March 2018 Newsletter

Presidents Message

Ken Ryan

We trust you had a memorable Easter with family and friends. Coffs is a great halfway house between cities for drop in guests who hopefully supply their own linen - and with any luck, a few beverages as well?

Some large commission projects have been completed recently resulting in both credit and financial benefits to the Shed.

Thanks to Robert, a contributed article is included in this edition to spell out some of the costs associated with running the Shed. The committee fully endorses Robert's document. Your co-operation is requested when using Shed resources.

All projects, whether commission or Members, require job sheets. Before commencing any project, please see Robert or Dave to complete one.

Meanwhile, work progress on the mezzanine has slowed as we are waiting on further consultation. But a lot is still happening behind the scenes in relation to air conditioning, ventilation, emergency lighting etc.

A few machine breakdowns lately have not been notified to the respective area leader. If you encounter a machine problem, let someone know about it ASAP.

It's great to see the Shed well attended and our membership now around 150. Welcome to new members.

Cheers   ……………………….   Ken Ryan 


To help Shedders get to know their Committee better, a picture gallery has been put up near the sign-in book outside the Office.

Past Events

  • Thirty four members attended the free barbeque at the Shed on Friday 8th March which was a great success due mainly to Dave Churchyards planning and preparation.
  • Following the Fire Brigade demonstration at the Shed, we have been reminded that they are willing to come to homes to replace smoke detector batteries and offer safety advice.
  • Some committee members attended the official opening of the neighbouring Apspect Special School lately. We have formed a connection with their staff, with benefits both ways.

Members inspecting the million dollar Fire Truck

Coming Events

On Saturday 7th April the Shed will be represented at the Coffs Fine Woodworkers Expo in the Jordan Pavilion at the Showground from 10.00 am until 4.00 pm. Volunteers are required for 2 hour shifts. Roster schedule is at the sign-in table.

On the following Sunday 16th April, during Seniors Week, we will mount a similar display at the Jetty Foreshore Markets in our own gazebo. Another roster sheet is begging for names. The display will need 2 man teams from 7.00 am until 2.00 pm.

Please volunteer if you can as both events are very good exposure for the Shed and its work.

New Members

We welcome ot the Shed:

John Coleing
Jeffrey Cox
Frank Emr
Patrick Magann
Andrew Row
Richard Stoker

Fit Out

Our remaining plasterboard has now been moved up to the mezzanine level using a 12 man chain gang and fork lift. Hopefully we will soon have the OK from Council to complete this level.

Another plasterboard sheet on its way to the mezzanine


Success at last! We now have an internet connection installed and working. Quite an acceptable speed of 24Mbps too, with unlimited download.

The office computer is available for downloading plans etc, but please see a manager first.
Still no phone, but it should be ready shortly.

Welding Course

The proposed welding course to be run by Dave Harnett has had to be postponed. In his capacity as an RAN Reservist Dave is to be tasked to work outside Australia for a short time.

Reservists are frequently called upon to fill vacant billets or when special capabilities are required.

Good that Coffs Mens Shed expertise is useful elsewhere.


Glad to see Ron Braun tidying up the access road verge to our Shed last week. Typically self-motivated, Ron has plenty of energy to attend to necessary maintenance work when others turn a blind eye.

Productive work too from Bruce Evans also in disassembling pallets and neatly stacking them behind the containers.


Warren Sanger has asked me to seek out vocalists for the Shed band, now being put together.

Audition yourself in the shower tonight. Check family responses.

Bees (not working for a change)

Much interest in the Native Bee projects lately. See Doug Tysoe or Mark Dunn for info. I'm hooked!

Workshop News

  • The Engineering staff are not impressed when Shed members shape aluminium on the grinding wheels. Ferrous metals only, please.
  • We have a new, improved metal detector. It was expensive, but cheaper than replacing teeth and cutters on power tools. Please check all boards before machining. The beast lives near the sign-in book and can be adjusted for sensitivity with a fine screwdriver. Unsure? Ask a mentor.
  • We will miss the excellent services of Bob Newhaus in the painting area as he is leaving Coffs for family reasons. Thanks aplenty for your help Bob, which definitely will be missed.
  • I have been investigating the construction of a metal bike maintenance stand for the Shed. Robert assures me that we had one once but it has gone missing. Any ideas? Any bike adjustment experts out there?

Workshop pics

Doug at work

Bob White in action

Drop Saw in use

Band Saw

Mister Restoration (Tom)

Robert puts the finishing touches to a commission job

Members Profile - Barry Guest

Born on 30 June 1947 in Canterbury Hospital, in Sydney, I attended Punchbowl Primary and Punchbowl High schools, completing the Leaving Certificate in 1965.

During my school days, I was more involved in sport than in the academic Schools in rugby union, swimming and athletics and, after leaving school, represented NSW in discus and played lower-grade rugby league with Canterbury/Bankstown.

My working life began as an apprentice carpenter and joiner at a joinery shop in Greenacre during which I completed the trade course at Granville Technical College. I lost my first job with Beresford Industries after the factory burned down in 1966. In late 1966, I joined Kingsgrove Joinery in 1968 but it burned down too. I then joined Cemac Pty at Auburn and, believe it or not, this factory burned down in early 1972.

Feeling like a jinx on the companies I worked for, I applied for my Builders Licence in 1972 and remained self-employed as a builder until 1996. At this time I employed an apprentice and a labourer and specialised in cottage building and second-storey conversions.

In 1983, I won a World Championship at Stroud - I threw a brick 129 feet 5 inches (39.33m). The “Strouds” of the world were the USA, England, Canada and I think; New Zealand. This event is part of the Stroud Gift each year.

The sun on fair skin started to impact me in early 1990, so I went back to school (University of New England) graduating in 1995 with a Bachelor of Business.

Between 1990 and 1994, while still building cottages, I qualified to teach at TAFE and taught the trade course to first- and second-year apprentices for three and a half years. However, the students reminded me too much of my own adolescence and the hard time we gave our teachers. So, with little trepidation, I gladly moved into the golf industry. I worked first as General Manager of Wingham Golf Club. Later I was General Manager of the Liverpool Golf Club near Sydney where I remained for 10 years, retiring in September 2008. Don’t assume that working for a golf club is good for your golf. I began the Liverpool job on a handicap of nine and retired on 16.

My wife Mary and I moved back to the bush in 2013. Apart from family, my life interests have centred around sport, music and musical instruments. I play mandolin, guitar and really bad violin and, since 1980, have been making mainly violins and mandolins. I was taught violin-making by John Godschall Johnson who has instruments on permanent display in the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

If I have any claim to fame, it is that I was commissioned to make a quartet of instruments for the 2007 Sydney Symphony Fellows. That is, a cello, a viola and two violins. The “Fellows” are young NSW musicians who have been chosen by the Sydney Symphony each year as having outstanding prospects. Recently, I have started making guitars. I have a passion for new designs in musical instruments as can be seen in my Blog at I have been a member of three bands over my life; a rock band called ‘The Revivals’, playing covers in my twenties; the Woronora Bush Band and the Wingham Bush Band up until the mid-90s.

I enjoy painting with oils and my wife and I have travelled extensively through Australia and Europe. It is difficult to condense seventy years of a wonderful life but it is easy to thank a wonderful wife who has supported the idiosyncrasies of my creative binges over the years.

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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