Wednesday, June 30, 2010

MenzShed 1 July

G'day all Sheddies

Last Thursday was a great day at the Shed in Haining Street. The topsoil mixture was delivered by the Council staff, and the gardens at the side and rear of the build were filled to the brim. A fantastic effort on the day with minimal equipment to make life simple. Some of Tom's Thursday afternoon group also planted out both patches with silverbeat that the Council people also kindly bought along with them.

The food and conversation was fantastic and our special guests gained a good idea of what a great place we have PLUS they can see it is doing a fantastic service to us men. Henry on BBQ and Malcolm on Scones made the place sing to the smell of food. Then there was the cakes and things bought in from home specially made by John and others. The impression these visitors gain from these guest invites can make an enornmous difference in the future as we go looking for funds to pay the bills. Which leads on to news that the DHB have just advised they have approved a small financial grant to help toward our ongoing costs. Gillian Burns from Habitat for Humanity (another guest) has offered to do a presentation to us sometime to outline what they do and discuss how we might work together. Any interest please let me know.

John Spittal and Archie Kerr from other MenzSheds enjoyed their visit and felt they could learn from how we were going. They thought we had organisation. I apologised for the misrepresentation of the true chaos that mostly exists.


Stuart has delivered us a large TV ready to run DVDs or videos or whatever might be necessary. This will have more bearing upon Tom's mens group sessions he runs alternate thursday afternoons. This will need mounting on a shelf high on the end wall of the main room along with the equipment cabinet we already have waiting to be set up. Steve has another TV that has been waiting to be picked up from his office in Newtown. That will happen this Thursday.

The DHB have given us some office workstations for either use or disposal. They are large meltica corner and straight wall units. We will be looking for 3 or 4 able bodied men to make a quick trip with a trailer to get these plus the tv from Newtown.

Doug produced 4 bags of kindling wood last week and 3 of those were grabbed by the members for the bargain price $5/bag. He is working away on this at home in his spare time. Help with a hatchet to split the palet wood out the back would be helpful if anyone is willing.

Garry has completed the Mahjong case he was building for a Mrs Won, a customer who came in to see if we could make something for her. Looks a treat. Just needs lots of wax to make it a million dollar game set.

Malcolm has been in touch with our 2 other young ladies looking for help with book cases and bike shelters. They are now all in hand and if anyone is looking for a project I am sure he could do with some help with the bike shelter.

Bill Flanagan has all his bits ready for the sawhorses. Looks like a real professional job to me and I for one would like to learn from his experience on this important job.

John has the Charitable Trust registration well in hand and hopefully good news any time now.


Thursday is back to the usual workshop activities.

  1. More fire engine project progress and lots of other things.
  2. Last week we got to talking about anything special that could be useful and it is obvious that Murray, John would benefit from adapting the small tables at the end so that they are able to sit and quietly get on with their projects. It will just need some blocks or wheels under the table legs to raise them slightly. We might manage to do something this week.
  3. Bills' sawhorses are a valuable item for many projects and maybe others might help and learn on this project.
  4. Lets get a start on mounting the TV and sound system.
  5. More palets are due to arrive so its demolition time plus kindling splitting too.
  6. Norman has a bunch on computer towers for upgrading.
  7. The work stations from the DHB are to be picked up
  8. The TV from Newtown ot be picked up.
We would think thats enough to go on with for now.

See you all tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

MenzShed 27 June

Yes its the last Thursday of the month again and time to have a brief shed tidy up, light up the Bar-B-Que, sizzle some bangers, bake scones, boil the jug and generally have a good day of talking amongst outselves along with a few invited guests expected to arrive about 11.30 ish.

Among this Thurday's guests we can expect a group of people from Hutt Valley Health who have provided us with some of our funding, a lady from Habitat for Humanity who are interested is seeing what we might do for them, a fellow sheddie from Naenae MenzShed and possibly the Northern Suburbs MenzShed bloke as well.  They are presently without a shed to do things.

Could be some interesting things to hear about and share our place with others.  Naenae are preparing to build their own purpose built shed.

As a side issue the topsoil for the gardens at the rear and side of the Shed is being delivered too.  So there will be an initial hive of activity to shovel it into the raised garden boxes.  Anyone locally with a wheelbarrow and shovel is asked to please bring it for a little walk to Haining Street.

We look forward to seeing you all at Haining Street starting from 10 am.  Since we now have a small oven that works, Nigel will bring the scone mix.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

MenzShed 17 June

Another good day last Thursday.

John getting stuck into his peeler handles. Looking good they are too.

The computer crew were making great headway on their present recycling challenge too.

The fire engine took several more steps forward. What a difference it makes when the materials are all there.

Henry checked out our 2 small benchtop ovens to see if they are ok. One is a bit short of heat at the bottom but I am sure we will get good use out of that anyway. The other one with an element on top is working fine. We might even try a small natch of scones to prove their worth this week. Just watch this space.

A member we haven't seen for a while, Bill Flanagan came in specially to help make up some saw horses that we need. With his help we have now the materials ready to put them together. He has the designs. We have the tdechnology and the materials. So this week could see us set up with those as well.

There was another delivery of pallets from Bunnings and breaking them down for firewood began with a vengence out the back. What a hive of activity. All that noise from the wee chainsaw created some great slamming of windows on the apartments overlooking our yard. Woops, we will have to get that silencer fixed. Dougs electric one was a lot more suited to the confined space. This still needs a big effort to catch up with supply and get the sales under way.
We were going to do some extra on the pile of pallets this Tuesday but with the cold wind and rain that didn't happen.


So people know the fate of our magnificent mahogany table that was so beautifully restored. It is currently for sale on Trade Me with a reserve of $200. If you know anyone who might collect such items then point them in the right direction. It comes up as a Coffee Table in Kapiti (where our TradeMe member lives).

You might also like to know that Refugee Survices now have a fully operating Electronic Whiteboard with printer. Following a request for help Norman paid a visit to their office to have a look to see if it might be something for us to take on and while there managed a complete repair on the spot. How satisfying is that now.



See you all at the Shed in Haining Street.


Following a quietish day today we were just sitting down thinking where to from here. A couple of important issues came quickly to mind.

1. Doug, Henry, Stuart, Don and everyone who could lend a hand did a fantastic job attacking the pallet firewood stack today. When I saw the effort involved and the physical stress being put on the people, it crossed my mind as to "is this what we should be asking of our members"? My immediate thought is if we have to put in this much effort every week then firewood will have to dominate every Thursday and I wouldn't want to see that. What are the thoughts of others????

2. Next week is the last Thursday of the month and so it will be BBQ and socialising day. There are a number of people who I think we could invite to come along and find out what MenzShed Wellington is about.

Firstly there are our associates from other MenzSheds in the area. In particular there is the currently inactive Newlands Shed known as the Northern Suburbs MenzShed. Doug and I met John Spittal at the conference. We had discussed the possibility of their members making use of our facilities while they find a new venue. Any disagreement to that invite?

The second is MenzShed NaeNae. Our contact there is Archie Kerr who was also at the Masterton Conference. They are facing venue issues to and are working to build their own shed in the Hutt Valley. Could be lots of help to us in the future. What do others think about them being invited?

The Community Garden people for Wellington (Innermost Gardens) through Sarah Adams have expressed interest in meeting our Shed people with the view to exploring how we might be able to help one another. We have been in talks with another community garden group as well and there are major synergies between the two groups. Any problems with an invite to Sarah next Thursday?

Mary Strang of the Hutt Valley District Health Board is one of our source of helpful funding. An invite to her could aid better understanding of what is being achieved on the Wellbeing of Men front. Any problems witrh that?

This past week we also met Gill Burns from Habitat for Humanity who was interested in how MenzShed might be an important support group to a concept of refurbishing items for resale through an organised group of outlets about the country. What do people think about an invite there?

These are the contact details we have. If you want to add to the list please add contact information to the list.

John Spittal, Northern Suburbs MenzShed Group (Newlands)

Archie Kerr, Menz Shed Naenae

Sarah Adams, Innermost Gardens

Mary Strang, Regional Public Health, Hutt Valley District Health Board

Gill Burns, Habitat for Humanity, Lower North Island

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

MenzShed 10 June

The temperature is cool but the welcome warm at our Shed in Haining Street. This Thursday its business as usual starting from about 10am until whenever we get hungry about 12.30pm or later as the mood takes us. More tea and bickies to start the session with then onto our projects once again.

Now that Mitre 10 Mega in Petone have come to the party, the Johnsonville West Kindergarten Fire Engine is under way with a purpose. We have the materials so now its time for produce the goods. This will be something worth doiung in the community.

John's potato peeler aids are taking shape so this week could see real progress with those.
Norman, Henry, Robin and John (probably many others too) have made some excellent progress with the old PCs. I think we now have 2 ready for donationj (for Koha) to a school desperately in need of these for disadvantaged children.

Thanks to the efforts of Garry and Bill the garden at the rear is now also ready for filling with topsoil and planting. (But first we have to empty the middle of the firewood pallets stored there.

The firewood project got started last week with delivery of a number of pallets. Doug and Stuart got the job under way last week and now have a better idea of what we have to deal with. This week we intend to attack the stack with chain saws and make a big impression. Doug has bags to pack the finished wood into ready for sale.
SO THE BIG EFFORT THIS WEEK IS TO HELP DOUG AND HIS TEAM PRODUCE THE FIRST BATCH OF FIREWOOD FOR SALE. Anyone who can help on this for an hour will make a big difference to this job.

We think the next big effort is to get the workshop layout all complete and safe for real action but that's something to plan for along with getting things ready for a Saturday Garage Sale. By the way if anyone has a pair of saw horses excess to requirements thay would be very welcome.

Let us know if there are any pet projects you want help with or if you have an idea that might be something for the whole shed to get involved in.
We look forward to seeing you all for Thursday's Workshop Session.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

MenzShed 3 June

Just a brief note to prepare everyone for our weekly workshop session starting from about 10.00am tomorrow morning

There are 3 items of special note tomorrow.

1. Bunnings have already delivered a batch of pallets to be made into firewood and kindling and a second delivery will happen between 9 and 10 am tomorrow. Firewood crew get ready for action. We will have to keep on top of this or storage of pallets will rapidly become a big issue with our fellow tenants like Vincent. Vincent goes to a lot of trouble to make sure we have plenty of parking room on our Shed days so I think he need to be considered at all times.

2. Mitre 10 Mega will have the materials for the Fire Engine project ready and have offered us the use of one of their trailers to pick them up in the morning. Andrew, Alan, Wayne and I will detour on our trip to the shed to make that pickup.


3. Last week the side garden for the soup kitchen was completed ready for filling with topsoil and then planting. Soil delivery cannot take place until our own garden at the rear is ready too. Tomorrow Garry and I are hoping to see to that. When thats done we get paid for the materials used for the side garden.

As well as that we need to move ahead getting sale items ready for a garage sale to raise funds for materials and tools etc etc etc. So more Weta Motels and Bird Feeders, Spud peeling stabilizers, bath seats, and anything else that are saleable are needed.

At our meeting this week we though a 6 week lead time to a Saturday garage sale might be something to work toward.

By the way Philipa at the Soup Kitchen has a couple of small welding jobs needing attention from someone who knows what they are doing and I think she said there was a trolley needing some pop rivets too. Rolf and an assistant might be our crew there.

We look forward to seeing you all there tomorrow.