August 2018 Newsletter

Presidents Message

Ken Ryan
Our shed has recently been involved in activities to promote the shed. Tom Skinner recently participated in an interview on 2AIRFM. It was an excellent interview and Tom did a great job selling the Coffs Harbour Men's Shed.

Ray Meyer and myself did a presentation for the Senior Citizens group at Boambee East. The presentation raised a lot if interest in the operation of our shed.

The committee has decided to make a donation to the NSW drought relief and this is
being arranged in partnership with the Gilgandra Men's Shed who will use the donation in community activities. $1,000 will be donated plus the proceeds from a garage sale we will hold at the shed shortly - further details to follow.

SMOKO "toolbox talks" will be held regularly to provide info and feedback to members.

The kitchen area floor has been painted and it looks great, making cleaning much easier. Thanks to the members who contributed to the preparation and painting. Other floor areas will be painted as time permits.

Graham Miller has made a lot of progress with the garden/landscaping and it is starting to take shape. Well done Graham. All you keen gardeners out there see Graham and Iam sure he will find a shovel for you. The plans are to add a pergola to the garden area (Article and plans in next issue).

Our old ute (1991 vintage) is showing it's age and the committee has decided to replace it with a more modern version of similar type. Let Robert or David know if you see anything suitable in the $6,000 range.

Shed Manager's Report


G'day we have a presentation from Australian Hearing on Tuesday 14 August at 10 am. Tash Doherty will do a presentation on hearing dangers in the workplace, after this, she will be offering to screen Members for hearing defects. given there is enough interest she is also willing to come back on the 30 August to complete any screenings not completed.

  • Tuesday, August 14, Presentation + Screening starts at 10.00 am
  • Thursday, August 30, further screening tests if required.
  • Your attendance would be most appreciated.


A Tool Shed meeting will be held every day at 10 am (morning tea time) for the full week following the monthly
Committee Meetings. Committee Meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. These Tool Shed meetings will help keep members informed of new decisions, and also to reinforce to members the current rules, changes in methods etc. Members are invited to voice any concerns and suggestions at this time.


Over the next few months it is planned to paint the floor of the shed. This will create some inconveniences to members but will result in a much nicer workspace which will be easier to clean. Please lend a hand in moving equipment and grab a brush to help other members clean and paint the floor.


Men's Shed Week Australia begins on 25th September. This is the 11th AMSA Men's Shed Week Celebration.
Membership fees are now overdue and are required before you can operate any machinery / work in the shed.
Please contact the office to pay if you have not already done so.


The Men's Shed would like to thank Ann Argylle of Urunga for her very generous donation of a complete Windows XP computer. It will be put to good use as a backup computer to drive the CNC Router.

Tom Skinner "ON AIR"

As a representative of the Coffs Harbour Men's Shed, Tom Skinner graced Coffs Harbour with his wit and personality on August 2nd at the local Community Radio station 2 AIR-FM. Penned in for a 10am talk, a change in schedule saw Tom take to the airwaves at 9am - way too early for coffee drinkers and late winter morning starters. Nevertheless, he did us proud.

FOOTNOTE: Shedders commented on how peaceful the shed was that morning...

Helping our farmers


Our shed is organising to donate $1000 towards Drought Relief for NSW Farmers. While other fundraising efforts are aimed at helping the farmer on the land, AMSA has suggested we help the townships of the farmers. As farmers receive food etc the shop keepers in the towns are losing on sales, so also suffer hardship. As Men's Sheds are focused on men's mental health, our shed will buddy up with a men's shed in a country town (currently we are seeking a suitable town like Gilgandra). It is hoped our donation will provide the means for our 'buddy' Shed to organise a festival type day in the township, where farmers and business owners alike can come together to 'feel' better in the knowledge that they are not forgotten and are not doing it alone.


To raise funds for the above donation, we are planning a garage sale. All members are asked to donate saleable goods for the garage sale. It is asked that the donated goods be in great condition, and not just junk you want to offload. Please talk to Robert or Dave about your donation, and keep an eye out for the date of the garage sale.

President stops to..

On August 6 President Ken Ryan addressed a local group called "AVACHAT" at the Boambee Centre on Bruce King Drive. The members of AVACHAT meet every Monday morning for 2 hours to 'chat' about local events, catch up with other members, and be entertained by local speakers from other businesses and clubs.

The idea was started 4 years ago by Margaret Bridgeman and 3 friends. The group has since grown to over 90 regular supporters. When Ken was asked to speak about the Men's Shed he jumped at the chance. Armed with some digital pics and a sort history list, Ken donned on the microphone headset and chatted for 35 minutes with the attendees. The morning started with a friendly chat, including a tea and snack break, followed by Ken's talk. Members of the group were quite supportive of the Men's Shed ideals and workings, making jokes that women shedders would spoil it for the men.

Margaret said that the main driving force is to get people 'out of the house' and give them a peaceful place to catch up with their community. It is completely volunteer driven, and like the Men's Shed, members are at no obligation to attend. Each meeting they have a small lottery to keep the petty cash tin alive, which goes towards outgoing events like bus trips to South West Rocks, and the recently held Winter Solstice event.



Helen Dwyer from the AVACHAT group has offered Weavers Bamboo to anyone from the shed who may have a need. Once cut the bamboo needs to be stored in a dry place for 12 months after which it can be cut and worked into items like bird feeders, fencing, trellises etc. 

If you are interested, call Helen on 0401 076 691 and make the arrangements to collect bamboo from her.

Around the Shed


The box is for a local bowler’s wife (surprise gift). It will house her bowling aid (the device that lets one bowl without bending). It is made from Southern Silky Oak and will be finished in Wipe on poly.


Wayne creating a dust storm by sanding his steps

The wordworking area has been busy this past month manufacturing, turning and repairing goods for customers. These jobs are integral to the cash flow of the Shed, and we have a lot of talented chippies who put in many, many hours to create and restore timber products.

Refurbishment by Tom Skinner


Robert has been designing special boxes for gamers to keep all their Warhammer playing pieces together.
An initial design is shown here.


Pictured here are a range of timber cups which have been turned on a lathe. They were ordered by a local restaurant. Items like these are either extremely difficult to get, or very costly, so the Shed is able to make custom items for locals at reasonable prices.


"This was a plaque to reward Jane for the 50 years she has put up with me. She was humble in accepting the
award and after a pleasant day things are now as they were. What a woman!"

Warren made this beautiful timber award for his wife a few months ago in anticipation of his 50th Wedding Anniversary. Congratulations on serving the "2 Life Sentances" and we trust you are looking forward to a Parole period.


by Tom Skinner

Mick preparing to weld a chair

Tom using a big compass in designing a shield

Graham making a start on the botanic garden

and now...  The Shedmen


Shedders are welcome to jam every Wednesday afternoon at the Coffs Harbour Men's Shed in Howard Street.
The acoustics may be bad, but the talent is great. This small band of "Shredders" cut a music video in July which can be found on our website, or can be accessed by clicking this link:

Other members (not shown here) regularly join in but were busy on the day. Dedicated space will be available to the group as resources allow, potentially with better acoustics and a permanent setup, so members can meet more often, and different genres can be catered for.

Painting the kitchen floor

Peter and Glenn making the final adjustments to the floor coverings

Members had to 'rough it' recently as the kitchen and display area had a makeover. The bare concrete floor was
getting rather grubby so the Committee decided it was time to paint and seal the floor. Contents were moved, the floor was washed, then acid washed, and finally painted with a slight grey colour paint. Thanks to all Shedders who got involved. Each improvement we make helps to make the Men's Shed a better place for all.


Pyrography or pyrogravure is the art of decorating wood or other materials with burn marks resulting from the controlled application of a heated object such as a poker. It is also known as pokerwork or wood burning.

The term means "writing with fire", from the Greek pur (fire) and graphos (writing). It can be practiced using specialized modern pyrography tools, or using a metal implement heated in a fire, or even sunlight concentrated with a magnifying lens. Pyrography dates from the 17th century and reached its highest standard in the 19th century. In its crude form it is pokerwork.

Here at the shed we have our own 'Pyromaniac' in Andrew Ryan. Andrew has been burning timber for the last 3 years and has created a myriad of Pyrographs for sale in the shed. Anyone interested in Pyrography, or who
wants a design burned onto timber, catch up with Andrew and discuss your needs.


The Lighter Side


A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.


Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light . Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, 'Oh sh--!'


A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.


Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.


An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.


One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle... It transforms human energy into a crooked,
unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.


Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.


Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub out of which you want to remove a bearing race.

Mens Shedder circa 1580


A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.


Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.


A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut good aluminum sheet into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash can after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge.


A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.


Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.


A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.


A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.


A tool used to make hoses too short.


Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the object we are trying to hit.


Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use.


(A personal favorite!!) Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling 'Son of a BITCH!' at the top of your lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need.

Coffs Harbour History

Coffs Harbour and Dorrigo Advocate
Friday June 2nd, 1939
"Not Queensland Grown"

The "Advocate" has been responsible for carrying to at least one far off district in Australia the fact that Coffs Harbour grows large quantities of bananas and tomatoes, and also is the largest shipping port for timber in Australia. 

A recent issue of the "Border Watch," which is published at Mount Gambier, South Australia, and has a very wide circulation throughout that district, mentions that the reference to Coffs exports of bananas, tomatoes and timber published in connection with the annual meeting of the Chamber of Commerce caught the Editor's eye, and it is republished in full in the "Border Watch" with the following brief comment:- "It may surprise many of our readers to know that such large quantities of bananas are grown in New South Wales. Queensland usually gets all the credit for growing this luscious fruit."

Supporters of the Coffs Harbour Men's Shed

The Coffs Harbour Community Men's Shed wishes to thank all our supporters, both large and small,
for their ongoing support and generous donations of time and money. 

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