitter back then (sigh).

I then moved to Melbourne, and have been in a few roles here: consultant on the ANZAC Ship project, Emergency Procedures Trainer, Communications Supervisor for the Australian Grand Prix, Motorcycle Grand Prix and Super V8 Clipsall 500. I then became the IT Trainer / Project Manager for the Faculty of Arts at Monash University for over 9 years, before moving into facilities management, and am currently the Faculty’s Facilities & Resources Group Manager.

So onto woodworking. I’ve been actively involved in woodworking since 2001, and taught a couple of woodworking short courses at Holmesglen Tafe, and was the instructor for the now disbanded Triton Woodworkers Club, Holmesglen (I was also president of the club for a couple of years).

On the occasional weekend, I was demonstrating Triton woodworking products while that program was running. You’d find me on one stand or another at the Melbourne Working with Wood Show, oh, and there are a quite a few magazines out there with articles of mine in them – Australian Wood Review, and there are also articles in back-issuues of House & Home magazine, and Australian Toymaker. I currently write for ManSpace magazine, and The Shed magazine.

So what is it that I do woodworking-wise? Pretty much anything that I can get my hands on. I’ve done a bit of turning – primarily small items such as pens, but I have gone as far as table legs and detail features for a nautical weather set. I hope to progress this a lot further – I now have a very nice Jet Mini lathe which suits me for the time being, and have added a Nova chuck to that (good kiwi engineering!). I’ve made entertainment units, bookshelves, dinosaurs, picture frames, puppets, fences, dog houses, playhouse furniture and so on…

For what it’s worth, I was awarded an APSNZ (Associateship of the Photographic Society of New Zealand) in ’99 for my photographs taken while in the Royal New Zealand Navy.

so until next time,

About Stu’s Shed

Stu’s Shed is just that – a modest tin shed on a suburban block in Melbourne. Although as of 2014, it may not be so easy to classify it as modest! As I see it, the shed is a tool, just like any other contained therein, and I do what I can with the tools that I have.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t like collecting new tools, and bigger and bigger sheds are always very useful! (Is there such a thing as too big a shed?)

This virtual “Stu’s Shed” came from humble beginnings – the original blog was meant to be somewhere I dropped a few thoughts, and links to some interesting websites that I had come across, and as a more dynamic area of my Triton website. It didn’t really take off as a concept- but the seed was sown for this redevelopment. Then the ability to host significantly larger video files meant the whole genre of podcasting was finally a reality. The first video on this site alone is 3 times the size of my previous web server space!