As the financial year draws to a close it is pleasing to report that the wood workshop’s income for the year has at least offset the direct operating costs. Although not strongly revenue focused, the workshop attempts not to be a burden on the shed as a whole. Workshop manager Tony has been the major contributor to this outcome. He has been ably assisted by several of the leadership group. If you can, please ask Tony how you may assist with outside contracts.
There have been changes within the leaders group throughout the year as some move on to other endeavors and new leaders step up to take their place. There is always room for new leaders. Anyone who feels they have the attributes, desire and time to become a leader should talk to Tony or Ian. The currently active leaders are Tony, Les, Ken, John G, Geoff, Barry, Phil, Lindsay, Ian D, David H and myself. The shop can’t open without leaders and we are grateful to those willing to take up the challenge.
The number of members accredited to use the workshop continues to grow. At last count, 149 members were accredited. It is a good thing that a majority of these members do not attend simultaneously. To cater for the growing numbers, we now have the Gordon Craig annex functioning smoothly for the wood turners. Within a month we will have even better facilities.
Bob, Tom, Stefan and our great building team have made very significant progress with the expanded outdoor roofed area. As soon as they give the all clear, it is intended to introduce some machinery and benches and tidy the area with a view to having more outdoor activity. Proposed changes include the reinstallation of the Trade Tools table saw and the Durden planer. More people can also experiment with steam bending wooden objects. To assist this change, Michele and David are busy installing additional safe power outlets in strategic locations.
It seems that members are coming to grips with the new equipment acquired during the year. The Bosch Professional saw donated by our Rotary friends is greatly appreciated while the new Laguna planer and table saw are doing excellent service. The second Hare and Forbes lathe is enabling us to tackle more challenging turning tasks while the gouge sharpening system has enabled us to achieve sharp tools with consistent profiles. Important if you are a wood turner!
We have had some wonderful donations of timber recently. Thanks are due to Graeme A for making the connection between our shed and his friend’s stair factory. Timber storage has necessitated that the workshop take over most of the space in the 40 foot container. One related matter is the need for discipline in taking donations from the public. There is a lot of generosity toward us but we do need to exercise care and not accept and squirrel away items we may never need. Putting in more storage containers at the expense of gardens and trees is no substitute for discipline.
Although Les is working on bench improvements for the hobby area, the primary focus of the shop has moved from making items for the shed to members doing their own projects. It is pleasing to see these are gradually becoming more complex. It is possible to learn a lot by watching and talking to others. Phil is quietly giving us a master class in carving as he works on the sign for the community garden group. I suspect we will learn a bit about craftsmanship when Tony returns as one of his projects is to make a rose gum computer bench for the community radio station. Some of these latter projects fulfill one of our objectives which is to give back to the community.
Come and enjoy the wood workshop. The more you put in the more you will take away in personal satisfaction.