Buying more machinery…

Posted on April 23rd, 2006 in Opinion by Julian Edgar

Right now I am typing with green fingers. Not ‘green’ as in the metaphorical fingers that gardeners have; nope, green as in covered in green paint. I am not quite sure why the paint is green; it could equally have been red or black or silver. But when I made the colour choice, green seemed more appropriate for a bandsaw and a table saw.

You see, I’ve been buying more machinery. I’ve now decided that good quality machinery in an amateur workshop will last forever, so if I buy it now, it’ll always be available for use. Even if that use is so intermittent that the machine gets a work-out only every six months. In fact, another machine I have just bought will probably fall into that occasional-use category. But I’ll come back to that one in a minute – what’s this about a bandsaw and table saw?

Both items had come up at the local Tender Centre. Tender Centres are an interesting way of buying secondhand bits and pieces. The goods are arranged for inspection, and – like at an auction – each item has a ‘lot’ number marked on it. However, unlike at an auction, when you make a bid (called a tender) you have no idea of the amounts that other people are bidding for the same items. This is because the tenders are submitted in writing.

The goods can only be inspected on certain days – usually a Friday, Saturday and Sunday once per fortnight. At the inspection, a clipboard is issued and you fill in your contact details on the form. Carrying the clipboard around with you, you then write down the ‘lot’ numbers of the items that you’re interested in, and state what you’re prepared to pay for them. Items may have a reserve – but you don’t know what it is.

That Sunday night you hear which of your tenders were successful. In addition to the tender amount, a small processing fee is paid per successful tender, and also paid is the equivalent of a buyer’s premium – around ten per cent.

Revisiting the V6 Commodore

Posted on April 9th, 2006 in Opinion by Julian Edgar


Back in November 2004 we drove the VZ Commodore SV6 (see Holden VZ SV6 Manual Test) and in January 2005 we tested the VZ Commodore wagon – see Holden Acclaim Wagon. Of course, the VZ is the last iteration of the Commodore that began life with the VT model in 1997, but powered by a pair of new high tech, quad cam, 3.6-litre engines rather than the old pushrod 3.8 litre V6. The quad cam had been an engine we were very much looking forward to and well before its launch, we trumpeted its design in Holden’s New World Class V6. However, as the two on-road tests show, the reality was far less impressive than the on-paper spec.