Thursday, 17 October 2019

HAFCO WL-18 Lathe

While over in Ozzie I was asked by my daughters partner to give advise on a Hafco lathe which was for sale because he was keen to learn some woodturning.
I never heard of Hafco before so we decided to have a look and work out if it would be a suitable sturdy lathe for what he wanted.

The engine room has a set of pulleys with adjustable diameters which give a continue speed control from 500 to 2000 rpm adjustable with the handle at the front.

The lathe bed, head and tailstock all cast iron and sturdy enough for some reasonable size work.  Swivel head and outboard facility included and a good toolrest also.  The lathe package included faceplate and a set of woodturning tools in a wooden box with a stamped mark on the tools 'made in chian'.
This error print made me a little suspicious about the quality of the steel and they looked a bit rough on the edges.

The swivel head locked nicely in at 45 and 90 degrees and the extension for the toolrest needed to be attached when working outboard.
This extension was of a rather light construction and indeed it needed support with a stick between toolrest and floor.

After some ' negotiating ' we managed to get the sale price down to A$ 300 which was a pretty good price for this lathe incusive tools.

So after everything was installed we powered up and started making some spindles with plenty beads and coves praktising and a small plate done with the paper glue method because of the lack of a chuck.
The tools were not too flash and needed sharpening a lot because they lost the edge fairly quick but that was to expected also with this Ozzie timber which is a lot harder to turn compared to what we usually have here.
I must admit that I occasionally had trouble getting a clean cut before sanding and had to resort to some shear scraping techniques to reduce the fine ripples.
I spend a great deal of time teaching the various tool handlings and jotted down the info on a sheet of paper with drawings so he could use this as a reference when practising.   Anyway it was nice to be able to make some shavings while staying at my daughters and to be able to pass on my expertise.

Final word about this lathe; well worth the money invested but there is a tendency of vibration possibly caused by the drive system.
Lathe needs to be bolted down and when outboard turning toolrest need support under it.  Motor is a bit light to my liking I managed to stall it a couple of times so light cuts here I think.

Peter Aalders

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

September newsletter update

Southern Woodworkers Guild – September News update 19-09-19

Annual Exhibition

This year’s annual exhibition will be held at the Woodworkers Clubrooms .

The opening for Members will be Friday, 15th November 2019.  Members’ exhibits can be dropped off from 10:00am - 3:00pm on the Friday.
If you need to drop an item off earlier please arrange this with a Committee member.

The night will start with the judging by 3 judges - they pick best in show from 5:30pm to 6:30pm.  Members arrive from 6:30pm and cast their votes on the different categories.

The timeframe for member voting is 6:30pm to 7:30pm

Members can bring family members along to the Opening.
 Votes are then counted and the exhibition opens with certificates given out for the categories and best in show.
 Drinks and nibbles will be provided.

On Saturday, 16th November, the Clubrooms are open to the public for viewing.
The exhibition will run from Saturday, 16th November through to Sunday, 8th December.
 Opening days are Wednesday to Sunday each week from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

Please put your name forward for being rostered to guide visitors through the exhibition.

The categories are attached to this newsletter.  Please use this as your entry form for items.

I encourage all members to enter work in this year’s exhibition, even if you are a new member please look at the categories and submit some items.

You are able to enter 3 items per category so in effect you could exhibit 36 items of work - I don’t believe that has ever been done before but this year could be a first.

Rules of Exhibition

·         Work must be your own work.
·         Items must be finished in the year - note the word finished.  Some items have been started many years ago and put aside waiting for motivation or material to finish.
·         Restoration of a previously completed item is not a permitted entry - the Committee will look at this and decide if there is merit in adding this restoration as a future category.



September has been a very productive month with the electrician being busy moving plugs and installing new plugs.  The new plugs that drop from above will be of great assistance in keeping the floors clear of extension cables and reducing any tripping hazards.

The exit signs are working again and we can now get the W.O.F. for the building (and now that the runaway book has returned from its hiding place the inspection team should be happy!).

Thanks to Peter for the load of pallets, these are now being converted into firewood by the ever willing team so it will be good to have firewood for sale again.

With the finish of daylight saving due at the end of the month the Committee has decided to resume the Monday night opening and will still retain the Wednesday and Saturday sessions, so this will improve the utilisation of our building.  It is good to see new members attending and great to see them being helped by our members.  Just remember the workshop is there to be used and the more the merrier.

Lastly, do not forget the annual exhibition is getting closer and we should all be working on something to show the community what the Southland Woodworkers Guild can do with a few bits of wood.




The Committee has decided that with the warmer days and nights, the clubrooms will be open on 3 days each week, as follows:

Þ Monday                          7:00pm—9:00pm
Þ Wednesday                  9:00am—3:00pm
Þ Saturday                         9:00am—3:00pm

* commences Monday 30th September 2019 for Monday opening

Saturday, 31 August 2019


On 11th August we hosted the ‘blokes and sheds visit’ and what a great turnout of Guild members, all busy making shavings.
I am sure the participant’s on the tour would have been impressed with how tidy our shed was and the wide variety of work being undertaken, from scroll saw work, carving, flatting a slab with a router, lathe work and furniture making, just to name a few of the activities that were being undertaken.
And our kitchen was used to provide the customary pies, scones and drinks.
The library and exhibition area looked a treat also.
So all in all a great turnout and a great advertisement for the Guild.  Well done to everyone involved!
Thanks, Simon

Cub Cars

Last year we made a 4 lane track and starting gate for the local Cub Association. The Cubs drew out the shape of a car and we cut them out, the cubs then painted up their cars and fitted the wheels and had a great night racing the down the tracks.
This year a new intake of Cubs needed new cars cut out, this was done on the 11th and the cars were picked up.
Another worthwhile event for the Guild to be involved in.


Again this year we participated in the annual Kidzone Festival.
We were located in the music room which had better acoustics so it wasn’t as noisy as previous years but still rather noisy. Again this was a success for the Guild and I am sure the members that volunteered got a real kick out of seeing the children actually make something they could be proud of.
The jigs for making the boxes proved very  successful  as it starts the boxes off in a square state and greatly improves the chances of getting them right first time.
If only we could  have a jig for putting nails in straight and not too close to the edge of the timber.
But again all in all a great success for the Guild.
I have filled out the survey form on how we found it and what improvements could be made for next year. The main one will be to have a more solid   table top as the existing table tops they use are   rather bouncy.
Again my thanks to all the members who assisted from cutting the toys out and packaging them up and a special thanks to those members that  volunteered on the days of the festival.


Neil has been working away with the Funders and he has secured some funding for electrical work and part of the operating cost budget.  We are waiting to hear back from other funders.

From the Workshop

This has been a bad month for me as I seem to have missed more workshop time then enough. 
A couple of problems have arisen this month with the large band saw having been a problem that all started with poor usage.  The band was damaged and when I went to replace it, both guides had been incorrectly adjusted which resulted in both thrust bearings being damaged and in need of replacement.
That was the easy solve but getting a band for a replacement was a different story as our normal supplier has gone out of business so I had to shop around. Our usual machinery supplier only stocks bands to fit the saws they sell and made to measure bands can cost up to $100.00.
I think we may be on the right track now but as there is no saw doctor in the town, there has been delays. Next problem was the small thicknesser which had the blades fitted incorrectly causing a poor finish so the blades had to be removed and refitted correctly. Please do not attempt repairs without asking me first.
Other than that all seems to be going well and the visit by the bus loads from the Boys High Tour was a good show and to see us working was an eye opener for some as was the display of work.
The pies and pints were a good reward for those that came and showed the visitors what we are about. Great to see more members working on their own projects or helping those that need assistance. Keep up the good work.

 Next Meetings
Committee Meeting  - Monday 19th   August
General Meeting        -  Wednesday 4th September

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