Thursday, 8 August 2019

Visitors to our workplace on Sunday 11th August

Southern Woodworkers Guild – August News update

This Sunday, the 11th August, we are hosting either 2 or 3 bus loads of keen people that are going on the ‘blokes and sheds’ tour.

Our shed, Woodworkers clubrooms, is also on the list.

The times the organizers have given me are:-

Þ 2.00 pm to 2.30 pm

Þ 2.45 pm to 3.15 pm

Þ 3.30 pm to 4.00 pm

Note—these times are subject to  change.

I would like to see as many members working on their projects as possible and of course be prepared to explain what you are doing.

Each bus load will have to start with a quick health and safety chat and I trust that we can have a member to chat about the following subjects:

Þ Workshop

Þ Library

Þ Kidzone

Þ Other community type projects we have been involved with

Þ Member benefits

Thank you


Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Newsletter July 2019

Kidzone was on again this year from July 10th to 15th at James Hargest Senior College.

We again ran the Woodwork Room helping the children to make boxes.  These boxes have been designed to be multi functional - one as a box, two as a box for a jack-in-the-box - these get made in another part of the festival, and thirdly as a money box.  The box also has a false floor so goodies can be hidden from prying eyes.

We also had a mixture of toys left over from previous years - these ranged from prams, baskets, space fighters, space shuttles, robots, rattle boxes and clackers.

And we managed to use up all the shuttles, space fighters, prams, baskets, rattle boxes and have 26 robots and 240 clackers left along with about 900 boxes and false floors left over.  We also have about 4 boxes of various parts that we will need to incorporate into next year’s toys.

The jigs for making the boxes were invaluable as the use of the jig tried to start the box off as square as possible.  But of course, you have put the correct pieces in the jig and then line up the timber pieces and then put the nails in straight.  That was an issue again this year - and of course this isn’t helped by nailing on a bouncy table with about 8 others trying to do the same thing at the same time.

Hopefully next year we will have more solid table tops to work off.  The current table tops have been in use for many years and they are getting towards the end of their life.

My thanks to all that have volunteered again this year and those who have spent the time making the boxes.  But of course my special thanks to those brave souls who actually help in the Woodwork Room, it is known as the loudest room at Kidzone! It is also in all probability the most visited room as well.
This year we were located in the Music Room—M1. And this room had far more space than previous rooms and had some acoustic treatment so didn’t seem quite so loud - although that could be just me going deaf!

The only real issue I have with Kidzone is the lack of member volunteers or assistance for working at the Room, I know it is a tough ask to work in such a busy noisy environment but we do need more volunteers. I called in some people from work to assist us over the weekend as our volunteer numbers were way down this year.

No doubt we will have to change plans on how we attract volunteers if we carry on next year with this event.  We don’t rely on any Kidzone school volunteers as they can get taken away to other activities - we have found this out the hard way and on Saturday the Organisers were very short of these volunteers to run the main festival activities.

But I don’t like asking other people outside the Guild as it is a fund raiser for the Guild.

Overall, the Woodwork Room worked well.  We had plenty of choices of wooden kits available, we helped a new generation of children put together their own toy, the smiles on the faces of both children and parents make this event and our hard work worthwhile.

But we will have to discuss our continued support for this event at the next Committee and monthly Meeting.

Thanks, Simon


From the General Meeting on 3rd July
Whether we require or want a patron was discussed and it was decided that as a patron is more of a figure head, that we would not pursue this option.

All members are to provide their own safety gear - ear muffs, masks etc as appropriate to the task they are    undertaking.

We have secured some funding - a full report will be    given at next month’s meeting as some funding depends on other funders.

Workshop is all going well with more timber arriving.

And it must have been cold out as only 14 member’s made it to the meeting.

REMINDERS to all members

We have a number of members who haven’t paid their subs this year.  We normally allow a 3 month grace period and this is now close to being up.

Please pay your subs to Peter.



The year is past the halfway mark now and the days are starting have longer daylight hours so we are getting nearer to the exhibition. Those that were spending so much time on working for the Guild now have the opportunity to start on their entries for the exhibition so good luck folks.

It is good to see some of the members mentoring our newer members and I believe this has always been a strong point of our group.

Many thanks to Lindsay for his most generous gift of a Sorby Pro Sharpener and if anybody wishes to practice sharpening turning chisels on this machine please see me and I will supply a few chisels and get an experienced Operator to show you how to use this machine.

The heater has had a servicing thanks to Jordan and is once again being a popular place for members to stand and compare notes.

The belts for the thicknesser we obtained from Ron Johnson are on order and this machine should be operational soon.

Thirty plus bench chisels have been sharpened and placed in the tool store.

In general, things look good in the Workshop but remember if you get a tool from another source please remember to put it back.

The Next General Meeting will be on 7th August at 7.30pm.    Ivan will be demonstrating smoothing a slab with a router.

NOTE - Please remember to bring your ear protection.


Note the next Committee meeting is being held on Monday 19th August, commencing  at 7.30pm.


This is on again this year at the Clubrooms on 28th July, 2019.  Cost is $30.00 per person.

Wives/husbands/partners and children are welcome - cost is per person.

Payment to Peter on the day unless arranged prior.

Be seated by 12.30pm.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

June Newsletter supplement

Kidzone is on again this year at James Hargest Senior College in Layard Street from 10th to 15th July.

Volunteers are still required for our woodwork room.   This is a worthwhile event and a fund raiser for the Guild.

So please put your name down to volunteer - it does appear as though the same old faces are turning up and with less volunteers these members are doing more time than they should have to.

So help your fellow members out and volunteer to help and remember this is the major fund raiser for the Guild.

Let Simon know when you can assist.

There are spaces available for volunteers on the following days:

Wednesday 10th July
Friday the 11th July
Sunday the 14th July
Monday the 15th July

The box toys and false floors for the boxes have all been manufactured and packaged up ready for delivery to the wood work room at the college.

My thanks to all the members who volunteered their time , a great effort  to get these cut and packaged.

REMINDERS to all members


The General Meeting is being held on Wednesday 3rd July at 7.30pm at the Clubrooms.

Refer to last newsletter for definition of patron and I look forward to your discussion on the subject.

We have changed our Club day from Monday night to Saturday, this is because of the cold dark nights we are now getting and with the Saturday we should encourage those members that work all week to come along and make some wood shavings for themselves.

I would encourage all members to come along and make whatever they want to.

The Guild has great facilities, good space, good machinery and even good comradeship and banter
to keep us on our toes.


Things are looking good, thanks to all those that have been so busy sorting and storing the wood.  The sooner this task is completed and those involved can get back to doing something for themselves the better.

I do believe that in the future those type of tasks should be done as a working bee type of operation rather than having a few spending all their time working on these tasks.

It seems some of our equipment has gone on holiday during my absence so if you know where the jigs are for setting the knives on the big thicknesser please ask them to come home.

If you think you may not be able to identify them, they look a bit like long bolts with funny bits of metal at each end. They used to live with the spare thicknesser knives but went walkabout when the knives went to the new tool store.

It must be holiday time for some of the spare light bulbs that were in the cupboard near the old chiller room and it seems they have taken the cupboard with then so if you see them please ask them to come home.

The cost to return or replace these items is in excess of $200 and shows that thigs should be returned as soon as possible. 

Otherwise all is looking good and looking forward to seeing more members doing their own thing. 

ps.     it's holiday time for me too but sorry no lightbulbs here or jigs.  Cheers to all..   Peter A.

Friday, 14 June 2019


Newsletter - Southern Woodworkers Guild - June Edition


All is progressing well with making the toys for this year’s Kidzone Festival, a working bee was held on the Saturday the 8th June at our clubrooms where the plywood was cut and drilled and we managed to get most of the false floors for the boxes cut out and packaged up.

The timber is to be delivered on Wednesday the 11th June.  This means we need another working bee on Saturday the 15th June.  We have 3 different pieces to cut out so I would like to see 3 saws in operation.  With 3 saws running we can take the timber straight to the packing stage.

I hope to see some of you at the Clubrooms starting from 9.00am and running till about 3.00pm.

Mid-winter Dinner

I am pleased to report that the mid-winter dinner is on again this year.

Place                  Our Clubrooms at 5 Mary Street

When                Sunday 28th July 2019

Time                  12.00 pm with lunch starting at 12.30pm

All members and partners welcome.

Cost per person -   this has not been discussed yet but a cost will be outlined at the July meeting.

REMINDER to all members

There were a few grumps at the last meeting about members not being able to find chucks for the lathes.

Each lathe has their own chucks but some of course are inter changeable with other lathes.

The message is very simple - if you take any piece of equipment or a tool to use on a project you are responsible for returning it to where you found it.  We have a tool room where a lot of our tools live so that is the place to start.  Lathes have their own equipment with each lathe so return items to that lathe.

We may look at colour coding these items so that they are easier to return.

Thank you all for your assistance with this issue as no one wants to go looking for items that should be with tools.

Each member is responsible for this.

And another reminder to clean up after yourselves, this is a basic safety issue – if you make a mess, please tidy up before you leave the building.


The AGM was held on the 5th June.  The officers nominated and elected were:-

President                        Simon Tonkin
Vice President                Neil King
Past President               Barry McLaughlin
Secretary/Treasurer      Peter Robbie

Committee                     Bev Wilson
                                        Jordan Wilson
                                        Aiden Cockroft
                                        David Caughey

Workshop Manager      Ivan Carran
Editor                             Simon Tonkin (for interim period)

Committee members (stepping down):-

                                        Ivan Carran
                                        Mike Peters
                                        Kevin Gerrard

My thanks to the previous year’s Committee for their excellent work in running the Guild and also to the current Committee members and Office Bearers for what will be another busy year for the Guild.

Change of days for the use of the Clubrooms
It has been decided at the last General Meeting that with the cold weather arriving that we will change the Monday night to a Saturday.

The new hours for every Saturday will be 9 .00am to 3.00pm.

This change should entice those working members to be able to come along and make their own projects rather than slinking out to their cold workshops in the cold dark hours.

Finally, with the weather turning very winterish, the Guild Clubrooms offer a very warm place to be with good dry space and good company.  Let us all enjoy what we have!

General stuff
A question has been raised by Ross Nicol over whether the Southland Woodworkers should have a patron?

The meaning of what a patron does was discussed at the June meeting and the President was asked to research what a patron could or would do.

The definition of patron:-

Þ    A person who sponsors or aids artists or charities
Þ    A protector or benefactor
Google search has some more information:-

Þ    The word patron comes from the Latin part meaning father
Þ    A patron supports someone or something
Þ    A patron supports the business by being a loyal customer
Þ    A patron of the arts helps support starving artists financially and not with food donations
Þ    The primary role of a patron is to lend credibility and support
Þ    They don’t play a formal role in the organization but are usually listed on letterheads appeal brochures and publicity material to help raise awareness and support.
Þ    Patrons are generally non-members , they tend to be someone that lends their name to the organization as a way of supporting you usually because they are well known and able to get media coverage for your organization and or bring in donations

Given this information, the question will be discussed at the July meeting as to whether the Guild membership want to pursue a person to act as patron to the Guild.

So please give the matter some thought and come along to the July meeting to discuss the issues.

Simon Tonkin

Monday, 3 June 2019

PR and demo by Chris Pouncy

Must have been a full house at the clubrooms and no wonder because this was a one time opportunity to attend a free demo by a well known chap from the UK who is also the PR person for Robert Sorby tools.

Full marks for the setup with video and large screen with a dedicated video-grapher who occasionally took a nap and forgot all about what was going on around him.

Never mind, I believe that it's a tiring job looking all the time at a smallish video camera display and gets a bit boring at times.

Chris is a proficient wood turner I think and a good salesman too, well that's why he came down to Invercargill for I guess to promote a certain brand of tools and how good they are.
He kicked off the show with a lengthy sharpening demo using this gizmo sharpening system called Pro Edge with is indeed a fine tool to have so you never have to worry about blunt tools anymore if own one that is.
This unit includes a number of add ons for sharpening a variety of tools plus a few more optionally available ones also.
The price of this setup was a rather whopping amount of dollars worth so most us need to start saving now to be able to buy it next year.

So here's hoping that the club will be able to do some fundraising or some sponsor might throw some money at us and we will be able to get this little Rolls Royce sharpener for the club rooms.

Anyway Chris showed how it's all done and after this chapter he continued with the freshly sharpened tools to tackle some beech blank showing some standard techniques of hollowing, undercutting and so on.
Then he carried on with the spiralling tools and the correct ways to use these not only on bowls but also with between centers turning to create a great effect.

Another new tool he demonstrated was a kind of safety skew chisel with a very glossy bevel and this looked like a flat scraper with a glossy bevel.
Useful tool indeed if one is a little apprehensive to use a ' real ' skew because you are likely too have no dig- ins with this newish ' skew ' .

And then there was a raft of tools on display from the Robert Sorby brand which could be analysed by the members and if you had pockets deep enough they could be purchased.
Beats me that I could not find any bowl gouges with replaceable tips but just the standard full steel ones only.
However I was quite happy to buy this little hollowing tool for which I have a good use.

Nice to see Bill Owen there also and manning his sales corner..
There was quite a demand for these items also I believe.

All in all I believe that most of us did have an enjoyable time on this cold Sunday afternoon also thanks to Chris and his pleasant style to entertain us all job well done indeed.

Peter A.  

Friday, 31 May 2019

some notes to remember..

 FREE wood turning demonstrations by Chris Pouncy.  
This is at our clubrooms at 5 Mary street Invercargill on Sunday 2nd June  starting at 1.00pm, and finishing at approximately 4.00pm.  A selection of tools will be available to purchase at the event.

copied from a website the following ;

Chris-Pouncy Wood turner Chris Pouncy, as UK and Southern Hemisphere Sales Manager for Robert Sorby Tools, travels the world demonstrating the best techniques and tools to use on the lathe.
Rather than focusing on set items, Chris tends to show people how to select the right tools for the job and how to get them to work the way they’re supposed to.
The latter applies in particular to special purpose tools, for example, spiralling and texturing tools. Lacing his presentation with humour Chris shows how to hold the tools, how to present them to the lathe, how fast or slow to run the lathe, and covers important safety aspects as well.
Could be just the refresher we all need from time to time and interesting for newbies too !   Peter A.
Southland Woodworkers Guild AGM is to be held on Wednesday 5th June at the clubrooms at 7.30pm.

news from our President

Please note that the working bee is Saturday 8th June

Saturday, 4 May 2019

newsletter May 2019

Following is extracted from the newsletter of this month just to keep you in the loop if you have misplaced your newsletter or deleted accidentally or otherwise.
Some of the not so relevant info from the newsletter has been skipped :)

Presidents report ;

We have Kidzone coming up and I have been discussing what toy we will make for this year’s festival – so look out for news on when we will hold a working bee. Again this year we will be using a production line to cut and package the toy but first I need to get final approval for the toy and then approval for the costings for the materials before we can start.
Kidzone is an important part of our fund raising so please try and assist in this worthwhile project.

Work on the guild headquarters is continuing with the library being relocated slightly to make better use of the space in the room, the cool store panels have been sold and removed and work continues on making this a storage room for timber – this should free up more space in the main work room to allow even more lathes to be fitted and free up some space around the machines. 
The verandahs at both ends of the building look good and provide a bit more weather protection.  
My thanks to all these members that have been so giving with their time to complete these projects. 
With the weather turning colder it is time to come down to the guild on Mondays and Wednesdays to utilize the equipment to make a special project , don’t forget we will have our annual exhibition again in November this year and we would like to see all members putting some articles in , it doesn’t matter if you are a learner or an experienced wood worker – all exhibits show case your skills and the variety that we have had on previous years certainly shows the diversity that we have in the membership.

In conclusion I wish you all time in a warm workshop and I hope to see you all at the next working bee for Kidzone

Simon Tonkin.

Member reporting on "drive 4life " held on Sunday 24th February 2019

Invercargill’s inaugural Drive 4 Life was attended by Steve Woller and David Wiseman who represented the club and tried their hands as toy salesmen. The day itself appeared to be sparsely attended in general, with maybe 40 people passing the SWG table during the 6 hours or so that they manned the booth. Word on the day put the low turnout down to the event clashing with the Mandeville Steam Festival and Fly In, as well as it being the first year for the event which has yet to gather a strong following. Steve and David took one table, several boxes of toy trains, and a small amount of cars. Steve also brought along some table dressing in the shape of projects he had completed at the club and a bag of shavings. David brought along three shop aprons which were hung on the front of the table in lieu of a sign. The boys didn’t have a great deal of luck on the sales front, with no completed sales on the day. They did manage to set up an order for a 4 piece train set to be sorted in the next few days (At the time of writing I am unsure if this sale ended up being completed). Dave and Steve also gathered some excellent leads for future areas where the toys may be sought after. One preschool worker expressed excitement at the price of the toys and noted she would pass on the clubs details to her employer. Another noted that the Montessori style preschools may be interested given their movement back to more natural toys and products. There was also some positive feedback on the set up, with some unsolicited compliments on the artfully placed shavings. A number of people expressed an interest in woodworking were given application forms containing club details. These were both male and female and ranged from 16 to around 40 years old. The 16 year old was told that members need to be 18 to join. This young lady has since visited the club and there has been some discussion as to her attending so long as she brings an adult with her. During the down time, a number of ideas were discussed for improving future outreach at other events. Chief amongst these was the possibility of acquiring some signage to attract punters. The feeling on the day was that our lack of signs made it unclear who we were representing or that we were not just selling toys. Good signage could help with soliciting members as well as sales. There was also some discussion that toys only may be a bit limiting at a family event. If it is possible to have additional items for sale, boxes and bowls, or other items from the clubrooms that are available for sale. This would open up the potential customer base to those with older or no children. The booth next to us had an activity (the nail balancing trick) which was a good draw for their table and gave us pause for thought as to what could draw more people to a woodworking sales table. Whether some form of demonstration or activity would be appropriate and workable might be considered for future events. The event was free to attend so there was no expense required by the club. As the first outing of this kind that Dave and Steve were aware of, it seems to have been an acceptable exercise. There is certainly much that we could do better next time and much to be learnt from it.
Steve Woller. ( thanks Steve for your excellent report )
Editors ( personal ) notes ;
Sorry about the delay but things are not going plan at present as I am doing this with one hand as the other arm is on holiday, but will come right. While I have been on restricted mobility I have done a lot of recollecting and thinking and suddenly realised I have been a member of the Guild for over thirty years now and what an enjoyable time it has been and how things have changed during that time. I remember being introduced to the Guild, by Peter Aalders who was tutoring wood turning at Southland Polytechnic night classes, and told us of a club day. I went along for a look and spent all Saturday learning how to sharpen turning chisels. Not content with my effort I then spent most of Sunday with Roy Neilson, the first secretary, continuing the training. I think this was time well spent and taught me to learn basic hand techniques before moving to machines. I believe learning to do something by hand before moving to a machine is good practice unless your desire is to be a machinist. I have spent most of my time as a guild member on the committee, filling the President’s chair for two times, acting as secretary during times of illness, being editor for too long and filling the roll of workshop manager in recent times but the most rewarding time for me personally was being made a life member. I think of all the times and stories and ideas swapped at the various weekends away on the pretext of woodworking. The fascinating people that I have met and the visiting demonstrators that have stayed with Lyn and me have been really great. I think the most exciting time for the guild has been the buying of our own club rooms and this has given us more room and freedom to do our own thing. As the club is now the owner of the rooms we must be aware of costs such as insurance, electricity etc. are very expensive so we must very prudent with our funds and use them wisely. We are very fortunate in having the support of the public and the generous donations of equipment and material so it is no wonder we are the envy of all our surrounding clubs. After such a long time on the committee perhaps it is time for a change and maybe it is time for me to spend more time for Ivan Ivan
Thanks Ivan for reflecting a bit on the club's history, makes me feel a lot older too :)
Peter A.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Tools wish list

There are a number of tools that we as a guild would like to add to our range of tools which we already have and members are invited to submit ideas of additional tools they think are required.
A 'wish list ' have been drawn up so you are welcome to jot down your ideas.

I personally would like to see a new bench grinder with white wheels and sharpening jig for turning tools only.
The use of the jig would make it possible for everyone to sharpen tools the correct way without any trouble so at some stage we can see more shavings flying when turning using these sharper tools and all tools will be sharpened the same way !

Peter A
For your information.

  • Estate tools from Ron Johnson have been purchased
  • Any tools and plant guild has for sale to be offered to members by tender
  • Robert Sorby visit in early June
  • Annual subs due next month ( better start saving now )
  • Otago competition 5th to 7th April (that’s next month ) entries to committee
  • Dated stock of stain varnish has been donated by a retailer so please feel free to use this.

Kidzone 2019

Kidzone 2019 is on the cards again but this time there is no particular design required but and 'open' selection, anything goes as long as it looks like or is a toy which can be assembled by children. ( and their parents probably )
A few sticks of wood and some nails and there you have it..
So please put your thinking caps on and give it a shot to design a simple toy.
Looking forward to see lots of ideas and perhaps finished toys at our monthly meeting first wednesday in April.