Wednesday 26 February 2014

Best of the Woodworking Web - The Ox

Part of our mission with the Triton blog is to bring you what we see as the best of the web with regard to wood working. This link is to an inspirational video by Ben Proudfoot. Enjoy


Eric & Viviana Hollenbeck
Blue Ox Mill and School
1 X St.
Eureka, CA 95501
Phone: 707-444-3437

WATCH ink&paper - another craftsman doc by Ben Proudfoot -

Directed by Ben Proudfoot

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Blackdown Shepherd Huts, Modern Craftsmanship with Classic Design

The Triton team is always interested in talking to both woodworking enthusiasts and professionals alike, and the one thing they have in common with us is a passion for engineered precision.

We recently visited Blackdown Shepherd Huts, a rapidly-growing artisan business based in South Somerset, England.  The original shepherd huts have been around for hundreds of years, and were built as temporary shelters for shepherds to use whilst away tending the flock. Made from a variety of materials, local skills were utilised to build basic shelters and sleeping accommodation.
 Blackdown Shepherd Huts has taken this Victorian utility building idea and transformed it entirely - applying a blend of traditional craftsmanship and modern design to produce a range of unique, bespoke living spaces.
These basic farmers’ shelters are now being reproduced to the highest quality standards with modern luxury and comfort.  Fitted out with a compact modern bathroom and kitchen, the huts can be used as a home office, or even a luxury sauna or holiday let - the options are seemingly endless.
Quality construction starts from the bottom up, with locally-forged iron wheels and a robust oak frame chassis - hand-finished with Danish oil to an exceptional standard.  All of the materials are locally sourced, which together with the appropriate sheep’s wool insulation, help keep the environmental impact of each cabin to a minimum - both during production and for the years ahead. 
The exterior of each hut is clad either in feather-edged oak or metal sheeting, depending on the client’s request. However it’s the flexibility of the interior design and choice of quality materials that really shows off the team’s dedication to quality without compromise. 

“We would rather take time to explain to a customer the performance benefits of the quality materials and finishes than compromise simply to save costs,” commented George Bannister, one of the driving forces behind the business.  Looking at a sample of the huts and seeing frame and chassis work in progress in their well-appointed and expanding workshop, it’s clear they are winning the support of their customers in this regard.

From a start-up business just two years ago, Blackdown Shepherd Huts now employs five craftspeople directly, as well as providing regular support for the local forge that produces the metalwork.  Their reputation is spreading across the globe, with a new manufacturer based in Australia who works with local timbers, building huts to the original and exacting Blackdown specification and precision standards.  George explained that a rapidly-growing part of their business is the supply of kits to ‘self builders’, giving them the opportunity to construct their very own Shepherds Hut using the quality components supplied.
If you want to know more about Blackdown Shepherd Huts and the unique living spaces they create, visit their website at

We will be returning to them later in the year to see the ultimate workshop upgrade!

Monday 10 February 2014

UK Men’s Sheds Association Launch

One thing that’s really clear to us from chatting to woodworkers at shows and events is that they love to share details of their work, tips for improvements, and generally natter about their projects and tools.
However it’s often the case that men over the age of 50 spend a good deal of time on their own in the workshop, garden, or home alone. In particular when gents retire they often lose their primary social contact with workmates and colleagues, and as a consequence can become isolated and lonely. And that’s not good for physical or mental health.
This was the issue that the Men’s Sheds movement – originally conceived in Australia - was set up to counter. Sheds are cropping up all over the world with the same primary aim: to give men an opportunity to socialise with a common purpose focused around practical projects and hobbies.  The range of activities they get up to in their sheds is huge and includes woodwork, metalwork, model making and photography, but there is really no limit. The key point is that a shed is set up and run by the members for the members.

There are over a thousand sheds in Australia, and more than one hundred and fifty in Ireland, and at the beginning of November the UK joined the party with the launch of the UK Men’s Sheds Association in London.  There are forty sheds already set up in the UK and many more in the pipeline, and the locations are as varied as their members. Gosport Shed is based in an old Royal Navy fort, whilst others are based in vacant shop units or community centres.  The activities reflect the skills and interests of those involved as well as the community around them. 
Triton attended the UK Men’s Sheds Association Launch and chatted to lots of the ‘Shedders’. They are an inspiring bunch and could quite literally be a life saver for those that get involved.   Over the next few months we will be visiting several groups to give you a peak behind the shed door. If you’re a member of a Men’s Shed Association from anywhere across the globe and would like to share what you’re doing with the Triton community, drop us a line - it would be great to hear from you!

The UK Men’s Sheds Association offers practical advice to those wanting to set up a shed in the UK. There’s also the chance to link up with other sheds across the country. They can be contacted via their website;

Thursday 6 February 2014

Triton Demonstration Workshops - Southern Africa

With many skills-based creative pastimes, it can take many years to perfect your techniques and woodworking is no exception. Choosing the right tools for the job as well as understanding how to get the most impressive results can take a long time to master.
For many years Triton Power Tools in South Africa has held annual workshop tours, both to introduce people to the latest technology from the range and to demonstrate how to get the best results from each product.
The most recent round of thirty six project workshops were held at local dealers across South Africa, where an invited audience were treated to detailed demonstrations on how to create a wall mounted cabinet with a raised panel door.
Hosted by Triton guru Greg De Villiers, a typical workshop lasted around 1 ½ hours in which time the project was completed from start to finish. Numerous tools and accessories were used including the Series 2000 WorkCentre and extension table.

The Triton Router Table was a highlight of the workshops, together with some of the associated accessories such as the Triton Finger Jointer (for the cabinet construction), Biscuit Jointer (attaching of the gable) and Jigsaw Kit (for roughly cutting out the gable profile). A number of core routing skills and functions were demonstrated each evening including template making, flush trim cutting and edge planning. Many people were amazed at the ease at which the raised panel door was constructed within the time. The Triton Router and accessories really make production of seemingly complex projects straightforward. The project plans for the wall mounted cabinet were made available to all customers attending so they can practice their new found skills in their own workshops.
The feedback from the more than 650 woodworkers who attended and the dealerships who hosted the project workshops was overwhelmingly positive. The series will continue from February to May in South Africa and then move to Namibia and Botswana in June.
If you would like to watch Greg creating the wall cabinet or portable toolbox projects from the roadshows check out our video archive