Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Welcome to 2020

To all our members and all woodies

Christmas done and dusted, all well fed and rested, all new years resolutions thrown out so it is time to get of our bums again and do some useful stuff in our workshop where it is a bit warmer than outside these days.
So lets make our guild greater again...

Peter A

Tuesday, 17 December 2019



Southland Woodworkers Guild – December supplementary news 19-12-17

The Committee and I wish that you all have a great and relaxing Christmas with your friends and family and the weather gods are kind to you all no matter where you are.

The Clubrooms are looking really good and it is so good to see the rooms being used as we intended - the buzz of the machines and happy laughter is a joy.

The annual exhibition went well again this year but we continue to struggle to attract members of the public through the rooms.  Maybe it is time for the Committee to rethink our advertising, after all it is close to Christmas and we make a lot of wooden toys.  So maybe we advertise the exhibition with a focus on people purchasing wooden toys or something special for that special person for Christmas.  It is worth thinking about.

Sales were on a par from the previous years - not bad but not great.

The Committee would like to thank all the members that volunteered their time to man the exhibition and to those that came along and used the Clubrooms as a  club day - this is just as  important as people get to see a workshop first hand.

We have attracted a few new members to the Guild as a result of the exhibition and maybe that is also something we think about in our advertising for the exhibition - come along and join, and make your own Christmas presents.

You may be shoulder tapped to help over the Christmas break
As many of you may know we have been asked to make bread boards x 50.  Barry is in charge of this project and he may require some assistance for certain tasks so he may call you to assist in January.

This will be a worthwhile venture to again get our name out in the community so please be prepared to assist if Barry calls.  Thanks, Simon

Fairy door project

This project is still on the ‘to do’ list.  I have had a look at the area where the fairy doors are to be located and will have sizes and    details of the competition that we are going to run to make these fairy doors.   This will be a fun event to see how creative you all are with making fairy doors and is to be our focus for February 2020.

2020 is shaping up to busy as usual, we have our AGM so will be looking for new members to step up onto the Committee, new ideas are always good to debate.

Remember the future of the Guild is in your hands.

I look forward to catching up with all of you after Christmas.

Happy woodworking and have a merry Christmas.

Simon Tonkin

Monday, 2 December 2019

December newsletter update

December Barbecue

In the December issue of the Woodworker newsletter we were to have a barbecue on the Sunday 8th December  starting at 12.00pm midday.

However, some members would like this changed to the end of the Exhibition.

Therefore, the Committee has decided that the Exhibition will close at 3.00pm on Sunday 8th December with a barbeque.

This will be our Christmas barbecue so please come along and celebrate the end of another year’s successful exhibition.

Members may be able to take any of their exhibition items home with them if they  wish - provided we haven’t already sold them of course.

This will be a great opportunity for members and their families to come and have a last look at the exhibition  and then join in for a bite to eat and chat about what they intend making for next year.

I would like to express the Committee’s thanks and appreciation for all the volunteers that have come along and contributed to this year’s exhibition, from entering an item or two and for manning the exhibition, including putting out and taking in the sign boards.

And on that note the sign boards work very well.  It was such a good idea to direct people to our venue with these boards.

And finally, we have secured some funding for some repairs and maintenance to the Guild’s clubrooms so the Committee will discuss the best way to spend these funds.  Thanks to Neil and his team for assisting in obtaining these funds for the Guild’s use.

Thank you all and have a great Christmas!

Simon Tonkin

Sunday, 1 December 2019

December Newsletter

What a great showing of wooden items at our annual exhibition!  And the club rooms looked an absolute treat - what great club  rooms we have! I am sure that other clubs would give their eye teeth to have half of what we have.

We had a good turnout of members and their partners at the opening and prize giving. The evening went very well—from the organization of setting up the exhibition, the food and drink, and the great atmosphere within the club rooms.

My special thanks to all those that made this happen and helped to make things run so smoothly.

And my very special thanks to all the members that contributed work for the exhibition - the work is a credit to you all, it was so varied and the skills of the members shone through with their work.

Congratulations to all those chosen by your peers in each of the categories. Also, the judges for the first time that I can remember, picked different items to win than the members in each category - that just goes to show how difficult the judging and selecting the best pieces actually was. Congratulations to all that entered and I trust we shall see good results with sales.

The exhibition runs until the 8th December so if you can assist on any day please put your name down on the whiteboard and advise Barry that you can help.

NOTE—to celebrate Christmas and also the end of our exhibition we are going to have a barbeque on Sunday the 8th December starting at 12.00 midday, the exhibition will still be running at that time.  

NOTE—please also remember to check the Guild’s web page - all the photos from the opening night are loaded up with the winners and their winning items.  I did think that Neville was taking liberties with the judges in his photo or was it round the other way?  Photos don’t lie do they Neville?? Great photos all round and a big thank you to Peter Aalders for taking the shots and putting them on the web page.

Fairy doors

At the last General Meeting it was discussed about the possibility of the Guild making fairy doors for Parks Department and the decision was a resounding yes to making them. 

What we are waiting for, is the specifications of these doors as to sizes and also what finish—if any, they want on the doors. 

Last Workshop of the year

The last workshop of the year will be held on Wednesday, 18th December 2019 and start up again on Wednesday, 15th January.

Next meetings – please mark in your calendars

General Meeting—Wednesday, 4th December, 7:30pm at the Club rooms

Committee Meeting—Monday, 16th December, 7.30pm at the Club rooms

January Committee meeting—Monday, 20th January 2020, 7:30pm at the Club rooms

Sad note

The Committee has received further resignations from Committee positions so while we currently have a quorum the Committee may elect to co-opt particular members for certain duties.

And on this note, please consider whether you would be willing to stand for the Committee as there will be positions available from the President down.

I hope that you and your families have a joyous Christmas and a great New Year and that you are all able to catch up with family over the break.

Merry Christmas, Simon Tonkin


We have had another order for a playpod and Peter Robbie has cut that out and completed it so it is ready for delivery—thank you Peter.


The Guild’s facebook page is in need of a revisit as we haven’t posted anything for about a year.  This is a call for a volunteer that deals with such matters as facebook to assist the Committee in deciding whether the Guild requires a facebook page, or what is required to update it and keep it going.

Surplus paint required

With the sale of some of the Guild’s train sets, we are in need of making more. We require any of your surplus   acrylic paint - it must be a bright colour.  

And any screws or nails you have as surplus would also be appreciated.  Thank you

Safety in the workshop

Just a gentle reminder that we are all responsible for safety in the workshop.  

Make sure that you apply safe practices to everything you do and if you see an unsafe practice please have a discussion with the person (not a heated discussion) a quiet word and point out the issues as you have seen them.  

We all learn from our mistakes so they say but let us keep each other safe in the workshop.


Summer is coming and it would be a good time to get in some firewood for your fire pits and outdoor     burners.

We have as usual got bags of firewood for sale at $5.00 per bag or buy 5 bags and get one free — a good deal however you look at it.  We also have kindling at $12.00 a box for sale.

Contact details

Summer is coming and it would be a good time to get in if you change your email or telephone numbers, please  remember to contact Simon and advise him.

Ideally, if you could send an email to Simon with your new email address.

We have had a number of instances where members have changed their emails and then didn’t receive the Woodworkers Newsletters.

This is not an ideal situation.  And strangely, when we send the Wood news out you would think that the news would be undeliverable and would bounce back to us but it doesn’t—so the email disappears into cyber space.( as per normal :))

We understand that when an email address changes it is usually because of some issue and the last thing you remember is to notify everyone.


Saw Sharpening

Service available in Dunedin.  Ross Forrester travels to Dunedin every 2 weeks as part of his work. He will transport and have saw blades returned.

Put saw blade with your name and phone number placed in a plastic bag and deliver to Ross at 43 Thurso Street, Invercargill 
Please  phone first  021 190 6922  to advise you are dropping off a saw blade.  This service will take about 1 week.

Note: Leave saw blades in back porch – clearly labelled.

You will be required to pay by internet banking.

Other tool sharpening;

Great Southern Timber at West Plains Road. They sharpen buzzer and planner blades only.  Please arrange this yourselves.

Merry Christmas

Friday, 15 November 2019

2019 Winners of Woodworkers Exhibition

Best in show  ;  Bev Wilson

Best in show runner up; Peter Aalders

Bowls ;  David Caughey

Boxes ; Jordan Wilson

Neville Skeggs

Clocks ; Jordan Wilson

Domestic ware ; Kevin Gerrard

Furniture and Cabinetry ; Peter Robbie

Mixed media ; Peter Aalders

Models ; Adin Cockroft

Most Artistic ; Ken Welsh

Platters and plates ; Maurice Caughey

Scroll saw and intarsia ; Ross Nicoll

Toys ; winner David Wiseman ( not shown here )

Vases ; Ken Welsh

Monday, 4 November 2019

September newsletter update

Southern Woodworkers Guild – September News update 19-11-01

Annual Exhibition

As noted in the previous newsletter, our  annual exhibition is set  to take place at the Guild Clubrooms.  The exhibition will run from the Friday 15th — members day to bring their items and opening at night, and then open to the public from the 16th November to the 8th December.

The days that the exhibition will be open are Wednesday to Sunday from 10.00 am to 3.00pm.

We will need members to run the exhibition on those days.

The days that the exhibition is open are also considered Club days which means you can come along and work in the Clubrooms - so the more the merrier.  Let us fill the Clubrooms with the sound of wooden items being made. 
If you haven’t started on any project do not worry there is still time for you to make some items, just have a look at the categories on the entry form. You can enter up to 3 items per category. 
And best of luck - it is not many places where you get to display your work amongst like-minded  people. 
And remember Christmas is coming and a wooden item is always a popular gift. 
We have 3 judges this year and Maurice will assist them in their deliberations.
Thank you Maurice - this is appreciated by the members.

Order of Events

Members bring items to Clubrooms between 9.00am to 3.00pm – Friday 15th November
     Exhibition opens to members and their families 6:30pm7:30pm Friday 15th November for voting.
     Exhibition Certificates handed out at approximately 8:00pm

 Exhibition opens to public – Saturday 16th November from 10.00am to 3.00pm
 Exhibition opens each day except Monday/Tuesday.
 Exhibition closes to public – Sunday 8th December at 3.00pm

 General news

We continue to get all sorts of requests for play pods, can you do an old chair up etc.  This is all good news and we hope that the exhibition will again attract some new faces to the Guild.

We have articles that have been sent to the    Manapouri Arts Show - mainly toy items and all are for sale.

The Great Little Train Show was on at Labour weekend and was the usual success - thank you to the members that manned our stand.

Simon Tonkin

 Next meeting agenda item

One of the issues to be discussed by members is the use of the large bandsaw.

At the last Committee meeting it was discussed that it has been observed that the use of the bandsaw is not following the rules. This bandsaw is expensive to maintain and the card on the bandsaw reads straight cuts only !!!!!

The Committee discussed the use and whether the bandsaw should have a lock on the switch to prevent members that have not been trained in the use of this bandsaw, from using it without a mentor or some   assistance.

Peter is obtaining a price for a key lock switch but that is as far as it has got.

I would like to start the discussion with what is the problem we are trying to solve? 

*      If it is an inappropriate use by members and they are putting themselves at risk, is a key lock going to        prevent this issue?
*      Or, is it that we, as an organization, need to  ensure that members are trained in the use of the bandsaw?

I personally do not favor a key lock or any   mechanism that prevents members using any   equipment in the club rooms, after all the equipment has been purchased or it has been donated, or a large number of tools have been loaned, and to my mind they are for the members use.

So the issue for me is how does the Guild provide proper training for the equipment that we have?  Do we need to train people in the use of a chisel, for example.  Having hurt myself with a chisel when I was an apprentice - and quite possibly since that time, I think the proper uses of all tools should be explained. But it is the individual member’s role to request assistance on how to use various equipment.

The good thing about that is that we have great knowledge within the Guild on the how to operate the tools we have.

I must admit that there are many ways to swing a cat - I recall Ross stating that he always puts the table saw blade up high where I was taught to have the blade one tooth above the wood you were cutting.  Clearly Ross is wrong here!!

So let us start this conversation on two fronts—(1) safety for members using any equipment - what is the best way to do this? (2) Do we need to restrict the use of some machines.

( personally I believe that members need to be a certified user off all equipment in use .  Peter Aalders )

 Notes from October’s Committee meeting

* Large bandsaw has been set up and is working.
* Electrician has been and completed work required.
* Firewood available in bags.
* Exhibition details published in last newsletter.
* Judging panel arranged.
* Great Little Train Show stand being organised for  Labour Weekend.
* Nearest saw doctor appears to be in Dunedin.
* Name badges have been updated.
* Spare tools for sale, details to come.
* Exhibition advertising underway.
* Funding, more information sought from Guild.
* Incorrect use of our machines was discussed.
* Correct usage signs are being ignored!!!!
* E Hayes Trophy to be updated for exhibition.

Peter Robbie

Workshop report – October in the Workshop

Once again the workshop has been busy with all working well but it is rather a pity that so many are working on money making ideas rather than making things for themselves or their families but I suppose that people are only interested in money these days and money rules before people.

It’s rather a shame to see so many chisels are in poor condition now after so much time was spent sharpening them. After all, chisels are meant for cutting wood rather than being used as scrapers and it is frustrating to see so many blunt chisels in the racks.  ( certification again here as well . Peter A )

The large band saw now has a damaged blade after only a few weeks use and as the nearest saw doctor is in Dunedin this blade will not be repaired so perhaps it is as well we did not buy a good blade but stuck with the cheapest available even if it does not like cutting metal like the dearer blades do.

The large thicknesser is now very blunt but I cannot fit sharp blades until a blade setting jig is found so it is best if we do not use it.

Enough of moans as I am sure more care and proper use of the Guild equipment will result in a more enjoyable time in the workshop.

Next meetings

General Meeting—Wednesday, 6th November, 7:30pm at the Clubrooms

Committee Meeting—Monday, 18th November, 7.30pm at the Clubrooms

Exhibition Opening night—Friday, 15th November, members and families to arrive from 6.30pm to cast votes with opening time of exhibition approximately 7.30pm to 7.45pm

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