26 May 2008

Dave's security

Good to see Dave Paton back on board at the shed.

Ever keen to keep whats in the shed inside and whats outside the shed out in the cold, Dave was ensuring that the locks are in place for the Engineering Annex.

Lathe Located

There was much excitement in the Engineering Annex today as our most dedicated "toolies" inspected their latest acquisition.

A metal lathe has been donated to The Shed by a local family. This is an older style lathe in good working order. It is also a family heirloom so the chaps are treating it with the respect the donation deserves as well as the care that an important equipment addition demands.

Len Johnston, Jack Nixon and Dave Paton
inspect the lathe.

Ernie's Jungle Strip

John Connor is inspecting the veritable jungle that Ernie has planted along the wall of the new "Engineering Annex". No sooner was the wall in place and the Annex completed that Ernie swooped in with plants from his virtual nursery at home.

Although the soil is full of clay in this area, there is a good chance that these plants will establish themselves and cover the lower parts of the open wall area and provide a picturesque border for the picnic and BBQ area that is evolving in the southern end of The Shed.

Care must be taken when tending this garden strip to ensure that the concrete slab remains exposed. This will ensure that termite inspection can be carried out efficiently and prevent their tracks from building up to the wall and create galleries within the shed building.

Size matters to men

Whoever said size does not matter ..!!

Here is an interesting comparison of the size of the new shed [top] and the old size [below]. So thats the shed gone from 10m x 12m to a much grander 10m x 18m thats an extra 50%.

The most noticeable effect of this change in size is that the "woodies" section seemed distinctly breezy today with so many of the chaps inhabiting the "engineers annex" to put up the supports for the noise protection and to take an interest in the new lathe.

Ron's Oak Chair

Ron was working on a chair today. The original reason that he came to the shed was to work on repairing this chair. He has been involved in other community projects along the way however, this morning he has had the opportunity to get stuck into the restoration.

Ron was keen to repair the chair, that is originally of solid oak. Certainly new side struts have added to the structural strength of the original oak chair.

23 May 2008

Men Plan to build shed

The Tamworth Leader carried a story about the group of men in Tamworth setting up a Community Men's Shed. The story covered the visit of Kim Hopkins to Tamworth to addresss the West Tamworth Rotary Club and other interested individuals and organisations in Tamworth.

Men Plan to build shed

A proposal to establish a men's shed in Tamworth could prove an importnat stimuli for the socail lives of retired and semi-retired men in and around the city.

Bob Murray is part of a small group working to start a men's shed in Tamworth and has enlisted the aid of Central Coast-based Kim Hopkins to present a case for a shed.

Mr Hopkins spoke to members of the Rotary Club of Tamworth West on Monday evening and described how a men's shed works at Kincumber on the Central Coast.

He said since the shed had opened in Kincumber, the demand had grown to the point where they were looking at expanding it by 30 per cent to cater for those who use it.

Membership of the Kincumber men's shed was just $5 a year plus a gold coin donation every time an individual used it. The tools on offer included machines like wood planers, table saws and metal benders.

"These are the kind of tools not everyone can afford but they are able to access them at the shed." Mr Hopkins said.

Mr Murray said by establishing a men's shed it was not only about catering for "older blokes but young blokes as well".

Mr Hopkins is also working establishing a men's shed at San Remo - funded in part by a grant from the Premier's Department.

The University of Ballarat conducted a study on men's sheds and found that 50 percent of the those who used the shed went there and nowhere else.

He said the social contact at a men's shed proved important for retirees and was an answer to the symptom officially titled "underfoot syndrome".

"The social interactions at a men's shed is so important because often these men are not getting any contact anywhere else" Mr Murray said.

He said a men's shed was not just for "fit able blokes but it was important for stroke victims and who were disabled" as well.

Mr Hopkins said the men's shed program was an important conduit for mentoring younger people with social issues.

"Kids with problems are completely at ease with 15 grandfathers looking after them" he said.

Simon Chamberlain
Tamworth Leader
23 May 2008

19 May 2008

Technical Assistance to the Disabled

The new Engineering Annex is barely opened and already the guys are using the space to the best extent.

Jim and Doug were discussing the finer points of dismantling bicycles with Grahame from Technical Assistance to the Disabled (TAD). KMS may do some collaboration with TAD on paraticular projects.

These are the bicycles that will be rebuilt into wheelchairs for South East Asia. There is still plenty of room to move about, at least, until the Annex is setup with machines and benches.

During the toolbox meeting this morning the members of The Shed enjoyed a talk on the aims and achievements of TAD. A welcome insight into what can be achieved and a potential new partnership for shedders to assist in the lives of those that may need the skills and abilities of our very capable volunteer workforce and well equipped workshops.

TAD addresses toolbox meeting.

Charles sprung

Look like Charles has been sprung knocking off precious furniture items from the Shed. However, its not Peter bailing him up for petty larceny. These are furniture items that Charles has used his considerable skills to decorate with intricate paint textures and finishes. Ordinary furniture converted to items of decorative art.

Some of the decorative items will be sold at the Car Boot Sale on the first Saturday in June.

There are always items coming and going from The Shed as guys commence and finish personal projects using the facilities and skills that are available at the shed. It is not uncommon to see items loaded in and out of car trunks, back seats and offloaded from utes and four wheel drives.

Busy place this shed.

Bicycle re-Birthing

Jim confronts a tangle of bicycles that need to be stripped down for the Wheelchair project.

Jim would rather be re-birthing the bicycles as bicycles but there is a greater need for them to be remodelled into wheelchairs for asia. KMW will work in conjunction with the Mary Mackillop Shed to deliver the finished bi-chairs to asia.

Looking to get rid of that old bike ...
don't want to throw it to the tip ...
want to save the tip fees ...

was it much loved ...
would you like to see it end its days in useful service...

then bring it along the Kincumber Men's Shed ...

big bikes (good frames),

small bikes (good small wheels)

or damaged bikes...

make a contribution

to alleviate the appalling effect

of landmines
on the lives of children.

Oh .....and if you have a pipe bender
or tube bender
to lend,
to sell
or to donate,
please let us know.

Toolmaker care

Len Johnson was caught working outside in the autumn sunlight, taking extreme care in the construction of a template for toymaking.

When quizzed about his use of vernier calipers Len was quite willing to assure that it was a necessary part of the process. If these steps were not taken to ensure accuracy on the construction of the template then the alignments for the axles would be wrong, the metal guides for the drill would become damaged and the toy would not travel true.

Len has effectively turned his many years in the toolmaking trade into a sophisticated skill in toymaking. (whispers say he is being headhunted by Santa for Christmas scheduling problems)

Accuracy makes for good toys !!

New scope

The front of the shed was littered with a thousand different items from the mezzanine storage area. An autumn clean up to go with the new expanded operation of the shed.

The photo here captures the pile of junk to be disposed of and also shows the new entrance to the Engineering Annex. Much was retained as useful and utilitarian but a good clean out sets the shed up for efficient operation on a greater scale. New space, more hours and of course new members.

15 May 2008

Historically speaking

This blog attempts to keep abreast of happenings at The Shed so that new material is ready to hand on the most recent events.
early men's shed tools
However, there is a whole range of historical material of interest to both Kincumber Shedders and those keen to understand the development of Kincumber Men's Shed. Information is being added to that early history archive with photos, diagrams and milestones that are both relevant and fascinating.

Dates are as accurate as can be determined. The accuracy of these dates is most certainly enhanced by the thorough and detailed records kept by Peter Jessop during the early years of launching the project.

Some recent historic posts of schematics and plans can be found at ...

13 May 2008

Hawkesbury Blokes Day

NSW OMNI and the Steering Committee for establishing a shed in the Richmond - Hawkesbury region have invited all those from the Kincumber Shed to join them to celebrate International Mens Health Week and enjoy some time in a festive environment in the grounds of the Hawkesbury Hospital.

12 May 2008

Tamworth Men's Shed

West Tamworth Rotary Club were interested in Bob Murray's proposal to establish a Men's Shed in Tamworth so President Tony Summers asked him to address their meeting at 6.30 pm on Monday night.

Bob sought to learn more and speak with more understanding about Men's Sheds. In his research, around Tamworth, Christine Norman at the Coledale Neighbourhood Centre suggested that he contact the Kincumber Men's Shed. She was aware of contacts there through family links to Len Johnson at the Shed.

After some discussion, Kim Hopkins travelled to Tamworth to address the Rotary Club in support of Bob's project. Bob arranged a number of meetings with interested local groups and concerned individuals that are keen to support a community Men's Shed.

Toolbox 12 May

Alan Hagan holds everyones attention in the Toolbox Meeting this morning.

Photo courtesy A. Eaton

08 May 2008

Engineering Annex

The Engineering / Metalwork annex was commenced Thursday.

Most of the steel framing was raised into place. Now awaiting the cladding. Looks like there will be a whole new annex to use next week.

More projects, more tools and of course more space.

Photos courtesy of J. Connor

07 May 2008

Lecturn donation

Alan Hagan and Joe Homer have spent many hours putting together the Lecturn for the Kincumber & District Neighbourhood Centre Inc (KDNC). The finished product is an object of considerable beauty and utility.

Alan and Joe are seen here handing the finished product over to June Galea, manager of the the KDNC. June was most pleased to receive this donation from Kincumber Men's Shed and assured that it would be put to good use in the Neighbourhood Centre.

Bonnies mailbox

Tireless local community worker Bonnie was quite disappointed when her mailbox was vandalised.
Bonnie examines the new mailbox.

The Kincumber Men's Shed have come to the rescue. Les Verity built her a new and sturdier mailbox.

A gift from KMS in return for her many hours of community service and generosity to the Kincumber community.

Les Verity presents the mailbox to Bonnie.

Safer Saw

The shedders have on numerous occasions caught themselves on the protruding bars on the Table Saw.

Ever watchful, ever inventive and ever occupied, Les Verity has spent a little time putting together a wooden bar to connect the two protruding arms on the table and made the place safer.

Well done Les !!

Three in one

Here are three projects in the one photo....

There is a tower of step boxes that Frank Parker is creating.

There is also a lashing of steel for the new Annex.

Finally, there is the components of the second chocolate wheel drying in the sun.

All the action does not take place inside the Shed.. the chaps make good use of the outdoors when weather permits.

Jack rocks the cradle

Jack Nixon is making a wooden cradle.

To ensure that the uprights on each side of the cradle are vertical he is creating a template for the drilling of holes in the upper and lower rails. That way each hole is not only correctly spaced but also aligned with its opposite up or down partner.

Very clever way to ensure a quality outcome!!

Tool time

When asked to come up with an obscure tool to baffle best of toolies, Les Verity, our very capable shipwright, came up with this obscure piece of metal.

Whats your best guess.. ?

We also had a discussion about the decline of shipwright and specific carpentry terms. . . perhaps we need and ongoing quiz to try and keep some of the language alive for posterity.

Donated supplies

Not only did the new shed annex arrive today. Another load of wood was donated to the shed to replenish those diminishing supplies.

The guys were eagerly sequestering their booty in the Storage Container. Now theres plenty more where that came from and plenty of projects to use it on.

Annex arrives

The steel girders arrived today for construction of the Engineering Annex.

Well the whole shed arrived but these are the photos (courtesy Alan Eaton) of the unloading of the girders.

05 May 2008

Toolbox team

The toolbox meeting this morning was as lively as ever. Maybe even industrial strength as Peter was using not a wooden mallet nor his usual gavel, but an iron head mallet worthy of Thor the thundergod.

Perhaps Peter Jessop was keen to keep the team in line because we had a visitor from Queensland. Ken from north Brisbane was on a listening tour of his own taking advantage of the time on the Central Coast to come and see how we operate and run the renowned Kincumber Men's Shed. We can only hope we left a good impession and wish him luck in his endeavours to start a Shed in the sunny north.

Also discussed this morning, with some vigour, was the sound proofing of the Shed. Peter Jessop advised that quotes have been obtained for the gyprock internal lining. Some time was spent in discussion of what material to line over the gyprock to protect it from phsical damage. MDF, Ply or even a late suggestion from Mick Clarke of some steel roofing as a durable shield were considered.

Les Verity was polled for safety concerns and stressed that access to the fire-extinguisher is paramount!! Nothing was to be left blocking access to the fire-extinguishers. No boxes or benches in front of it .. no tools left leaning against it. Every member of the shed has duty ensure that they personally do not impede access to the extinguishers by their actions and remove any obstruction detected. Bring the issue to the awareness of the shed supervisor or safety officer if necessary.

Len's learning

Len Johnson was getting welding tips from Alan Sparkes. Len may not be the youngest apprentice in the shed but he is always willing to learn new skills.

The Kincumber Men's Shed is certainly the place to do that. Peer education was an important component of Shed culture identified in the research by Professor Barry Golding and his research team.

Less than a quarter of those taking part in ongoing formal education are males. It has been suggested that men prefer to learn in active environments rather than in classrooms and older men also have a preference to learn from others that they consider their peers in knowledge, skill and life experience.

The Shed environment provides both those opportunities to develop new skills. New skills in the tools they use, like Len above. New skills also in the projects that they can participate in for the community. New skills for themselves by being involved with other men in an environment of mutual respect. In this way, The Shed offers a place to nurture life skills and new networks of mates to share life's rich workshop.

Frank's boxing

Frank Parker is still boxing. Well not with boxing gloves but with a wooden mallet.

He is finishing off the last of 30 boxes for step therapy. When the last one is assembled there will be some varnishing to complete that project. Any volunteers good with paint brush .. see Frank.

Frank has ongoing work from the same source. As soon as the Step Boxes are all completed and sent off for some serious workouts, Frank has some ramps to build.

Apron poured

the new apron can clearly be seen in this photo where a visitor from Davistown and Jim are chatting while reviewing the potential for all this space.

the front apron was certainly in full use this morning as the shedders took advantage of the option to work outside.

Shed goes up on Wednesday !!

01 May 2008

Engineering Extension

Good weather permitting, the new shed extension for metalwork and ancillary engineering projects will be erected on Wednesday.

We have all been keen to see its completion so that we can start on a new set of challenges for the Kincumber Men's Shed.

The apron was poured today and as soon as photos come to hand you will see them on the blog.

Wish List

The Kincumber Men's Shed has an ongoing need for tools, equipment and consumbles. Any contributions from sponsors of any type are gratefully accepted. The Shed has benefited from the generosity of members, individuals and business in the local community and the generosity of government agencies at local, state and federal level.

The following is a list of equipment required for the fit out of the soon to be completed Engineering Annex. Donations of tools, equipment and funds are sought for all these items. Contact us if you are able to assist with any support for this important community facility and specifically if you feel moved to assist with the following items....

Equipment required
Engineering Annex
  • Metal lathe (4ft bed)
  • Milling Machine
  • Pipe Bender
  • Stove

more items to be added.