Port Douglas Property

The Port Douglas Century 21 real estate team trusts you have survived the festive season, and wish you all the best for the year ahead. We hope you continue to gain value from our regular newsletters, and we plan to keep you up-to-date with all the news related to living and investing in real estate in the Port Douglas region.

Respected industry scribes predict the continuation of the current strong trend for property sales in Far North Queensland and particularly in the Port Douglas region. Statistics from RP Data show that in 1999 the median house price for Port Douglas was $201,200 and by 2004 it was$529,000 that is a growth of 162.5%. The median price of land in Port Douglas in 1999 was $205,000 and in 2004 median land prices had soared to $701,500 a growth of 242.2%. It is no wonder that in 2004, 10 properties sold in Port Douglas that were over a million dollars plus.

Also listed as a hot spot for investing in 2006, Port Douglas has seen a consistent rate of activity in units. With the prediction that there will be further rapid expansion in units in 2006 and an improvement in unit price growth. In the year 2000, only one apartment sale over the $1million dollar mark was recorded for Port Douglas. In 2004 there were 7 apartment sales over the $1million dollar mark recorded.

The Australian desire to live close to the beach is increasing demand for scarce properties in coastal areas of Queensland and is continuing to fuel these figures. Currently Century 21 Port Douglas Real Estate has an absolute beachfront property listed. Most rooms and the pool area of this Port Douglas property enjoy a view through the coconut groves to Four Mile Beach. If you we have sparked your curiosity about the price of Baler Street Port Douglas we encourage you to view the rest of the house on our website at [http://www.realestateportdouglas.com.au/523] . Have no fear offers to purchase are By Tender only.

Foreign Investors have also jumped on the bandwagon with purchases of Queensland residential property by foreigners at $354 million for the financial year 2004/2005. An increase on the previous two years according to the Qld Department of Natural Resources & Mines. Of the total foreign investment in Queensland, 69% was for investment purpose and 31 % for owner occupation. Statistics show that Port Douglas property accounts for $5.3 million of the foreign investment in Queensland in the year 2004/2005.
Our friendly neighbours the New Zealanders are the largest foreign buyers of residential property in Queensland in 2004/2005, closely followed by the United Kingdom. On a lighter note we here at Century 21 Port Douglas, are convinced it has more to do with the shock in feel good Vitamin D from the sun and Vitamin B from the beer that keeps the them coming our way. It might also have something to do with the 57 inbound international flights per week.

Either way Port Douglas real estate is bound to reap the rewards as according to the Tourism Forecasting Committee, international visitor arrivals into Australia are expected to grow by 5.8% per annum to around 9.3 million visitors in 2014. According to Tourism Queensland, in the year ending June 2004 the Tropical North Queensland region accommodated 263,756 visitors – 65% domestic and 35% international. When you do the maths there is no mistaking the Tropical North region has amongst the highest international visitation in the State of Queensland, even outperforming the Gold Coast.

We look forward to bringing you more Port Douglas news and events in 2006!

Vintage Golf

What goes best with wine? Ask Californians and they’re likely to say, “golf.”

Just about anywhere you travel here, you’ll find two things in common… golf and wine, as California’s sun-kissed climate has made “The Golden State” the ideal place to experience grapes and “birdies.” For every golf course in the state, there’s a commercial winery – about 800 of each – and all are worth tasting.

North of San Francisco lie the famous wine growing regions of Sonoma and Napa Counties. Rodney Strong, Jordan, Ferrari-Carano, Mondavi, Cakebread and Heitz are among the names of viticultural baronies found along Sonoma and Napa county roads. Their wineries, aging cellars and tasting rooms are impressive grand chateaus, aerie lookouts and surrealistic structures that that overlook a landscape scribed with rows of vineyards and lined with fairways.

Start your California golf and wine sojourn by visiting the California Welcome Center in Santa Rosa. The connection between California wine and golf is immediately evident near the Center at nearby Matanzas Creek Winery with its impressive displays of lavendar and the 36-hole Mountain Shadows Golf Course near Rohnert Park. One of the oldest wineries in California, Gundlach-Bundschu, is a 3-wood drive from Sonoma Golf Club, once declared “near perfect” by golf legend Bobby Jones. And for a true California twist, sip California sparkling wine at the Korbel Champagne Cellars, then tee off through towering redwood trees at Northwood, an executive course designed by Alistair Mackenzie of Augusta National fame.

Four major “wine courses,” are found in the Napa Valley. Chardonnay Golf Club, across from the newly completed Kirkland Ranch winery, has the highest rated 36 holes in the region. Vineyards actually encroach upon Chardonnay’s greens. Or is it the other way around? Further up the Valley in the Atlas Peak wine-growing district is Napa’s preeminent golf resort, Silverado, with 36 holes that host the Senior PGA Transamerica Tournament, each October. Chimney Rock, off the Silverado Trail, is the only Napa Valley golf course actually on the property of a winery. If golf, wine and fine dining are appealing, drive over to the new Yountville Golf Club, then dine in one of Yountville’s exceptional restaurants… (cont.)

Marking Tools: Gauges

MARKING GAUGES

The beam and fence may be made of wood or metal. Wood marking gauges are more common and may or may not have brass strips inlaid to reduce wear. Some beams have scales, but these are best used only to set the fence to an approximate distance.

Basic use

To use a marking gauge, loosen the thumbscrew and slide the fence the desired distance from the pin. Tighten the thumbscrew and make a test mark; readjust as necessary. Place the fence of the gauge up against the edge of the workpiece and angle it so the pin tilts away from the direction you’ll move the square. Although most woodworkers feel they have better control pushing the gauge, there’s no reason not to pull it if this feels better to you.

Steady, even pressure

A marking gauge will accurately scribe parallel lines as long as you use steady, even pressure to hold the fence firmly against the edge of the workpiece. If you don’t, the pin can and will wander. Pressing firmly will also keep the beam parallel to the surface, which will prevent the pin from scribing at an angle.

CUTTING GAUGE

A cutting gauge is very similar to a marking gauge except that instead of using a pin to mark the work-piece, it uses a knife. The advantage to this is that the knife cleanly cuts through the wood fibers instead of tearing them, as a pin does. This makes a cutting gauge the tool of choice whenever you need to mark lines across grain.

You might then think, why not throw out my marking gauge and just use the cutting gauge? Because since the knife of a cutting gauge leaves such a thin, crisp line, it virtually disappears when you use it to scribe a line along the grain. Shop-Tip: To create a “universal” marking gauge, some woodworkers file the point of their marking gauge to a finer point. This does an adequate job of marking both with and against the grain, but is still inferior to results from the individual gauges.

Basic use

The technique for using a cutting gauge is virtually identical to that of the marking gauge, with one exception: Take care to use very light pressure. If the knife is sharp (a few licks with a diamond hone will bring it to a crisp point), it’s easy to cut deeply into the wood, leaving cross-grain scratches that can be a hassle to remove.

MORTISE GAUGES

A mortise gauge has two pins instead of one to simultaneously mark out two parallel lines. It’s designed specifically to lay out the cheeks of mortises and tenons. One of the pins is fixed, while the other is independently adjustable.

In some cases, this pin adjusts via a simple pull slide; on others there’s a thumbscrew or knurled knob mounted to the end of the beam. Many mortise gauges also feature a third pin on the beam opposite the two mortise pins. This allows the mortise gauge to also function as a marking gauge.

Setting the pins

The first step in using a mortise gauge is to set the pins. To do this, hold the mortise chisel up to the pins, adjust the traveling pin over to match the width of the chisel and lock it in place. Then slide the fence over so the pins are set the desired distance from the edge of the workpiece. Try the setup on a scrap piece first and check the layout with a rule. Readjust as necessary.

Basic use

Just as with the marking gauge or the cutting gauge, the critical thing here is to firmly press the stock up against the edge of the workpiece. All you’re looking for here is steady even pressure. Popeye-like strength will only cause problems – most commonly, excess pressure will shift the position of the traveling pin or the beam. Use a light, firm grip, and tilt the gauge away from the direction of movement.

PANEL GAUGES

A panel gauge is basically a wood marking gauge that’s designed to handle big panels. The difference is the beam is much longer (typically 15″ to 30″) than a standard gauge and the fence is much wider. In the past, panel gauges were often made of mahogany with brass wear fittings. You can also regularly find antique panel gauges on the Internet at various sites, running anywhere from $20 to $40 for a gauge in good condition.

Two hands

Using a panel gauge is definitely a two-handed operation. After you’ve loosened the thumbscrew (older versions often use a wedge to lock the beam in position) and adjusted the pin or knife the desired distance from the edge, lock the beam in place. Then press the fence firmly against the edge of the workpiece with one hand while you apply light downward pressure to the pin or knife with your other hand. Move the gauge slowly with steady even pressure.

Cutting disc

Instead of a pin or knife, the Bridge City panel gauge shown here uses a cutting disc. The disc is made of hardened steel and is beveled to help pull the fence into the work-piece as you move the gauge along the edge of the workpiece. This leaves razor-sharp lines with no tear-out, even when your cutting across the grain.

DOVETAIL GAUGES

A dovetail gauge (or dovetail marker) is a single-use tool that’s designed to lay out the pins and tails for dovetail joints. Quality dovetail gauges will offer the two most common angles for dovetails: a 1:8 slope for hardwoods and a 1:6 slope for softwoods. If you generally use these two slopes, a dovetail gauge or set of markers like those shown in the top photo will serve you well (the gold marker is for hardwoods, the dark marker for softwoods). If you prefer to set your own angles, a bevel gauge is a better choice.

Tails

To use a dovetail marker, first use a marking or cutting gauge to set the depth of the tails to match the thickness of the wood. Then carefully lay out the tail spacing. Position the dovetail marker so it aligns with one of the marks and so the slope is in the correct direction. Then use a pencil or marking knife to mark the side of the tail. Flip the marker over and mark the opposite side. Continue like this until all the tails have been marked. Depending on how you cut your dovetails (I always cut the tails first and then use them to locate the pins), you may or may not want to mark the pins at the same time you lay out the tails. Whichever method you choose, align the marker with the layout marks that you made on the end of the work-piece and mark their location with a pencil or marking knife.

BEVEL GAUGES

A bevel gauge (or sliding T-bevel) is an invaluable layout tool in the shop. You can use it to verify angles, set tools to match angles, and lay out virtually any angle. Most bevel gauges feature a metal slotted blade and a stock or body made of wood, plastic, or metal, available in a variety of sizes. The blade conveniently slips into the slot in the body for storage. The blade is locked in place by tightening a thumbscrew, wing nut, lever, or knob at the base of the stock.

Duplicating an angle

A common use of the bevel gauge is to duplicate an angle so that you can reproduce it. To do this, loosen the thumbscrew or wing nut so it’s friction-tight, and press the stock of the gauge up against the edge of the workpiece. Then angle the blade until it rests on the angled end of the workpiece. Tighten the wing nut, and then use the gauge to duplicate this angle on another workpiece.

Setting with a protractor

In many cases you’ll want to set the bevel gauge to an exact angle, or read the angle you’ve just set (such as when you’re duplicating an angle). The most accurate way to do this is to use a protractor. The critical point here is to make sure that the blade of the bevel gauge intersects the base of the protractor exactly on center. Then either adjust the blade to the desired angle, or read the angle of the blade.