June 2018 Newsletter

Presidents Message

Ken Ryan

Welcome to the June 2018 edition of the Coffs Harbour Men’s Shed. We currently have 167 financial members, a slight increase in the last month.

At the recent Management Committee meeting the member’s fees for the 2018/19 financial year was raised and unfortunately, due to increases in insurances and operating costs, the fees for 2018/19 have been set at $50 per member. Member’s fees become due on 1st July 2018.

We are in the progress of rationalising the tools we need to operate the shed and there will be a large number of power and hand tools which are surplus to our needs and are available for sale to members. The tools have been isolated and placed on a pallet on the shed floor. If you are interested in purchasing any of the tools, make an offer to Robert.

On the 23rd and 24th June, we will be holding a garage sale at the shed and all surplus equipment will be offered for sale to the public. The sale will be from 8am to 1pm on each of the days and volunteers are required to assist. If you can help for an hour or two, put your name on the roster at the shed.

Thanks to Doug Simmo, Ray Johnson and Andrew Ryan, the drawers containing hand tools have been rearranged into alphabetical order and labelled with their contents. No longer will you need to search to find the right drawer for the tool you are looking for.

From the woodworking area it has been reported that we still have people misusing machinery. If a machine’s normal set up is altered to do a particular job, it must be returned to its normal state.

All consultant’s reports have now been received and hopefully work will recommence on the mezzanine area in the near future.

Please welcome new members Ton Huybregts, Neil Jacob, John McCallum & Colin Spry. 

Shed Manager's Report

  • DRUM SANDER: Due to the drum sander not being used correctly, either with or without the knowledge of the operator, the Managers (after some discussion) have decided to cancel everyone's induction on the Drum Sander, NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • The Drum sander is now only available under the supervision of either Barry Guest or Tom Skinner, and is NOT to be used unless either Tom or Barry are available! Users are required to clean and inspect the sanding belt before and after usage. A special rubber is used as shown in the attached photo.
  • DEFINITELY NO PALLET WOOD is to go through it (sand it by hand). The pine resin and sap gum the paper up within seconds, destroying the paper. We have just paid over $200 upgrading it to Velcro paper for easy changing, and having to replace the Velcro after one week is not on. Refer to Tom Skinner or Barry Guest.

Cleaning the belt with a rubber

Dirty belt after some narrow timber sanding

The Drum Sander

Shed Update

  • The shed cleanup has been postponed for another month until excess equipment has been sorted ready for cleanup, sale or disposal.
  • A roster will be drawn up for members to participate in fund raising events like the Bunnings Sausage Sizzles,  pop-up type stalls and market events. Committee members are checking possible venues around the town. Fund raising is imperative to the success of the Men's Shed.
  • A garage sale will be held at the Shed on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June from 8am until 1pm. This will be advertised in the Advocate, and we require volunteers to help for both days. Please sign up with Robert or Dave and help our Shed progress.
  • Please be aware of the Fire Safety Procedures. Always be familiar with your nearest Exit Point, and Emergency Assembly Area.
  • Random Fire Drills will commence soon.
  • Membership renewal: Members will soon be notified of membership renewals for the next financial year. There is an increase of membership to $50 to cover increased costs like insurance and running costs. The value of the membership far exceeds the real cost of access to similar facilities anywhere else on the planet.


Ken Ryan and Brian Franklin testing the circuitry on the large thicknesser 

as part of on-going maintenance of shed equipment.

Donation to the Shed

Our thanks to Sandra Southon for her generous donation of various electrical gear and some cabinets from the DPI office in town. Sandra gave the shed a VHS Video Camera, Overhead Projector, PA Amp and speakers with various cables to suit, along with some office cabinets and file drawers.


    President Ken Ryan not only spends many, many hours working in and on the shed, he recently donated a personal computer and a digital camera to the shed. This has made computer access for members more available. The monitor was also donated by Treasurer John Gregory, with a keyboard and mouse donated by shedder Ray Meyer. The digital camera is available to members who want to take pics of their work for addition into the newsletters. All members are encouraged to submit articles and pics for the newsletter, and share their works and experiences.

CNC Router

Shed Manager Robert Houston creating a custom sign for SW Blacksmith on a lovely piece of Mahogany using the CNC Router.  

Seth Wood (Blacksmith) has been very generously donating some blacksmithing tools to the Coffs Men's Shed, namely a hot cut, square punch, nail set and a radiused flatter. In return, to thank Seth for his generosity, Robert at the Men's Shed designed and cut a shop sign for Seth on the CNC.

Robert proudly hands over the finished sign.

A computer numerical control (CNC) router is a computer-controlled cutting machine related to the hand-held router used for cutting various hard materials, such as wood, composites, aluminium, steel, plastics, and foams. CNC routers can perform the tasks of many carpentry shop machines such as the panel saw, the spindle moulder, and the boring machine. They can also cut mortises and tenons.

A CNC router is very similar in concept to a CNC milling machine. Instead of routing by hand, tool paths are controlled via computer numerical control. The CNC router is one of many kinds of tools that have CNC variants.

Our CNC router typically produces consistent and high-quality work and allows us to create custom, designed imagery and text (see samples to the right) Since it's installation Robert manufactured a myriad of products for members, and for sale as special orders.

David Churchyard showing off our CNC Router to some interested guests.

Dave Churchyard commissioned a sign for his daughter Leona. A "baby coming" sign to celebrate her baby due in November this year. The sign was made by Robert at the shed on the CNC machine, then stained and the text highlighted in white. Leona was very happy with the way the sign turned out and sent us a picture to post on our Facebook Page.

The Declaration of Arbroath is a declaration of Scottish independence, made in 1320. It is in the form of a letter in Latin submitted to Pope John XXII, dated 6 April 1320, intended to confirm Scotland's status as an independent, sovereign state and defending Scotland's right to use military action when unjustly attacked.

Metal Workshop - Welding

Shedder Mick Maley is making a metal framed enclosure to fit on the tynes of the forklift. 
He is using a Viper Mig Welder. 
Past works include metal legs for tables and workbenches.


Many thanks to the hard work of Ron Braun, who spent days clearing the entrance to the Men's Shed. Using his own tools, Ron cleared the parking areas and the triangle of overgrown grass at the turnoff to the Shed.


After many months in the Paint Area Glenn has been given a reprieve to follow his carpentry skills. Here Glenn is converting a 6 chair dining table to a 4 chair table, presumably to fit a smaller area. Jobs like this help our supporters save money by recycling older furniture.

Metal Lathe

John Goodshaw is using the metal lathe to make a custom PVC fitting to repair a leaky filtration system for his pool. As shown in these photos, a previous repair didn't hold due to the shoddy quality of the repair. By making a custom collar that fits perfectly, John is assured of a permanent fix.


A new dust extractor has been added to the timber thicknesser.


The guitar I made is from a book "Build your own acoustic guitar "by Jonathan Kinkead. It came with full size plans based on a Martin ooo/om design from 1930. We began making the jigs late last year and the first guitar in the white was completed in February. On my one the neck and back are Tasmanian blackwood, the top Sitka spruce, fretboard and bridge Brazilian rosewood, the Rosette Gidgee and Huon pine and the sides are from a blackwood tree that was condemned to be poisoned by council authorities as a potential hazard on the Clarance river. The tree was salvaged by a local guitar maker Tim O'Dea who supplied most of the wood and parts for the project. 

Barry Guest an accomplished luthier and talented guitar designer helped me through the journey. Thanks Baz you are the salt of the earth mate I couldn't have done it without your guidance, knowledge, skill and experience in the field. I'm now looking forward to making and helping others to make string instruments. The cost of parts and wood was over $400. The result a fine looking instrument with a rich tone and projection normally attributed to very expensive guitars. At the moment I'm working on three other instruments, one for the Shed the other two for members who need assistance. They are due for completion soon. Members wishing to have a go should come and talk to Barry or myself. 


Last month's article on the carpenter turned shoe repairer was mistakenly attributed to Barry Guest, when the real culprit is Doug Tysoe. Doug is featuring a new fashion statement with his custom 'Name Tag'. Designs include: Pine, rosewood and eucalyptus, with text in red, blue or black texta. Anyone wishing to purchase one of Doug's name tags should have their head read!!!


From 1 July 2018, the Australian Government will introduce the Contributing the proceeds of downsizing into superannuation (downsizing) measure. This measure is part of a package of reforms to reduce pressure on housing affordability in Australia. This measure applies to the sale of your dwelling (your home), which was your main residence, where the exchange of contracts for the sale occurs on or after 1 July 2018.

If you are 65 years old or older and meet the eligibility requirements, you may be able to choose to make a downsizer contribution into your superannuation of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of selling your home. Your downsizer contribution is not a non-concessional contribution and will not count towards your contributions caps. The downsizer contribution can still be made if an individual has a total super balance greater than 1.6 million.

Your downsizer contribution will not affect your total super balance until your total super balance is re-calculated to include all your contributions, including your downsizer contributions, on 30 June at the end of the financial year. The downsizer contribution will also count towards your transfer balance cap, currently set at $1.6 million. This cap applies when you move your super savings into retirement phase. You can only make downsizing contributions for the sale of one home. You can't access it again for the sale of a second home. Downsizer contributions are not tax deductible and will be taken into account for determining eligibility for the age pension.

If you sell your home, are eligible and choose to make a downsizer contribution, there is no requirement for you to purchase another home.

SOURCE: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/Super-housing-measures/Downsizing-contributions-into-superannuation/

Budget 2018 - 2019


Finances for a longer life
    The Government is increasing the Pension Work Bonus to allow age pensioners to earn an extra $50 per fortnight without reducing their pension. The Pension Loan Scheme will be expanded giving greater flexibility to use home equity to boost retirement incomes, e.g. up to $17,787 a year for a full rate age pensioner (couple). The 2018–19 Budget delivers measures to boost living standards and expand retirement.

More choice
    More Australians are choosing to access aged care in their homes. To support Australians who wish to stay at home, the Government is providing $1.6 billion to support 14,000 additional high‑level home care packages by 2021–22. This adds to the 6,000 places the Government has provided since the last Budget. The Government is making it easier for people to navigate the aged care system and access the care that suits them. This includes $61.7 million to improve the My Aged Care website and $14.8 million to streamline the assessment process for aged care services.

Healthier ageing
    To enable Australians to make the most of a longer life, the Government is investing in the health of older Australians by providing: $82.5 million for mental health services for people in residential aged care facilities; $20 million to pilot services for older Australians to help them remain connected to their communities; and $22.9 million to boost the physical activity of older Australians.

Better care
    The Government is reforming the aged care system to ensure that aged care facilities are providing the care the community expects. Our aged care system must guarantee and respect the dignity of older Australians. The Government will establish a new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission from 1 January 2019. Regulations will be strengthened and made more transparent. The Government is providing $22 million to protect older Australians from abuse, including by funding trials of specialist elder abuse support services. In addition to developing a National Plan on Elder Abuse, the Government will work with the states and territories to develop a national online register for enduring powers of attorney.

SOURCE: https://budget.gov.au/2018-19/content/sections/essentials/download/Guaranteeing_the_essentials_for_Australians.pdf

Community News

Four local projects granted $250,000 in new fund

Sweating it out beneath a half-built ceiling for the past 40 years, staff at Coffs Harbour Creative Arts Gallery were relieved to be one of four local arts projects to receive much-needed funds.

The Gallery has been granted above $30,000 to put towards a new ceiling, air conditioning and more lighting. The local projects have a share of almost $250,000 as part of the first ever round of the NSW Government's newly established $100m Regional Cultural Fund. The Fund was established with the goal to drive growth in arts and culture in regional NSW.

"We've been able to get funds to give the improvements that might make this place a little more like home than it has been,” Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser said.

"We're very lucky to have a Regional Cultural Fund which we didn't really have in the past. Applications will soon re-open again meaning more money is available for cultural facilities in regional NSW, which I think is really fantastic.

This has been a great win for our region and a great example of the community having a vision to establish a strong cultural identity.”

Robyn Lawrence, Secretary and Publicity Officer of CHCAG said the new improvements have come at a time when the gallery is booming in popularity. "The new roof has been needed for about 40 years now, the building was never finished,” she said.

"We have nearly 200 members now and we have some elderly people, children's classes and refugee classes, so there's a big need for the air conditioning and the ceiling. Especially since the gallery is used everyday of the week.”

The Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance has also received around $74,000 in funding from the first round of the Cutlural Fund. The Alliance were forced to cancel their annual Saltwater Freshwater Festival this year due to a lack of funding. A celebration of indigenous culture across the Mid North Coast, the festival is held on Australia Day and showcases local Aboriginal talent through art and music.

The Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre has received a grant of around $104,000 and the Bunker Cartoon Gallery has received around $37,000. Arts Minister Don Harwin said the Cultural Fund will ensure regional NSW receives its fair share of arts and cultural infrastructure.

"Arts and culture is at the heart of every regional community and this first round of funding is evidence that the NSW Government's commitment to driving growth in arts, screen, culture and heritage in regional NSW is making a difference," Mr Harwin said.

Applications will soon be invited for the next round of funding. Visit www.nsw.gov.au/regionalculturalfund for more.

Lions Club Donation to Hospital

Through commitment, time and generosity, the Lions Club of Woolgoolga have donated around $18,500 worth of medical equipment and patient comfort items to the Coffs Harbour Health Campus.

The Lions presented a vital signs monitor to the Renal Unit as well as a vital signs monitor, paediatric cot and two sofa beds to the Paediatric Unit.

The sofas will provide parents with a comfortable place to sleep should they want to stay with their child in hospital. President Mike Mellefont said the club had a proud history of supporting worthy local projects thanks to a dedicated band of Lions who volunteer at the waste transfer station on behalf of Coffs Harbour City Council.

"It's quite a commitment because the Woolgoolga Waste Transfer Station is open every weekend," Mr Mellefont said. "We couldn't make donations such as this without the army of volunteers - Lions members and community volunteers, who help us throughout the year.

"It's a huge effort but it delivers enormous satisfaction when we can help local patients at our very own Coffs Harbour hospital."

Paediatric Nursing Unit Manager Kate Connell said the Woolgoola Lions Club members were tremendous supporters of the unit, its young patients and their families.

"We are so very thankful for the support we receive. Every donation makes a difference, and the Lions keep returning to help us to better care for our youngsters."

For more information on the Woolgoolga Lions Club or to volunteer, email oolgoolga@lionsdistrict201n1.org.au

Coffs Harbour History

The Fitzroy Hotel

1913: The name which so long stood over the front door of the Hotel Fitzroy - Murdoch McLean - was taken down last week, and that of the new licensee, W. T. Johnston, now stands there, who has bought the license for a period of years. It is hardly necessary to make public any reference to the late licensee; for there is not a traveller or any public man from Newcastle to the Tweed who does not know the Hotel Fitzroy. By the erection of this palatial building Mr. McLean certainly set the rest of Coff's Harbour an example, and it showed that he, at least, bad no misgivings as to its future. It was a bold stroke to build what is, perhaps, the finest and best fitted up hotel from Newcastle to Brisbane in an insignificant place like Coffs, but the sequel has proved the owner was right, and if the town has not yet risen equal to its hotel accommodation it soon will.

Every one who has passed through the town and partaken of the Fitzroy's comforts have only praise to give it and a good word to say for its able manager. The name of Murdoch McLean has always been connected with straight-dealing, and though, of course, a map of each strong personality as Mr. McLean possesses would be sure to cross words in some public matters, it can never be said he struck below the belt, and whether for or against, Mr. McLean has the respect of all, and though out of business (though still the owner of the hotel), we feel sure that in voicing the hope that our worthy citizen may long be spared amongst us all those who have the privilege of knowing Mr. McLean will endorse.

 roof and the top floor were the worst of the damaged areas and damage was estimated to be about 10,000 pounds. Hotel owners Tooth and Co. announced the hotel would be demolished and entirely rebuilt, at a cost of 20,000 pounds. It reopened in October 1941.

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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