The wood workshop went into recess for a period earlier this year due to concerns about the potential spread of the Covid-19 virus. Operations recommenced in June with stringent controls on hygiene and physical distancing. To lessen risk, it was agreed to open the shop for five morning sessions each week instead of the previous three. This change has reduced session numbers to what is believed to be a level that diminishes the prospect of person to person transmission. Hand sanitizing, outdoor smokos and closer attention to attendance recording are expected to offer further protection.
A wood shop regular, Doug Barnes, recently made a generous donation of materials and equipment that can be used in pen making. We now have two experienced wood turners able to teach pen making in Doug and David Nevala. Anyone wanting a new turning challenge is encouraged to talk to Doug or David.
The outdoor wood working area is looking a bit bare at the moment. Some of our equipment has been lent to the Cobber’s shed to replace unsafe equipment in that area. This arrangement is intended to be short term. Cobber’s members are now looking for ways to acquire new some new, safer, equipment. Once that has been achieved we will get our gear back.
Our record with breakages and injuries continues to be fairly good. A recent exception was an injury sustained by an experienced member while using a bandsaw. Lack of concentration rather than lack of knowledge was the primary issue. Although all of our members participate in induction and accreditation, it is easy to become distracted. All we can do is remind you to take care and if you are in doubt about a safe way of doing a job please ask a leader to assist.
Most equipment breakages we have experienced have simple causes. Overtightening adjustments is a common error. Careless handling of portable tools is another. In the wood turning area we still have the occasional incorrect sharpening of gouges. We have adopted the Robert Sorbey system using a Pro-edge machine and members are encouraged to learn how to use it correctly.
We have retired our aging Tormek wet grinder, used for sharpening chisels and plane blades and replaced it with a Scheppach wet grinder. Instruction in its correct use is important. Most leaders are conversant with the proper procedures. If you do use it please remember to empty the water tray on completion.
Income from small contract work has fallen away since the Covid-19 pandemic arrived as fewer members of the public make their way to the shed seeking help with repairs. We are not too concerned about this because fewer visitors minimises exposure risk. To keep within our monthly budget, we are reliant on members making small payments and donations for the use of shed owned timber in their projects. The management committee has ensured our basic needs are still being met but we need to be mindful of our obligation to avoid waste.